Instant Gratification – Review: Parfumerie Generale Liqueur Charnelle

By Tara

There are a fair few louche, boozy scents out there but what sets apart Liqueur Charnelle is the clever frosted raspberries accord. Tart, icy and unexpected, it lifts this dissolute fragrance out of the ordinary and gives it a clever twist.

As you may be aware, Huitieme Art Parfums has been subsumed into the Parfumerie Generale line, but remains a distinct collection.

liqueur charnelle

Released in 2014, Liqueur Charnelle (“Carnal Liquor”) takes its inspiration from the bouquet of cognac. It includes notes of pink pepper, elemi, black pepper, cognac, linden blossom, blond tobacco, cedarwood, vetiver and raspberries.

The raspberries are present from the start, sprinkled with lots of pepper and a dash of lemon. They’re dipped in alcohol, which warms on the palate before radiating outwards.

The booze is exceptionally smooth with no after-burn. I expect this striking beginning to disappear but it persists.

Huitieme Art fragrances are known for shunning the traditional pyramid structure, therefore it’s no surprise that Liqueur Charnelle is largely a linear composition.

It just ebbs and flows a little over time. The lemon and pepper recede after a short while and a woody, smoked vanilla emerges in the far drydown. At this late stage it becomes just a little powdery. However the berry/cognac combination at its core remains constant until its final hours.

Liqueur Charnelle seems to be aimed more at men and although it leans towards the masculine, I don’t see any reason why the guys should have all the fun.

It has moderate projection and lasts into the night.

Although I am still to find a boozy fragrance which works for me, I do think Liqueur Charnelle is extremely well done. It’s head-turning and hedonistic without being weighty or high-pitched. The berries prevent it from being too intense or serious so it carries its licentiousness lightly.

Being as self-conscious as I am, I’ve often been rather envious of those who can knock back a few drinks and rapidly lose their inhibitions. The raspberry flavoured shot of Liqueur Charnelle gives me a hint of that giddy, reckless feeling.

It’s lighter and more contemporary than Guillaume’s other elegantly debauched fragrance, the baroque boozy amber of Daimiris for Laboratorio Olfactivo. In contrast, Liqueur Charnelle embodies the modern luxury aesthetic of clean lines, sleek design and muted colours.

Although I think it’s wearable for any occasion, there is a certain scenario it brings to mind…


Two people meet up for an illicit assignation under the cover of darkness. The location is a deluxe hotel room with amazing city views and minimalist décor with an anonymity about it that is very fitting. For most people it’s the early hours of the morning, but for them it’s very late at night and there’s not a moment to lose.

What do you think of the Huitieme Art line? Any favourites?


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22 Responses to Instant Gratification – Review: Parfumerie Generale Liqueur Charnelle

  1. Asali says:

    Hedonistic, giddy and head turning. Wow, only for a ‘serious’ night on the town then 🙂 The raspberry note paired with booze makes me think of it as a girly sort of cocktail, so I think it’s fun that it’s marketed as a masculine. I did have Myrrhiad, which I liked but never wore, and toyed with this idea of Daimiris for a long time, but it seems I’m not really suited to PGs overly gourmand, non pyramid perfumes.

    • Tara says:

      I can see you’d get that fruity cocktail impression but the raspberry isn’t sweet and the alcohol is quite grapey so it doesn’t come across as girly to me.

      I’m with you on finding PG’s scents generally too gourmand. I don’t own a single one though I admire quite a few like this one, Daimiris and Poudre de Riz.

  2. Ines says:

    This one is definitely for me! 🙂
    I haven’t tried it yet, and maybe I shouldn’t in the near future, I don’t want another bottle in my collection.

  3. Sabine says:

    A lovely review, Tara.
    I liked LC a lot when I tried it last year, but it gave me a most horrid skin rash. I had never had that sort of reaction to a perfume before and it really scared me. I ‘d rather drink my Liqueur 🙂

  4. cookie queen says:

    I have tried this twice. Sadly it did not work for me. (Isn´t that the polite way to say it?) 🙂
    I have not tried the deluxe hotel room picture above. I know however, just from looking that it would work perfectly. Bussis. xxxx

    • Tara says:

      Ah well, you tried it twice which is more than enough to know.

      LOL I agree that hotel room would suit you perfectly next time you’re in NYC 🙂

  5. Vanessa says:

    I enjoyed so much about this review, including the perfectly chosen image to illustrate your post. Hotelwise, I am more of a Travelodge or Prem Inn kind of a gal, but I agree with Val that a stylish environment has a lot to commend it. And I chuckled at ‘dissolute fragrance’ and the idea of this perfume wearing ‘its licentiousness lightly’. Would I like the scent itself? Cognac-containing scents don’t usually work for me, and if it leans at all to the masculine that could also rule it out, but the raspberries sound like a fun and unexpected twist!

    • Tara says:

      V, I’ve been really up for raspberry in fragrance lately. I like it in Tart’s Knick Drawer and here. Going to properly test the Rouge Avignon Val gave me now it’s autumn. You don’t seem to get the cloying sweetness with raspberry that you get with many other red berry accords.
      I’m not good with masculine leaning scents but this is unisex to me.

      Nothing wrong with budget hotels but it’s nice to wallow in a bit of luxury now and again or dream of it at least 🙂

  6. Ooh missy like the sound of this one.

    Never really into those bottles though, for some reason. They look cheap or something. Still, I like the raspberry note in Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather, but not what then happens after, so this sounds more up my boozy street.

  7. Hey Tara,
    I have loved these bottles since day 1, particularly the older white ones. They sit like a perfectly weighted cool smooth stone in your hand, are opaque so the light doesn’t affect your frag, are super easy to open and grip, have a little window so you can check juice levels and look designed to stand apart from all the glass. We bitch and moan about more of the same and then someone seems to really take the time to think a bottle through on so many levels and it’s groan, bitch, moan. Clearly not anyone’s cup of tea except mine, oh well.
    I tried this in NYC at OSSWALD and bought it immediately. It’s totally fun and really spoke to me with its twist of bittersweet and booze locked together. I also adore Myrrhiad (the colour freaks me out though) and Ambre Ceruleen.
    Portia xx

  8. Undina says:

    This is the line that I watch from afar: not for any other reason but the fact that it’s not available anywhere around me. But I liked a couple of those that I tried (and for a while I even considered buying Manguier Metisse but I need to spend more time testing it but I’m not willing to pay for a sample 😉
    Loved your review! This sounds like a perfume I might enjoy – with or without the room pictured 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Ha! Nice to hear it wasn’t just the room that did it for you, Undina 🙂

      So PG still isn’t available near you then. I VERY rarely feel moved to pay for a sample these days.

      I must look up Manguier Metisse.

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