Everybody who reads this blog now and then probably knows by now that I am a bit (okay, a lot) infatuated with Frapin 1697. This perfume features davana, a herb that is not often used in perfumes, but when I find it, I get week at the knees. Davana is my personal Nirvana. (Sorry, that was really lame…)
The lovely Suzanne once mentioned Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade contained davana, so, of course, I had to acquire a sample.
The Marquis de Sade is known, I assume, by all, for his predilections, documented in mind-numbing detail in his extensive writings. Has anyone ever seen the movie “Quills”? De Sade is portrayed by the wonderful Geoffrey Rush, Joaquin Phoenix is a priest unsuccessfully trying to reform de Sade and their mutual love interest is played by Kate Winslet. It was the single most impressive movie I have seen in my entire adult life. If you get the chance, watch it! I won’t write more about de Sade, but instead concentrate on the perfume at hand.
1740 was created in 2008 by Gerald Ghislain and includes notes of bergamot, davana sensualis, patchouli, coriander, cardamom, cedar, elemi, leather, labdanum, and coumarin.
1740 opens dark and dusty, treacly sweet and leathery, labdanum, leather and patchouli – and not just a little – being present from the get go.
It is an intriguing and darkly beautiful scent. It is darkest brown leather, dusty with age, cracked only at the edges, smooth from thousands of human touches. It is also something fruity, darkly fruity though, dried and aged, like dried prunes or marmite (or how I imagine marmite, it is so long since I last actually tasted it).
1740 develops slowly, but not a lot. What you get at the start stays mostly with you for at least six to eight hours. The dry-down is less fruity and more dry leather that looses a little of its deep complexity along the way. Nonetheless it is impressive. I would not wear it in the heat of summer, but I cannot wait to spray with abandon in the cold. A good reason to love the change of seasons.
I have to get back to the Marquis de Sade once more though – I am very, very glad this does not smell as much like it could, bearing that name. If Gerald Ghislain would have been really courageous, this would have been the perfume to really go to town with the animalics, the heavy leather, the dirty hair and God knows what else, even an ink note would fit the theme perfectly. It is not that scent though, and for that I am personally grateful, but if you choose to give that name to a perfume, it would have been only fitting to pursue the association to the end.