A stroll down history lane

It’s been a while now that I received a package from Histoires de Parfums (thank you Maxime) but it took some time to get here and write about some of them . As you can see it was more of a leisurely stroll than a walk. And their perfumes tell a historical story which made me realize that even though I knew about this company for quite some time, and even though I know some French, I only realized yeseterday that “histoire” means at the same time a story and history. Which is very true in this case – most of the perfumes are related to a historically significant year and tell a story.

I’m not going to tell you what person is related to which year (ok, maybe just one masculine which I loved and I still don’t know whose story that is), I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
Here we go.

Top note : grapefruit, citrus, mandarin, eucalyptus
Heart Note : pepper, nutmeg
Base Note : cedar, incense, vetiver, pine cone.

This is the one. The one I needed to know who it belongs to. Turns out it’s Jules Verne. Not what I would have guessed but very appropriate for me. 🙂
It smells dark, male, citrusy and seductive to me (I already gave my sample to my boyfriend and can’t wait for him to wear it).
I get the piney incense vibe and I enjoy it very much, it smells dark and refreshing at the same time, like it’s made for a seductive type of guy, one you can’t resist (how appropriate then it’s related to a writer in my case). 😉 It also has an underlying nutty-sweet aspect, I just love the combination of everything in this.

Top note : bergamot, citrus grapefruit, liquorice;
Heart Note : lavender, star anise,
Base Note : vanilla almond, sandalwood, cedar, amber.

This one starts citrusy and bitter-clean like, the smell of nettle shampoo from my childhood (hence the clean aspect).
It has a green and slightly earthy/rooty vibe and then it gets into a cedrish-sweet stage (my guess is that sweetness is coming from the vanilla almonds, it’s not too almondy for me). For me it smells slightly spicy, but not in an oriental way, more like an alcoholic aromatic-fruity drink. And also less openly masculine than 1828 (which is really strange because this one is related to Casanova).

Top note : Bergamot, Tangerine;
Heart Note : White flowers, Violet, Ginger, Cinnamon;
Base Note : Patchouli, Amber, Incense from Jakarta, Vanilla

Oops. I thought it smelled masculine but a masculine for me. 🙂 Turns out it’s feminine. Even better. I like this woman. Sweet and spicy and sligthly boozy – turns out I love ambery scents (wasn’t really aware of that before HdP sample set arrived, there are several ambery scents in it which made me realize this).
Anyway, it’s more dry than my opening statement might suggest.
It was really problematic for me getting to the notes in all these perfumes, they just seem so well blended, even though when they might not be something I’d like to wear.
And almost all of them have this wet and deep aspect to them. I don’t know how to describe it better. Most of the perfumes I tried smelled like what I applied was actually splashed on me with water. It’s not aquatic, it just smells wet, soaked in water with some serious depth going on in the perfume itself.

Moulin Rouge – 1889
Top note : Mandarine, Prune, Cannelle (cinammon)
Heart : Absinthe, Rose de Damas
Base : Cœur d’Iris, Patchouli, Musc, Fourrure (fur)

I didn’t have the notes for this one when smelling it, but my thought went like this. Sweet, dry and slightly musky (guess that’s the fur). I’m so proud for getting the musk because it usually flies right  by me and I’m left wondering why is everyone smelling musky stuff when I can’t. It has a fruity liquor feel and I like it a lot.

Top note : Bergamot, orange, Litchi;
Heart Note : rose , iris , violet, Cumin, Cinnamon, Carnation;
Base Note : Vetiver, Guaiacum, Sandalwood

Boozy, woody in a labdanum kind of way (with vanillic hints). I found it smelling slightly herbal/medicinal and somewhat strange. Rose is in there but very well hidden (ok, blended in).
What I found interesting with this one (and some others) is that I realized how some notes work with each other. For example, here I realized that the sweaty part of cumin is held under check by cinammon so it never gets where it shouldn’t in polite company. 🙂 The cinammon gives cumin a sharp austerity that makes them work really well together. 

Top note : Tahitian gardenia, Corsica peach, Hawaiian Pineapple,
Heart Note : clove, Indian jasmine, lily of the valley, rose of Morocco,
Base Note : Sandalwood, patchouli, Benzoin, vanilla, white musk

Well, I didn’t get it wrong with this one, it is so strongly a feminine, you really can’t mistake it for anything eolse. It’s sweet and fruity, slightly flowery  and very cool (not in smelling refreshing, but as in what a cool perfume to wear). I kept thinking what was that familiar flowery smell until I read the notes and realized it’s pineapple (yes, I’m aware that’s not a flower but a fruit).
After the initial fruity-tropic burts, I got a slight sea freshness that I belive was coming from muguet (it sometimes does that to me). And the muguet works great aside pineapple. Really nice.

Top note : Fruits du Soleil, Pêche Veloutée.
Heart note : Rose, Fleurs Blanches, Cardamone, Girofle.
Base note : Patchouli, Chocolat, Café, Muscs Blancs.

Honestly, to me this smells a lot like Noir Patchouli (which will be discussed sometime in the future). Sweet, very fruity and joyful and slightly ambery-musky.  Can’t say I got the peach, more like juicy type of fruit mixed with rose. Very exuberant. It recalls summer through the summer fruit juiciness and fun in the sun. Well, I guess they did have fun in the sun in 1969. And, if you pay attention to this perfume, it just might evoke those type of associations.

Top note : bergamot, davana sensualis (orange flower native to India);
Heart Note : patchouli coriander, cardamom;
Base Note : cedar, elemi, leather, labdanum.

The last one for today. Boozy (again – I think there is sth wrong with me that so many scents evoke that association). 🙂 Slighty medicinal and woody (guess that’s the start of labdanum/patchouli combo). It smells leathery – juicy, and I love it. Because then it gets completely into labdanum territory where well-balanced wood dances with bare oriental hints and I’m in heaven. It seems Marquis de Sade was a much better seductor than Casanova.

Notes and pic by: http://www.histoiresdeparfums.com

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6 thoughts on “A stroll down history lane

  1. Josephine July 18, 2010 at 17:35 Reply

    Ines, lovely reviews. My personal favorite was 1740. I say 'was' because I got sick while wearing it (food poisoning) and could never return to it. 1740 now lives with my sister, who loves these 'juicy, leathery' perfumes.Your post is very informative – thanks!


  2. Ines July 19, 2010 at 11:06 Reply

    Thank you Josephine. I could live with 1740 myself. 😉


  3. Rose July 19, 2010 at 18:15 Reply

    i so much prefer fragrances with some story or context to relate them too as opposed to the generic pink mush of the mainstream- I think I would be all about Jules Verne too!


  4. flittersniffer July 19, 2010 at 20:10 Reply

    Hi InesI agree with Josephine that your post gives a great overview of how this range smells. I have a boxed set of samples but keep putting off testing them all systematically because some of them don't sound like my kind of thing. However, I have already dipped into the set and seem to remember liking 1826, 1725 and Vert Pivoine. You have inspired me to try them all properly, and when I do I will keep your notes to hand!


  5. Ines July 19, 2010 at 20:55 Reply

    Rose, you're right. It's so much better to have a coherent, interesting story behind a well done perfume. It makes the experience really satisfying.


  6. Ines July 19, 2010 at 20:57 Reply

    FS, do try the rest of them when you find the time. I tried the others as well and like them all. I just find them all very wearable and enjoyable.


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