The Olfactory Equivalent of a Souffle

Over dinner recently at Le Soufflé, a Paris restaurant specializing in the famed French dish, my friend asked me if there are any fragrances that suggest the same lightness and sensuality as this airy confection. The question took me by surprise, but I liked the idea of finding a floral scent that felt weightless without being fleeting. This was no simple task because the floral family is vast, ranging from fresh blends based on orange blossom and lily of the valley to smoldering potions of tuberose and jasmine.


In my recent FT column, The Olfactory Equivalent of a Soufflé, I take up the challenge and select three perfumes that capture the airy and decadent qualities of a soufflé.

The first fragrance I selected was Cartier’s Baiser Volé, a composition of white blossoms glazed with vanilla. Its green, sparkling opening includes rose, gardenia and white Casablanca lilies, while the sweetness is tempered by the cool touch of woods, subsiding in the drydown to musk and cedar. Despite its caressing, velvety impression, Baiser Volé retains its effervescent personality from the first to the last accord. To continue reading, please click here.

Image via FT

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6 Comments

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    What a delightful article!

    Based on your descriptions, I think Souffle de Soie would be great for the Australian spring, Baiser Volé for summer, and Amorem Rose Parfum for any warm evenings (particularly for thin-skinned palefaces such as myself!). But then, I haven’t smelled any of these fragrances, I’m just letting my imagination play. I look forward to sampling them properly.

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline September 30, 2019 at 8:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve never been to Australia, but your seasonal picks sound perfect to me. October 9, 2019 at 11:58am Reply

  • Daisy: Very delightful indeed….
    Loved the task, easy to imagine and take the olfactory journey alongside you. And appreciate the introduction to new perfumes.
    Try another challenging food…..please.
    xxx September 30, 2019 at 10:29am Reply

    • Victoria: I will do! If you have any suggestions, please let me know. October 9, 2019 at 11:58am Reply

  • Aurora: This is a fun association and you speak of a favorite of mine, Baiser Vole so eloquently. The EDT is sparkling with a green effect and I also have the Essence de Parfum, so diffusive with a sumptuous vanilla which doesn’t transform the scent into a pudding though.

    Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum might qualify too, partly because of the name but also because it is a chiffon lemon meringue to my mind. Shalini is new to me so grateful you bring it to attention. October 4, 2019 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was thinking of Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum too. Although the name makes it obvious, it does have the souffle-like airiness and plenty of decadence. October 9, 2019 at 11:59am Reply

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