Sisley : Eau du Soir

Claude Monet

The Water Lily Pond (1900) by Claude Monet

Created by : Jeannine Mongin, Hubert d’Ornano, Isabelle d’Ornano

Date : 1990

Genre : Old school green floral chypre

Concentration : eau de parfum

It was serendipity that recently brought me to Eau du Soir when I opened up my magic closet and went hunting for something different. I’d been wearing a lot of the same perfumes recently (Chanel, Hermès and Jean Couturier) and I was in the mood for something big like Paloma Picasso.  And so when I saw the very colourful box of Eau du Soir, I thought… yesss! … perfect for the dead of winter with the grey skies, the mountains of white snow and the arctic-cold air.

Eau du Soir was a gift from a friend with impeccable taste in perfume but the first person to introduce me to Eau du Soir was Clarisse Monereau.  Clarisse is a French-trained perfume expert who came to Montréal and opened a perfume school but has since returned to France.  (I stand corrected.  A reader tells me that although the school has closed, Clarisse is still in Montréal.)  I had invited Clarisse to accompany me to Tosca at L’Opéra de Montréal and I loved her perfume,  “What are you wearing?”  She answered, “Patchouli oil with Eau du Soir on top”.  Wow!  What a powerhouse and perfect for Puccini.

My regular readers know that I don’t list notes because they rarely tell you what the finished product smells like but I’ll make an exception today.  It’s decidedly a chypre so I’m getting a solid base of oakmoss and patchouli.  The top and middle notes are truly symphonic… a big, loud, complex mixture of rich smells and colours… jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris and a flower native to Spain, syringa, which I believe is from the lilac family. Just imagine Aromatics Elixir and Paloma Picasso combined… with maybe some Sisley Soir de Lune thrown in.  Big and beautiful!

Eau du Soir has got great throw and sillage.  It will announce your arrival and hang around long after you’ve left the building.  And, it’s extremely long-lasting.  I went to bed with it Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights!  I absolutely love this one.

New trend for 2018… layering oils!


Layering oils by Viktor & Rolf

The absolute last perfume-related item I purchased in 2017 gave me such hope for the future.  It was a rose-scented layering oil that is being produced by the Viktor & Rolf people to go along with their Flowerbomb eau de parfum.  It’s called Flowerbomb Rose Twist.  When Jackie, the fragrance consultant, told me about it, I was immediately intrigued and purchased it, untested.  The way it works is this… if you would like to accentuate the rose note of Flowerbomb, you apply the layering oil on your skin first and then you spray Flowerbomb on top.  Isn’t this a neat idea?  They also have Flowerbomb Jasmine Twist and Flowerbomb Musk Twist so you can punch up the jasmine or musk notes… or both… or all three!  Layering may not be a trend, actually, but it should be!

I tried my rose oil on many different perfumes in my collection with very interesting and promising  results.  It worked perfectly with Paris by Yves Saint-Laurent!  It added some optimism but also some gravitas (is that a contradiction?) and helped balance out the sad violet notes.  I always thought the roses in Paris were too pink anyway… this added red roses to the bouquet.  I also tried it with Chanel No. 5 parfum and although it was almost imperceptible with No. 5, it outlasted the parfum leaving me with a beautiful, red rose note as a basenote!  BONUS!

I tried it with Coriandre and I had the same bonus… no real difference to Coriandre but it outlasted my eau de toilette so I was left with a rose note in the early evening long after my beloved Coriandre  had gone to bed.  I even layered it with a 2018 purchase, Bulgari’s Eau Parfumé au Thé Bleu and I found it improved it greatly by adding lovely, optimistic rose notes to the violets. The fragrance consultant, Jackie, was kind enough to give me samples of the Jasmine and Musk Twists so I’ll get back to you over the coming weeks with more experiment results.

I must say that I wish the perfume companies would do more of this in order to put back some of the notes that they’ve taken out over the years.  At least give us a chance to turn back the clock a little, albeit it just for ourselves… much better than putting out yet another crappy flanker which nobody wants anyway!

Could you imagine adding an oakmoss-scented layering oil.  How about a vetiver-scented  oil!  An oud-based oil!  Sniff, sniff… I’m getting verklempt (yiddish for too emotional to speak).

Happy New Year everyone!   The future just might be… wait for it… rosier than expected!


Dyptique : Olène



Created by : Serge Kalouguine

Date : 1988

Genre : Jasmine soliflore

Concentration : eau de toilette

I love indole… that is, I love what indole does to white florals.  For me, it gives white florals that poisonous, decadent edge.  It’s like adding a steroid to perfume and for jasmine soliflores, when properly done, it can light up the GALAXY!

Indole occurs naturally in human feces and, supposedly, dead people emit it.  I wouldn’t know.  Contrary to popular belief, us librarians don’t hang around dead people all that much.  But when a perfumer adds just the right amount of indole to a jasmine soliflore, particularly, it gives the perfume a third dimension.  With all the talk of feces and dead people. strangely, the jasmine note comes alive.

Now… I’ve read perfume reviews of Olène claiming that it is so heady that it can suck the oxygen out of an elevator… and if you don’t go lightly, people around you will hate you.  I don’t believe that.  Granted, the first 20 minutes are a little shrill but when Olène morphs into its true character, it’s beyond pretty.  For me, Olène is an interpreted jasmine just like Edmond Roudnitska’s Diorissimo is an interpreted lily of the valley.  Both are better than the actual flower that inspired their creation.  Although Serge Lutens’ ultra-synthetic À la nuit may be a truer jasmine soliflore, I find it difficult to wear and therefore, Olène the better of the two.

I could list the floral notes but it wouldn’t tell you much… narcissus, honeysuckle, wisteria.  See?  Suffice it to say that Olène is the most wearable, prettiest jasmine-centric white-floral bouquet I’ve ever tried.  On a woman, it would be delicious… on a man, it would turn heads.  It doesn’t surprise me in the least the men in India wear jasmine perfume.

While writing this post the understated, tasteful and simplified Ziegfield production of A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody came to mind.


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