The Different Company Garden Trio : Perfume Review



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

The garden inspired trio from The Different Company–Un parfum d’ailleurs et fleurs, Un parfum des sens et bois, and Un parfum de charme et feuillespromised to be airy and subtle. I was envisioning fragrances that combined the light and elegant touch of Celine Ellena as exemplified by Sel de Vetiver and the spicy indolic radiance of Jasmin de Nuit. In many ways, my expectations were fulfilled as the fragrances do recall the refined quality of the preceding compositions without being overly delicate. At the same time, the more assertive touches are rendered as far too sharp against the more tame accords. While some of the scents are pretty, on the whole, they feel neither memorable nor original. At most, they come across as interesting ideas, rather than finished arrangements. …

Un parfum d’ailleurs et fleurs (red bottle) is based on the combination of jasmine, animalic and incense redolent notes. The initial orange blossom softness is framed in transparent spices, the heat of which slowly fade into the warm animalic embrace. Like the musky scent of Indian jasmine incense, the drydown seems to retain sweetness as well as a touch of pleasing smokiness. Yet, a hint of unctuous, oily warmth gave the composition a quality that reminded me of a bar of soap. Interesting, but in the end, full of discordant elements that did not quite work as well as I would have liked.

Un parfum des sens et bois (mauve bottle) is reminiscent of the spicy-woody idea that was explored in Cartier Déclaration (and to a lesser extent, L’Artisan Navegar). Cedarwood is the predominant element, accented with peppery and bitter citrusy notes. The composition starts out as sharp and dry and over the course of time it gains a velvety amber facet. Un parfum des sens et bois is the most elegant and the most harmonious out of the trio; however, it feels far too delicate to be striking. I found myself wishing for the spicier, richer layering, and for a depth and complexity that this composition could have had.

Un parfum de charme et feuilles (green bottle) was the most challenging for me to appreciate. The jarring woody-lemony top note was rendered as warm and soapy, reminding me of passing through the Ivory soap stacks at the supermarket. The herbal notes ornamented with indolic floral sweetness did not help matters much. The fragrance kept eliciting associations with cleaning products due to its herbal sharpness and somewhat oily sweetness and unfortunately, these were only images that stayed in my mind.

Un parfum d’ailleurs et fleurs (red bottle) includes notes of neroli, tangerine, tuberose, elder flowers, star anise, musk, plum and hazel tree blossom. Un parfum des sens et bois (mauvebottle) contains notes of white violet, cedar, pepper, ginger, elemi, patchouli and incense. Un parfum de charme et feuilles (green bottle) features marjoram, peppermint, jasmine sambac, sage and clementine (notes information via Nowsmellthis). Available directly from The Different Company and Beautyhabit.



  • Anjali: Is it silly that I have not expected these fragrances to be anything special based on their titles alone, since their names are longer and lack the same pithiness and rhythm of the previous offerings? 🙂 Sens et Bois sounds like it might have some promise though. Thanks for the lovely review! November 27, 2006 at 4:25am Reply

  • Judith: Well, this is disappointing, but as Anjali said, not surprising: I never could get my mind around those names! I do really like Sel de Vetiver and Jasmin de Nuit, though, so I had some hope for un parfum des sens et bois. Oh, well, there are many others to try and crave. November 27, 2006 at 6:38am Reply

  • helg: Hi Vic! Long time no see.

    Coincidence or what! These were the object of my blog as well a couple of days ago.

    I do like the sheer style of the Ellena family school of perfumery (LOL) and Sens & Bois was well done, I thought for what it is. The green one (Charme & feuilles) did not bring cleaning products to my mind, but rather the idea that fuels Eau du Ciel or Extrait de Songe: a hay-like woody softness married to airy greens; it reminded me of mediterranean paysages.

    Best November 27, 2006 at 2:08am Reply

  • Cait: Pretty underwhelming, by the sound of them. I still want to give them a sniff, but good to call a spade a spade. Thanks for the review. November 27, 2006 at 5:25am Reply

  • carmencanada: Hi V.
    Apart from Jasmin de Nuit, which I sampled with you in Paris (but never got further than the little trial bottles), I’m not incredibly impressed by The Different Company’s offering. I find, like you say, that they have a somewhat “inachevé”, tentative quality, “un peu brouillon”, like drafts rather than full-fledged fragrances. Perhaps I’m not that receptive to the transparent school of scents. BTW, just got my Bulgari Black. Will enjoy its full kinkiness tomorrow (today is Orris Noir, which smells a lot like Ormonde Woman to my nose… top notes evaporate and devolve into the Ormonde base).
    Bises, D. November 27, 2006 at 11:21am Reply

  • Robin: Ivory soap, oh dear. Not good. November 27, 2006 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Marina: “They come across as interesting ideas, rather than finished arrangements.” I absolutely agree. They have a feel of drafts, not of finished scents. Hazy, shapeless, pale…My biggest disappointment so far. 🙁 November 27, 2006 at 8:49am Reply

