“It’s the scent of your lover on your skin after sex.”
That’s how Roland Mouret described his debut fragrance to me at the launch this week, and when that is the first thing one hears about a perfume, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the scent is going to be good. Roland Mouret is known for his use of draping and asymmetrical folds in his designs, but he’s also known for form-fitting sensuality. So with sensuality and sexuality in mind, it’s no surprise that he turned to Etat Libre d’Orange, the most x-rated (and cheeky) of perfume houses, to create his debut fragrance.
That fragrance is the unisex ‘Une Amourette‘ (‘A Fling’) and it is created by Perfumer Daniela Andrier, who has been responsible for all of the mostly iris-centric Prada perfumes. I’ll say now that Une Amourette smells nothing like any other Andrier perfume – so much so, in fact, that if you’re familiar with her style, you will second guess whether this is one of hers. A bubbling, suede-like iris this is not, no. Une Amourette is described as “seductive” and “powerful”. It’s a scent that “leaves it mark as you move” – a statement piece carefully crafted to accentuate your body and draw attention to it as you strut through your everyday life. Everywhere is a catwalk, never forget that, Dear Reader.
Patchouli, Neroli, Basies Roses, Cardamom, Indole, Peach, Opoponax Base Ambree, Iris, Akigalawood and Vanilla.
How Does it Smell?
Une Amourette opens with a cacophony of neroli and spice. There’s this interesting juxtaposition between darkness and light, with crackling shadows of dark pepper and cardamom illuminated by juicy peach and refreshing neroli. It’s an olfactory ombre effect that transitions seamlessly from black to gold, just like the shading on the bottle. In the opening I get hints of cumin, rose and a flash of greenery, and just for a moment it makes me think of Alexander McQueen’s Kingdom however, Une Amourette is much more diffusive and transparent than Kingdom, whilst it does share a beastly sensuality, one that alludes to the figure hugging sexiness of Mouret’s designs.
Roland Mouret says that “the beauty of a perfume is the journey” and Une Amourette certainly transports one to different places as it develops. What starts as a contrast of light and shade becomes deep, rich and all about a whacking great big patchouli note, not to mention some filthy animalic tones, as it dries down. Akigalawood, a fraction of patchouli created by Givaudan that adds a more mineral element to patchouli, is blended with patchouli oil to create a fullness of the material. In Une Amourette the patchouli brings a lot of texture in the form of silvery streams that are fizzy and sharp, creating a tall lattice structure that elevates the composition skyward.
The animalic element is really unusual – it has a spicy facet that is evocative of sweat, but there’s also this undefinable human quality that is dry, warm and somewhere between leather and hot skin. On my body, Une Amourette boasts a somewhat salty character in the dry down which adds a weightlessness to the animal theme. What I like about this human character is that it’s treated in a very modern way, and instead of a classic, overpowering beastliness, Une Amourette showcases a transparent and crystalline dirtiness that is completely contemporary.
Une Amourette feels as glamorous and strategically cut as any clothing Roland Mouret would make. It has all of the sensuality, sexuality and va-va-voom of his fashion. The materials are cinched, nipped and draped into a perfect shape – a form that fits and feels utterly satisfying to wear. I find it to be a particularly dramatic fragrance. It is complex, luminous, large (the diffusion is impressive and it gets TONS of compliments) and filled with contrast, but most of all, it is one hell of a sex bomb – a dramatic fragrance for the boudoir, what more could one ask for? As Roland says, it’s a fragrance that “you’ll want to wear at the pulse point between your thighs” and I think he may just be on to something there. I for one, am going to ‘Basic Instinct’ the shit out of it.
Une Amourette is available in 50ml (£82) and 100ml (£115) Eau de Parfum.
Sample, notes and quotes via Roland Mouret. Images are my own.