Bringing sexy back…
If you’re seriously into perfume, chances are you’ve visited Barbara Herman’s treasure trove of a blog, Yesterday’s Perfumes. It contains a wealth of information about vintage fragrances and was a great help to me when I was researching an eventual purchase of vintage Vol de Nuit extrait.
In 2013 Barbara released a book “Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume“. Earlier this year she launched Eris Parfums. Working with perfumer Antonie Lie, the intention was to create luxury fragrances that would “celebrate unconventional beauty and subversive glamour”. The first collection of three EdPs, La Belle Et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is a contemporary re-imagining of the striking and seductive floral animalic perfumes of the past.
Neroli, Aldehydes, Nutmeg, Cypriol, Stypras, Jasmin Sambac, Cedarwood, Patchouli and Animalic Accord
As you would expect from a perfume entitled “My Beast”, Ma Bête is an animalic. Although to start with, it’s not that variety of uncomfortably intimate skank. In the opening stage, it consists of a very sexy yet supple musk accented with neroli and a touch of spice. It has the soft texture of a vintage fur stole, wearing close to the body and giving it that second skin feel. There’s nothing invasive or TMI about it for now. It’s sexual in the way an old Hollywood movie star could be sexual, with a certain look accompanied by the arch of an eyebrow.
Ma Bête has one aim and one aim only – to seduce. In the base the beast’s growl turns to a roar and you appreciate the fact that Lie used a 50% overdose of his own animalic cocktail. You could argue that it’s not very complex but I guess when you are in the mood for musk, you want it front and centre (as it were).
Bergamot, Cardamom, Leather, Suede, Indian Tuberose, Birch Tar, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Musk and Tonka
I approached Night Flower with some trepidation because I am not generally a tuberose perfume fan, to put it mildly. However, it actually turned out to be the one I enjoyed the most. The opening is a combination of bergamot, suede, cardamom and incredibly smooth tuberose. Instead of being the man-eater it usually is, here the de-fanged flower adds a layer of pink bubblegum sweetness. There’s nothing overblown or headache inducing about it.
Over time the suede turns to birch tar and Night Flower now resembles a pair of long leather gloves that hold just a trace of Fracas. It’s dark, warm and slightly powdery. I hope Lie and Herman won’t mind me saying this, but there’s an ambery muskiness present in the base that takes me back to the bottle of Obsession I owned and loved in my youth.
Belle de Jour
Orange Flower, Jasmine, Coriander, Pink Peppercorn, Ciste, Jasmine, Pimento Berries, Cedarwood Incense, Musks and Seaweed Absolute.
Compared to her two counterparts, Belle de Jour opens up surprisingly fresh, with orange and jasmine blossom petals twisting in a salty sea breeze. Here the requisite musk is white and buoyant. It stays at this elevated pitch for a couple of hours. Thereafter it smooths out, becoming floral scented, cashmere-like, clean musk. The texture is raw silk on clean skin.
Antoine Lie says “Belle de Jour is a study in contrasts: a very luminous floral that is salty, sexy and dirty.” However, it never becomes dirty, or even naughty, on me which is a shame. I’m sure this is because I’m not picking up the type of musk used in the base, as regularly happens with me.
Do you like this retro style? Have you tried any of these three?