I knew of Histoires de Parfums of course, I even liked one of their perfumes very much – 1740 Marquis de Sade – but other than that I did not seek them out. The embarrassing truth, and I know I am not alone in that, is that I just can’t remember the names of the perfumes as they are dates, and my history professor will remember, I am not very good with dates.
But curiosity got the better of me lately and I ordered a sample pack from the website since it is a very good deal. You get six samples for 10€ including shipping AND a voucher for those 10€ to be deduced on a full bottle purchase in the future. That is so inviting, I just had to do it, if only to support such programs.
The first perfume of the six that I tried was Moulin Rouge, for the simple reason that it has not only the date 1889 on the vial but also the name Moulin Rouge, and poor, number-challenged Olfactoria is very thankful for such consideration.
“1889 celebrates the MOULIN ROUGE, the legendary Parisian cabaret, a smell of feathers and sequins, sensual and vibrant, a trace, elegant and powdered as a boisterous ode to feminity.”
-from the Histoires de Parfums website
We all know of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, banned masterfully on celluloid by Baz Luhrman. So if this is the atmosphere Moulin Rouge, the perfume wants to capture, we are in for a ride, a loud ride.
Those were my thoughts before I tried it.
“Warm iris, lipstick, face powder, plum, spices, patchouli – soft and almost delicate.” Those are the few words I have written down in my notebook, when I first wore it and they still hold true.
Moulin Rouge is not a loud, screechy fun ride, not a head-turning, intoxicating, disorienting perma-can can, but a truly lovely old-fashioned in the best sense of the phrase, rose and iris fragrance with fruity-spicy accents and a soft and sensual musk-patchouli base.
Moulin Rouge evokes the backstage area of the Moulin Rouge when the show is finally over. There is a quiet, exhausted hush, the scents of lipstick, powder and a hint of sweat and booze hang in the air. The music is silent now, the dance is over, but the smiles linger on the faces still.