Tuesday, June 12, 2007

L’Inspiratrice by Divine : Perfume Review

I am not a patchouli hater. No, I am not. Not anymore, that is. I have long enjoyed patchouli as an accompanying note to complex fragrance blends, but have never been able to stand it as a dominant single note, either in high-end fragrances or in oils. Patchouli to me had been interminably associated with headshops, incense sticks that would make me gag, nausea-inducing candles and cheap oils from Body Shop. Nevermore. Not since L’Inspiratrice came into my life, showing me that patchouli can be affective, eloquent, beautiful, inspiring. L’Inspiratrice is to me everything I wanted Prada to be. I never did manage to love Prada nor did I think any perfume so dominated by patchouli could ever become an instant love. It feels wonderful to be proven wrong. Every time I manage to fall in love with a previously unloved note I feel a weight lifting from my shoulders. Learning to love leather through wonderful creations such as Cabochard, Bandit and Piver’s Cuir de Russie was like leaving a ball and chain behind and walking towards freedom. Learning to love patchouli through L’Inspiratrice, it feels like finally, a pair of shackles that was keeping me bound has been broken. My heart is lifted. Perhaps all this sounds like a hyperbole; after all there is no harm in avoiding certain notes. But for a perfume lover, surely, the sense of freedom one attains once yet another barrier has been broken feels like a true gift.

Despite the fact that L’Inspiratrice is meant to be a marriage between patchouli and rose, to me it is predominantly a patchouli scent. I do not know whether it is a shortcoming of my own senses or the result of such an expert blending process, which makes the rose almost indiscernible to my nose. I, perhaps arrogantly, like to think the latter - imagining that the rose has been given a masterful supporting role, meant only as an enhancer to the wondrous beauty of patchouli, the Diva, the seductress, l’inspiratrice. And if perhaps I can imagine the rose’s presence in the opening – and that only after closing my eyes and inhaling deeply – I certainly lose track of its trail completely as the development of this fragrance progresses. I make a conscious decision to not dwell on any of the supporting notes much; I can only be thankful for the fact that they have managed to embrace patchouli with such finess that I, previously unmoved by its charms have managed to see the light, brought to my knees by its redolent beauty. No other note seems to warrant mention. Would it even matter if I told you that behind its luscious trail my skin is caressed by gorgeous, deep musk and the softest vanilla? No... What seems more important is to speak to you of how it unfolds, occupying a myriad of textures with every secret smile. From the fresh leaves of the plant in my palm, to those very leaves rubbed against hard thick leather; from heavy, dark velvet shielding my bare skin like a cloak, to gossamer blue and orange veils billowing from my form once more after having been put away in a chest filled with those now dry leaves for years and years. But L’Inspiratrice is more than just a story of textures, though even that aspect alone would have been enough to impress. L’Inspiratrice is a woman full of mystery, whose stare is full of enchanting magnetism. Her allure is dark and bewitching, as though her blood itself is hot with the essence of dark magic. And yet despite that, she is elevated above anything even remotely common. Her beauty is no trickery; her sorcery is a golden cage she has constructed for herself. Her exquisite charm is foreboding, leaving lips burning with feverish desire -but it is at once forbidding – her ship will always be flying a touch-me-not banner.

Pictures courtesy of www.purplemoon.com and www.netperles.com


8 comments:

Jenavira13 said...

This is on my to smell list and will remain there. I am so glad I am not the only one who has had issues with the patchouli in Prada (the top notes I enjoy, but they are gone to swiftly replaced with unchanging heavy patchouli). I suppose what annoys me even more is that it constantly called ambery (the new word for patchouli?) and I love amber scents and I do not get amber. There is one patchouli I do enjoy: Neonature Cocoon by Yves Rocher; a bizarrely unique and very rich smelling creation.

Arhianrad said...

D, like you, I have problems with patchouli (ESPECIALLY in fragrances like Prada/Flowerbomb, et al.). This gives me patchouli hope :)

Linda said...

Dear Divina,
I hope that your weekend was a great success and that you are not too exhausted! Like others, I've never got on with Prada, but your latest review, which is so beautiful, makes me want to investigate patchouli again,
Best wishes,
Linda

Divina said...

Hi Jenavira :) You've made me curious about Neonature Cocoon, so I am gonna go visit an Yves Rocher store today to sniff it. As for scents with a strong patchouli note like Prada, personaly my first instinct is to classify them as woody...

Divina said...

Ahrianrad dear girl, how are you? I visited your blog yesterday and loved all the new posts, you made me laugh with your flowerbomb comments! I did not have time to post any comments myself because I was exhausted, I'll be back again later today :) *hugs*

Divina said...

Hi Linda dearest :) How are you? My weekend was a *huge* success, I really could not believe it!!! I'd been surviving on adrenaline the past couple of weeks leading to this event and I am indeed pretty exhausted now. But it was all worth it! It was nerve-wracking but amazing :) Life feels strange now that this event is over..Suddenly my phone has stopped ringing every 5 mins... But that means I finally have time to rest and focus on other things I had put on the backburner :) Thank you for always remembering and taking an interest, you make me smile bright :)

chayaruchama said...

Hi, Pussycat !
A LOVELY review, for a scent which refuses to play nicely for me.
Somehow, only the 'male' Divines smell good- but don't last, so I never did a FB.

Perhaps, only when the tuberose is a REALLY stinky, indolic, creamy note-
THEN, it smells great on me.
Go figure...

Liv said...

hi Divina.
I must admit, I'm not too much of a fan of fragrances heavy in patchouli (I think my skin hates it!! lol)...but I do have a sample of L'Inspiratrice that I've been wanting to try on my skin for a while. At first sniff (from the vial) I can smell the patchouli a lot, but it seems a little sweeter than usual - maybe from the rose(?) - I don't know...but I think it may have to be a scent to try at some point this week! :)
Thanks for the review - you've made it sound really nice :)