I thought Cuir de Nacre would be my favorite in this new line of three exceptionally well made perfumes, but it turns out – as it so frequently does – that I was wrong.
It has been a while that I was so completely enamored with a perfume from the very first sniff, but it would not be an overstatement when I said, I adore this and I want it to be mine (the latter said with a drawn-out iiiiii and a scary laugh).
Ann Gerard is a Parisian jeweller, whose elegant creations are sought after among those in the know. She asked perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour to create her line of perfumes and he really is on a good streak lately. His work has matured and he produces outstanding perfumes, Seville a l’aube impressed me hugely and actually reminds me of Perle de Mousse, not in smell but in terms of a shimmering radiance and brightness and above-average tenacity, then he created the impressive India trio for Neela Vermeire and now these perfumes for Ann Gerard are following suit – Bertrand, you are amazing.
UPDATE: In the light of recent events, I feel I have to put a qualifier on to that last statement. While I am, obviously, no less impressed with Bertrand Duchaufour’s artistical and technical prowess, I am disappointed and saddened by the fact that he chose to work for Uzbekistan’s dictator Karimov. (He created a bespoke perfume for his daughter, details see in an article by the Independent and on The Non-Blonde). This is a spectacularly bad decision for obvious ethical reasons, and also a very selfish one, as M. Duchaufour not only hurts his own reputation, but also brings bad press and possible financial repercussions upon his former patrons, among them Neela Vermeire, Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan Parfumeur and the line I’m writing about today, Ann Gerard. The motivation behind such a move remains a mystery to me, but apparently money makes the world go around, and this is just another instance of money winning out over everything else. There is no other explanation I can fathom, but I would love to be educated.
It makes me sad and angry having to type this, because my heart goes out to all the innocent bystanders of this unsavory affair. I really hope people are able to distinguish between the person of Bertrand Duchaufour and his personal decisions and the former patrons he worked for. Boycotting Ann Gerard, Neela Vermeire or L’Artisan will only hurt them, not the perfumer.
In any case, my review of Perle de Mousse and next week’s Cuir de Nacre had been written before the scandal came to my attention, and in the spirit of what I said above – let’s not take it out on the perfume and on Ann Gerard, who is not involved. I could not help but put a question mark after my title though, since my pure joy about this perfume has been tainted, at least for now, and that is very sad and frankly, it makes me furious with M. Duchaufour.
Perle de Mousse was created by Bertrand Duchaufour and includes notes of aldehydes, pink pepper, bergamot, green mandarin, galbanum resin, ivy, lily of the valley, hawthorn, Bulgarian rose, clove, jasmine, gardenia, lentiscus absolute, ambergris, musk and hint of vanilla.
Perle de Mousse opens very fresh, green and bracing, with a citrus-galbanum-pink pepper accord further lifted into the air by aldehydes. The green darkens soon, a lovely, cool ivy note emerges and softly eases the perfume over into a very floral heart of rose, gardenia and jasmine. The chypre undertone, present from the start, has been achieved without oakmoss, but is still very convincing. Lentiscus, ambergris and musk make up the base and evoke a mossy forest floor so realistically, it is a pure joy.
Pure joy, that is what this perfume means to me. It it eye-rollingly gorgeous, extremely elegant and refined and it just smells
damn fantastically good.
I don’t want to overfill this review with love-struck ramblings. just know that I want this, I want this badly and I highly urge you to give it a try.
Who doesn’t need a little shot of pure joy in their lives?