lundi 29 juin 2009

Amoureuse by Michel Roudnitska for Parfums DelRae: Honey Trap



Amoureuse keeps changing her story.

First she says she’s from San Francisco. As she swans around the room telling you – maybe a little too loudly? – about box trees and their tiny waxy blossom in that thrilling voice of hers you notice she’s left a drawer open in her dressing table.

An old photograph of Le Parfum de Thérèse is peeping out, and you can tell from her fizzy citrus head, her lush jasmine heart and her deep oakmoss soul that she takes after her grand-mother -- though less so than her kid sister Émotionnelle... But under that slightly brash American vigor, she is a child of Grasse, isn’t she?

While you’re peering at the picture, Amoureuse is all giddy mandarin aldehydes; you notice she’s doused herself in cool green tuberose, but there’s a hint of bitterness in her breath – cardamom.

Then she starts telling you about her father Michel’s ten years in Tahiti… She says that one day, while he was hiking on dry hillsides, a powerful and spicy fragrance drew his attention. He walked downhill towards it until he reached a hollow choked with dense, tropical vegetation. Still, he couldn’t locate the source of the smell… Until he finally pushed back some leaves and uncovered the tiny flowers… It’s then you realize where Amoureuse got her sultry looks and that lazy, moist, tropical demeanor: her mother is a ginger lily.

Now she stops talking, and lets her deep, narcotic sandalwood hum seep into the floral choir, while she absentmindedly kneads mandarin rind between her fingers. She’s dipped them in honey, and everything she’s been telling you from the start seems to have wrapped itself in this golden drizzle – the box tree blossoms, the tuberose, the jasmine, the ginger lily and her trail of spices.

Amoureuse means “in love” – a feminine adjective. But it’s you she’s caught – it’s you she’s become. In the damp, sticky days of summer, she’s wedded herself to your skin. And you’re suddenly, terribly hot.


Image: Still from Tabu (1931) by F.W. Murnau

25 commentaires:

  1. Oh, thank you for this! As you know, she's one of my top three. I don't know that I'd recognize a linden tree if I sniffed it, but this has always been the honey/lily thing for me. It's positively narcotic, a big slow-moving wave of intense florals that never gets piercing the way a lot of my other favorites can depending on the state of my sinuses. A big, womanly beauty.

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  2. I love Amoureuse -- it's gorgeous, especially the boxwood opening, but it IS a bit much at times. Definitely a summer scent, intoxicating.

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  3. Your review is intoxicating-- I must try the scent, but just one dab at first-- it may be more than I can handle!
    Thanks for the perfect illustration for the theme, too, and for the photo of Ms. Huston on last Wednesday's anglophone post. Love it, headscarf, eye shadow and all.

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  4. Amy, of course I thought of you a lot when writing this. Personally, I'm not getting any linden from Amoureuse (there's some in Début though) but there definitely is a whole lot of honey. As an aside, I would stock up if I were you... yup, it's the oakmoss.

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  5. Popcarts, I still haven't experienced the too-muchness of Amoureuse, though I've been wearing it in the heat. But then, there's very little I wouldn't wear in the heat...

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  6. Anonymous -- wasn't that a gorgeous photo of Angelica?
    Do try Amoureuse. I like to spray my hair, that way it's not too in-your-face.

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  7. D: I'm pulling out a sample and dabbing right now...

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  8. ...it's interesting to me how much my perception of a fragrance can be changed by how it has been described to me. The first time I tried this months ago, I found the rather urinous honey note to be off-putting, and, along with the intense florals, mandarine, and spice, a little too loud. All those elements are still there, but in light of your review, I find myself "getting" this now (particularly the tropical connection you mention). Hm, she's rather charming now, this Amoureuse.

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  9. Jarvis, it *is* a little loud, but somehow, that works itself out in summer... I'm the type that doesn't bring out the pee in the honey, so that never put me off. Glad I could skew your view of it!

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  10. Wow! Great post. :) It just went on my list of things to try as soon as possible.

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  11. beautiful description.
    thank you.

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  12. That was me, admiring Anjelica-- forgot to sign myself!

    I haven't yet tried any honey-note scents, so must find out whether they please or repel me. (I fear the urinous edge that some notice, though certainly I've never found it in edible honey.)
    Gretchen

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  13. Ines: kindly report back when you do!

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  14. Dea: well, we aim to please... ;-)

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  15. Gretchen, I find I usually like honey notes, though the infamous Miel de Bois was a teensy bit too strong and sweet on me (but not pee-ish).

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  16. Great review! I loved your metaphor. I haven't tried any of the Delraes yet - now of course I want to. Tuberose is usually a bit much for me even though I find it to be beautiful. I'm more of a chypre girl - but I'm feeling like a homeless waif these days!

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  17. Brava! That last line...

    As if I needed any warming up down here in hot as $#@! Texas.

    I have a tiny sample of this that has lasted for three years now, but you make me want to buy a decant.

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  18. Rappelyea: technically, this *could* very well be a chypre according to some definitions. Citrus + jasmine + oakmoss...

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  19. Alyssa, I probably had my sample for two years at least before I gave it a proper test ride: actually, I wore it to meet up with Michel R.!

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  20. If I lost my sense of smell, if I had no interest in perfume, I would still read your blog. I am mesmerized. I am fairly sure you could make my son's rat cage sound like the latest must-have fragrance! (You should review Mary Kate & Ashley's fume just for fun to watch sales spike!) Thank you for reminding me that I am more than just a wife and mom- I am a sensuous, mysterious woman. Vous êtes étonnant! (hope that's correct)

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  21. WunderMom, thank you, that's the nicest compliment I've ever heard about my perfume writing!
    Your French is correct, except that it's "étonnante" with a final "e" for the feminine form...

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  22. Superb review! Amoureuse is too loud and brash for me, though obviously from a wealthy background.

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  23. Anonymous, that's what comes from being Franco-American, I guess!

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  24. I was lucky enough to receive Amoureuse from a very generous perfumista recently but have yet to give it a true wearing--now I'm very eager to go home and try it! Your reviews so often inspire those feelings, which is why it's bad to binge on the archives...

    I will be traveling to Paris soon and would love to have your advice (if you have the time) on what is not to be missed, especially perfume-wise.

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  25. Daseined, be sure to post your impressions once you've tried it... As for advice on visiting Paris, you can write me but also look up a thread on the Perfume of Life forum (actually, there must be several).
    It's a pretty good idea for a post too, in fact -- I'll get on it soon if I have the time.

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