Magic has been deeply rooted in my life ever since I was young. As a little boy I loved listening to fairy tales that my parents read to me & I enjoyed watching cartoons or children movies about wizards, witches and their adventures. For a long time I even believed that magic truly exists (sometimes I still do!) and I wanted to be able to use it too. Of course with age I had to rectify that witchcraft is not only used for good but also for bad causes. I have a sentiment for Harry Potter books and fantasy-magic genre still remains my favorite choice for a good read.
Some time ago I learned that Anatole Lebreton has been working on a new fragrance. In social media he revealed that its name and inspiration are tied closely with a magical world. Imagine an old book with damaged leather cover and aged, yellow pages that are all shabby and falling apart. A book that contains ancient spells. Such book is called Grimoire and so is the perfume. A very first waft brings to my nose an intense smell of aromatic lavender. It has a rich, medicated smell that has some pungency to it. The style of it makes me think of some old apothecary where pharmacists in white aprons would actually take different herbs, combine them and grind them in mortar in order to create a curing remedy. It’s quite enchanting because of its richness and complexity.
Lavender is a multifaceted note of Anatole Lebreton Grimoire. In the opening it’s more herbal, medicinal but after some time it unveils the smell of green, aromatic stems as well as some floral tones of tiny purple flowers themselves. Green vibe gains additional dimension thanks to addition of basil leaves and lime that makes it smell more juicy with a sparkling effect. Later comes a downfall into a dark pit of olibanum. Its resinous, balsamic properties come out immediately. This particular note expands the aura of mystery – it has depth and specific darkness but it doesn’t frighten. Paired with elemi it emanates a warm fragrance that is surprisingly cosy & comforting.
Incense aroma created with combined olibanum and elemi is quite like a visit to a church. It has undeniable spirituality that goes in an unexpected direction. In general I find a lot of churchy insense compositions to be quite cold. Grimoire is different. Its encens part is warm in a way smoked wooden boards would smell. It’s pleasant and relaxing and I want to compare it to cracking logs in the fireplace (maybe with few lumps of olibanum thrown it too) at some mountain chalet. This warmth continues for a couple of hours and it gradually develops some spiciness.
Spiciness of this perfume is very mild, tactful – with a specific elegance to it. Anatole mentions cumin but please, fret not! In my opinion it doesn’t smell like cumin at all. It’s more like a black pepper, nutmeg (with its paper-like effect) and cardamom blend. The only way cumin would participate in this stage is by providing this sensual, carnal atmosphere to Grimoire. Few hours later a drydown begins to step in. It has some roughness coming from the uneven surface of cedar wood and some gorgeous chypre quality given to it by oakmoss. Last but not least there are some dirtier musks that give it an aphrodisiac like smell that could be associated with warm body.
In my opinion it wouldn’t be an excessive talking if I said that Grimoire from Anatole Lebreton is a fantastic perfume. If someone made me to list of top 5 fragrances that I smelled at Esxence 2017, it would be one of them. With its level of complexity and wonderful development I can feel that this perfume is really worthy a name of a spellbook tome. It has great sillage and lasts all day easily. This magic in a bottle comes in eau de parfum concentration. Purchase options include a 50 ml bottle or a 10 ml travel spray that is a part of 3 x 10 ml travel set (you get to choose your fragrances, multiples of the same scent are also possible). There’s also a sample set at Anatole Lebreton website.
[note] photo – my own; all rights reserved