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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

La Belle Helene by Parfums MDCI

By Marina

As the song goes, "the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t." La Belle Helene, whom, if I were to anthropomorphize her, I would place in the "29 to infinity" age bracket, is undecided about what to do with her life. The fragrance, created for Parfums MDCI by Bertrand Duchaufour, seems to be vacillating whether to become a joyful fruity, pear-centered scent, to focus her attention on leathery osmanthus or to perhaps turn into a very vaguely loukhoum-like rosy-orrisy blend...

And most significantly, I am not even entirely sure I should call La Belle Helene a She. For a perfume that is supposed to be inspired by a dessert and is full of such traditionally feminine and even girly notes, Helene smells rather masculine. Right from the start, the aldehydes are sparkling darkly, not brightly, and that sets the tone for the subsequent stages of the development. The fruits and flowers are sweet but strangely dry at the same time, the gourmand aspect is abstract at most...And the base, well, that is where La Belle Helene is all man. The mossy, earthy, leathery, sharply-woody drydown is mucho macho on my skin. The overall impressions is that of a porcelain-skinned, seemingly very feminine beauty on whom somebody drew a mustache...

Some of the most interesting people I know are the ones who decided to accept the fact that they still don't know what to do with their lives; their eclectic tastes and vast albeit sometimes random knowledge are what makes them exciting. The same applies to La Belle Helene. Yes, you can't figure her out because she hasn't figured herself out, but that's what's keeping you coming back.

Available from MDCI and Luckyscent, $250.00-$375.00, depending upon the fanciness of the bottle.

Image by Matt Ewrin.



Blogger taffynfontana said...

sounds very intriguing must order a sample asap

12:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooph. I'll be very surprised if any 22 year old knows what to do with one's life...

I have a sample of this and it just goes fully gourmand on me- I want to lick my wrist! There's something very comforting about it too. I think I prefer Traversee du Bosphore though, which is similar as mentioned by many bloggers, because it's less sweet...

1:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Irina said...

wonderful written

1:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very curious about this line and Belle Helene especially. I love your review, it is very different from others which makes this perfume even more intriguing.

3:02 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, your review really sums up the others so far. This seems to be a real chimera, with every reviewer smelling a different creature, and you hit that aspect of it right on the head! Sadly, I loathe pear, so I won't be trying this one. But it seems like it's another Duchaufourian Mystery Creature!

5:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

"La, la, la, la LOLA!"

That old Kinks song started playing in my head when I read your review of this one! :)

7:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took me buying (and returning) Dzongkha, Amaranthine, and Nuits de Tubereuses before I realized there's this Duchaufour *thing* I can't stand. Usually doesn't show up on my skin until the drydown but when it does it's unmistakable. A syrupy/manly scent which makes me want to scrub immediately. Belle Helene actually started off with a promise in its non-gagging sweetness and freshness. I thought it was one of the more well-structured MDCI (which is not saying a lot), but then that *thing* appeared. In the fruit-bowl genre, would much rather wear Keiko Meicheri's Peau de Peche which transitions from a clear fresh peach to a beautiful skin musk.

8:03 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found it similar to Traversee du Bosphore. Good, but maybe a bit too predictable.

9:24 AM EDT  
Blogger StyleSpy said...

She sounds like a gal after my own heart - I need to sniff some of this.

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger lovethescents said...

I haven't even heard of this one. How did I miss the MDCI came out with another? Anyway, it defo sounds intriguing. Thank you for the review :-)

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'm not sure about pear myself, though I might have to test it out since both you and March (on the same day yet) loved it so...

2:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

lol we both reviewed this today! And our views are rather similar. It's not that femme...

3:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

I am having a hard time working up any enthusiasm to try this one, despite the good reviews. Mossy, earthy, leathery sounds gorgeous, but I don't care for aldehydes, fruit or woods.

I'd sure like to sniff it on someone else, though; your review is intriguing.

4:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

definitely and let me know what you think!

6:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't get THAT much of a similarity with TdB, but perhaps because this one goes so manly on me :)

6:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!

6:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

There are some beauties in the line!

6:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Duchaufourian Mystery! :))) Oh, a new idea for crime books

6:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL is it a good ear worm at least? :)

6:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well thing is here in full force for sure!

6:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

not that similar on my skin, it has a facet of TdB on me, but that's about it. That's a good thing for me though

6:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

i think she is!

6:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

They took their time after releasing a couple at once

6:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I would be so curious to read your review of this!

6:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

off to read yours!

6:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

well if not on someone else then a blotter maybe? It's an interesting blend.

6:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Am most intrigued to try this one, as I have yet to find a congenial pear scent, and your review has confirmed my curiosity. The recent Jo Malone release was a big disappointment as were the likes of Eau Mega and Idole...! There's also a rather peculiar pear scent beginning with "D"? by a house like Profumum that didn't do it for me either. And with this one, not overly feminine sounds good for starters... : - )

8:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

This might be the only pear I can tolerate. Thanks to the mustache :)

8:19 AM EDT  

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