I said yesterday that the gods are not pleased with me this year, but they must not be entirely angry — Fleur de Liane is not my only chance for joy from perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour at L'Artisan this year. Next month also sees the launch of L'Artisan's new signature fragrance for the West Village perfume boutique Aedes de Venustas*, and this one is right up my alley.
Kevin reviewed the L'Artisan Aedes de Venustas Parfum d'Ambiance room spray back in 2006, and noted that he used the spray on his skin as much as in the air. Not being a big fan of room sprays, I used it only as a personal fragrance, and despite the fact that like most room sprays, it doesn't really "bloom" on skin, it quickly became a fall/winter favorite. The new Eau de Parfum is meant to "retain the woody, Oriental allure" of the original while adding "new facets of spice for sparkle, chypre effect for sophistication, balsam for comfort and leather to compliment and enhance the original fragrance", and in fact, it does just that: it's much, much more enjoyable to wear on skin, but it's close enough to the room spray that you can pretty much just read Kevin's review to find out what it smells like. For anyone too lazy to click through, here is a quote:
Of these ingredients, incense and leather stand out. The incense of Aedes' room fragrance is not burning or smoldering incense, but fresh, unburned incense that has a light, slightly powdery, near-vanilla aroma with hints of cedar and sandalwood. A mellow leather note is present throughout the fragrance’s development and is especially noticeable in the dry down if you spray this scent onto skin.
I'll add just a few notes of my own:
Kevin is correct that the incense stands out, and right from the first spray. It mingles with citrus-y notes at first, later, briefly, with a very soft rose; the whole thing is laid over dark woody-leathery base notes.
The Eau de Parfum is much deeper, and possibly a bit darker, than the room spray. It's also much darker than Duchaufour's incense for Amouage, Jubilation XXV; still, it doesn't have anything like the gloomy, high-church sort of atmosphere of his Avignon for Comme des Garçons.
The leather is absolutely buttery-smooth, and the finish strikes me as more velvety than that of the room spray.
It's beautifully spicy — the top notes are quite peppery — and a bit more so than the room spray. It is very much a cool weather scent to my nose, and I found it a bit too heavy when I first tried it in July. Today, it's still warm enough to wear shorts but the air is considerably cooler, and it's just perfect.
The everlasting flower was more noticeable to me in the room spray; here, it's subtle at most. I was interested to see coffee in the fragrance notes (see below) but for the life of me I can't smell it. It certainly isn't as obvious as it is in Duchaufour's Kyoto (another Comme des Garçons fragrance).
L'Artisan Parfumeur Aedes de Venustas will be available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum, and will be exclusive to Aedes. The notes feature orange oil, pink pepper, cardamom, incense essential oil, black pepper, rose, iris, cedarwood, incense resinoid, patchouli, coffee, opoponax, benzoin, treemoss, everlasting flower, white musk and vanilla.
* Disclaimer: Aedes is currently an advertiser at Now Smell This.