“ Brand: Fragonard / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Parfum „
Last year, on a visit to the Fragonard perfume factory in Grasse, France I bought Grain de Soleil Eau de Parfum, a sister fragrance to 'Soleil' launched in 1997 in a similar bottle.
THE PERFUME HOUSE
As most long-established perfume factories of the region, Provence - based Fragonard has produced hundreds of perfumes and the accompanying range since its foundation in 1926. At the moment, there are about 50 different fragrances in production. These affordable, every day eau de toilettes, soap and skincare products are created by the noses of the house using mostly locally sourced, high quality raw materials and several hundreds of years of perfume art and traditional know-how.
Unlike the bell-shaped bottles most Fragonard fragrances are housed in, Grain de Soleil comes in a flattened oval flacon that has a silver-coloured lid the shape of the sun. The surface of the bottle and the cap is textured as if we were looking at them through the hazy sun trembling the air. The box is golden brown and black, simple but classy and oriental to the core.
Top notes: orange blossom
Grain de Soleil starts out with a strong and powerful blast of patchouli and incense to my nose, bold and demanding. The accord isn't brash or overpowering but simply assertive and unashamedly present, just like the summer heat in the south of France.
Some minutes later the top notes sweeten up and I get a lovely representation of the hazy and trembling air as the sweet, dry, hay and almond-like heliotrope note blends in with the dry, smoky incense and the woody patchouli. The top notes give away a great projection and stay around for half an hour or so.
Middle notes: rose, jasmine, iris, heliotrope, cinnamon
With time, the fragrance develops a more complex, spicier side while still retaining its hot, dry and undeniably sunny attitude. It's now an even richer and sultrier oriental that reminds me of a sweeter and spicier version of Cartier's Le Baiser du Dragon, mainly because of the nutty and almondy facet they both share at this point.
The fragrance doesn't really turn floral on me as the increasing spiciness of a peppery and nose-tingling ingredient keeps the florals in check. Grain de Soleil turns somewhat powdery too with a definite vanillic twist coming from the base. This well-blended, sumptuously spiced, moderately powdery and woody-patchouli accord projects beautifully in the next 6 - 8 hours.
Base notes: insense, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, vanilla
What a rich, long-lasting, warm and deep finish! Indulgent, powdery, sweet and vanilla amber meets dry sandalwood sitting on top of the still dominant, hay-like, woody patchouli. I'm also getting a smoky and slightly earthy honey note easing its way towards the heavy-weight ambery vanilla accord, dark and delicious without being too sweet that I could still detect after 12 hours in a light sillage close to the skin.
I own and test a large number of fragrances and I must say, rarely do I come across something I am really enthusiastic about. Grain de Soleil is one of these little finds that puts a smile on my face whenever I wear it. I find it to be a more casual, vanillic and sweeter version of Le Baiser du Dragon but just as deep and sultry thanks to the powerful pairing of patchouli, vanilla and spices.
I recommend Grain de Soleil for those who prefer deep, warm and full-blown oriental fragrances and / or for patchouli lovers who enjoy the likes of Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon, Must de Cartier, Christian Lacroix C'est La Fete Patchouli or Dior Addict. Grain the Soleil or Seed of Sun is like a trickle of golden syrup that's wonderfully warm, comforting, spicy and rich. A niche but so affordable perfect autumn / winter treat!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Fragonard products can be bought from selected department stores (now M&S started carrying Fragonard fragrances in the UK) and online at http://www.fragonard.com/ or by visiting the perfume factory in Grasse, France. You can grab Grain de Soleil for £7 / 7ml miniature, £29 / 50ml and £38 / 100ml Eau de Parfum
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk