The Paul & Joe line has two fragrances, both introduced in 2003: Blanc, a fresh floral created by Jean Claude Ellena, and Bleu, a warmer oriental by Pierre Bourdon. Today I am trying Blanc, which features notes of hawthorn, angelica, almond, sweet pea, freesia, lily, rose, musk, heliotrope and cloud of milk.
Blanc opens with a touch of citrus, and quickly settles into a soft blend of angelica and hawthorn. There is a tinge of almond that lingers into the dry down, which is otherwise well-blended floral notes — every so often I catch a whisper of freesia or sweet pea — over a light, milky vanillic base. It is a transparent fragrance, only mildly sweet, and there is the vaguest hint of powder.
Blanc shares several notes (hawthorn, angelica, heliotrope, maybe iris) with another Jean Claude Ellena fragrance, L'Eau d'Hiver from Frederic Malle, and in fact, while they are not identical twins, they might fairly be called relatives. What differences they have are more obvious in the first 20 minutes, when Hiver has considerably more presence, and Blanc feels rather like Hiver's younger, fresher, calmer, possibly less interesting cousin. Once both scents dry down, Blanc feels rather like the summery aspect of whatever idea inpired Hiver.
If I was forced to choose between them, I would go with Hiver without hesitation. But Blanc is nicely done, and if I ever run across it on a day when I happen to have money in my pocket, it may well join my collection too.
For buying information, see the listing for Paul & Joe under Perfume Houses.