Monday, August 24, 2009

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs & Wazamba

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the nose for Parfum d’Empire, oftentimes lives in the shadow of Serge Lutens. The two share a passion for Morocco and the scents associated with this land. Corticchiato has created several fragrances in the footsteps of Lutens. Detractors suggest PdE’s fragrances are similar yet less inspired renditions of a few Luten’s creations, namely PdE’s Ambre Russe to SL’s Ambre Sultan, PdE’s Cuir Ottoman to SL’s Cuir Mauresque and this year’s newly launched PdE’s Wazamba to SL’s Fille en Aiguilles.

Personally I’ve found Corticchiato’s fragrances equally masterful as Lutens. Ambre Russe is my favorite amber focused fragrance of all time. Cuir Ottoman is one of the most wearable leathers I’ve ever owned. And Wazamba is perhaps my favorite new release so far this year (note: I have not tried the Fille en Aiguilles yet).

Parfum d’Empire 3 Fleurs
Of the two new fragrances from PdE, 3 Fleurs was the one I was most excited about. Oddly, upon receiving them both, I like 3 Fleurs but I love Wazamba. As the marketing material suggests 3 Fleurs is a scent built upon the 3 most emblematic florals in perfumery: rose, jasmine and tuberose. Early reports suggested tuberose to be the most prominent note and I was happy to hear that being a big fan of tuberose. After wearing 3 Fleurs, I find it to be an equal blending of all three flowers rather than one being magnified more than the others.

The fragrance is a voluptuous, heady floral, not so much a white floral but more or less a “pink” flower with rose being added to the equation. The tuberose adds the sensuous, exotic element, jasmine lends a light green floral note and rose invigorates the blend with an herbal freshness. As suggested by Grain de Musc, 3 Fleurs pays tribute to Jean Patou’s Joy (another jasmine rose pairing) but includes an additional floral layer with tuberose in it’s base. A clunky description of 3 Fleurs might be Joy plus tuberose minus civet.

3 Fleurs is delightful. It is a straight up floral lover’s dream. It’s a full lipped, heavy bosomed, ripe and erotic beauty.

Notes: Bulgarian rose, Egyptian jasmine, Indian tuberose, galbanum, mint, white musk

Wazamba (love this name)
Wazamba is named for a musical instrument from Western Africa used mainly during initiation ceremonies. Wazamba, the fragrance, is meant to symbolizes one’s inner journey, a sort of purification ritual, like burning incense to purify oneself and one’s surroundings.

The word that stikes me the most from PdE’s marketing for Wazamba is sacred. Wazamba smells like sacred incense. It smells fresh, clean and pure. Wazamba is most similar to the scents from Comme des Garcons; Avignon, Jaisalmer, Kyoto Ouarzazate and Zagorsk. For me, these sorts of incense fragrances are not wearable for the office but this does not mean I don’t enjoy the scents. I absolutely love Wazamba and find it incredibly wearable in a private setting. Since Wazamba is meant to evoke sacred space, ceremonies and inner journeys, wearing it in these settings makes perfect sense to me. I would love to wear Wazamba while doing yoga, meditating, reading a book and relaxing at home.

I find Wazamba more wearable than the CdG incense series scents. Wazamba is fresh, resinous yet soft and enveloping. It does not take center stage but instead provides a back drop for peaceful activities. Sillage and longevity are both excellent as they are for all PdE fragrances.

Notes: Somalian incense, Kenyan myrrh, Ethiopian opoponax, Indian sandalwood, Moroccan cypress, labdanum, apple, fir balsam


Unknown said...

A more wearable Ouarzazate? Sign me up! You just bumped Wazamba up my to-try list. ;)

Aparatchick said...

Another Ambre Russe lover here!

Wazamba has been on my must-sample list, and after the many raves it's received I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the info about it's name; I'd been wondering.

Tara C said...

I initially found PdE to be derivative and uninteresting, but after further sampling, have completely changed my mind and agree they are just as inspired and compelling as SL. I love the same ones you do: Ambre Russe, Cuir Ottoman, and Wazamba, and would also add Aziyade to that list. 3 Fleurs unfortunately was loud tuberose on me which turned me off, but I'm not really a big floral person anyway.

elizabeth said...

after elisa's latest on the scent column, and a wazamba write-up at olfactoria's travels, i went searching for more takes on wazamba, and yours (coupled with brian's mention that wazamba needs to speak from a full bottle to really wazamba (even typing the name is fun)) has me adding a full bottle to my cart scent unsniffed. i love this site, hard on my wallet as it has proven to be.