July 16, 2012
The newest perfume from L’Artisan Parfumeur, Seville a l’Aube, was created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour based on the description of a particularly sensual night spent in Seville by blogger and author Denyse Beaulieu. Her book, The Perfume Lover, includes a recounting of the creation of the perfume, but since I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of the book, I will be reviewing the perfume for its own sake and on its own merits.
I will be the first to admit I am an orange blossom zealot – actually that whole family of orange blossom, neroli, petitgrain, and bergamot appeals to me, and I am ever on the lookout for a new orange blossom-centric fragrance. I had high hopes for Seville a l’Aube when the first news of it came down the wire, with its notes of orange flowers, beeswax and incense.
Seville a l’Aube is heavy on the petitgrain, a member of the citrus aroma family, created from the twigs of the bitter orange tree. The perfume opens green and a bit sharp, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. As I sat here and did a little work, I started getting delicious wafts of the blossom at the heart, accompanied by a sweet honey note. The whole fragrance is coming to life.
I decided to go whole hog and give the perfume the décolleté test with a full multi-spritz wearing. This only happens when a fragrance passes the wrist test and I want to immerse myself. I am glad I did. The petitgrain is less bitter and more green now that I have allowed the perfume to be distributed more widely on my skin. There is something about this perfume that is making me feel languid and loose-limbed, and wanting to be vaguely reclined on soft cushions reading a romance novel. Since I don’t read much by way of romance novels, that’s quite a trick.
As I go about my business, puffs of sweet orange blossom honey reach my nose now and again. Those who may be intrigued by the idea of adding incense to orange blossom may not be satisfied, because it is subtle, and the base notes add grounding to the more ethereal heart without damaging it. There is a twinge of floral lavender that wanders in and out, but it is not harsh or sneezy like some lavenders can be, and I enjoy having it there. After doing some weeding and household chores, I am getting fantastic aromas from my décolleté. The heat of exertion brought the best out in the fragrance, and if I decide to buy it, it will be sprayed on my steamier spots instead of my wrists. Longevity is quite good, and although the far drydown is slightly flat and nondescript, the blossomy part lasted a nice amount of time.
Is this finally my Holy Grail of orange blossoms? Can I stop looking? Alas, no. The search continues. Am I going to want to have a bottle for my O.B. collection? All signs point to “yes”.
Notes per Denyse Beaulieu: petitgrain, petitgrain citronnier, orange blossom absolute, beeswax absolute, incense resinoid, Luisieri lavender absolute and Siam benzoin resinoid.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l’Aube will be available starting in early September at MiN NY and other retailers. My sample was graciously provided by MiN NY.
Thanks to L'Artisan Parfumeur we have a 15mL press sample of Seville a l'Aube to giveaway. To be eligible leave a comment on what one note you associate with a special place or time in your life. We will draw one winner on July 19, 2012 via random.org.
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 spilled perfume.
–Tama Blough, Senior Editor