April 25, 2016

Eris Parfums: Ma Bête, Belle de Jour, Night Flower

All three perfumes are warmth generators. They are ultra-refined body heat enhancers. As examples of three different moods, they magnify the beautiful animal within human nature. Spirited while respecting the restraints of elegance.

We all remain the animals we are beneath our exalted humanity, even if we don't often think of ourselves as such. Consciously or not, we use elegance, beauty and intellect to enhance our animal charisma. That kind of enhanced animal intensity is alluring. It's the essence of vitality and the fuel and foundation for everything else we've got going on.

Ma Bête edp is a big if refined warmth machine as generated by body heat, filtered through a halo of fur. Possibly mink, or possibly the pelt of our inner animal.

One of the influences on this perfume was Jean Marais' performance as the Beast in Cocteau's film La Belle et la Bête. It's the classic fairy story of a spellbound beast in love with a vulnerable beauty. It's a stylized classic, and so French. Mythic, ultra romantic, and so satisfying within the restraint of sophisticated French elegance. This beast was passionate but expressed it with refined manners, elegant attire and loyalty. It's a delightful olfactory reference for those who love the film.

The warmth of Ma Bête is almost but not amber, almost but not vanilla. The warm animalic accord holds tight to florals and cool wood to resemble a baroque musk. Soon the sparkle of abstract aldehydes reveals itself. Their appearance balances the composition. They also refer to the iconic French perfumes worn by the sophisticates of another generation.

There is a mysterious soft edge within the resinous natural-ness. As if it could have been generated by one's own body heat and energy, it sinks into the skin and becomes one with you.

Notes are listed as neroli, aldehydes, nutmeg, cypriol, styrax, Jasmin sambac, cedarwood, patchouli, animalic accord.



Belle de Jour references a performance by that most French of actresses, Catherine Deneuve. This perfume will support your own inner Deneuve.

It's like wearing tailored clothing. It creates an aura of perfection and poise. A refinement that hints at a soft hold over an animal nature.

The atmosphere: expensive sheets that have not been changed for awhile, the thick ironed linens crumpled by use. Lipstick, a silk scarf, a little hairspray, an open, well polished leather Hermes handbag, smooth skin, the best cosmetics money can buy, the remains of grooming on an ethereal angel who has worked it out vigorously.

Glamorous musk, one created by the most well kept and elegant of French ladies leading a secret life. A grown up perfume. The animalic tone flows through these sweat tinged refinements, which I suspect comes from the salty seaweed absolute set beside the delicate florals. It's perfume as an abstract trigger. With all the references to expensive sophisticated glamor, it's a confidence booster.

Notes are listed as coriander, pink peppercorn, orange flower, ciste, jasmin, pimento berries, cedarwood, musk, seaweed absolute.



Night Flower is a more an American kind of glamor, that of an achingly beautiful aspiring starlet who might start out as a coat check girl at a nightclub. She sits surrounded by the fur coats, breathing in the perfumes that cling, and wants it all for herself. Night Flower holds that perfumed soft haze. Candle lit tuberose, balanced and much softened by the soft haze of luxurious fur and the scent of a beautiful young woman's skin.

Night blooming florals project a sense of longing, as does Night Flower. The attractions of floral nectar, rising into night air from a base of soft skin are shown here as equally magnetic forces closely bound together. Night blooming flowers throw exciting and hopeful scent rays out, as do beautiful young women, and that's no accident. 

The kind of wake caused by wearing a floral perfume that stains a silk dress, walking through dark night air. Calling out to the wild side, while perfectly made up and in heels. I think the pace is slow and deliberate. It could be the influence of New Orleans, American with a French influence. A softer warmer musk, composed of makeup, silks and the perfection of young skin. Aspiration that moves at its own confident pace. The dry down is a little more angelic than carnal. It's a welcome surprise that one develops straight out of the other.

Notes are listed as bergamot, birch tar, cardamom, suede accord, tuberose, cinnamon, patchouli, tonka bean, musk.

I think Barbara Herman and Antoine Lie succeeded in fulfilling their desire to capture the sumptuous mood of vintage perfumes in a modern way. 

To explain, I will quote myself, from my post about Barbara Herman's book on vintage perfumes, Scent and Subversion

Couples who courted spent hours at the end of the day, cocktails, dinner, dancing, the theater, wearing their best and most flattering clothing, which by the end of the night was imbued from the lingerie up to the fur coat with their "signature scent" whose dry down eventually emanated from body heat, whose magic and elusive but addictive "chemistry" would foreshadow the next intimate steps.   Imagine drawing off the long gloves, either silk or leather, with the perfume beneath revealing itself more fully as the music plays and the drinks take effect.

Please see Eris Parfums and Luckyscent for more information and for samples. 

Disclosure: I know Barbara Herman who worked on these perfumes with Antoine Lie, and was privy to many stages of their creation. It was fun and interesting to get that close to the making of fine perfumes and watch them unfold. If you haven't already, please see her wonderful book Scent and Subversion as a precursor to this trio. It's a moving and detailed tribute to vintage perfumes. 


Copyright 2016, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Photos above: Eris Parfums, La Belle et La Bête vintage movie poster, Catherine Deneuve in a Belle du Jour publicity still, Gene Tierney publicity still.

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