Rochas Poupee : Fragrance Review

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Rochas_poupee

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Fruity-floral can be a tired category, since too many of them inundate the market at the present. Rochas presents something different. Poupèe (2004), meaning “doll” in French, is an example of tuberose and fruit marriage. Anne Flipo, a nose behind many of L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances, including La Chasse Aux Papillons, Jacinthe du Bois and Violette Vert, paired white floral accords against a pure yellow of pineapple. The top notes are a rainstorm of orange blossom and tuberose, both of which quickly melt into the sweetness of tart fruity shimmer. The fruity jam stage is my least favourite part, however it does not last particularly long, before giving tuberose a center stage it rightfully claims, accompanied by a hint of powdery violet and soft nutty notes. The final bars are those of a vanillic warmth of benzoin. I find Poupèe to be too sweet for me and perhaps too pretty, but it is still a nice example of the modern fruity floral.

Notes: Orange blossom, pineapple, gardenia, green jasmine, hazelnut, tuberose, sandalwood, benzoin, amber, balms.

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15 Comments

  • Robin: V, I gave this a brief try, but should probably revisit. Like you, “too sweet” was my first reaction.

    Have very much enjoyed reading all the reactions on the fragrance boards to the name though! I was surprised they didn’t give a little more thought to the obvious associations English speakers would have with Poupee. June 18, 2005 at 12:26pm Reply

  • Victoria: R, do try it on your skin. It is a rather well-done fragrance, but it is too sweet for my tastes. I do not do well with fruit in perfume, even though a hint of pineapple (as in Acaciosa) is a welcome thing. I laughed so hard reading some of the reactions to the name. Another example of poor marketing plan. June 18, 2005 at 12:43pm Reply

  • Atreau: I haven’t tried Poupee but was curious because of the name. I don’t remember if we covered dolls when I took French. It’s good to hear that the orange blossom melts away making me even more curious. June 18, 2005 at 8:11pm Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, do not worry about orange blossom, as it is not going to be evident at all. I always thought of the name in French, and only after someone pronounced it like they would in English, I realized what implications it might have! June 18, 2005 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Diane: Hmm… perhaps I am more French literal than I thought for my initial reading was “poo-pay,” therefore I didn’t so much as smirk.

    But, fuhgetaboutit, I got cavities while reading your description! I am most definitely not partial to candy sweet scents. I’ll probably try it though (with my toothbrush ready). June 19, 2005 at 12:41am Reply

  • Victoria: Dear D, I would not say that it is candy sweet overall, it is just heart notes that have a jammy quality (like bitter orange Fortnum&Mason preserves, as opposed to boiled sweets). The drydown is a lovely tuberose with some tartness. It is very pretty. I would not mind a bottle if I received one, but it is hardly something I would purchase myself. June 19, 2005 at 5:12pm Reply

  • mreenymo: Okay, not sounding too original here at this point, but I too have been put off by the name.

    However, having an enormous sweet tooth, and not realizing that it has tuberose and other goodies in it, I will have to try this the next time I visit Barneys.

    Thank you for reviewing it, V!

    Hugs! June 19, 2005 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Victoria: R, please try it and let me know how you like it. I was very impressed with tuberose note in it, even though I was not pleased with too much sweetness in the heart. xoxo June 20, 2005 at 12:08am Reply

  • Woodcock: This smelled very strange on me. I could smell the fruit and the florals for about 20 minutes and then it morphed into a plastic doll scent, like a Barbie Doll. So, the name doesn’t really surprise me. It’s as if Rochas said, “OK, Anne, make a scent that smells like the favorite plastic doll of your childhood” and that’s what she did. It’s not me, but as an exercise in style, I found it interesting and weird.

    I gave my barely used bottle (still in its box) to the thrift shop of St. John the Baptist on Lexington Ave. and 76th St. in NYC. I don’t know if it’s still there. June 20, 2005 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Victoria: Dear C, I think that you are right about doll association, because some other people made the same comment. You see, I rarely played with dolls as a child, preferring leggo-type toys, and I would not even have a doll you might have had! 🙂 I had a doll that I used for my scientific experiments–like trying to determine the temperature under which plastic melts, or what smell occurs when you burn nylon. Clearly, I had a scientific orientation even then! June 20, 2005 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Farran: I thought this was a charming scent, really delicate and fun. I even have it on my wishlist, but like you I don’t see myself buying it unless I am on some sort of retail binge. It is close to others I own, so I don’t feel as though I need it. June 25, 2005 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Victoria: F, exactly! When one already owns 10 different tuberose fragrances, another one is hardly going to be a priority. I do find it charming as well. June 25, 2005 at 9:54pm Reply

  • julien: Sorry,i am french…i don’t understand the play on word with poupée,does it mean something else phonetically talking in english? August 14, 2005 at 12:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Yes, it can refer to the substance that does not exactly smell (or look) appealing 🙂 August 14, 2005 at 12:49pm Reply

  • julien: Ah…i understand better,now…
    🙂 August 14, 2005 at 1:20pm Reply

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