· 1740: Whether the outward manifestation of the powerful emotions the libertine writer Marquis de Sade provokes in those who attempt to gain some insight into the workings of his mind is anger, repulsion, or wonder, the truth is that this is a man that has kept the public fascinated one way or another for more than two centuries. Histoires de Parfums draws inspiration from this almost mythical persona and translates it vividly, turning ugliness into beauty in one of the most gorgeous scents of the library. 1740 is at once pungent and filmy, aged and modern, skillfully sketching the profile of a true classic. Richly spiced, with powerful accents of black cardamom, coriander and cumin, this fragrance manages to instantly awaken exotic fantasies and stir deep desires. It has this beautiful ability of alternating between the scent of a hot, dry north-African wind blowing gently through an exotic spice market and the more rounded, flavorsome, passionate aroma of viscous red dessert wine. Its core is pure, raw animalic dirtiness, caressed by the deep scent of good, heavy leather. Hints of immortelle, birch and vanilla slightly sweeten this magnificent potion to the point that it becomes absolutely addictive. 1740 is labeled as a masculine, but I know that all you ladies who enjoy deep, woody, spicy, dirty things are going to love this too. It is stunning.
· 1873: 1873’s opening is shockingly timid, considering that it is a perfume inspired by the admirably unafraid Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a woman of unquestionable intellect and sensuous temperament. 1873 starts out with the gentle, sweet and musky freshness of the original Mühlens’ 4711 colone. It is a simple and delightful opening with light petitgrain, gentle spices, citrus freshness and musky warmth. It is hard for me to imagine it will turn into anything more than this familiar, lovely smell, which while perfect for the summer as well as retro-chic by nature, is not exactly groundbreaking. But how wonderful it is to be wrong! Excitingly, 1873 acts like a witty conundrum – a striptease in reverse. It starts out almost naked, but soon starts tantalizingly decorating herself with lacy, gauzy garments and jewelry. The fruit becomes juicier and juicier, drenching the neck with the nectar of sweet, never tangy oranges, tangerines and lemons loved by the sun. The warmth of the skin makes the generous, feminine bouquets of white florals bourgeon and bloom on the skin, but their scent seems to be coming from far away, carried to the nose by a pleasant breeze. They are light and airy, playfully skipping around their crowning glory, the orange blossom. There is a feeling of whiteness accompanying this scent, bringing to mind strands of pearls. Behind the lightness in turn, hides a sumptuous core that feels edible, like the curve of a peach you’d want to sink your teeth into. The drydown sees the emergence of a rounded, gourmand musk, whose inexplicable and fascinating piquancy delights and puzzles the senses. A beautiful fragrance whose development keeps me interested for hours.
Even though our three-part series comes to a close today, we will for sure return to the Histoires de Parfums line in the future, as there are still gems in the line I would love to explore more with you, such as the absolutely dirty Noir Patchouli and the surprising transformer, 1828 (Jules Verne). As a closing remark, I’d like to say that I can’t wait for more tomes to become available in this scented library, especially in the section of biographies. The date that I am personally most eager to see in the collection, is 1908, Simone de Beauvoir. How about you?