My Kingdom For This Horse! – Review: Parfum d’Empire Equistrius

I wish I had tried Equistrius sooner. Like when I had my major iris phase, but on the other hand, I would have missed many good irises then, because Equistrius would have stopped me in my tracks, I would have been declaring “I have found it!” and would have sat back, just huffing my wrist contentedly, an enigmatic smile of my satisfied face.

Which is what I am doing right now. And now and then, between deep breaths and beatific smiles, I write a sentence. This could be a very short review, à la “I love it. Go buy it.” or “Best iris in existence. Go buy it.”, but I am usually a bit more verbose than this and Equistrius deserves a proper accolade. But if you are in a hurry, this is all you need to know: Great iris, go buy it!

Equistrius was created by the founder of Parfum d’Empire, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato in 2007, notes include orris, violet, rice powder, chocolate, ambrette, sandalwood, vetiver and grey amber. Like the others in the line, Equistrius represents an empire, in this case the roman empire. Equistrius is allegedly the name of a horse belonging to the creator. We already took a look at Tsarist Russia (Ambre Russe) and China (Osmanthus Inderdite).

Equistrius can be described shortly as an iris amber, quick thinkers already know why I cannot but love this. In Equistrius the hefty dose of orris is combined with a little violet and gourmand notes of rice powder and chocolate, the whole things sits on a delightful base of ambergris, ambrette and sandalwood.

That sounds mighty sweet, even to me when I read this, but it is not sweet at all. Another iris gourmand comes to mind of course – Guerlain Iris Ganache – but there is no real comparison, Iris Ganache is about three thousand times sweeter and more “edible” than Equistrius. The rice and chocolate here work only to make the iris rounder and softer, to smooth out the rootiness. There is a curious spiciness to Equistrius that I cannot place, that keeps me guessing and that keeps the perfume interesting.

Apart from a little more violet at the start, and a little more orris in the heart, Equistrius is mostly linear and fades out, I am sorry to say, all too soon. I would be the happiest person in the world if I could say it lasts for 8 hours. It does not, but I get about two to three, then I re-apply (with gusto, I might add, so it is not so bad).

The drydown is simply stunning, a totally addictive blend of musk, amber and iris. It is deep, but not heavy, comforting, but still interesting, gorgeous, but sadly fleeting.

Now for the bottom line: Would I buy it? YES. Will I buy it? YES. Should you buy it? YES. If you love iris, if you love amber, this is perfection.

Al Pacino as Richard III in one of my favorite movies "Looking for Richard"

I would certainly give my Kingdom for this particular horse.

Image source: luckyscent.com, alpacinomovies.com
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54 Responses to My Kingdom For This Horse! – Review: Parfum d’Empire Equistrius

  1. I think another one joined the Parfum d’ Empire fan club! They are truly excellent! I even bought a bottle of Eau de Gloire very cheap on the internet only to find out that in an actual wearing it is wayyyyyy better than in a brief testing.

    Equistrius on me is quite sweet and very long long lasting, go figure. I get a creamy, suede vibe out of it. Fantastic fragrance BUT don’t declare this the top iris till you have tried Cuir Ottoman…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Another fan! Yay! :)
      I luckily received samples of the entire line, so be sure to find more reviews in the future. I am very impressed so far, thanks to your suggestion I will try Cuir Ottoman next.
      I was not so happy with Eau de Gloire, but I only tested it once on my arm, no full wearing yet. Your experience gives me hope that this will grow on me as well.

      • RE Eau de Gloire : it starts a bit cologne-y but it develops into something that reminds me a lot of YSL M7 fresh. Although I only bought it because it was good bargain I ended up wearing it a lot.

  2. Ines says:

    I guess you see now why this line is among my favorites. :) After SL, I have most of their bottles and see them growing in the future (I seriously want that Fougere Bengale and Ambre Russe).
    I have to re-smell now my sample of Equistrius, I forgot how that one smells like.

  3. Caro says:

    I have been wanting to try this for a long time.
    Does it make you think of a horse in any way? I’ve been looking for a scent that reminds me of the smell of horses.

  4. Tara says:

    Ooooh what an exciting find. Your BEST iris? Wow, that’s really saying something. So that’s the third one to add to my list courtesy of OT! I get a bit overwhelmed with lines such as Parum d’Empire because I don’t know where to start, so your tips such as to check out Equistrius, are really helpful, thanks. Iris amber sounds wonderful.

    BTW did I miss which perfume you got from Hubby for your birthday?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Parfum d’Empire is really a line worth your attention, they carry it at Les Senteurs, it is waiting for you… ;)

      You didn’t miss it. I wanted either PG Cadjmeré or Amaranthine, but at the last moment I decided to get something else entirely, Sweet Milk from Jo Malone, since it is LE, the others can wait. It is lovely, pure comfort. Review will follow. :)

      • Tara says:

        Ah, so the Sweet Milk was the birthday present, I see. You can’t beat a comfort scent and if it’s a L.E. you were right to go for it. Enjoy!

