Terrasse à St Germain is the second fragrance in the “Histoire d’Amour" trio from new niche line Jul et Mad, meant to evoke "a veritable 'coup de foudre' between two souls on the terrace of a Parisian café." It is described as "a floral woody musk" with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, rhubarb; freesia, lotus flower, blue rose; musk, sandalwood, and Indonesian patchouli. It was developed for Jul et Mad by perfumer Dorothée Piot.
I reviewed Jul et Mad's Stilettos on Lex when the line was first launched: its powdery plum-violet composition was right up my alley. Terrasse à St Germain feels more contemporary and more unisex, but it's similarly sophisticated. Don't be scared by the inclusion of grapefruit and tangerine in the top notes: the fragrance's fruity opening includes plenty of tart rhubarb with just a little candied citrus. The fruit and the floral phase that slowly emerges after it both feel cool and very slightly metallic, as though they were sprinkled in silver dust. The freesia and the rose are soft and pretty, but they never dominate enough to turn Terrasse à St Germain into a strictly feminine fragrance.
The later stages and long dry down of Terrasse à St Germain turn woodier and a bit deeper. I don't notice the patchouli — it must be too "clean" to register as such — but I do enjoy the musk and sandalwood base. It feels silky and decidedly non-animalic, it brings the fragrance securely back into unisex territory, and it seems to include a trace of something incensey. Overall, Terrasse à St Germain doesn't last as long as I'd expect for a parfum; it feels more like an Eau de Parfum in its duration. It has low sillage.
Jul et Mad's description for this fragrance says that "this perfume incarnates the portrait of a perfect duality: classical and modern at the same time, masculine and feminine." I often laugh at that kind of description, but in this case it actually makes sense. Terrasse à St Germain does feel as though it emerges from a tradition, but it's still contemporary: you'd never mistake it for a bottle of vintage perfume. I'd place it in the same category as Maison Francis Kurkdjian's rich-yet-sheer, autumnal Amyris; and, like Amyris, it doesn't fit my personal taste well enough for me to covet an entire bottle (Stilettos on Lex is more "me"), but I've enjoyed trying it.
Jul et Mad Terrasse à St Germain is available through the brand's website and at MiN New York; the Jul et Mad collection will be arriving at Aedes de Venustas later this fall. Terrasse à St Germain sells for $280 for a 50 ml bottle of Parfum accompanied by a refillable 7 ml “Nomad Perfume” travel atomizer (already filled).