When perfume people rave about how unusual a fragrance is, I become leery. I find that even if they mean well, many perfume enthusiasts confused weirdness with complexity and they confuse complexity with quality which means that all unusual perfumes must be masterpieces. But, the deal is that sometimes unusual is just unusual. And sometimes unusual is the result of a “broken” or poorly composed fragrance. I should probably save this discussion for another day but what I’m trying to say is that unusual doesn’t always mean interesting or eloquent. Editions des Parfums by Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras is the paragon of the unusual fragrance that really is a masterpiece, something that is very well-done – artistic and technical.
Dans Tes Bras opens with violet pastilles and candy-covered anise over a vanilla-heliotrope cloud of humidity. Wait. What is this? This isn’t another girly-girl floral. There is a metallic vibe in this candied violet-jasmine-heliotrope. When I say metallic, I’m actually picking up something more human than not – a mix of salt, blood and mushrooms. At this stage, I won’t try to analyze the mix of innocent violet, salty skin and blood. I’ll spare you. Dans Tes Bras is weird and could be categorized as “delightfully gross” by some and “gross” by others. On my skin, it’s very mushroom-y and like dirt, or perhaps, blood. But, it’s also an incredibly sweet and powdery “purple floral”. Now the dry down is this blend of synthetic musks that somehow manage to have a human element. The incense is acrid, sweaty but not overexerted – it reminds me of underboob sweat. The musks are more cosmetic or functional but they add a cleanness and warmth, like a scented body lotion that lingers on warm skin twelve hours after it’s applied, something you’d only smell while hugging someone. It smells like the skin of a hygienic woman before she takes her next bath.
Roucel went on a mission to create a fragrance that reminds one of warm skin. And he succeeded. But one of the things that I realized that so much of what we perceive as “warm skin” doesn’t really exist without functional fragrances – laundry detergent, lotion, soap. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Roucel nailed it.
Notes listed include bergamot, violet, clove, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, salicylates, incense, cashmerean musk, heliotrope, and white musk. Launched 2008. PERFUMER – Maurice Roucel
Nothing else is like Dans Tes Bras. I’d recommend it to those that want an “earthy violet” or frankly, a weird violet. It’s also one to try if you like the idea of a perfume smelling like women’s skin.
Projection is below average. It’s meant to wear closely to the skin. Longevity is average.
The 3.4 oz of Dans Tes Bras retails for $250 at Barneys.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A really cute nosebleed. I know that sounds gross, but that’s what it is like on my skin – mineral violet-heliotrope. It’s the kawaii-est bloody nose ever. And because of this, I both love and hate wearing Dans Tes Bras. But, I can’t deny that I find it a masterpiece. It’s a masterpiece. And there’s nothing else like it.
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