“If you like Huile Divine, you should try Parfum Divin,” said the red lipsticked Caudalie sales associate at the local pharmacy, looking bored as she enumerated its features, carefully folding her manicured fingers one by one–trendy scent, big sillage and the fact that it smells exactly like the dry oil.
Since Caudalie’s Huile Divine is easily as fragrant and tenacious as any perfume, I didn’t understand why the last point was a draw. Wouldn’t it make sense just to buy the dry oil and have not only the perfume but also a terrific skincare product? But what the beautiful Caudalie rep didn’t mention was that Parfum Divin follows the same idea of Nuxe’s Prodigieux, Le Parfum–take the aroma of the cult favorite dry oil and turn it into perfume.
Creating a successful perfume for a body care product takes considerable effort, since adapting the aroma to the oil base is more more complicated than diluting it in alcohol. Caudalie partnered with Jacques Cavallier of Alexander McQueen Kingdom, Stella McCartney Stella and Yves Saint Laurent Nu fame to create the fragrance for both the dry oil and the perfume.
Unfortunately, going from oil to perfume doesn’t seem to be easy, as Prodigieux, Le Parfum demonstrated as well. Like Nuxe’s effort, Parfum Divin doesn’t tempt me, a loyal dry oil wearer. The perfume starts on a sharp, plastic-like note, and if I close my eyes, it can easily be mistaken for a shower gel or shampoo. The noble essences like Bulgarian rose absolute and Moroccan rose essence, about which the press release goes on in some length, might be there, but all I smell is a persistent synthetic wood that tingles my nose. Eventually, it’s diluted by the neon bright rose, for which no real roses have suffered, and sheer, lemony jasmine.
If you wait an hour or so, the rest of the fragrance becomes pleasant. The sharpness recedes under the layer of caramelized vanilla and fluffy musk that smells like freshly washed sheets. A hint of green fruit adds a bright, juicy note, while the rose leaves a tinge of honeyed warmth. Parfum Divin doesn’t smell like some heavenly ambrosia, but it’s not entirely dull either.
The only question is whether it’s worth it. 50 ml of perfume will set you back 43 €, while a similarly sized bottle of oil is only 15 €. The oil has a sophisticated aroma of woody roses and vanilla, and it lasts so well that wearing any perfume on top of it would be superfluous. I’m personally skipping Parfum Divin and instead putting my money towards Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir and lip balms.
Parfum Divin includes the notes of rose, pink pepper, musk and vanilla. Available at pharmacies in Europe, and Sephora in the US. 50 ml/42,60 €