Friday, August 24, 2007

Sacrebleu by Parfums de Nicolai : Perfume Review

I wouldn’t buy a full bottle of Sacrebleu. I don’t really like it, you see. I wouldn’t want to wear it outside. I wouldn’t want to actually smell of it. But all the same, I can’t help admiring it, or craving to sniff it on my skin from time to time. It is every couple of months or so, when I will have forgotten exactly what it smells like, that my mind will prompt me to spray a little bit on my wrist to smell it again. Undoubtedly, something draws me to it. Unfailingly, this little something will tell me it smells like candied violet petals and it will insist that it wants to smell it again. Unfailingly that little something will be disappointed again, because Sacrebleu does not in fact smell like violet petals, candied or not. But for a while it will be satiated anyhow, for if Sacrebleu can be visualized as a color, it is indeed a deep dark violet – a viscous abyss I am more than content to swim in, if only for a while.

This is a fragrance full of richness and warmth. It makes me in a way think of an 80’s classic, and a reference to Cacharel’s Loulou will not be lost on those that know and love it. It is sweet and dense: Apply too much and you’ll be left tangled in a sticky mess, hot under the cover of a heavy velvet cape. Apply with caution though, and you’ll be able to appreciate all the little gems and flecks of gold that have been carefully worked in the very same deep purple velvet, now taking the form of gorgeous bustier. The mandarin in the opening is only a hint: You can smell it here and there, as though someone nearby is peeling the fruit with gusto and droplets of the potent oil are flying, threatening to get in your eye. The carnation and tuberose blend seamlessly as they simmer together in the folds of a fruity pulp. A sprinkling of cinnamon and cloves and the result is almost –almost- edible. What makes the sweetness bearable –and indeed beautiful- is a sword of sappy greens lancing through the mixture. And maybe, just maybe, it’s not just my imagination and the hilt is really made of green violet leaves.

Despite the impenetrable feel of a heavy veil this perfume creates, it somehow manages to also evoke the feel of washed, clean hair on a bright, sunny autumn day. The shiny, never dyed hair of a childlike woman: An overgrown little girl, really, getting her way through life, unaware of struggle. She is only barely aware of her real age, as witnessed by the short but at the same time sensible skirt worn over her Prada ballerinas. That’s Sacrebleu, inherently optimistic, if only because it doesn’t know any better.

Images Courtesy of:, (Fractal Art by Vicky Brago-Mitchell) and


Linda said...

Dear Divina,
What a fascinating review! I was a great fan of Loulou and think I know exactly what I would expect to sniff if I were to try Sacre Blue. The images you evoke are lovely: such pretty Prada ballerinas! I have just sniifed three fragrances in shops today, all of which I thought were interesting in their way, but didn't wow me into buying! Thnak you for the beautiful review,
Feeling very virtuous,

Divina said...

Thank you so much dear Linda :) Writing this review was really pleasurable, I am so glad it shows. Which fragrances did you get to sniff? Was Edwardian Bouquet one of them? I am so curious to know what you thought of it!

Linda said...

A P.S.
... The three fragrances were -
Calvin Klein Euphoria (Very fruity top note. He would like it but I'm afraid it was too much for me!)
Hugo Boss Woman (Bizarre middle note of basmati rice: seriously!)
Estee Lauder Private Collection (Almost succumbed but it was very expensive for an impulse buy.) I'm seeking out Edwardian Bouquet tomorrow in London and will be spending the morning on a quest! Very excited,

Divina said...

Well, now I have to indeed concede that you have every right to be feeling virtuous! You resisted Private Collection? That's quite a feat! It really is one of my greatest loves. Such an unforgiving fragrance, so fiercely unique. I consider it a masterpiece.