Marc-Antoine Corticchiato: 6 posts

Parfum d’Empire Equistrius : Fragrance Review

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Patricia wraps herself in iris, sandalwood and amber and talks about some of her favorite fragrances from Parfum d’Empire.

Even if Equistrius, a fragrance from the French niche line Parfum d’Empire, hadn’t been named for an outstanding competition horse, I would have been intrigued by the well-balanced combination of some of my favorite notes in perfume. Although Equistrius can easily be worn year round, I find it especially suited to early fall, when the days begin to shorten noticeably, the southward-heading robins congregate in my backyard Kousa dogwood to devour its ripening berries, and the breeze carries a premonition of the chill to come.

Equistrius1

Equistrius opens with refreshing green notes and violet, but eases quickly into a warm and buttery iris that is mouthwateringly delicious and demands frequent wrist to nose enjoyment. This is a soft, rather than a demanding iris, and perfume notes have included rice powder to convey this softness. What I get is more a feeling of rice paper: white, translucent, and richly grained, allowing the warm amber and milky sandalwood to show through, especially as the perfume continues to soften and develop on skin.

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Parfum d’Empire Corsica Furiosa : Perfume Review

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Scents that capture everything green are my obsession. Don’t give me a pale whisper of crushed stems or a hint of young leaf;  that’s not enough. I want the dazzling, overwhelming, explosive experience that you feel at the height of springtime when everything smells green and heady–the buds dripping with honey, blades of grass pushing through the asphalt, leaves unfurling from their sticky casings with violent force. Green is life, and I want to feel this verdant rush.

corsica-furiosa

But I’m in the minority. As Coty, Balmain and scores of other houses quickly discovered after launching their violently green perfumes, from Coty Chypre to Balmain Vent Vert, most people don’t want that much force. Green can be exciting, but it can also be raspy, sharp, challenging. Green accents are essential for many compositions, but strong green fragrances are rare. Which is why initially Parfum d’Empire Corsica Furiosa seems like such a welcome divergence.

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Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave : Perfume Review

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My first impression of Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave was that it was a rose fit for a king.  I was therefore surprised to find out that I was utterly mistaken and that Eau Suave was inspired by Josephine, love of Napoleon, and was meant for empresses and other women.  I had it backwards. This is the kind of trouble that you get into when you don’t bother to read anything about a perfume but simply smell it from a vial, taking a cue only from the name and more importantly from the vial’s contents.

In this case, “Eau Suave” seemed like the name of a cologne for a dandy or for a dandy’s modern equivalent.  I opened the vial and out rushed a red, red rose that had a pitch characteristic to me of male fragrances.  Shows what I know.  But it did make me think about how we perceive fragrances as masculine or feminine and what signals or clues we use to arrive at that decision.

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Parfum d’Empire Azemour Les Orangers : Perfume Review

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When we were talking about cravings for salty perfumes last week, I began to compile a list of such fragrances.  On the face of it, a salty perfume seems like a strange idea, because salt doesn’t have a strong smell. At most I notice  the tangy iodine whiff from granulated table salt like Morton’s or the slightly marine sweetness whenever I open my jar of fleur de sel — thin, crunchy flakes gathered from the top of salt dunes.  But think of what you experience when a salt crystal melts on your tongue—a rush of sweetness that’s followed by a mild saline bitterness. That’s how I imagine salty scents.

A great illustration for this salty impression is Parfum d’Empire Azemour les Orangers. Created by perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the founder of the Parfum d’Empire line, it’s an homage to his parents’ orange grove in Morocco.  When I first tried Azemour, I was instantly smitten with its green richness, effervescent citrus notes and moss and musk drydown.

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Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe : Fragrance Review

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Russe

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

Vodka, caviar, golden onion shaped church domes, horse pulled sleighs running into the snowy night… What other Russian stereotypes might Parfum d’Empire have missed in their description of Ambre Russe? Though I might gripe about the clichés, one thing is without any doubt—among the excellent modern ambers, Ambre Russe is one of the most opulent and luxurious. Its character is enveloping and rich, while the spicy and leathery accents give it a sensual, smoldering aura. At the same time, the dryness of incense makes Ambre Russe elegant and polished by dispelling the usual resinous heft of sweet amber.

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