Aftelier Haute Claire is the newest fragrance in the Aftelier line. To read more about the inspiration and process of Haute Claire, check out Nathan Branch’s blog to view the letters between perfumers, Mandy Aftel and Liz Zorn. A few of us fumeheads and perfume bloggers have said that we want a “creamy green” perfume. We like green but are sometimes turned off by its “coldness”. Well, here’s a “creamy green” perfume that surpasses anything my little non-perfumer brain could ever imagine.
Galbanum – this is a note that I find very, very strange. The more “natural” it is, the weirder it is. Back in the day, I hated this note. It smelled like rotting greens to me or mold. It’s so “concentrated” green that it actually hurt my nose. Let’s be real, galbanum isn’t a newbie note. With time, galbanum has really grown on me. I’m not a mega fan of this note, but I have learned to tolerate it and sometimes I actually like it 🙂
So… Haute Claire opens up with tons of sharp galbanum and tangy lime. It’s cool and refreshing. And yes, GREEN! It’s a fresh green, but I admit, it verges on rotting, reminding me of rotting citrus. There’s even a “minty” edge. And…this is why I like it. It’s so overly ripe and green. This top is like being in a hot, humid tropical fruit market. The ylang-ylang adds a richness, like a “jasmine custard” to the green leaves and citrus. This top is perfectly balanced. And it does create an atmosphere and a mood. I really do feel like I’m strolling down the aisles of a hot, humid open air fruit market in this exotic, tropical location that is far, far away from Seattle.
Seamlessly, we go the heart of Haute Claire. I don’t remember when the galbanum, citrus, and ylang ylang went away, I guess when I walked out of the hustle and the bustle of the market. I’m then left with this floral honeysuckle. This isn’t Annick Goutal Chevrefeuille. It’s not that floral. This is more like honeysuckle growing on the vine, covering shrubs (thank you, clary sage). I feel like I’m walking down the side of a dirt road that is lined with honeysuckle, a breeze surrounds me with the aroma of sweet florals, honey, and sun warmed greens.
The base is very creamy with honey and a steamy vanilla. Of course, my skin amplifies the honey. I get some sweet grass, slightly animalic honey, and a rich vanilla. This sounds like it would be sticky and overwhelming, but it isn’t. It’s sheer and wears closely to my skin, reminding me of skin warmed in the sunshine. Sweet with a slight, salty, animalic “skin” quality. And let me add that the honey-vanilla wears beautifully on me. It never turns “sour” or like urine… good, huh?
Notes listed include galbanum, Mexican lime, wild sweet orange, ylang ylang co2, honeysuckle absolute, ylang ylang extra, clary sage, vetiver, ethyl phenyl acetate, and vanilla absolute.
Give Haute Claire a try if you want a “creamy green” or if you happen to like fragrances like By Kilian Love, DSH Perfumes Celadon, Annick Goutal Eau de Camille, but really none of these are very much like Haute Claire. Haute Claire has a really good lasting power and “medium” sillage. The base wears closely to the skin. I love this “creamy green”.
A 30 ml spray of the Haute Claire EDP retails for $150 and is available at Aftelier’s on-line boutique.
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Scent Less Sensibilities (As always, another great review by Tarleisio)