Pinocchio – Review: Parfumerie Generale Cédre Sandaraque

That vetiver is not my best friend is known by regular readers, I found some to like, but I do not seek them out. Sometimes though, a vetiver scent sneaks up on me, dressed as something else and takes me in. It would not need much effort for Pierre Guillaume, the man to take me in, and as it turns out, after sample after sample, it does not take his perfumes much effort to take me in either.

Cedre Sandaraque is another example of PG’s mastery in the gourmand genre. He makes everything delicious. Even vetiver.

Cédre Sandaraque was created as part of the Private Collection in 2005, notes include vetiver, African cedar, Sandarac resin, cereals and pralined amber.

Cedre Sandaraque opens very yummy – cereal grains, something nutty, not very sweet, indefinable but definitely delicious. Then there comes the vetiver, dry, reedy, cool and laced with that indescribable deliciousness, then the perfume gets woodier and drier still, the cedar and sandarac resin (a resin similar to frankincense, but less smoky) take over and shine for many hours, always shot through with that edible/nonedible je ne sais quoi that renders an otherwise dry and masculine wood accented perfume perfectly genderless and perfectly interesting.

Cedre Sandaraque smells first and foremost of wood, it feels like standing in a carpenters work room, sawdust on the floor, fresh and clean wood all around. Pinocchio would have chosen it as his signature scent, of that I am sure.

Cédre Sandaraque is reminiscent of Hermessence Vétiver Tonka in its combination of vetiver and gourmand notes. The difference is that in the Hermessence vetiver retains its character more, here in Cedre Sandaraque, vetiver is bent into a new angle. An angle I like very much.

Sandarac Resin

One more woody-gourmand perfume that cements the fact for me, that Pierre Guillaume is a genius in that category. Also, as I might have mentioned once or twice in passing, he looks very good, even Pinocchio would agree. But that is not the point here at all, is it?

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35 Responses to Pinocchio – Review: Parfumerie Generale Cédre Sandaraque

  1. Birgit, I have not tried any PG fragrances yet, but with every review you do of theirs I find myself feeling that I MUST try them! This nutty gourmand vetiver sounds fascinating.

    Great review!

  2. lady jane grey says:

    What a funny combination : wood/vetiver with CEREALS => makes me curious

  3. Undina says:

    What do you mean, “is not the point”?!! 😉

    Based on your previous reviews I bought a couple of samples. Definitely “like”, not sure about “love” – will be testing more. “Cereals” note bothers me a little in the description (I’m not a fan of it as in “food”) but I still might like the combination because of wood so I will try it when I have a chance.

  4. We ‘ve disagreed again in the past for this line but your post is highlighting another characteristic often seen in PG perfumes that does not agree with me. On top of being sweet they use the woody/nutty combo too often an this is something I cannot understand. I do not like to smell like an edible wood. It makes me feel like termite bate. One of the most unnatural combinations to my nose. The vetiver might be god in that.

    Speaking of your dislike of vetiver, have you ever tried Vetiver Oriental (Serge Lutens)? I think you might like it. It is one of the few gourmand-ish vetivers (Etro Vetiver being the other one that comes to mind) and it seems designed to please vetiver haters.

  5. Alnysie says:

    “Cedre Sandaraque smells first and foremost of wood, it feels like standing in a carpenters work room, sawdust on the floor, fresh and clean wood all around.”

    Yessssssssss! Sounds like something I must try!

  6. jedennard says:

    I really want to try this, too, since I am a huge vetiver fan. Have you tried Guerlain Vetiver Extreme or Pour Elle? I could be wrong, but from what I remember of them, this one seems like it could be similar- especially the Extreme.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I know the regular Guerlain Vetiver and have a sample of Pour Elle, but it hasn’t made it into the rotation yet. Sorry that I am no help comparing CS with Extreme. 😦

      • jedennard says:

        Oh, no worries. that was just me thinking about what the Extreme and Pour Elle versions were like. I owned the former and I think I also have a sample of Pour Elle somewhere in my sample box (or had one :).

