Sunday, October 25, 2015
The Elegance Series, first up Elegant Earthy: L'Inspiratrice by Divine (2006)
I like aldehydes but I inherently find most of the time the composition they come with are not really me, the classic pairing of aldehydes is florals, and as I've mentioned before pure florals and I rarely are on the same footing to get along. It also makes me saddened that aldehydes are rarely used beyond the genre of floral when Chanel's classic Bois des Iles highlights that in fact aldehydes can get along stupendously with wood notes, in this case sandalwood. I should also mention that aldehydes can frequently connote an elegance in perfumes for their brightening and deepening effect.
Have you ever thought I really wish L'Artisan would mosh their Voleur de Roses with Chanel No.5 Sensual Elixir? Yeah, me neither until I tried Divine's L'Inspiratrice and that is what I get on my skin and you know what it really really works.
L'Inspiratrice starts with playful use of aldehydes, it reminds me of the more softened aldehydes used in Chanel No.5 Sensual Elixir or Eau Premiere, yet the base of this scent is the classic combination of patchouli and roses that is akin to L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses. Now what keeps this composition melded and smooth is the use of delicate vanilla and ylang ylang.
I just want to reiterate that the use of vanilla in this composition does not make it a vanilla scent, in fact this is a prime example of vanilla being used as a smoothing agent and just adding a dollop of sweetness it tames the patchouli enough that the camphorous qualities it can have are kept at bay.
If vanilla is used to tame the patchouli then ylang ylang is used to tame the aldehydes. Ylang Ylang can have a deep camphorous narcotic scent, I love it, but recognize the hot cold effect it has can be alien to some. What is interesting is while modern perfumery is not a big fan of it, if you look at the classic aldehydic scents they used it everywhere, I theorize it is because piercing sweetness of ylang ylang balances out the sharp champagne qualities of aldehydes.
But you are probably asking what about the rose? The rose in L'Inspiratrice is a soft velvety skin rose, it melds to the wearer and plays the vital supporting role to the patchouli, it is what I call a cuddly somewhat maternal rose, there is no bite but neither is it virginal. It just exists plushly.
L'Inspiratrice melds beautifully with the wearer, the effect is elegant but warm, it is velvety without being suffocating. The lack of suffocation I give credit to the dry cocoa patchouli that is used and no heavy ambering or syrup notes. After Chanel's Bois des Iles this is the next prime example I can think of that aldehydes can meld beautifully to wood based creations.
Try if you like Chanel's Coromandel, No.5 Sensual Elixir, Bois des Iles or L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses.
First image from fragrantica.com
Second Image Alonzo King