Friday, July 8, 2011
Eau d'Italie - Jardin du Poete
Eau d'Italie released its 8th perfume this spring Jardin du Poete. Like most of their other fragrances, Jardin du Poete was created by the seemingly tireless Betrand Duchaufour. Hurray! because I am a huge fan of Duchaufour. Eau d'Italie has been hit or miss with me, but of the perfumes that I have tried from the line, the ones I have liked, Baume du Doge, Paestum Rose and Magnolia Romana, were by Duchaufour. I can add Jardin du Poete to that list.
Duchaufour is a master of what I think of as the "modernist" style of perfume. In "classical" perfumes, it's often not easy to pick out individual notes; you smell them as a whole, a complete picture, like a painting in which the brush stokes are hidden. Chanel No. 5 is what I would call a classical perfume. It doesn't really smell like jasmine and roses and ylang-ylang; it smells like Chanel No. 5; itself, a complete thing. Some perfumes may be chronologically modern, but still of this "classical" style, like Roja Dove's Diaghilev or The Party in Manhattan.
But a modernist perfume lays out it's notes like visible brush stokes or like a play, in which the characters enter the stage sequentially. A modernist perfume introduces us to a series of recognizable notes whose individual personalities can be appreciated even as they work together to create the whole story.
In Jardin du Poete, the opening notes of bitter orange and grapefruit are refreshing, clear and bright, like a stained glass window in shades of orange, yellow and pink. Then I smell the basil, green and peppery and a little grassy. If summer freshness could have a smell, it would be basil.
Next I smell the angelica and musk, an herbal and comforting combination that seems to float above my skin. It's a sort of masculine vibe, that reminds me of Angeliques sous la pluie. but when I sniff closer to the skin the green grass is still there. Cypress and vetiver complete the poet's garden with dark green trees and earthiness.
Wearing Jarden du Poete is like sitting in a summer garden, eating fresh citrus and sipping Pimm's. It's more English countryside than Italy to me, but it's a beautiful and refreshing summer getaway in a bottle.
House: Eau d'Italie
Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
Notes: Top: bitter orange, grapefruit, basil Middle: angelica, helicrysum (immortelle), pink pepper Base: cypress, vetiver, musk
Photo of the Palatine Hill, Rome: mine.