        It must be very hard not getting the Equistrius if it’s the best iris out there. *sighs in empathy*

  5. deeHowe says:

    This is the review I’ve been waiting for! I still haven’t tried the line, but this scent and Ambre Russe will very shortly be in my possession. I’m really excited to try it, since I do like iris so very much— especially when it’s couched in an oriental setting (AMBER!).

    The rice-powder note sounds interesting… is it similar to the basmati note in Champaca??? I am very curious about this.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Great, are you expecting samples from Luckyscent?
      If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say you are going to like both. :)

      I don’t think there is much similarity to Champaca, where the rice note is more if a steamy-milky puff of air, here it lends warmth and a bit of powderiness, I think.

      • dee says:

        Yes, Luckyscent! I like them a lot :)

        I am really beginning to like powdery scents… when they’re done the way I like, they really make me swoon!

        • I’m all swoony over powdery scents too, never thought I’d be this way about them. Incense/amber/iris/violet/whatever it is, if it leaves puffs behind it as it travels, I want it!

  6. Tarleisio says:

    Seriously, B, shame, shame on you! As if I don’t have enough lemmings on my plate already…The Ambre Russe, sure, yes, I’ll try it because I’m curious. I have, in fact a sample of Iskander, which I also really, really like. I’ve never tried any of the others, although I’ve been quite intrigued to read about them! But then.

    But then you had to do me in by mentioning…iris. That’s it!!! I’ll try it. Well, that picture of Al Pacino didn’t help…

    And likely end up with a bottle, too! Which is also – what are friends for, right? ;-) – all your fault! ;-)

  7. Suzanne says:

    I’m not a huge iris lover, but that combination of notes sounds so unusual and so good that I think I might have to track this down.

    (I was also taken by MemoryofScent’s description of it smelling like “a pair of expensive chamois leather gloves infused with a woman’s perfume.”)

    You both make this sound amazing! :)

  8. lady jane grey says:

    Iris AND chocolate ? PLUS rice powder ?! Now I’m not an iris person, not at all, but it sounds so strange that I have to try it !

    (BTW, tried “Mon” Jasmin Noir in Berlin today. And then I ran to wash it off…)

  9. Uh, YES. Put me down for a dozen bottles, and I’ve already got Iris Ganache, so I think between those and OJ Woman, I’ve got enough to keep me happy for awhile. Wait, no… I need a few Tauers too. And the ELdO coffret.
    HELP

  10. Marie says:

    Are you familiar with the sample kit from Parfum d’Empire? It’s a surprising 10 Euro which seems almost to good to be true for 12 samples.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That sounds great! I would snap that up in a second (I was lucky and got samples of all of them at a store).

      • Marie says:

        Well, I did go ahead and order the sample kit :-) Hopefully, there will be a lot of fun to be had with it.

      • Marie says:

        1,6 ml would be great. I’m quite sure,too, that I’ll like the lighter ones. The heavier ones will be part of my heavy weight training and thus very educational. If I realize on the very first sniff that one or more is not for me, I will know where they’ll have a happy home :-)

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  12. andrea says:

    Omg, my 1st parfum empire fragrance that I have totally fallen in love with, what a gorgeous comforting skin scent, who knew I would like a perfume with a name like equestrious? Here was me thinking it would somehow smell horsey. Also tried aziyade on other hand and admit I can’t wait for it to wear / wash off. Still the adventure is always in the trying.;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Isn’t it gorgeous? Equistrius is really beautiful! Elegant like a horse maybe, not smelling like one though. ;)
      And for your peace of mind – Aziyadé is a scrubber for me as well, most of the time.

  13. andrea says:

    I really did love Equistrius and am now looking in to aquiring a full bottle, glad that the Aziyade is not just me and my uneducated nose, it actually turns my stomach to just look at the sample bottle (yes I do react that badly to fragrances that I don’t like) which is why I would never make a good fragrance reviewer as I’m never willing to give a fragrance a second chance, best left to someone who can give beautiful descriptions like yourself.:-)

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  18. Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

    Just got my sample pack… I think I might have found “my” house, as I already adore Aziyade, Wazamba, and Ambre Russe. The others I really liked too, but haven’t worn properly. This one, Equistrius, is a “how pretty! but not for me” at the moment. But I bet a few wears will change that…

    Side note: One day, when you are in a syrupy sweet mood, wear SL Santal Blanc and then layer very lightly with Aziyade…. :O To die for!

  19. Tatiana says:

    I cannot believe it took me this long to find out about this perfume and to try it. I’m only an hour and a half into wearing this beauty and I cannot wait to go to a full bottle. This is iris right where I like it to be.

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