It happened in the middle of the night. He was walking down an empty street, with his sight on his feet. Then in the empty silence he noticed the sound of heels clicking on the pavement, someone was coming from afar. At some point their ways crossed. His curious eyes were observing the silhouette. It was a woman. It was too dark for him to see all the details but he just knew it was a woman of immense beauty. He might not know her name, or her face but he’ll never forget the fragrance trail she left behind. She could’ve been a queen of the night.
American niche perfumery Aedes de Venustas has recently introduced a 6th creation in their much-loved collection. Any time I would go to Milan for Esxence I would make a list of fragrances that I definitely must try during my visit. Cierge de Lune was one of my top priorities this year – I managed to try it on the first day of the show and I instantly fell in love with it. The perfume inspired by Selenicereus grandiflorus, a night-blooming cereus – a flower that would only reveal its true beauty in the darkness of the night and wilt at the sunrise, so that only chosen once could admire its rarity. This was bound to smell magical, mesmerizing and unique – just like the story it tells. The way this perfume evolves on the skin is brilliant, and the feeling it gives to the wearer is regal. Personally I’d say this is one of the best 2016 launches by far.
Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune opens with an abstract crystalline accord. I don’t know exactly what creators meant by “crystalline” and how this could smell like but to me the opening provides a smell of impeccable clarity. Of something that is really light and transparent – like a prism. But this transparency and feeling of lightweight are only a premonition of something darker and much more complex that will follow just a few minutes later.
This perfume is meant to unveil a dark side of vanilla. And what it says is what it does. 5 of maybe even less minutes after applying Cierge de Lune on my wrist the composition starts to bloom beautifully. With every breath I inhale a waft of aromatic vanilla. My initial impression is that it bears some elements of rum because at first it smells a bit alcoholic to me and I could detect a smell similar to molasses used in rum production. This never too sweet vanilla evolves really quick.
After a while a new perfume from Aedes becomes a uber sensual being. Vanilla starts to veer towards more musky direction. It becomes incredibly warm and even though it’s not officially mentioned anywhere, I seem to detect a slight hint of cinnamon. Sensual charm cast by vanilla is becoming more and more appealing as its style becomes darker. It’s like we’re making a move from a milky color of vanilla flowers to a black color of vanilla pod. It’s the same vanilla but from different point of view. Instead of pudding like sweetness you can experience more balsamic side.
The darkness of vanilla accord in Cierge de Lune has been highlighted with the use of suede. There is some characteristic fuzziness to this suede tone but more importantly it introduces the leathery feel to the composition. It’s milder than if just a normal leather accord was used as suede is gradually melting together with the entire blend. It’s the next level of sensuality when you smell new Aedes de Venustas after 1-2 hours. Perfumer and creators also decided to use a generous dose of ambroxan to add that sensual, balmy feel to the perfume. It kind of wraps it all together and ensures integrity of the blend. At some point you can also spot piquancy of black and pink pepper.
As the time goes by, Cierge de Lune would become more floral with a creamy ylang-ylang accord that perfectly fits in the vanillic background of this perfume. And there is also a smoky aspect behind the vanilla when incense accord joins the composition. It has appeared in a very tactful way, not distracting my attention from vanilla which is obviously a main star of this fragrance. After a couple of hours when the scent has progressed all the way to base notes I could smell a lovely, powdery drydown. It smelled like a very refined and expensive cosmetic, face powder or a blush I would say.
Cierge de Lune by Aedes de Venustas is a charm of a beautiful perfume. Among many perfumes centered around vanilla, this one definitely deserves to be somewhere at the top, as something worth knowing. I definitely enjoy every time I wear this perfume. It feels special to me. Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin did an amazing job together with Aedes founders. A second name that I gave to this perfume is “quiet seducer” because it’s sillage intensity is not enormous, it’s more quet and intimate – still the perfume posesses the power to allure. And I’m not going to oppose its charm.