À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu – Review: Puredistance Opardu

Puredistance is a house very dear to my heart. Puredistance I, Antonia and M are all in my collection, I admire the style of this house and the way its founder Jan Ewoud Vos implements his philosophy and taste to build a brand that stands for luxury and quality, quite contrary to today’s trends.

Opardu is the fourth perfume created for the line, the third by Annie Buzantian (only M is by Roja Dove).

Opardu includes notes of tuberose absolute, gardenia, Bulgarian Rose, carnation, jasmine absolute, heliotrope and cedarwood.

The name Opardu is a neologism created by Jan Ewoud Vos, who told me with a twinkle in his eye, that it was his gift to the French who have been needing that word for a long time.

Opardu is a very evocative word, leaving room for everyone’s personal interpretation, Mr Vos wants it to be a memory of things past, of opulence and romance. For me, Opardu stands for “Oh, perdu!”, a sigh of quiet desperation for the things that are irrevocably gone, lost in time and never to be found again. (You know I’m not the most optimistic of people, I have a weak spot for all things melancholy. It’s my Viennese soul.)

Smelling Opardu, it perfectly fits that twilighted landscape of the soul hovering between tears and a smile, the name has evoked in me. Bitter-sweet memories, unfulfilled dreams, missed chances and rueful glances backwards find their olfactory equivalent in rain-drenched lilac, sweet violet and powdery heliotrope. A whiff of my mothers soap makes the trip down a shadowy memory lane perfect.

Opardu is a quiet and reflective perfume, it is retro in feel and it clearly harks back to a different era. Upperclass women in Fin de Siècle Vienna might have smelled like Opardu.

I’m not sure I agree about the notion of opulence that the company assigns to Opardu, because I find it to subdued for that. (Suzanne sees this similarly in her beautiful review.)

Opardu fits perfectly in the Puredistance canon, because it is elegant and refined, and makes me feel classy and sophisticated. Class is what Puredistance is all about, and Opardu without a doubt, has class.

I like to wear it and pretend to be Emilie Flöge for a day. And on such a day, it is fine to wallow in sentimental feelings about how all things must end, how ultimately all is lost.

Once the last of Opardu’s sillage dissipates in the air, it is time to dry the tears, go to sleep and be safe in the knowledge that all is well and will be well as surely as the sun will rise again.

But from time to time, I wouldn’t want to miss the look backwards Opardu facilitates. It’s only from the past that we learn.

Opardu is only available as pure perfume in a 32% concentration in the usual 17.5 ml vial, golden this time, as well as 60ml and 100ml flacons. Opardu launches in November 2012.
Sample provided for my consideration by the company.
Image source: puredistance.com, Emilie Flöge by Gustav Klimt via wikipedia; Post title stolen from Marcel Proust

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47 Responses to À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu – Review: Puredistance Opardu

  1. Asali says:

    What a beautiful review B, from one melancholic soul to another;). Lilac, violet, heliotrope and rainwater, sigh, how wonderful that sounds… Like all other from Puredistance, a must try

  2. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I beautiful review, indeed. However, Opardu will most probably remain “perdu” for me – due to the tuberose …

  3. lucasai says:

    Sounds good, like a big white floral. I never tried perfume from Puredistance, they’re not carried here.

  4. Tara says:

    I echo Asali – this is a beautiful review of what sounds like a sophisticated, wistful and gorgeously retro perfume. I love the high parfum concentration and pure class of Puredistance and anything they release is a must try.

    Thanks also for introducing me to Emilie Flöge (excuse my ignorance!), fascinating woman and a beautiful painting which seems to fit this scent perfectly.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is definitely a must-try, as you say, I love that Puredistance goes at a slow pace (like Vero Kern) and tries to make perfumes that stand the test of time.
      Emilie Flöge seemed to be a perfect fit in my mind. 🙂

  5. lulllull says:

    Does it smell something similar to L ´heure bleue?

    • Olfactoria says:

      No, not smell-wise, I find it has more in common with Aprés l’Ondée there, but the wistful feeling I associate with it is indeed similar to the emotions L’Heure Bleue evokes.

  6. Sandra says:

    I have yet to smell any of the Puredistance perfumes. Now, this one is on my must try list as well. Lovely review.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Birgit, your review is sooo lovely!! I can quite imagine you smelling like perfection wearing Opardu.

    Thanks very much for the link to my review. Yesterday I received a nice email from JEV in which he explained his ideas and inspiration about Opardu a little better to me … and it made sense when I learned that one of the things he was thinking about when he referred to Opardu as bringing one back to the vibrant nightlife of Paris in the 1920s (which I had questioned) was his affection for the film “Midnight in Paris,” and how the scenes where the main character, Gil, gets whisked back to the 20’s have a sense of velvety romance and elegance to them. And I think he decided to refine some his descriptions about Opardu being opulent to it being more of a scent of “dreamy opulence.” That made sense to me — because before knowing this, I thought of the “roaring 20s” kind of opulence that is expressed in perfumes like Party in Manhattan, and that’s what sort of threw me off.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, so is yours!
      JEV is such a gentleman, isn’t he?
      I’m totally with you on the opulence question, it is not the adjective that would come to mind when I smell Opardu, dreamy hits the spot much more accurately.

    • Ari says:

      Midnight in Paris was SO GOOD. And I say this as a certified Woody Allen hater.

      • Suzanne says:

        I agree, Ari, I love that movie too!!! Marion Cotillard is exquisite … and also the actress who played Gabriella. Can’t think of her name … though she’s quite different from the Adrianna character, still so beautiful in that very French way.

  8. Amy says:

    Beautiful review, Birgit. Thank you. The sentiment really hits home with me!
    Onward… 🙂

  9. This sounds wonderful. I am also one of those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of sniffing anything from Puredistance. Will need to be remedied soon! I’m trying to think if anyone carries it in New York . . . I’m drawing a blank, but my brain is a little muddled right now . . .

  10. Very nice reviews from you & Suzanne both. I need to let my thoughts about Opardu brew a while– still sniffing, pondering, assessing. With every one of their fragrances, the reveal is slow, gradual, cumulative. I feel a sense of trust without anxiety about this one.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Very well put, Meg. Puredistance is a brand that inspires trust.
      I had the good fortune to receive a sample already before the summer (under the oath of silence 😉 ), so I had ample time getting to know Opardu.
      The more I wear it, the more I like it.
      I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts eventually.

  11. laniersmith says:

    Yes what a gorgeous review. I want to buy a bottle and put it on one rainy Saturday afternoon and watch “Camille” with the divine Greta Garbo… Lovely review.

  12. ginzaintherain says:

    Wistfully beautiful review. I feel I would love this, and will probably never smell it!

  13. Ari says:

    I always have room in my heart for a violet and heliotrope perfume! I am about to have the chance to try the first Puredistance perfume and couldn’t be more excited, thanks to your enthusiasm for the line!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I actually thought about you often when wearing Opardu (your Aprés l’Ondée story has stuck with me) and I think you would enjoy this one very much.

      I hope you like Puredistance I as well, let us know how it goes, Ari!

      • Vanessa says:

        Like Olenska, I am still mulling over this one. I agree about the Apres L’Ondee vibe, which had struck me too on account of the notes themselves and its wistful and dreamy aspect. However, I am having some issues with the musk? / heliotrope? that are getting in the way of my appreciation of this one. Will keep testing…

        • Olfactoria says:

          Is it turning very soapy on you? I had that problem in warm weather, it works really beautifully in cooler temperatures now. It took me a while, but now I “got” it and it’s a beauty to behold. 🙂

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