Friday, January 18, 2008

Review Interview Style: Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse

Being Gemini carries some baggage with it. First, I get bored very easily. Second, I need lots of variety. I suppose most people could force their astrological description to fit their lifestyle even if at first glance it does not. However, in my case it fits so perfectly that nearly every life choice I have made supports it. My career that allows me to change scenery every day, my hilarious and oh so not boring, always surprising husband, my decisions to move, and move, and move again, my nontraditional wedding and lifestyle, my desire to travel as much as humanly possible, and my attempts to wear a different fragrance every day. Therefore, it seems no surprise that I have become bored with my typical review format. I will go back to it because it serves many purposes and you have no doubt become accustomed to it. However, today, just because it is Friday and I am bored, let us try something different. What do you say?

Today's review highlights Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse in free-floating thought, question and answer format:

Mrs. TMH, what was your first impression of this fragrance?

Wow! Green! Lush! Clear! Zesty! Where has it been all my life?

What was your second impression?

Eh, not so much. Something in the heart is bugging me, but without knowing the notes I cannot quite put my finger on it. Melon maybe? I loathe melon in fragrance and much prefer to eat it rather than smell it ... so that might explain my apathy.

How about a third impression?

Oh, I love the dry down! That melon stinkiness has disappeared and now all I get is French girl pretty, like how Carla Bruni, the French President's girlfriend, would smell. The ambience is very floral yet clean, light and cool, like sitting on the earth in the middle of a luscious garden. It strikes me as a rich girl's scent, with its multi-layered progression and refinement. If I had no perfumes left in my collection and could only buy one bottle for the rest of my life, this fragrance would be in the running, although Carnal Flower might win out.

What makes this different from other fragrances you have tried?

Frederic Malle's fragrances are so beautifully composed. Le Parfum de Thérèse really is no exception. This one is simultaneously cool and clean, with fruits and florals, but it never crosses the line into "sweet" like the plethora of scents today. That is why I think of it as refined, as in classy without trying too hard. There is something very stately about it, a little hard to get and distant but familiar at the same time ... a lot like the vibe I get from Chanel Bois des Iles (although completely different in notes). And there is something a little dirty at the bottom, to compliment the cleanliness and keep you guessing. I love fragrances with contrasting elements!

Is there anything about Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse that disappoints you?

I wish it lasted longer. It disappears on my skin in a few hours. Oh, and it lacks sillage (the ability for others to smell it). Something this good should last and waft.

If you had to describe this fragrance in one word, what would it be?


What do you picture in your mind when you smell this scent?

Lush gardens and orange groves, cool and refreshing drinks like cucumber water, bare skin and damp earth, in that order.

Would you purchase a full bottle of Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse?

Considering the cost, probably not. But I would purchase a large decant after I empty the bottle of one of my current fragrances.

How would you summarize this fragrance?

Excellent and beautiful composition, full bottle worthy for those who can afford it, uplifting and cool with some dirtiness, perfect for days that you want your fragrance close to the skin and reminds me of beautiful people in beautiful clothes.

I looked up the notes in the fragrance after writing the latter. They are as follows:

mandarin, melon, jasmine, pepper, violet, rose, plum, nutmeg, cedar, vetiver, and leather

I am thrilled that my nose is becoming more discerning. (I guess it is a by-product of discussing and testing so many fragrances?) The cedar, vetiver and leather explain my love of the dirty drydown. What do you think of this one?

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse can be purchased at Barney's and Les Editions de Parfum. A 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $160.


priscilla said...

I hope you let your whims guide you more frequently! This was fun to read. I too get bored with what feels like the "format" for discussing perfume (writing and reading), and it's fun to mix it up now and again.

As for the perfume, I do love this one. It's the leather that gets me every time.

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Oh, thank you greeneyes! I must be late on this bandwagon. I just ordered a sample recently, but I agree with you. That leather note is fantastic. :-)

Divina said...

Hi Hon :) You know, I'd never thought about it before, but the moment I read your words they instantly rang true. It *does* smell like a rich girl's perfume. I had trouble getting used to this one in the beginning, but it has become a favorite. There is a 'dustiness' in there that I love. Also... The first time I tried the new Armani Diamonds I thought there was something in there that really reminded me of LPdT. It was that dustiness. It is the first time I admit this btw...hope the fanatics of LPdT won't shoot me down for comparing it to Diamonds! :P

Hugs to you!!!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hi D.,

Isn't it so true? I understand what you mean about the dustiness. That's the second phase that I don't like and probably due to the melon. I experienced the same reaction with Bond No. 9's Coney Island and a few others, so I think the melon is the common note.

I'm not going to shoot you down for you comparison. I think Diamonds is well done.

Hugs to you and have a great weekend!

chayaruchama said...

I really love it- my DH actually sprang for a bottle [ and he's fussy!]right away.

That said- I truly don't wear it as often as I should, probably.
I suspect that secretly, I'm desperate for the comfort that ambers / incenses provide....

Ah, me.

Kisses to you !

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hello Dear ChayaRuchama,

How dear of your husband to spring for a bottle of PdT. I too love comforting scents, especially during winter. PdT has a coldness that prevents it from entering that realm, for certain.


IrisLA said...

I got a bottle during M. Malle's appearance at Barneys and he autographed it for me. What a thrill! I love the pairing of jasmine and leather in Therese. It smells like Old Money. Fortunately, Therese lasts and lasts on my skin.

Vida said...

There's a discordant clash to the middle notes of PdT that gives it that EDGE. It's extremely intimidating. Works like a charm to get my way in a board meeting!

Anonymous said...

Hi, T! Love the interview format -- it's fun, interesting and easy to read. I vote for more like this! I have a decant of PdT that I should revisit today...

Have a good day!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Iris I am jealous! What a fantastic opportunity to have the bottle signed by Mr. Malle. You are so fortunate it lasts so long for you. :-)

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...


Love your description and I'm so glad it works for you. I guess I should wear it this week!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hi Linda!

Have you had a good week? I'm going to have to pop for a decant of this myself. But I must wait to empty a bottle of something first to justify the cost and the addition of another fragrance to my too large collection. I plan to use this format again because it was such fun to write! Glad you enjoyed.