What is it that creates comfort? When we are young it is our favorite blanket or stuffed animal. As we mature the things that comfort us become less obvious; music which soothes the soul, food that fills the empty feeling, or a fire burning in a fireplace offering warmth. All of these share a temporary quality to lift our mood. Fragrance is also something that can be turned to when your senses cry out for comfort. The latest fragrance from A Lab On Fire, What We Do In Paris Is Secret is an ideal comfort fragrance for me as it contains many of those notes which instantly make me feel good.
A Lab On Fire is a small label under the S-Perfume umbrella. They are making an impact by attracting some of the finest perfumers working to compose their fragrances. For What We Do In Paris Is Secret they asked Dominique Ropion to be the perfumer. M Ropion is one of the best because he is willing to create to his vision without dumbing things down. This often means that his fragrances can be very polarizing as those who “get it” really love it and for those who don’t “get it” they have trouble understanding how anyone could like it. M Ropion does not make shy retiring fragrances he makes bold statements and What We Do In Paris Is Secret is another of those that somehow also makes me want to hold it closer.
Frederic Malle has been quoted as saying M Ropion has the best knowledge of raw materials, What We Do In Paris Is Secret shows that skill off as each phase of the development is distinct, creating its own texture, and each ingredient listed on the notes definitely has its place, if even one was missing What We Do In Paris Is Secret would be lesser for it. From sweet to floral to woody What We Do In Paris Is Secret has something for everyone.
The opening troika is bergamot, honey, and lychee. This group of top notes combines for a uniquely sweet accord. The honey holds the center but the bergamot adds its citrus quality at the upper end and the quirky slightly musty quality of lychee adds a bit of unusual depth. Throughout the early going it is all about the honey. Heliotrope augurs the beginning of the heart as it is the first to arrive and then a rose note which is at times a bit green and at other times a bit spicy eventually takes over. Vanilla is used to keep the rose from completely taking over and as the vanilla becomes more pronounced it begins to offer a foil for the rose. Tonka transitions from the intensity of the rose and vanilla into a softly woody base comprised of tolu and sandalwood. There is a bit of ambergris also present in the base to add something extra to what could have been a simple woody base.
What We Do In Paris Is Secret has excellent longevity and above average sillage.
A Lab On Fire continues to impress me with their ability to get some of the best perfumers in the world to create wonderful fragrances for them. The thought that there is another fragrance house which seems to be encouraging perfumers to create freely might be the most comforting thing about What We Do In Paris Is Secret.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample purchased from The Perfumed Court.
We have a sample vial of What We Do In Paris Is Secret to giveaway. To be eligible just leave a comment telling us what you turn to for comfort or what your favorite comfort notes in fragrance are. We will draw one winner via random.org on February 28, 2012.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilt perfume.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor