Mystère: Opening with a soft veil of transparent woods (the lightest of light vetiver hints bathing in gossamer sandalwood) Mystère quickly turns into a fluffy, frothy as a spring cloud interpretation of turkish delight. Rosewater infused soft candy, with a sprinkling of sugar and almonds, this is the softest, most innocent interpretation of the by now quite popular theme. Those of you that find Lutens’ and By Kilian’s (just to name a few) versions too heavy, cloying or sweet, but still wish you could indulge in the treat, will probably fall for this charming perfume. Its sweetness is very much subdued, and hints of powder make this boudoir-ish. However, it is still a very innocent perfume. The ad-copy might speak of harem girls, but in reality it is more about satin baby-dolls and fluffy maraboo slippers than eyeliner and veils. In one word, I’d describe it as angelic. It’s very, very easy to fall in love with, and its soft kiss does definitely stirr the heart and soul. However, those looking for a potent sillage had better look elsewhere: Staying close to the skin, this will only be detected by yourself and those lucky enough to find themselves in your embrace. The drydown is soft, delicious, slightly sweet and resinous vetiver.
Vertige: The opening is green and slightly resinous, with the characteristic, nectareous, slightly citrucy honeyed scent of pittosporum. Stronger than Mystère, Vertige has a delectable, sophisticated 80s vibe, smelling exquisitely italian and exuberant, reeking power and style through flowers. After a wave of bright, shining jasmine, Vertige exposes us to a glorious frangipani scent that is fruity, exotic and colorful. Lovers of the note are likely to (like me) find themselves repeatedly sniffing their perfumed skin to get another hit of the beautiful fragrance. Despite being ultra-feminine for most of its development, Vertige hides a stretch of dark velvet in its woody drydown which is rather addictive and mysterious, but also rather strange and surprising, due to a sharp, masculine touch that flows in and out of consciousness and manages to catch me unaware each and every time.
Extase: Even if you don’t normally like sweet fragrances, Extase is most definitely worth a sniff, because you just might fall in love with this one: Its lovely sweetness is childlike, exquisite and endearing. Even though it is not strictly linear, it changes very slightly with the passing of time, retaining its main characteristics intact. The heaviest of the trio, after the initial burst of smile-inducing, playful sweetness, Extase grows heavier, imbuing the wearer with the scent of rich florals, most prominently narcissus and mimosa. I normally shy away from fragrances heavy on mimosa as they can come across quite cloying (even headache inducing) to me, but this one somehow manages to get the balance right. Even though mimosa is instantly recognizable in all its old-fashioned, rather powdery, grande-damme glory, it somehow manages to refrain from stealing all the limelight. Instead, it allows the other nuances of the fragrance to show through: a candied violet note, a very original, nutty, roasted sesame note, a good dose of cedar, musk. Having said all that, this is probably my least favorite fragrance of the trio, not least due to its apparent lack of elegance.