Friday, December 10, 2010
Jean Desprez - Sheherazade
I have a secret. It's a store, a wonderful, impossible store. A hidden gem like something right out of a fairy tale, where treasures you've only read about sit on shelves in glorious disarray, higglety-pigglety, the rare, the mundane, the outright discontinued, vintage and reformulated, all the perfume of my dreams. I'll share the address with you some day, but for now, I'll tell you about one of the samples I found there: the discontinued Sheherazade, by Jean Desprez.
Sheherazade, the woman, was a clever Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. Sheherazade, the perfume, is a sweet, powdery oriental with a woody, base. It reminds me a bit of Caron's Bain de Champagne, but darker and more complicated. The opening is like powdered sugar with a dark bitter note that I think might be the rosewood? I could have sworn there was leather in there, but the only notes I could find, at The Perfumed Court, don't mention any.
The powdery opening warms into a spiced fruit in the heart, with some rosy carnation and dry, rooty orris. The base notes continue the sweet, woody theme of the opening with vanilla, sandalwood and resins. Sheherazade is an interesting contrast of light and dark, sweet and bitter, floral and woods. There's enough here to keep me interested, maybe even for 1,001 nights.
Sheherazade is now on my list of perfumes to buy when I get back to my secret store. It's a bit sweeter than my normal, but I like that it's deep, resiny and woody, complicated, and just different from the modern perfumes I own. Hopefully my magical store will still be there when I have a chance to return, and won't have vanished like a mirage in the desert.
Notes: (From The Perfumed Court) Top notes of Aldehydic, Bergamont, and Rosewood Middle notes of Rose, Carnation, Jasmin, Ylang Ylang, Orris, and Cassia. Base notes of with notes of.... Vanilla, Sandalwood, Benzoin and Opoponax .