parfums delrae: 6 posts

5 Iris Perfumes and One Dumas Novel

Iris has the reputation of being a cold and austere note. Obtained from the roots of iris pallida, rather than flowers, it smells of its source–more like a sliver of frozen woods than petals. (This is why iris in perfumery is not quite a floral note, and it’s classified separately, between woods and violets.) And yet, it’s my favorite scent for winter. It fits so perfectly into the wintery panorama of scents that I can hardly imagine these cold days without an opaline sillage of iris. On the other hand, a beautiful perfume is beautiful all year round, so I’m slowly transitioning to spring with my bouquet of irises.

The indisputable gold standard irises are Chanel No 19, Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, and Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. Hermès Hiris is another notable fragrance, often referred to as “a cult favorite,” whatever that means. Although I enjoy No 19, Iris Silver Mist and Hiris, my personal iris cult is more varied, a testament to the allure of this ingredient.

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Parfums DelRae Wit : Fragrance Review


Patricia discovers a new love in Wit.

Daphne, a spring plant that smells like candied citrus rind and jasmine, is the inspiration for  Wit, the latest creation by Parfums DelRae. Parfums DelRae is a niche fragrance brand based in San Francisco and Paris and comprised of nine fragrances known for their creativity, complexity, and high quality. I own two others: Début, a fresh, green lily-of-the- valley, and Coup de Foudre, an effervescent rose.


Wit by perfumer Yann Vasnier, is easily my favorite release of 2014. I haven’t felt as excited about a floral perfume since L’Artisan Parfumeur introduced Séville à l’Aube in 2012. Although different in composition, they share the same lush, falling-into-a-pile-of-petals feeling. I wore Séville à l’Aube for a month straight after it came out, and I can easily imagine doing the same with Wit.

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Parfums DelRae Eau Emotionnelle : Fragrance Review


A man at the outdoor market where I shop each Friday cuts melons to entice customers. He lays out a colorful platter that looks like a Byzanthine mosaic of golden cantaloupe slivers, opalescent musk melon cubes, with an occasional splash of watermelon red. The colors makes me wish that I had a big pile of summer dresses in these shades, but it’s the scent that makes me bring home more fruit than the two of us can possibly eat. The perfume of ripe melon has an almost tangible quality, and its musky sweetness is so seductive, I feel lightheaded.

Yet, as much as I love melons, when I hear that a perfume contains this note, I approach it with caution. Too many melon fragrances have crossed my path that smelled either too sweet, too artificial or both. For this reason, it took me a very long time to try Parfums DelRae Emotionnelle.

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Parfums DelRae Debut : Perfume Review



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

Parfums DelRae Début is a composition of wistful elegance, introspective and gentle. Like other fragrances in DelRae range, it is scent to wear during moments of reverie—when one allows oneself to be taken up by the stream of memories and dreams. It encompasses a wide range of sensations, from the vivacious verdancy of crushed leaves to the quiet warmth of musk. Created by Michel Roudnitska in 2004, Début is at once a springtime bouquet and an autumnal breeze.

Violet leaf with its exuberant green character conjures a vision of crushing young green leaves between fingers, their scent bursting in the air. Citrusy notes lend an additional effervescent layer, which contrasts beautifully with an indolic note that at first is only barely noticeable. Sparkling accent persists into a heart of the composition, where it softens and slowly fades. Scents of dewy flower buds, earth and cool morning mist unfold in a panoramic view. …

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Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis : Fragrance Review



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

If the mythical Garden of Hesperides had a scent, the voluptuous warmth of Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis would be filling its air. Smooth and luminous woods provide a backdrop against which the crimson rose petals fall, touched by the sparkling quality of hesperidic notes. Their shimmer dims slowly, allowing the luscious blackberry to overtake the composition with its sweet darkness.

As its creator, Michel Roudnitska describes in his interview, Bois de Paradis took 2 years and about 300 trials to emerge in its present form. Musky, jammy fruit is a perfect pairing for the sensual sweetness of rose. The heart of Bois de Paradis is an abstract dessert of caramelized blackberries dusted with sweet spices and decorated with sugared hazelnuts. Yet, layered with violet tinged cedarwood, the composition is wonderfully balanced, without ending up as either too sweet or too gourmand…

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