It’s been over 3 months since I last posted my Quick Sniffs! That’s scary and shall be remedied now.
Following Bucoliques de Provence and Un Air de Bretagne, L’Artisan Parfumeur is expanding their Les Paysages collection with two new positions. And both made it to this part of the series. Starting with Mandarina Corsica, it begins with a beautiful mandarin note. It’s sweet and juicy in mouth-watering way, sunny & warm too. If only it remained like this… Really shortly it becomes very gourmand, smelling like caramel, burning sugar and citrus hard candy. Mandarin just drowns in this concoction. I don’t know how sensitive to gourmands you are but to me this perfume is dangerously close to a sickly sweet border. Blame it on maltol. Perfume darkens a bit revealing a patchouli-chocolate like facet. Immortelle joins the composition by adding some subdued spiciness but in my perception it also has that artificial vibe of a melting plastic. You know how much I hate that feeling… Finally we have some tonka bean. It improves my overall impression of Mandarina Corsica because it adds some milky, slightly woody facet (a woody pudding if you please) but in general I’d rather stay away from this perfume. Hope Quentin Bisch can forgive me for not liking it.
Widian (which was formerly known as AJ Arabia, by the way) originally launched Black IV in 2015 but since the fragrance became available in Poland only few months ago I sort of consider it as a recent release. This composition opens with easily noticeable blackcurrant note which is quite prominent as soon as you spray it on your skin. It’s a marriage of lightly sweet fruity elements with a lovely tartness that is blackcurrant’s ‘fingerprint’. Bergamot adds a certain tang to the scent and enhances sour, slightly acidic flavor of the fruit. Heart of Black IV places rose in a central part of the scent. It’s a big, red rose & a very fragrant one. It leans slightly more feminine because it’s presented in a sensual entourage of draped velvet. It is also surrounded by a bouquet of white flowers. No specific floral accord comes to mind – it’s more like a general impression rather than a specific aroma. Sensuality of this scent fully develops in the drydown, revealing a soft, plushy vanilla note (with a white chocolate undertone) followed by a creamy, mellow scent of sandalwood that feels very soft and cuddly. A lot of musk is braided together with vanilla and santal, plus there’s a bit of leather (more like suede to me) that plays on a more oriental tone. Widian Black IV is nice as my general comment, more suitable for women in my opinion. But at this price point you can have 2 other great scents.
Second fragrance that joins Les Paysages line of L’Artisan Parfumeur is Mont de Narcisse. This fragrance opens with a dash of black pepper that is sharp and metallic like a cutting edge of a knife. Spicy and warm facets overwhelm at first encounter but dissipate after a bit. A hint of cardamom adds some sort of a green tinge to the beginning phase. Not even 15 minutes later and the composition becomes leathery. It’s a heavy and dense, slightly acrid smell lined with a birch wood facet that has a specific smell. These 2 combined give me an impression of an asphalt. If someone didn’t tell me there’s narcissus in this perfume I wouldn’t have guessed! You can barely smell a yellow floral aspect, a combination of plant juice with somewhat milky, powdery tones. I think that it’s thanks to osmanthus that it became more noticeable underneath a leather layer. The latter one doesn’t give up until the very end but it becomes sweeter with vanilla and hay-like effect develops then. Aromatic properties of lavender appear much later and don’t play significant role. Smoked plum finishes off Mont de Narcisse with a dark fruitiness. This is a complex and intriguing creation by Anne Filipo, but it is not a narcissus fragrance by all means.