“ Brand: Isabel Derroisne / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Parfum / Gender: for women „
Launched: 1998 - discontinued
Group: Woody Oriental
~ INTRODUCTION ~
I test fragrances as a hobby and the next choice in my collection was Le Temps des Reines ("Time of queens" if you translate it) from Parisian niche perfumer and cosmetic brand, Isabel Derroisné. They distinguish their perfumes by drawing inspiration for her ingredients and compositions from different cultures and continents and by using natural essences in her fragrances.
~ THE PACKAGING ~
The Eau de Parfum version, the subject of the review, comes in a cone-shaped midnight blue-tinted glass bottle that's topped off by a round stopper. The writing on the bottle and stopper are equally a golden colour. The design is appealing, and has an old-fashioned, royal feel about it.
~ THE FRAGRANCE ~
Top notes: geranium, spices
Just after applying one drop on each of my wrists from the miniature bottle I'm hit with a strong, almost overpowering boozy-woody aroma that reminds of me of mature, vintage wine where the aromas have had ample time to crystallise.
I get a whiff of geranium oil, this rich, powerful, astringent and especially woody aroma with a hint of green and rose-type floral note. I couldn't distinguish any of the spices though I must say when compared to my geranium essential oil, Le Temps de Reines was slightly softer so they did change the harsh feel for the better.
Heart notes: patchouli
Half an hour on, the fragrance still had a pronounced wine-like and woody accord accompanied by a softer, earthy aroma. Some of the harshness of the geranium still prevailed but it was now nicely blended in heart note and with the skin too softening it up. To sum up, a somewhat woody but earthy phase that lasted up to 5 - 6 hours.
Base notes: sandalwood, benzoin
As often when testing fragrances for the first time, I tend to forget about what I'm wearing. When I smelled my wrist the next time to see if there was anything left of the fragrance, I caught a whiff of a soft, barely there skin scent, a warm, dry and slightly bittersweet aroma that lingered on. It reminded me of benzoin, my favourite essential oil at the moment I use in my face and body creams and even made an eau de toilette out of. Benzoin is starting to become my actual skin scent in a way so I thought that what I smelled was just my scent after all other scents have dried down.
After returning home and checking the ingredients of Le temps des Reines, bingo! I find benzoin. Not a hint of sandalwood though, it must have disappeared in the earlier phase. So there you go, the benzoin and what's left of it sits quietly on the skin when the fragrance dries down to its base and will last up to about 7 - 8 hours depending on temperature and your skin type.
~ CONCLUSION ~
At the end of the day, I use geranium oil to fend off insects and to deodorise my shoes and it does a pretty good job at those and I don't think it did any favours to this woody oriental theme, even if the emphasis was on woody rather than oriental.
Due to the non-sweet and woody nature of the fragrance, it would possibly work better as a men's cologne, though I'm finding it hard to imagine it on my boyfriend. Geranium oil is often employed in men's fragrances to add a woody touch to them, however, blending is crucial as this is a potent essence that can easily overpower.
As a ladies' item, you do have to appreciate certain notes and it's especially true for woody scents as People react differently to heavier, earthy and woody oils and resins as they're often associated with masculine fragrances.
I like woody fragrances with a semi-sweet touch and due to my own associations I have towards geranium oil, I wouldn't wear this fragrance myself. If this wasn't enough, I felt it didn't have enough notes to play with and wasn't creative either. It was linear, boring, empty and one-sided. I expect more from the house that created Ilaya.
~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~
I haven't seen this variety commercially available on the brand's website http://www.isabel-derroisne.com/. I assume that due to its unpopularity and relatively distant launch, it has been discontinued.
If you're a miniature collector it can be found on Ebay but availability is sporadic and a a 7.5ml Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum can set you back up to £10.
Thanks for reading.
p.s. Please note, the product picture is the Eau de Toilette version of Le Temps des Reines. I described the Eau de Parfum though, subject of this review.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk