La Parfumerie Moderne!

I've had the honour and pleasure to test the entire new line of La Parfumerie Moderne, here is my reviews for the three scents. The name of the house fits the scents perfectly, they all manage to smell both nostalgic and modern at the same time, with a sort of overall linear and "rationalist" approach, which quite fits the visual concept of the line. I must admit I am Marc-Antoine Corticchiato's number one fan, so this all may sound "suspiciously enthusiastic" but trust my objectivity – this line is a true gem (and I am not a promotional, sponsors-driven blog, I just want to support what I like). Good niche lines are sadly so rare nowadays, don't miss this one!

All scents have been launched in 2014 and are composed by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato.



Désarmant opens with a fresh slap of aldehydes, flowers (carnation, rose, ylang, styrax, the unique tea-leafy note of osmanthus, which Marc-Antoine already brilliantly explored in Osmanthus Interdite), with a hint of orange and perhaps white musks. Slight patchouli note on the very base. A spring scent, extremely graceful and realistic, a walk in a warm floral garden. Tight, compact and really harmonic, you hardly manage to distinguish and separate the notes – they all blend one into another, the result is just this heavenly and dense floral emporium. The floral notes are not peculiar themselves, but it's peculiar how they smell here, I rarely get in touch with such bright, luminous, aerial notes, at the same time vibrant and deep, but restrained and controlled enough by the contemporary, slightly metallic aldehydes "roundness", which perfectly shapes them avoiding any earthy-natural-botanical rawness effect. It emerges soon a counter-accord of darker and more balsamic notes, with a dry and severe benzoin note which almost resembles to oak moss, and a bunch of light spices, notably cloves and cardamom, with an undertone of tonka. The fascinating thing about this scent it's how it manages to be bright, without being light – on the contrary, it's substantially and extremely dense, with a materic density (not an artificial, fixatives-driven density, I mean actual, aromatic, tasty density). It progressively gets denser, thicker, darker, almost entering the "fougère" territory, but at the same time keeping a bright floral/soapy side, aerial and slightly salty (aldehydes). After a while it also emerges a splendid note, soft but dry, almost leathery, probably caused by the evolution of benzoin (or may be an actual leather note), however it's a velvety, mellow, cozy and slightly gloomy-carnal base note with an aftertaste of coffee, which blends terrifically good with the floral-soapy side. Meanwhile the flowers notes don't disappear, or better said, they seem to do it for a while, but they'll discreetly return on the drydown. Although less noticeable, I detect also some slight, perfectly shaped hay note, one of Corticchiato's signature notes. Sophisticated, deeply French for both its inspiration (to me, this is like chilling on a wood bench in a "jardin Provençal") and for the composition style – smells basically like a contemporary take on floral chypres. The evolution is brilliant, a bright and luminous opening which develops then a shady side, ending in a dark and dry pre-drydown, which finally "re-opens" a mellow and sensual floral bouquet, with carnal, dusty, shady and slightly gloomy floral notes. Although the notes are quite "common", and the inspiration is quite classic, it has a bold and quite unique personality, which I can't come to describe better - a "contemporary chypre", if you want. Bold persistence, great materials, great composition.



No Sport

No Sport (lovely name) opens with a terrific geranium note on a soft, velvety, refined sandalwood-suede base, aerial and dusty, with a dense fruity-edible heart provided by red pepper. Extremely contemporary and silky, with a beautiful base of balsamic-mossy and balmy notes (patchouli too?), at the same time soapy and floral with a hint of carnal rose. A vibrant, crisp and extremely sophisticated blend, quite nondescript too, as it basically smells like a fresh, renovated, more rarefied and contemporary take on some classic fougère accords. Extremely clear and crisp, for some extents it reminds me of that "new wave" of contemporary niche scents which revisit the fougère heritage - fragrances à la Roja Dove (Fetish pour Homme) or Jul et Mad (Amour de Palazzo), just with less leather, but with a similar crisp and ultra-modern sophisticated elegance. Back again also Corticchiato's signature hay-mossy accord, a dense note with a slightly more restrained and light personality if compared to most Parfum d'Empire scents, but still detectable – a nice "home feeling" for fans of this great nose. After a while the suede accord gets also a spicy accord of saffron and cloves, and it slowly morphs into a terrific suede-tobacco note, mellow and satin-like, but also dense and slightly humid, with that sort of wet-woody-fruity aroma of tobacco leaves. This would have easily been my favourite scent of the line, except for... the red pepper note, which to my nose, is slightly too much "there", and for too much long. If you like this note instead, then it's deal. Apart from that personal "con", this is a terrific scent, utterly refined and pleasant. As for Désarmant, materials and composition are out of question – top notch quality.



Cuir X

Here comes perhaps my personal favourite from the line, or better say, the one I instantly felt "mine" from the very first sniff. Objectively speaking – say, quality-wise – my favourite one is Désarmant, while Cuir X is the one I'll actually buy soon (this doesn't mean it is not equally great quality-wise). It opens with a vibrant, soft, velvety accord of suede and flowers, so bright and juicy it almost smells fruity too – and it partially is, as there's a bergamot/orange note, with a tiny hint of spices. Fairly close to Cuir Ottoman at the very beginning, which just for the record I'm wearing on my other wrist. The fruity, slightly boozy and plummy rendition of suede is quite similar, although here it is just more linear, thin and translucent, transfigured in the more contemporary, almost "minimalist" approach of this line. Because of the satin-like, mellow, contemporary, refined, "clean and crisp" leather concept, Cuiron comes to mind too, in a way that Cuir X may be basically located halfway Cuiron and Cuir Ottoman. Less synthetic and avant-garde than Cuiron (but with quite a similar fruity-plummy side), less rich and oriental than Cuir Ottoman (but with quite a similar suede rendition, and also again, a fizzy floral-fruity note). On the base, amber and a balsamic-mossy note with a hay aftertaste too, beautifully encapsulated in the general rational simplicity of the composition. After a while it also emerges a woody note, perhaps cedar, and a iris-labdanum accord. The labdanum provides a fruity aroma and perfectly blends with the amber accord providing a sort of edible-floral note, while the iris slowly gets a prominent position – a linear, cold, fresh and thin iris note (à la L'homme de Coeur by Divine, no waxy/powdery/lipstick orris root note). The evolution is beautiful, perfect, no burnt rubber "tricks" as many contemporary leather scents tend to do, instead it all remains sophisticated, discreet, refined and terribly pleasant. A must for all "new wave of suede/leather scents" lovers, of which in my opinion Corticchiato is one of the best "masters" out there, if the not the best one (if you liked Cuir Ottoman, you'll love this). The persistence is delicate but long-lasting. Irresistible!


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