  • Elle: I agree w/ Tigs – I always am somewhat concerned when more than one scent is released at a time. I’d rather far more time be devoted to just one show stopper scent. However, I must say I did like the Sens et Bois one. Probably helped that my expectations were so low. But the Charmes et Feuilles one almost made me sick it was so awful. It reminded me of cleaning products as well. My first thought was of being locked in a factory that produces really cheap, super strong laundry detergent. Ugh. Because of it, however, I discovered that scrubbing one’s skin w/ a Mr. Clean sponge and dish detergent is very effective in removing scent immediately and thoroughly if nothing else is available. Not great for the skin, but I’d rather suffer raw skin than smell that scent. November 27, 2006 at 2:12pm Reply

  • March: Patty sent me samples, and I can’t decide about these … I am (for once) trying to give them a fair shake. They weren’t what I expected; as you noted, from a company that lives up to the “Different” part of its name, they aren’t as peculiar as they should be. I am also ashamed to admit that, having no French, I can’t tell them apart by name. November 27, 2006 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Tigs: I am almost always a little suspicious of releases of three scents at a time – it seems too convenient a number, and as Luca Turin says, there is usually only one really good one that would normally get released on its own. Sounds, though, like there really isn’t even one here amongst the “drafts”. Too bad! November 27, 2006 at 10:53am Reply

  • Patty: Hmmm… I liked these more, I guess. The mintiness inf Feuilles wasn’t something I liked, but the Bois one and the other one I liked a lot, though I thougth the Sens et Bois was definitely the best of the three, and I got a great waft all day from it. November 27, 2006 at 3:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elena, I enjoy the transparent school of perfumery, but this was not its best example, in my opinion. November 27, 2006 at 5:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anjali, Sel de Vetiver is elegant and lovely, and I get many compliments whenever I wear it. This trio was just disappointing. I felt that the ideas had promise, but they did not seem to be well developed. November 27, 2006 at 5:27pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, you are right, it is a good idea to give them a try. I know that Patty liked them very much. I just could not discover anything to enjoy about them. November 27, 2006 at 5:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, you are right! There are so many perfumes (well, 500 and counting this year) that one cannot feel too sad if something did not work out. November 27, 2006 at 5:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, TDC fragrances have a particular character, and some of them are just wonderful. I find this trio to lack that something that grabs my attention. “Hazy, shapeless, pale…” Yes, you put it really well. November 27, 2006 at 5:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tigs, that seems to be the case, although I recently tried a series of perfumes in which everything was 100% beautiful! Now, this is a rare thing. November 27, 2006 at 5:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, I have recently parted with my bottle of Jasmin de Nuit, but I must say that objectively it is one of the nicest TDC fragrances. I used to wear Divine Bergamote a lot, and Osmanthus is perfect for the summer. And yet, the trio was disappointing. Orris Noir is great, but it is not iris, rather it is that ambery wood, which drives nearly everything in the line. Sometimes I find it quite overwhelming. November 27, 2006 at 5:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I do not mind the scent of Ivory soap, but not when the perfume makes me think of it. November 27, 2006 at 5:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I am glad to hear that we agree on Sens et Bois and Charmes et Feuilles. I decided to try Charmes et Feuilles on some people as I was writing my reviews, and 2 said “soap,” while the third one said “scented candles.” Neither was good. November 27, 2006 at 5:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, they definitely have plenty of sillage, and they are not as ethereal as I thought that they might be. I can smell Sens et Bois on my scarf even now, and it has been two days since I have worn it. November 27, 2006 at 5:44pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I agree with your point on the Different. That they are not, although I think that some of the ideas are interesting. November 27, 2006 at 5:47pm Reply

  • k-amber: I agree with many points everybody mentioned, yes, rather lack of sparkle. As par Ellena family fragrances, a limited Hermessence has been added to the collection in Japan, called Eau de Ginza(the center of Tokyo), which also gives me major dissappintment. The notes are mainly chreey blossom and magnolia, added a touch of fruity green accord. What I can say is..sad.

    Kaori November 27, 2006 at 8:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, this sounds rather disappointing. On another point, why do fragrance companies insist on playing up the cliches? Cherry blossoms appear in every single East Asian-inspired fragrance, as if there are no other flowers/plants, etc. that are associated with the region. Even Sei Shonagon has described various scented plants in her Makura no Soshi (Pillow Book). The best Japanese themed fragrance I have smelled was from Alberto Morillas created for an art project. It was gorgeous, simply stunning. November 27, 2006 at 9:37pm Reply

  • k-amber: Victoria, I am so impressed that you are very erudite. I strongly believe Sei Shonagon was attracted to numerous scents, plants and flowers. I am intrigued with the fragrance Alberto Morillas created very much.

    Kaori November 28, 2006 at 7:15am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, thank you very much. I studied Japanese in college, and I have always been interested in the region. I hope I can make a trip one of these days. November 28, 2006 at 3:51pm Reply

  • poivrebleu: Hi Victoria,
    I’m a new reader of your blog, I’ve discoverd it by Perfume-Smellinn’ Things that I like very much. I’m french so please excuse my English… Well about the 3 scent you describe on your post, I totally agree with you, I’ve been disappointed by those fragrances that I find too classical compared with Sel de Vétiver or Rose Poivrée… Very interesting review. February 3, 2007 at 6:41am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Hi Poivrebleu and welcome! Thank you for your comments. While I enjoyed Sel de Vétiver, the three new scents have been a let down. I really hope that there will be more exciting ones in the future. February 3, 2007 at 2:25pm Reply

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