The two perfumes I will review today, Vert Pivoine and Noir Patchouli couldn’t be farther from one another in theme and feel. Like day and night would be a good comparison. Nonetheless I wanted to put them together.
It started out with the simple fact that they are grouped together with my new love Blanc Violette on the Histoires website as The Irreverents. And what Gerard Ghislain saw fit to put together, I shall not divorce.
But then when I started wearing them, they still stayed linked in my mind, I tended to wear Vert Pivoine during the day and Noir Patchouli in the evenings and as a sleep scent and it fit perfectly.
A quick side note: Histoires de Parfums offer 120ml bottles and 60ml bottles, the latter are pictured here, because I adore the half bottles they make. Look, it is half a bottle! That is very cute and goes to show what a bottle geek I am. There are also 14ml sizes available although not through their website and not anywhere in Europe as far as I could establish. Only US retailers seem to carry them for now, for example The Perfume Shoppe and Anthropologie. If you know of a European retailer who carries them I’d be thankful, if you let me know. Aside over.
Created by Gerard Ghislain, Vert Pivoine includes notes of peony, ivy leaves, rose water, mimosa, gardenia, rose berry, cedar, sandalwood and musk.
Vert Pivoine is a very bright and sunny perfume. Fresh (in the best way possible), floral, fabulous. I am not a huge fan of fresh rose perfumes (I like my roses dark and spicy) and despite this being centered on peony, to me it is one of the best rose scents I have ever smelled. Peony and rose together with leafy elements build a wonderfully uplifting and at the same time calming floral scent that is a delight to wear. Often in perfumes of this kind I like the first five minutes and then begin to fret and stamp my foot, wanting the cheeriness to go away, overly happy perfumes make me majorly cranky. (A good example is Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile). Not here. Vert Pivoine is not so upbeat that you think medical assistance must be at work, it is not cheery to the point of setting my teeth on edge, but it rather floats from its happy start into a lovely and interesting base that is still beautiful, but more wistful and contemplative and deep than you would ever give this kind of perfume credit for.
Seeing that is is supposed to be a short review, I’ll conclude by saying – I like it. It is a fresh floral without the endless fake cheer, but a pretty, no, even a beautiful character.
Noir Patchouli is characterized as a unisex woody chypre. Patchouli is in the name and patchouli is what this is all about. My favorite patchouli is a very refined chocolaty one – Chanel Coromandel, the harsher, more rugged ones are not so much my thing. And while I would not put a full (or half) bottle on my wishlist, I enjoyed wearing this sample until I had nothing left. Maybe living rough does suit me after all. Because roughness is what this perfume evokes in me. It is raspy and scratchy, dark and rich. It reminds me strongly of another scent in the line, 1740 Marquis de Sade, as well as the interesting Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire (in feel, not smell). As it develops Noir Patchouli becomes sweeter, less harsh and more rounded, I can’t say I get much of the listed florals in the heart, but maybe that is what softens the patchouli and finally the addition of vanilla in the base gives it an almost tender touch, but the leather note holds against that, so it stays a rugged perfume after all and that is good.
Noir Patchouli is one of those perfumes that smell interesting on me and have a slightly disorienting feel for others. It is not a scent people expect on me, I rather enjoy that.
Noir Patchouli is also a perfume I find irrestistible and devastatingly attractive on a man. Just sayin’.
So Day and Night, those two diametrically opposed perfumes are both highly likeable, highly wearable and highly interesting.
So far I am very happy with my choices from this line and will certainly explore it further.