If you paid a visit to the blog yesterday you would have caught our latest episode of Desert Island Sniffs with Barbara Herman, the author and scent historian who has recently launched a brand new line of fragrances called Eris Parfums. Named after the Greek goddess of chaos, strife and discord the Eris perfumes tap into Herman’s love and passion for vintage fragrances, you know the kind with proper animalics and heady florals, and brings them bang up to date. The result is a thrilling clash of the vintage and the modern.
For Eris Parfums, Barbara Herman teamed up with renegade perfumer, Antoine Lie, the man behind Etat Libre d’Orange’s Sécrétions Magnifiques, Tom of Finland and Rossy de Palma, amongst others. The fragrances are inspired by the “bold eroticism of vintage animalic florals perfumes” and they certainly don’t hold back, my friends. If you’re a lover of the bold, beastly fragrances of yesteryear, then you need look no further than Belle de Jour, Ma Bête and Night Flower, because these modern twists on classic florals aren’t afraid to cause quite the scandal.
“Antoine Lie and I have reimagined the intensity and eros of perfumes of the past for a contemporary audience. We wanted to bring back the emotion of animalic perfumes.”
– Barbara Herman
Orange Flower, Jasmine, Coriander, Incense, Musks and Seaweed Absolute.
How Does it Smell?
Belle de Jour is a jasmine through and through. In the initial instances I get flashes of MUGLER’s Alien, with it’s gorgeously syrupy white floral notes, but Belle is much more animalic and natural smelling, with the jasmine itself appearing as drier and more translucent. It has a sweaty, cumin-like feel to it that is redolent of the body’s most intimate parts, warming up with the salty, sour quality of hot coriander leaves before settling on a warm cocktail of incense and musks. Belle de Jour is an intimate perfume that wears close to the skin. It’s narcotic and nocturnal, hinting at exciting night time activities. Where so many modern florals claim to offer hedonism and sex on a platter, very few actually come through. Belle de Jour however, is sex on legs.
Tunisian Neroli, Spices and Animalic Cocktail
How Does it Smell?
All three of the Eris Parfums are distinctly animalic, but Ma Bête (My Beast) is easily the funkiest of the lot. Created to “caress you with the suggestiveness of perfumed fur”, this beast is a warm and sweet blend of citrus and animalics. To my nose, Ma Bête smells like animal fur with a hint of orange. It’s a strange sort of mix that is almost edible, but the undercurrent of funk (Antoine Lie’s “own animalic cocktail” which appears as a 50% overdose within the composition) makes it abstract enough to emulate rich pelts of animal hyde rather than unusual delicacies. There’s an element of refinement missing from Ma Bête, but I get the impression that this was intentional, after all, something perfectly beastly isn’t going to worry about manners now, is it?
Cardamom, Leather, Suede, Indian Tuberose, Birch Tar, Patchouli, Cinnamon and Tonka
How Does it Smell?
Night Flower is the tuberose so, rather unsurprisingly, it was the fragrance I was most excited to try. I am a tuberose fiend, after all. This however, is a tuberose with a difference and instead of sending forth waves of creamy, bubblegum sweetness, Night Flower is all about spice and leather. It opens with a blast of dry spice that verges on the metallic before weaving into an austere tuberose that has more of a green emphasis. Leather then takes hold and Night Flower switches out spiced flower bouquets for whips, chains and feisty dames. Antoine Lie says it’s “spellbinding, sexual and addictive” and I can definitely get on board with that!
Belle de Jour, Ma Bête and Night Flower are available in 50ml Eau de Parfum for $150.
Samples, notes and quotes via Eris Parfums. Image one via deviantart.net. All other images via Eris Parfums.