Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Just a couple of days before Christmas Eve all I can really think about is organization and preparing all the dishes for the Holiday. For the festive dinner. At moments like that I more often crave for something sweet and delicious and at the same time something that makes a Christmas spirit rise. A cinnamon-chilli chocolate does the trick but gingerbread cookies are much better indulgence for me. And here’s when Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique enters the kitchen battlefield.

This perfume is a part of Private Collection and fragrances in this line are accessible only through Parfumerie Generale website (after logging in) or in a limited distribution at a couple of retailers. I stumbled upon Un Crime Exotique just a couple of weeks ago and my immediate association was that is smells like “Christmas in a bottle.” The opening phase of this perfume brings a prominent accord of cinnamon. It has warm and spicy qualities, also being a little bit dry and pungent because of that but the “pungent” part disappears instantly, leaving a pure spiciness of cinnamon.

10 minutes later the fragrance starts to change. The fragrance that was at first a little bit dry becomes softer, its edges turn blurry and the whole creation gains some moisture. From now on Un Crime Exotique smells like genuine gingerbread cookies. You can smell the dough, the aroma of cloves, cinnamon and other winter spices combined with the aroma of what I believe is candied orange and orange peel. As you breathe the fragrant molecules in you might notice the warmth of the blend and get a feeling like you were sitting in a kitchen, by the oven, waiting for the gingerbread to bake. Gingerbread is my favorite sweet for Christmas.

Moisture that I mentioned just a few lines earlier (and when I say moisture here I mean soft cookies that can be easily torn in smaller pieces) intensifies 30 minutes after spraying this Parfumerie Generale fragrance on. All the aromas of cinnamon, cloves and orange are still keeping close but now some additional tones begin to play their melodies. First of all I get some milkiness combined with rich aroma of tea. Quick look into the notes suggests a Masala Chai accord. Masala Chai is an Indian hot beverage prepared with black tea, milk, sugar (or honey) and spices like clove, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. I have never drank it but I believe it’s well recreated in the perfume.

Knowing a little bit more about Masala Chai I could notice some interesting facets like burning sugar (slightly like caramel but bit smokier) or pepper. I also got a hint of cocoa I suppose. This phase of Un Crime Exotique lasted on me for a little bit more than two hours and I would compare it now to a mulled wine. It has that exquisite aroma, slightly dry and fruity (like wine), combined with the spicy elements. And isn’t the mulled wine another part of Christmas celebration?

After a couple more hours Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique becomes even more playful composition. Vanilla accords softens the blend and make it even more fluffy now (makes me want some whipped cream) while star anise seeds bring another wave of spiciness, here it’s done in a very gentle way, the sweet element being a dominant one. Osmanthus blossom along with a note of tea create a spacious veil around the wearer, filled with sweetness, spiciness and now also with a floral note (with apricot undertone). The perfume base is created with sandalwood that is creamy and dusty, powdery. Eggnog?

Un Crime Exotique by Perfumerie Generale is a great way to awake a Christmas charm around you. It was composed by Pierre Guillaume. On my skin the perfume lasted for 6-8 hours and stayed rather close to the skin which in my opinion is a good thing. Keep it all for you! Unfortunately this perfume is now discontinued, if you want it – be quick. First in Fragrance still has some in stock. This fragrance gives me such an intensive association with Christmas that I would find it impossible to wear it the other time of the year. So I wish PG would launch Un Bois Exotique as a limited edition in 5ml sprays every winter. It would be enough to last for Christmas time.

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20 thoughts on “Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

  1. Bee says:

    Great review – sounds like a fragrance perfect for getting into the Christmas mood – which, let’s face it, gets harder as you get older! And as you say some scents are so mood/event specific you might ‘smell crazy’ if you wore it any other time. I would love a Collection of small Christmas scents but for me it would have to include Aroma Allegoria Exalting (sadly discontinued) for Midnight Mass and something with chocolate and orange for Boxing day – maybe something with champagne and gunpowder for New Year. Any suggestions?

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you Bee!
      I agree that it gets harder to jump into the Christmas mood, and it’s more difficult in the mass market world. And when it’s no snow it’s harder too.
      Un Crime Exotique is one of these perfumes that fit for Christmas but don’t fit for lets say autumn or February.

  2. Ahhh… I was all excited because you said it’s like Christmas in a bottle…then only to learn that it’s discontinued 😦 Enjoy your new find!

    • lucasai says:

      Houdie, as I said, First in Fragrance still has some in stock. But only 100ml bottles were produced. Few days ago even Lucky Scent had some but there was a boom at Facebook Fragrance Friends for it. Maybe try searching there for a decant.
      I only have a tinee tiny sample. Just for one more wear.

  3. poodle says:

    Why do they always discontinue the scents we seem to like the most? I love the smell of gingerbread too. I’ve made enough blind buys lately so I’m going to ignore the part where you said someone still has a few in stock.

    • lucasai says:

      I consider that naughty to do such things to us. If they had to discontinue it, they should really bring those 5ml limited editions for every Christmas. Such an Xmasy perfume.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Wowee, a new lemming but alas…discontinued! I’m would Poodle on the counter-intuitive actions by perfume companies.

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, unfortunately. A friend had a bottle of it at an afterparty meeting after the magical perfume workshop, that’s when I discovered this scent, she made me a tiny sample.

  5. Mary K says:

    Should have tried this when I could. It sounds really nice. Don’t know how I missed it!

  6. Undina says:

    This is one of the perfumes on which we disagree: UCE doesn’t work for me. It’s too spicy, I smell too much clove or something else – but still too much. But I’d love holiday editions of almost any perfume in a 5 ml spray 🙂

  7. This was among the very first batch of niche samples I ordered from Luckyscent I don’t know how many years ago. The review made me want to dig the remains out of my archive and try it again.
    First time round I liked it and, my husband prefered it to the other samples but I ultimately felt it was a bit too foody to want to wear. Going to give it another go.
    Guess if I decide it’s a keeper, I had better hurry 😀

    • lucasai says:

      Hi there!
      That must’ve been some serious amount of time since the day you ordered a sample of it! I bet I wasn’t even interested in perfumery yet back then 😉

      Glad my review made you want to give it another try after the years.

  8. Anne says:

    My first thought upon smelling UCE: ‘Christmas in a bottle’. 🙂
    It isn’t true that only 100ml bottles were produced. I saw some on First in Fragrance but was too slow to buy one of them and ended up with a big flanker (and I don’t regret it at all).
    I love it and I smell it as often as I can. Too bad it’s discontinued. But I did some math and found out that if I used up 5ml per year, my bottle would last for 18 years. A reassuring thought. Not.

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