My third Dior La Collection Privée bottle that I unexpectedly encountered at London Heathrow airport and that I gave myself for my birthday, has the pride of the place right now. Flanked by its sisters Mitzah and New Look 1947, it makes for a lovely display on my dresser (at least a temporary one, I’m too afraid of daylight hurting my precious ‘fumes to leave them out for more than a few minutes of unabashed admiring).
Patchouli Impérial was created by Francois Demachy in 2011 and includes notes of Sicilian mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, Russian coriander, Indonesian patchouli, cedarwood and sandalwood essence.
Patchouli Impérial opens with a burst of mandarin and bergamot laced with coriander, which can be a bit harsh at times, but the more often I apply it, the less sharp the top notes seem to me. Patchouli Impérial, just as the name suggests, is about patchouli and fills a patchouli shaped hole in my collection, but it is more than a simple “solinote” perfume.
Not too dry, not too sweet, it strikes a wonderful balance. The earthy and chocolate-y, but always transparent and lightweight patchouli sings a lovely tune with coriander and sandalwood, showing off both spicy and creamy aspects.
Over time the perfume sweetens and softens, the slight harshness of the beginning forgotten and replaced by a refined and elegant aroma that is never in your face, but always present.
On me Patchouli Impérial has good longevity and a beautiful sillage.
I find Patchouli Impérial to be very elegant, very lady-like without being overly feminine. It would be as wonderful on a man than on a woman.
I wore it on a few quite hot days and can honestly say that it is great to wear in summer, when I get easily overwhelmed by a perfume (sadly my beloved Beloved is not ideal in the heat of summer, I have found), but I enjoyed Patchouli Impérial because it is present and accounted for, but does not completely take over the show once temperatures rise.
Interestingly, in the course of my latest look at the Dior line, I fell in love with a perfume I had half dismissed earlier (story of my life, I know… ), Ambre Nuit. I was of the opinion that it is a somewhat half-assed amber, which it is, since it it actually all about dark rose. Since my perspective changed and I see it as a rose perfume, I’m all over it. So it seems I’m not yet done with La Collection Privée…
But back to Patchouli Impérial: I did not read any reviews beforehand, as to not be influenced, but now that I did, it seems opinions differ widely from masterpiece to disappointment. On that continuum, I would like to position my review at “very wearable, very elegant and beautiful perfume that I enjoy, but that doesn’t inspire fits of raving passion”.
I have learned on my fragrant journey so far, that those are the perfumes that get actually worn, those are the scents I go to most often, those are the perfumed equivalents of good friends, because you just can’t do great love and grand passion every day.