Apart from this year’s white floral summer stables; Mahora, Vamp in NY and Terracotta le Parfum, a perfume I’ve been wearing a lot is Evody’s summeroriental D’Âme de Pique* gifted to me by a wonderful friend.
I first encountered the house Evody at Boutique Jovoy in Paris, on my first visit there, when it was still a shop ‘Parfums rares’ in Rue de Danielle Casanova. I was taken with a few of their perfumes and the very reasonable price tag. Of the ones I remember, were a fine amber perfume, Ambre Intense, and a plush peach-iris floriental, Note de Luxe. In 2014 they added the collection d’ailleurs to the line-up, in which D’âme de Pique featured.
Through the opening I think one would be forgiven for thinking that D’Âme de Pique with its pear, raspberry and rose was a fruity floral, at least until the woody ambery base starts to shimmer through the layers from below.
It’s all about getting the delicate balance between tangy and sweet right, and that’s exactly what it does: the tart, green black currant leafs versus juicy pear to start, in the heart the contrast is between that of luscious rose and piquant raspberries. The base, as already mentioned, is a creamy thing of vanilla, patchouli, woods and sandalwood, none of which stick out unpleasantly. The woods and patchouli are never hard or raspy, the sandalwood isn’t cloying and the vanilla isn’t cupcake worthy, all in all this is again a perfectly balanced third act. A very discreet saffron note gives both the rose heart as well as the base a slight twist of something a little sharp and for a moment takes my thoughts towards the oriental. No eastern bazar, perhaps a crimson sunset.
This is an easy-going perfume, I’m a little surprised myself at how happily I’ve worn this fragrance. What could easily have been too sweet or too fruity, is neither, I find it smooth, luminous and yielding. Rosy, yes, but not cute, and it feels French, in that way where it could be dressed up or down, for evening or day wear after a fashion. From flats to heels, add a touch-up of lipstick and a few extra sprays ‘et voila’, the living is easy.
I’d like to end with some verses, just because the talk of crimson reminds me of this gorgeous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font
The firefly wakens, waken thou with me
Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me
Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars
And all thy heart lies open unto me
Now slides the silent meteor on
And leaves a shining furrow
As thy thoughts in me
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up
And slips into the bosom of the lake
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
* is it supposed to be a word play on Pique Dame/ Queen of Spades and soul? The Tchaikovsky Opera/ Pushkin short story? I can’t find anything to that effect anywhere, and since nothing in the perfume reminds me of anything to do with either, I’ll presume it just felt like a good name.
And a little aside on rose fragrances; it’s one in a thousand roses that doesn’t turn sour on me. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy rose centered fragrances on a mouillette or on other people, or that indeed the occasional rose actually smells ‘normal’ on me, just that they unfortunately are few and far between.
Feat. pic by me, and the still life of roses and raspberries is by Abbott Fuller Graves.