Parfums DelRae Debut : Perfume Review

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

Parfums DelRae Début is a composition of wistful elegance, introspective and gentle. Like other fragrances in DelRae range, it is scent to wear during moments of reverie—when one allows oneself to be taken up by the stream of memories and dreams. It encompasses a wide range of sensations, from the vivacious verdancy of crushed leaves to the quiet warmth of musk. Created by Michel Roudnitska in 2004, Début is at once a springtime bouquet and an autumnal breeze.

Violet leaf with its exuberant green character conjures a vision of crushing young green leaves between fingers, their scent bursting in the air. Citrusy notes lend an additional effervescent layer, which contrasts beautifully with an indolic note that at first is only barely noticeable. Sparkling accent persists into a heart of the composition, where it softens and slowly fades. Scents of dewy flower buds, earth and cool morning mist unfold in a panoramic view. …

While touched by a certain innocent beauty, Début is more about an awakening of thoughts and dreams that dispel naiveté. Over time, indolic notes resurface underneath the white petals and begin to lend an animalic tinge to luminous delicacy of the exquisite floral bouquet. While it is not dark or animalic enough to be classified as a voluptuous fragrance, it dries down as a very alluring scent of warm skin and creamy sandalwood. Just when one thinks that it has faded, it rises up again, gentle, teasing and beckoning.

Parfums DelRae range includes Eau Illuminée, Amoureuse, and Bois de Paradis. Début includes notes of bergamot, lime, ylang ylang, lily of the valley, linden, cyclamen, vetiver, sandalwood, musk. It is available from Aedes, Beautyhabit and First-in-Fragrance.

Painting: Valentin Serov. Portrait of Adelaida Simonovich. 1889. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. From abcgallery.com.

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16 Comments

  • kaie: Merci! Lovely review again. Where does one purchase these parfums in France? October 20, 2005 at 8:22am Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): Once again, a truly beautiful review. I was given some Debut this summer–and I quite enjoyed it–but either because of that association or because of its delicacy, I had been thinking of it as a warm-weather scent. Reading your review persuades me, however, that it might be lovely any time, so I will wear it again soon.
    Thanks also for the wonderful list of books yesterday. I had just been wondering what my next pleasure (as opposed to work) reading would be–and now I have many great choices to pick among! October 20, 2005 at 8:45am Reply

  • Marina: Lovely review of one of the loveliest scents. It really is fit for a gentle debutante dressed in white. :-)I don’t normally go for green perfumes, but if I ever were in the mood, Debut would be the one I would reach for. October 20, 2005 at 9:05am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaie, I am not sure where in France they are sold in stores, but I will try to find out. I know that you can order samples from Germany-based First-in-Fragrance. Space NK also carries the line, however it is out of stock now. October 20, 2005 at 10:37am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, thank you. I also thought at first that it is more of spring scent, however lately I have been craving green fragrances, and it seemed to do nicely even in this autumnal weather. In fact, the musky element is what keeps it from being too season-specific. October 20, 2005 at 10:43am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, thank you. I too was thinking of Natasha Rostova’s first ball when I tried Debut for the first time. It is innocent, but not altogether so. October 20, 2005 at 10:44am Reply

  • Tania: I know I had a sample of this somewhere. You make me want to run home and try it! October 20, 2005 at 11:02am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I want to hear what you think. Let me know if you find this sample. October 20, 2005 at 11:05am Reply

  • Robin: My very favorite of the Delraes, followed closely by Amoureuse. Thanks for this lovely review. I tend to think of it as a spring & summer scent too, and will have to try it in cooler weather. October 20, 2005 at 11:48am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, thank you. I think that the green notes are very lovely in the opening accords, contrasting so beautifully with the base notes. I definitely think that it can work year round, thanks to the warmth in the drydown. October 20, 2005 at 11:56am Reply

  • Marina: Yes! Natasha Rostova, perfect! October 20, 2005 at 12:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Yes, that is why I added a painting by Serov. His female portraits have this quality. October 20, 2005 at 12:15pm Reply

  • linda: Thank you for a wonderful review! I am running to search for my sample. :-) October 20, 2005 at 3:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, let me know what you think when you try it. I find it very elegant and beautiful. October 20, 2005 at 4:24pm Reply

  • mreenymo: I love this fragrance! Love the notes. Love the way it unfolds and reveals itself throughout the day.

    Debut may be my favorite one of the line, but then again I’ve been known to say that about Amoureuse and BdP. I love them all!

    What’s great about Debut is that unlike the others, it’s an EdT with the strength of EdP, but is $40. cheaper! :)

    Hugs! October 21, 2005 at 11:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, you are right–it lasts really well for the EDT. In fact, I did not even realize that it was in the lighter concentration. A beautiful fragrance, in all respects! October 21, 2005 at 11:39am Reply

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