Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Frédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse was created by Edmond Roudnitska, one of the most influential perfumers, the nose behind Rochas Femme, Diorella, Diorissimo and Dior Eau Sauvage among others. According to Frédéric Malle’s site, Le Parfum de Thérèse was composed in 1960s by Mr. Roudnitska for his wife, Thérèse. Upon the death of the master perfumer in the 1996, his wife allowed for the fragrance to be released to the public through Frédéric Malle.
Le Parfum de Thérèse is one of my favorites from the collection. The burst of sunny mandarin is followed by tart sweetness that reminds me of cantaloupe. A dry note of pepper softens the sweet fruity accord before green, yet animalic jasmine reveals itself. It is faint at first, however it becomes deeper over time. Roudnitska’s treatment of indoles–perfume materials that smell of decay and moth balls–in jasmine is fascinating. By amplifying the dark notes, he creates a genuinely sensual fragrance that straddles the fine line between seduction and repulsion.
While jasmine intensifies, violet and rose swirl out of the spicy green plum accords in the middle notes. The entire composition rests on a dry leathery base touched by earthy notes of vetiver. A fragrance both seductive and elegant, it unfolds gently on the skin, never failing to surprise me. I find something new in it every time I wear it.
Photo: Auguste Rodin, Fugit Amor (before 1887), marble, Musée Rodin, Paris. Photo by E. & P. Hesmerg.