  7. kjanicki says:

    Mmm, this sounds like something I would like. I like PG perfumes. My new favourite is Papyrus de Ciane, @memoryofscent should try it, it’s a departure from the usual gourmandy PG base; it has a dry smoky vetiver base.

  8. Vanessa says:

    You’ve got to love a perfume that lists “pralined amber” in the notes. Must get out my sample again – you’re good for encouraging me to find undiscovered nuggets in my sample bags – like Bouquet Ideale the other day… Agree with you on the Indochine…; – ) Found PdC way too severe and cold, unfortunately, but PG gets points for not being afraid to experiment!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad I “got you” to try a few forgotten ones in your stash. 🙂
      PG certainly does try his hand at different things, but the woody gourmand is what he does best every time.

  9. Tara says:

    I too normally have a problem with vetiver (can’t even do Sycomore) but L’Heure Fougueuse has a vetiver base and j’adore! I think the idea of combining it with cereals is inspired. Pierre Guillaume is as ingenious as he is handsome and that’s saying something. Papyrus de Ciane did appeal from the notes but it sounds like it will be too masculine/dry for me from what you and V say. Brulure de Rose and Aomassai are still my favourites from the line so far. I am glad you think Indochine is lovely! I think it sounds gorgeous (love benzoin!) and very much in the house style, which is great.

    • Olfactoria says:

      “as handsome as he is ingenious” that IS saying something! 😀 But you are right, the disappointing ones are few and far between in the PG line. Cadjmere is my favorite, I think (there are so many great ones!) Indochine is very, very nice. Looking forward to testing it more extensively.

  10. Georgy says:

    CS sounds perfect for your little weekend retreat and besides the scent, who wouldn’t love to have PG(or at least his scent) around in an offcity hideaway…..

  11. Oh man, I love this perfume. It really rocked my head sideways. 🙂

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  13. Sybarite says:

    Yes, a handsome genius is what I’ve always wished for Xmas :o) (Maybe Santa will leave him under my tree this year. (*fingers&nose crossed*) ;o) ~ A perfect man & a most perfect fragrance wardrobe thrown in for good measure, all in one fell swoop. ~ OUCH !!!
    ~ Could it get any better !? (LOL)

    But (deadly serious !) joking aside … As much as I luv all of PG’s work, I too find Cadjmere to be my fave. (Or at least, the one I land up wearing most often). From what I’ve noticed we seem to be quite “scent-twinny”. (Always good to know ! ;o) ~ Therefore glad to hear u like Indochine, bodes well for me methinkz. Sao can’t wait to try it now ! …
    (And, also looking forward to his “Myyrhiad” which sounds most intriguing. (Though I’m not usually too much of a fan of Licorice or anything too anisic for that matter. If anyone can change my mind or get me to appreciate an unliked note, it’s certainly Pierre ! ~ And an oriental smoky/leathery myyrh certainly sounds enticing enough to me ! ~ (Only one month’s wait left for this one ~ Yay !)

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is hard to pick a favorite among the many lovely PG’s, but I think for me it is also Cadjméré.
      Indochine is a slam dunk for PG fans, I believe.
      Good luck on your Christmas wishes! 😉

      • Sybarite says:

        Thanx ! … I tell you my jaw would certainly hit the floor if I did indeed find Monsieur Pierre under my tree. (See, that’s what adults really need – A real Santa. :o)

        He’s most certainly hands down the most handsome man in perfumery methinkz ! (As far as I’m concerned at least !)
        Unfortunately that ol’ chestnut “all the good guys are gay” is just not true. PG is, much to my chagrin, proof positive of that !
        ~ Damn, why do I always want what I can’t get ! (*shakes fist”) ~ (I’ll just have to settle for his fab creations (+ a little fantasy) instead) ;o)

        By the way, … To which side of sweet does “Indochine” tend to slide ? ~ Or is it rather pretty dry instead ?

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