When I first smelled Ann Gérard Perle de Mousse last year on a cold winter day, this delicate perfume didn’t seem quite right. Its sun-dappled demeanor needed a white seersucker dress, a picnic basket, and a mild spring breeze. In other words, it felt like a perfect warm weather fragrance that could be both casual and elegant, a rare combination.
Perle de Mousse was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour for the jeweler Ann Gérard, whose warm Cuir de Nacre would tide me over while I waited for spring to come. (Ciel d’
Perle de Mousse is a word play on moss, mousse in French, and an allusion to the mossy notes of the composition. It’s an appropriate name for this luminous perfume, but the main theme here is flowers–the white of gardenia, the green of lilies, and the yellow of tuberose. ‘Delicate’ is rarely applicable to while floral bouquets, but Perle de Mousse is just that–graceful, tender and gauzy.
At first, the delicate floral is not at all what you notice. Perle de Mousse opens up on a starchy-metallic note (aldehydes) fused with something green and earthy (galbanum). This is a classical prelude to many excellent green fragrances like Chanel No 19 or Balmain Ivoire, but in the case of Perle de Mousse, it’s lighter and more transparent. Soon the cold fizz of aldehydes subsides, the intense green pales to soft pistachio, and you’re left with layers of white petals flecked with moss.
The mossy notes are crisp and dry, and they tone down the sweetness of tuberose and jasmine. Despite its understated personality, it’s not at all a fleeting perfume. Perle de Mousse has a good sillage and a noticeable presence, even if it doesn’t shout. It reminds me of Frederic Malle Lys Méditerranée, another perfume that bottles the essence of a warm day when the sun caresses your face ever so gently.
Ann Gérard Perle de Mousse Eau de Parfum includes notes of aldehydes, pink pepper, bergamot, green mandarin, galbanum resin, ivy, lily of the valley, hawthorn, Bulgarian rose, clove, jasmine, gardenia, lentiscus absolute, ambergris, musk, and vanilla. 60ml/$165 (or as a part of the Discovery Kit valued at 48 euros), available at Luckyscent and directly from anngerard.com
Painting: Claude Monet (1840–1926), Springtime, Walters Art Museum, via wiki-images, some rights reserved.