I can only speak for the extrait version as that is the only version i have tried. It is an intense softer version of Etro's Heliotrope and yes, i agree with Paschat i smell the Rahat Lakhoum type scent in this (as i did with Etro's heliotrope).
The dry down is lovely and it is a subtle version of Teint de Neige (which i find too powdery). If you like softer heliotrope scents like L'Artisan's Jour de Fete or Etro's Heliotrope then the extrait of Farnesiana is worth trying. Now i have to track down the EDP version to compare.....
I recently found a vintage bottle of Farnesiana because in the face of Caron reformulations I wanted to know what the original was like. If Farnesiana is less gourmand and sweet than it was three years ago the latest reformulation is just an insipid floral. The original Farnesiana is a timeless luxurious yet airy perfume composed around almond and mimosa. The new versions are a far cry from the real thing!
The Apres L'Ondee of the Almond World.
I should never wear this on a workday. The smell is making me want to go out and buy a bakewell tart and then spoon out all the frangipane and jam, leaving the crust behind (allowing me to eat twice as much of the good bits). I am not getting any work done and I may soon start nibbling on my wrists. Mmmm, almondy.
Several MUAers have already written such lovely reviews of Farnesiana, but I would like to add my two cents. This is a warm, golden embrace of a perfume. To me, the cassie flower has a somewhat dusty aroma - in the best way possible! What is it about the aroma of sweet almonds that's so nostalgic and comforting? Perhaps it's the memories of pastries and marzipan? For me, the cassie saves Farnesiana from being just another gourmand comfort scent (a genre that I like to smell, but that I don't find interesting for very long). I see Farnesiana as more floral than gourmand, as the floral aspect lasts well into the drydown on me.
A cashmere blanket on a cold rainy day or my mothers warm hand on my brow when I'm sick, that's it. This one is a come closer scent for me. It wears pretty closely to my skin, I am speaking of the pure parfum. On the Caron website the adjectives used to describe this are "reassuring, sweet, maternal". The overall fragrance description from Caron is "gustative, round, sugary, soliflore powdery" . The only thing I have to disagree with is the floral part. In the beginning, the mimosa is blasting for me and I dislike mimosa intensely. This only lasts for a few minutes though and once I get through that, it is just my idea of the perfect parfum. I have had a bit of parfum for years and gone back and forth on it but in the last couple of years I have really fallen deeply in love with this. I do agree with the Jour de Fete comparisons but this is miles better. Jour De Fete is thin in comaprison to this. This is rich, almondy, powdery, soft. The mimosa is really not there for me. Maybe the powderiness is it's representation in the drydown but full on mimosa would have spoiled this for me. If I had to give a quickie description of this I would say it is a gentle, almond powdery skin scent. Carons as a whole are not easy to love, especially from first sniff. Even this one has a strange, medicial blast initially .I had dismissed this entire line 6 years ago when I was testing many of them out. It has taken me years to appreciate the beauty and uniquness of this line and out of all of my many fragances I would have to say that Caron parfums garner the most attention and compliments. There is simply nothing else like them out there at this time. They manitain traditional the elegance of a legendary parfum house with the wearability of truly well crafted scents but I'll admit, they really do take some work to love. However, once you find one to love, there is nothnig else like it out there. This is the scent of a secure woman who isn't out to prove anything to anyone, a woman who values discretion and projects a quiet elegance.
Reminds me very much of L'Heure Bleue with Almonds. Warm, soft, slightly powdery, slightly almondy, it's delicious. If L'Heure doesn't work on you this most certainly will not. It feels it's age, but with grace and style. Lovely. Notes listed are: Cassie Flower, Mimosa, Iris and Lavender. Somewhere else listed also Opoponax, Sandalwood and Musk, but who knows? I'd definitely say there's Opoponax in there.)
There is no need for another Farnesiana review really - however, when finding MY very perfume after 43 years of looking (I started in the cradle...) I just have to comment it.
No reliable source lists almond among the notes - but almost everybody can detect it, and it's strong on me too. However, it's not the sugary, over-gourmandy almond, but a very smooth, comforting one. The mimosa is almost too much on the beginning, but it blends in immediately, just before I can finish the idea of being it too much. And there is clean leather in the background, and a bit of wood. Peculiar, creamy and comforting - what a combination.
I have got the extrait, directly from the Caron house in Paris, which is, of course, very concentrated and almost resinous. It feels almost like a perfume oil. I can't get enough !
First of all, I wanted to try Farnesiana because it is an almond based scent. Next it is a Caron. This house has some very complex high quality scents. I find they are fun to smell again and again but they are not simple and not always so easy to wear. But I liked the description of Farnesiana provided by Caron, it sounded like the perfect comfort scent and I though maybe a very easy to wear choice. One of the prominent floral notes in this fragrance is heliptrope. I became interested in this flower after I heard its scent resembles cherry pie... How fun! I also read that it can smell more almond like, and that is what I find here. This scent is very almondy to me. It oscillates between bitter/green, dry/roasted and powdery/sweet facets, so complete is the almond impression for me that it encompasses the flowers, the tree, the nut, the candied versions and even the bitter almondy scent of crushed apple or apricot seeds. I can't decide if it is approachable and comforting or not. I have a 100 ml bottle; it is the EDP spray... it is strong, and it lasts a lot, too, so I would not plan on repurchasing. Too many other great ones out there that I have not tried, and of the ones I have, for Caron, I would go for Or Et Noir or En Avion in a second (if I could) before I would ever think about this one again.
Whew!! Thank God this goes to drydown pretty quick cause the initial blast smells like a kindergarten classroom,,,all playdoh and baby powdered bums. After a good 20 minutes it settles into a soft and sexy scent.that stays close to the skin. Very lovely.