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Group: Chypre Floral
I have an extensive miniature perfume collection that includes many a classic fragrances from major Parisian perfume / fashion houses including Caron, an iconic company of luxury perfume and fashion established in 1904. I first tested Pour Une Femme are Caron in a vial received in a swap and so beautiful did I find the juice that I had to get a mini of it.
Significantly different from its male counterpart, the bottle for Pour Une Femme evokes the female body dressed in a nightgown - the coloured liquid in fact - that's tied at the waist with a ribbon. The torso is stood on a pedestal that's actually the stopper of the bottle. I quite like this unusual sculpted appearance that is completely in phase with the elegant and feminine scent held within.
Top notes: orange blossom, mandarin orange
Surprisingly, the fragrance opens up with a strong blast of a dark, smoky and slightly bitter substance of frankincense, that at such a concentration is distinctly musky and almost animalistic in nature. I couldn't help but think of those pure perfumes that women and men wear in the Middle East. Strong, characteristic and quite frankly, somewhat out of place in the top phase, it's enough to scare you off if you expect something dainty and demure.
A few minutes later, a fruity sweetness appears that mingles with the pure resinous incence. This is not the fruit salad fruitiness of modern perfumes but more of the naturally dark and aromatic Chypre fruitiness also found in Mitsouko's apricot - leather or Rochas Femme prune - oakmoss accord, only that here it's composed of orange and frankincense. The result is a well-projected, confident frankincence offset and softened by some gentle fruity sweetness that makes Pour Une Femme wearable and intriguing.
Heart notes: frankincense, rose
About 15 minutes later when I just started to enjoy the loud and assertive frankincence initially not really my cup of tea, all of a sudden the fragrance turned subtle and soft. The heart was still holding onto its frankincense core - now subdued and powdery - enveloped by a lovely and soft cloud of powder not unlike the baby powder accord of Bulgari Blu Notte. Pour Une Femme had that same kind of coolness to it thanks to the dark, oriental resinous frankincence making it different from the usually face powdery smelling classics and giving it a contemporary, niche perfume feel.
Rose wasn't distinguishable per se however rose - frankincense are often paired in Middle Eastern perfumes to create a characteristic naturally bittersweet, powdery or smoky, resinous accord often with a distinct gummy aspect to it, which was what the fragrance reminded me of. The overall feel was a rather elegant, ' little black dress' type of scent that had a reasonable sillage that followed me around and yet felt intimate and made you want to come closer to sniff. At the same time, due to the softness, it felt cozy and warm, a pleasure to wear, especially in rainy weather.
Base notes: sandalwood, musk, amber, vetiver, oakmoss
Oh so comforting! This is how I'd sum up the base that was coming through after the rosy resins dissipated and the composition gradually turned woody and ambery after about 4 - 5 hours. It wasn't the candy-type amber common in recent releases that are dripping with vanilla but the darker, spicier labdanum-rich variety reminiscent of the drydown I enjoy so much in Mauboussin's Eau de Parfum.
The milky - powdery and woody accord was extremely well-blended without any specific ingredient sticking out. It had a lovely complexity to it every time I had a sniff, a different note caught my attention. At times it was a darker, more aromatic core due to the oakmoss, however, it never became a true Chypre, a fragrance family that contains oakmoss by definition. The oakmoss pretty much stayed in the background and let the smooth and balmy facets of amber dominate together with a streak of smoky incense that I could enjoy for the rest of the day.
Frankincense - rose Western style, this is how I'd sum up Pour Une Femme. Tamed and perfectly polished with some rose thrown in for good mesure, the fragrance is a good way to appreciate an ingredient many of us are a bit scared of wearing.
It's extremely well-blended and subtle so if you find Middle Eastern frankincense based fragrances a bit too explicit, this might be a good start. For frankincense lovers, it is a good investment, but as I said it's a quiet and refined juice and not at all a power house like Youth Dew.
Pour Une Femme is a masterpiece of quiet but persistent charm and old-school elegance where East and West meet. Considering how loud it is at the beginning, my only regret is how quickly it burns off and disappears completely in about 8 - 9 hours. However its beguiling beauty makes up for the fault.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The full RRP is around £60 / 75ml Eau de Parfum in Caron boutiques / consessions in department stores however, you can find it for much less at online perfume discounters such as GalaxyPerfumes starting from £21.27 /50ml Eau de Parfum.
Thank you for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk