With a name like explosions d’émotions, innuendos abound. This new collection by L’Artisan Parfumeur is all about eros. Publicity images feature lithe and languid women draped in bedsheets, so I figured bedtime was the best time to give my samples a try.
Dressed in nothing but Amour Nocturne, I extinguished the lights and around midnight and curled up with my hands in prayer, just beside my face, the tops of them doused in fragrance. I immediately noticed a play of tranquillity and exhilaration. The play of soothing warmth (warm milk and buttery caramel) alongside the vertical rush of steel (gunpowder). Like a lover who almost always comes at night, whose very existence is a source of anxiety (will he come?), whose arrival is simultaneously calming and exciting. A sigh of relief. A thrilling palpitation. Something ever so slightly sour crouches in the corners of this fragrance (to me it smells like spilled orange juice – it’s probably burnt sugar).
It is well suited to the story. Deep deep down, we all know exactly what it is.
PART II: Skin on Skin
The next night I went to bed in Skin on Skin. This one is touted as a wanton embrace. Of course the nicest thing to feel on your skin is the skin of a cherished lover, but this fragrance struck me in a different way. It calls to mind an almost ritualistic adorning of the body in anticipation of being undressed later…
The best part of all is the way it opens, a strip-tease in effect, beginning with fine leather boots, the suppleness of the luxurious leather. Next, a talc-like iris, a dusting upon the skin, which melds into silk and lace. If this fragrance had a color it would be pale heather purple grey, an opulent textile that drapes the skin so delicately it barely exists, and begs to be removed. The warmth of saffron, whiskey and musk is, finally, bare skin. Warm and waiting.