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.