Sniffer Report: YSL Parisienne

“Tu n’es pas née à Paris mais Paris t’a adoptée”
“You were not born in Paris but Paris adopts you”

The latest perfume from fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, YSL Parisienne, is a complicated woodsy floral that is sure to become beloved by many. I recently had the opportunity to sample YSL Parisienne and am happy to report that, while it wasn't immediately a favorite, the scent grew on me over time. Now, I genuinely enjoy wearing it.

The fragrance was inspired by their idea of the modern Parisian woman: confident, free of inhibitions, living for the moment and unashamed of her wants and desires. Interestingly, YSL did not choose an actual Parisian (or even French) woman for the ad campaign, but a very English Kate Moss. Although, maybe they were trying to invoke the seemingly incongruent glamour of Kate with her hard-livin' lifestyle. Incidentally, the accompanying TV ad is borderline pornographic.

The perfume itself is a complicated mix of floral and earthy scents. The top notes are both nice with cranberry and blackberry and kind of naughty with hints of vinyl gloss and lacquer. The middle notes are decidedly floral with the feminine Damas rose, violet and peony. The bottom notes a strong sandalwood, musk, vetiver and patchouli.

In wearing it, I found Parisienne to be a bit sharp on initial application -- likely from the vinyl accord (meant to invoke the metal of a spike heel). As a result, my first impression was not favorable. However, the top notes fade quickly and the middle floral comes out add back the romance. At this point, I can see why some reviewers have likened it to a "grandma" fragrance -- the floral is pretty intense. However, after the floral settles and the masculine bottom notes are apparent, the fragrance is suddenly one that I absolutely find appealing. The beautiful dry down lasts an incredibly long time and I continue to steal sniffs throughout the day when wearing it.

Once I read some of the press materials describing the concept for the fragrance, it actually did make sense. While I'm not sure that the idea of a morning-after scent is very glamorous, this fragrance presents a perfect balance between playfulness and mystery -- which is exactly my impression of the City of Lights itself.
A woman in black after a sleepless night. A devilish woman with the face of an angel.
A woman in an evening gown at the break of day. Scandalous, you say? Free, she says.
An Yves Saint Laurent woman. A PARISIENNE, and that is a compliment!"

 

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