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Isabel Derroisne Lettre a Anna Eau de Toilette

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1 Review

Brand: Isabel Derroisne / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette / Gender: for women

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      13.04.2010 21:51
      Very helpful



      A minialistic niche chypre made up of natural ingredients.

      Launched: 1996
      Group: Chypre floral


      Having bought and loved Ilaya, a lovely woody oriental eau de toilette from the Isabel Derroisné line, I now own five miniatures from the rest of the line thus coming to full circle with 'Lettre à Anna' Eau de Toi-lette.

      Isabel Derroisné is a cosmetic brand from Paris that distinguishes itself and its perfumes by drawing inspiration for her ingredients and compositions from different cultures and continents and using natural essences in her fragrances. This fragrance is meant to be the an olfactory 'voyage' through Russia.


      Inspired by Russia, 'Lettre à Anna' (Letter to Anna) comes in a dome-like, multi-angled clear glass bottle shaped like a tradi-tional Russian inkstand that's topped off with a midnight-blue stopper representing one of the tops of Basil the Blessed Cathedral at Red Square, Moscow. The design is nice, unusual, and the Russian theme comes across well, deserves being a collector's item on its own.


      Top notes: orange, mandarin, citruses

      On first application, or even when sniffed at straight out of the bottle, the fragrance is mossy and woody intertwined with a fresh, tart dewy rose that's uplifting and aromatic. There isn't a lot of sweetness if any of note at this point, the composition is mainly woody and aromatic with a slight hint of rose that feels more like rosewood rather than pure rose here. The top notes last for about 15 - 20 minutes.

      Heart notes: coriander, ylang-ylang, rose

      There's a lovely, seamless transformation from the top notes to the heart where Lettre à Anna develops a more powdery, denser and creamier side. There's a touch of some medicinal note together with a more pro-nounced, ylang-ylang note, very characteristic of classic chypre scents. The dewiness of the rose has gone as well as its sharp edge, and is now sadly drowned be-tween the thick layers of ylang-ylang and I could only catch wafts of it in the sillage from time to time.

      Base notes: oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver

      After about 5 - 6 hours, the chypre base I tend to avoid in perfumes was actually quite soft and refined to my nose. After being warmed by the skin it radiated a mossy, woody and green finish that was rounded off with the slightest hint of velvety softness, enough to make it impressive and well-refined.

      Unlike classic chypres from houses such as Chanel or Dior where the florals tend to be present until the final drydown of the notes, Lettre à Anna has none of it, apart from that subtle plush feel that actually comes from the floral heart. The base notes lasted well, up to 8 hours on my skin, which is good for an Eau de Toilette.

      ~ CONCLUSION ~

      'Chypre' (pronounced as /fipr/ and means cypress in French) is a fragrance family usually composed of the woody - mossy ac-cords of oakmoss, patchouli and vetiver often associated with heady white floral notes such as jasmine, ylang-ylang or the fragile rose. Unlike classic chypre where the florals can be too busy and easily overpowering, Lettre à Anna offers us a glimple of an uncluttered, simple, clear-cut chypre with only a few supporting notes. The chypre base is transparent, balanced and shines through throughout the composition without being dominant.

      Chypre scents aren't my thing as they seem a tad too aromatic, masculine and woody to me, especially when they aren't sweetened by enough florals, fruits or vanilla / resins. However, if you fancy the likes of Aromatics Elixir or Miss Dior (the original not Miss Dior Cherie which is only a chypre in its name since the EU put restrictions on the use certain raw materials e.g. oakmoss and I'm not one to complain), you'll find Lettre à Anna pretty much spot on.

      Overall, a nice, rich but transparent and easy to wear real chypre made with natural essences by a niche perfume house.


      This fragrance is no longer available on the www.isabel-derroisne.com website, only it's successor, Lettre à Anna Délicate. Occasionally, the original Lettre à Anna 7.5ml miniature Eau de Toilette can be found on ebay though prices can go up to the £10 mark.

      Thanks for reading.

      ©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk


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