Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Parfums D'Orsay Femme de Dandy


Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this fragrance is the history of the Parisian house from which it hails. It begins with Count Alfred D'orsay who created a name for himself due to his "witty remarks" and "outlandish clothing". Such a man was considered a "Dandy" and he brought a breath of fresh air to an otherwise boring 19th Century society. The Chevalier's writing, painting, sculpting and ultimate perfume composing talents became famous among his contemporaries and date back to the years 1801-1852.

His beloved mistress Lady Blessington had a difficult time wearing the musky fragrances that were popular back then. To please her, he dedicated his time to creating a scent she could wear. Quite romantic, eh? That project began his love of scent creation, and each of his homes thereafter contained a perfume-making room. Parfums D'Orsay was thus created after his death in dedication to his unforgettable character and creativity. Although the history books vary with the date of the house's creation, according to Robin at Now Smell This, 1908 seems to be correct.

Moving to present day, the house was "revived" in 1995 and Femme de Dandy was subsequently produced in 2001. The fragrance is a sleeper at worst (have you heard of it until now?) and a glorious fruity-floriental at best. In the very little literature that is available regarding this fragrance I have surmised that its creator is Francis Kurkdjian. The notes include spicy cardamom, anise blossom, carrot, cinnamon and cloves combined with tobacco, rum, benzoin, labdanum and tonka bean. The notes as listed would appear to slap you in the face a bit, and the fragrance does come across, at least initially, as a bit strong. However, as it dries it reminds me of all the reasons I love Montale's Musk to Musk and Frapin's 1270. The scent is spicy yet sweet, bold yet soft and altogether comforting and sexy. Like a decadent dessert meant to be enjoyed on the most special of occasions, Femme de Dandy proves to be a scent I could certainly own but sparingly apply a few times per month. Considering the history of the house, it should be worn on days that I feel especially creative and witty.


Parfums D'Orsay Femme de Dandy is available here. A 100mL atomizer retails for $60.

Image courtesy of http://www.parfumsdorsay.co.uk/. History of house also paraphrased from same website.

6 comments:

italian girl said...

Sorry, I had to comment that the name of this perfume made me chuckle.. but, the juice you describe sounds really good. Is it similar to Dior Addict at all. I have a very hard time conjuring how a perfume smells from reading written word. I have to have a comparable perfume I have smelled in the past guide me. I know I could never be a perfumer.. I just like what I like and hate the rest..
Thanks for finding this sleeper..
have a wonderful Easter..

TMH256 said...

Hi Italian Girl,

I know! The title is a bit hilarious. It has a slight resemblance to Dior Addict but I find that one too sweet and cloyig. This one is much nicer. I've also seen this one compared to Escada Collection or Ginestet Bortytis, if you're familiar with either of those.

You have a great Easter as well!

:-)

TMH256 said...

Sorry for the typo. I meant "cloying" to describe Addict.

italian gilr said...

thanks and dont worry about typo's.. i knew exactly what you meant and this just may be my new favorite perfume.. maybe with any money the Easter bunny brings me...
ciaoooo

chayaruchama said...

I have only the male one, chica .
How does this compare ?
Less all-out falling-down drunk ?

Happy Easter, darlin'-

TMH256 said...

Happy Easter Chayaruchama. ;-) Wow, I haven't tried the male version. "All-out falling-down drunk" eh? Sounds like my college years! I wouldn't personify this one with that description at all. It is more fruity-floral-spicy and quite beautiful, in my opinion. Akin to other florals with labdanum & tonka bean so there is an edge to it, but not a harsh one. It lasts and lasts too! I can send you a teensy sample from my little decant if you'd like?

xo,
T