Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie provokes comparisons with taking a sip of espresso and being initially startled by the dark bitterness which serves as a tantalizing prelude for the caramelized and nutty undertones. Similarly, the dark powderiness of Une Fleur de Cassie hides the warmth of violets and rose wrapped into the leathery sweetness of mimosa. The fragrance starts out on an odd wet paper note before taking an unexpected twist into the powdery almond and violet. It took me longer to appreciate than other fragrances from Frédéric Malle’s collection, but once I did, I fell in love with its juxtaposition of accords and tonalities.
Created by perfumer Dominique Ropion, Une Fleur de Cassie is a beautiful example of his talent, especially when it comes to working with floral notes. He layers the contrasting effects of luxurious sweetness, green sharpness and animalic pungency on the aldehydic floral outline. The result presents the elegance of the classical aldehydic bouquet tempered by the mineral notes. The woody base notes are smooth and polished, like a necklace of Indian sandalwood beads.
The cassie in the name refers to the warm and powdery fragrance of cassie flowers (Acacia farnesiana ), their spicy cinnamon facets underscored by balsamic undertones. Ropion augments the alluring sweetness of the composition with mimosa (Acacia decurrens) which is one of the main notes in Une Fleur de Cassie responsible for the leather overlay as well as the woody-floral and honeyed character. Yet, in a way, taking apart this elegantly harmonious composition note by note does not do it justice. Nor is it particularly necessary once you lose yourself in the beauty that it conjures.
Une Fleur de Cassie features notes of bergamot, rose, violet, aldehydes, cassie, mimosa, jasmine, clove, cedarwood, sandalwood, musk. Editions de Parfums fragrances are available from Frédéric Malle boutiques, Barneys New York and Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums website.