While at the Palais Royale I tested De profundis on my left wrist, La Vierge de Fer on my right wrist and Sarrasins on my inner elbow. Why I did not sample a fourth on my other inner elbow escapes me.
I left the boutique to let the scents evolve as instructed. It was apparent that Sarrasins was not meant to be. I sat and had lunch trying to sniff each wrist inconspicuously while occasionally sniffing the inner elbow that contained the horribly fecal Sarrasins.
De profundis and La Vierge were both beautiful. But la Vierge ultimately lost out because on me there was a very prominent cold metallic note while De profundis was smooth, airy, yet also deep. I can't say I smell chrysanthemum...I'm not sure if I have ever taken the time to smell mums in the fall. But I do smell something slightly sweet..violet perhaps..blended very well with something earthy, something with a bit of spice and just a hint of an incense undertone. To me it is breathtakingly beautiful and very calming.
Dabbing from the bell jar and spraying from the atomizer I decanted into bring the notes out in very different ways. Dabbing keeps it more of a skin scent while spraying amps up the floral and spice.
De Profundis is an ode to chrysanthemum in all its beauty. The genius of the composition avoids the pitfalls of funeral impression, on the contrary these cemetary flowers are rendered just for what they are: contemplative and melancholic.
A lot of the reviews I've read for De Profundis have said it smells of chrysanthemums and carnation, which are two floral smells that I actually love, but I get nothing like mums or carnation from this. It has none of the herbal or spicy tones of those flowers. I don't even get notes of violet or dirt/earth from this scent. It's all sharp, perfumey, bland white floral smell on me, sort of breezy and reminiscent of spring floral scented air freshener. It smells rather soapy on me, especially as it dries down.
I keep trying Serge Lutens' fragrances, but I don't have a good track record with them. They always sound more interesting than they actually are on my skin. The only two I've really liked have been Un Lys and Jeux de Peau. De Profundis is soapy, sharp, floral blossoms on me, all artificial and unpleasant.
De Profundis is a very quiet, subtle chrysanthemum cologne. So it gets lippies for being unique and interesting. And of course, a lippie for being purple. But that's about it. It only lasted about 15 minutes on my skin, about 2 hours on a testing strip. It has a cool, reflective quality that I like, but not enough oomph. It seems more like a sketch than a painting.
I really wanted to love this and bought a 1.5ml decant from TPC, had my hopes up with the splendid violet chrysanthemum opening (truly unique) followed by incendiary dry wood frankincense theme perhaps there is an element of "dust" as well. All very intriguing , and for the first hour contemplated a purchase and it is marvellous on the wrists but on me that is pretty much wear it stays. A skin scent therefore, but I wanted so much more than that from such a promising perfume. When it comes to a dry incense perfume afraid it idoes not have the heft that I need and which I get in abundance from my little decant of SL Encens et Lavande. Now that I have been able to compare them, I can confidently give my friend the money to purchase the latter when she walks into the Palais Shiseido store, sometime in June 2012. Last trip to Paris was 6 1/2 years ago and I knew next to nothing about perfume. Sigh!
Notes: chrysanthemum flower, violets, green and earthy notes.
This fragrance opens with a green, yet slightly spicy flower accord. It is fresh, almost wet, but oddly enough also warm and dry at the same time. I do not detect any sweetness in this scent, nor any flower in particular. It is an abstract bouquet that evokes Springtime, tender green leaves, tiny flower buds. A white woodsy note - like a sliver of driftwood - is the base for the sheer floral accord. Diaphanous and ephemeral are the best adjectives to describe this latest exclusive Lutens, but elegant and otherworldly graceful come to my mind as well. To me this is Bel Resprio's grandmother who wears gauzy-white silk gowns with lace applique and fondly talks about her presentation at the Royal Court and the many summers spent at Torquay. Lasts six hours on my skin.
Decanted into sprayer and spritzed... (First spritz was a tiny one on arm and it was a quiet floral with bits of fruit punch. Second time I spritzed it right on my shirt and it gets real loud! Following is what I experienced during my 2nd spritz.)
Burial followed by party on the family burial ground, which is a valley with burial sites marked by trees. The person who died was rich, crazily popular, wanted people to celebrate, have a good time and please absolutely no crying. Weather is fine - wind gently blowing, sunny with a tad of cloud, a coolish late-summer-almost-autumn afternoon. Burial is done and now everyone moves across to an enclosed area in the valley, one that is heavily decorated with walls of flowers, flower walls that are a metre deep like a medieval castle. Innumerable types of flowers are used to construct the walls but there seems to be some chrysanthemums and carnations. Fruit punch is served, no alcohol. Wafts of chrysanthemums drift over to your nose, reminds you of the muted sweet notes of a strongly brewed but unsweetened chrysanthemum tea. You rub your tongue against the top of your mouth wondering if the smell of chrysanthemums might have came from the fruit punch you drunk. Everybody is dancing to the fun swift music personally picked by the dead. You are having a great time. It's no doubt that this is going to be THE party to remember for years and years if not decades. As you dance and dance it gets more and more crowded... so crowded that you are pushed right against the flower walls several times, but strangely despite the large number of guests this floral enclosure does not get heated up. Some of the people brushed against you but somehow their bodies give out no heat, you suddently start to wonder why there are so many more guests than there were at the burial. Are they hmmmm....???
The color of this fragrance is absolutely breathtaking in the bell jar. I don't normally comment or care what the juice looks like but this is a really unusual color. Almost a luminiscent pale purple, just gorgeous. The fragrance itself is a wonderful surprise. I bought unsniffed, and with a bit of trepidation as I've never had a chrysanthemum fragrance before. On me, this is not dark, dank or graveyard-ish. The opening is like a huge pot of fresh chrysanths. About 2 hours in, I start to pick up spicy, earthy notes along with the floral. In the end, it's lovely understated, warm floral - almost a skin scent on me. Love it.