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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Russian Saturday: Le Parfum de Thérèse

What color is happiness? How does a summer evening taste? What does Le Parfum de Thérèse smell like? Le Parfum de Thérèse is love to the very bottom of the bottle. It is difficult to write about the one you love; it makes no sense to write about what leaves you indifferent.

Le Parfum de Thérèse is build upon three whales: aldehydes, fruits and leather. I can’t classify it. Thérèse should be given its own fragrance family, however, except for Femme Rochas (1944) and Diorama Dior (1948), I can’t remember other perfumes so harmoniously combining these three components. Aldehydes-leather, fruits-leather, aldehydes-fruits- there are plenty of those! But the perfume genius of Edmond Roudnitska remains unreachable.

Le Parfum de Thérèse is a bright, sunny, juicy aroma. I smell aldehydes throughout its development. This is practically the only thing that betrays the fact that the fragrance is man-made, otherwise it seems, it was created by nature itself. Aldehydes give it a shape, not letting the flowers and the fruits to float about. Nevertheless the scent remains very fluid. There are no rigid forms, snug cuts, tight knots, strained relations and awkward words. In the heart of the perfume, dazzling jasmine is balanced by the chilly wetness of violets; ripe melons and cherry-plums are oozing juice: this is summer afternoon, the sun is in the zenith. The leather in Le Parfum de Thérèse is the most evident on a cold, goose-bumpy skin. Jasmine closes up, fruits notes become more restrained and drier, the barely noticeable in the beginning spices are better defined and smells sharper. Is the leather worth such sacrifices is for you to decide. I am willing to be cold for it for 15 mins. With Thérèse, it’s not scary.

Le Parfum de Thérèse is a day-time fragrance. I never wear it after the sunset. Le Parfum de Thérèse lights up gloomy, dark days. It’s my sun in cold water. It’s a perfume of absolute happiness, when the parents were young and healthy, and the whole life still ahead.

Le Parfum de Thérèse Frederic Malle (Edmond Roudnitska, 2000): mandarin, melon, jasmine, pepper; violet, rose, plum, nutmeg; cedar, vetiver, leather.

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Anonymous dissed said...


12:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a lovely review - thanks for sharing it:-)

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

9:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Abigail said...

Therese is one of my favorites. I wore it a lot this summer when I couldn't wear much else in this hot, humid weather Down South.

1:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Undina said...

It is a great review. No, seriously, I'm not just being polite. What I like about it - it's very personal. A while ago I read a beautiful story behind this perfume creation, thought it was extremely romantic and wanted to try (and to love it) so badly that I bought a sample... And didn't like the perfume. After that here and there again and again in many reviews I read the same romantic story, but I knew already how it ended for me, so I wasn't compelled to re-test it. Your review makes me want to give myself another chance with this creation with a beautiful romantic story behind it. Thank you.

5:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Lovely review! I only smelled this quite recently - it's hard to pin down as you say, defying description and categorizing, but I do like it very much; I am another of the chosen few who gets along with melon notes, apparently.

1:00 AM EDT  
Blogger ninja said...

Interesting. I couldn't love Therese, but what I found was that I came closer to loving it in certain climates and regions. I remember wearing it in the fall in Portland during a leaf storm, and it was melancholy then, in the astringent, cold sunlight amid tumultuous leaves, but it was--if not quite accessible--nevertheless somehow correct.

Later that year, I wore it in the hot summer, driving a rented car through Sardegna. The smell of figs was intense in the heat, but there was another smell, too, a dried grass smell, ashy; I don't know what it was but it was a cousin of rosemary or sage. For some reason it was terribly discordant right there, and right then...though maybe it was only echoing some discord it had no cause or control over :) In any case, after that day, I never wore it again.

2:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anna!

3:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abigail, wet Dutch climate suites Therese very well too!

5:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Undina for your warm words!
Actually I don't like "stories" at all... Therese is really a perfume on it's own, without any background.
Who knows, maybe you can write your own story about your relations with this masterpiece!

5:52 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flora, melon seems to be one of the most difficult perfume's notes. I don't know another fragrance where melon is so oozy and absolutely not vulgar at the same time!

6:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ninja I have similar difficulties with some fragrances: I like how it smells, but I can't wear it even if it smells good on my skin.

6:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I adore this perfume (am on my second full bottle after several samples), yet it seems to have little sillage, and I have had no comments from others when I wear it. I wore Femme years ago.

7:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly wanted to love this but the melon defeated me as well. I haven't given up on it yet - I usually try perfume masterpieces 3 times before I decide they are not for me.

8:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Jack Jonathan said...

that's really interesting, it looks so cool.

Tablet PCs In Pakistan

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

This is a lovely review! Thanks, Alena!

...could you please keep posting the Russian version as well? Pretty please?

1:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love Femme too!

5:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Warum!

About Russian version: it's up to Marina.

5:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous perfume said...

Perfectly delicate scent! This surely is one of my favorite fragrance of all times. I've been very particular with the type of smell I wear.

1:58 AM EDT  

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