Friday, March 2, 2012

Intrigant Patchouli

“Intriguing Patchouli”?  Good name, because this really is an intriguing patchouli scent.  Eschewing the hackneyed niche recipe of patchouli mixed with heavy amounts of sweet amber and vanilla, Parfumerie Generale shows the world how a niche patchouli perfume should really be done!  This truly is a one of a kind patchouli.

There’s a lot more than just patchouli happening in this, yet it never forgets that it’s a patchouli fragrance.  There’s certainly amber in this, and this is a sweet perfume, but the patchouli blended with other ingredients like benzoin, sandalwood, honey and a lot of musk steer this fragrance far away from the dull patchouli-amber bombs churned out by niche brands like Bois 1920 and Montale. 

Instead, Intrigant Patchouli is spicy and powdery, with a thick layer of  patchouli lying underneath what smells like a white blanket of barbershop talcum powder and sweet but subdued floral notes.  It’s unique and gutsy stuff, yet it has an almondy sweetness that makes it very wearable.  In fact, the scent is very similar to Fragonard’s old-guard classic Zizanie, which is a sweet, powdery patchouli-based oriental from the 1920’s.  I have to give Parfumerie Generale brownie points for tipping their hat to an old fragrance whose style had seen its day a long time ago, rather than just taking the safe route and cranking out another variation on Patchouli Leaves (Montale).

Despite the quality of this scent, I’m not sure I could wear it, for two reasons.  First, it’s a bit too sweet for my tastes.  Granted, I love the spicy powderiness of it all because it’s different, but Intrigant Patchouli stays sweet from beginning to end, and it’s a little too much for me.  The other reason I probably wouldn’t buy this is because the patchouli isn’t strong enough for my tastes.  I can smell the patchouli throughout its development, but I like it more up front and center stage than it is here.  This fragrance treats the patchouli, especially later in its development, as a base note underlying everything.  That’s fine and all, but I like it right in my face.

You should take my criticisms with a grain of salt, however, since I admit they are purely subjective.  You may very well end up loving Intrigant Patchouli.  It certainly is well crafted and very unique, almost innovative - this is what niche perfumery is supposed to be all about.  It’s an excellent fragrance that deserves all the praise it’s been receiving in other reviews.

MY RATING:  8/10

Fragrance House:  Parfumerie Generale

No comments:

Post a Comment