A Tale of Two Saffrons

I have saffron on my mind and in my hand and saffron perfume on both arms! One of the most desired and expensive spices in ancient times, this is a spice that always conjures up pictures of Marco Polo meandering through the orient, with a fortune of rare spices and fabrics on his camels headed back to Venice.

Saffron is rich and pungent, and I love it in my paella. My family won’t let me make Paella anymore because I go too heavy on the piment and saffron and nobody else but me will eat it, and the house just reeks of those two spices for days. I ? Love ? it! I started putting piment on everything, and they cut me off and hid all my cans of it. Dirty bastards.

L’Artisan Safran Troublant and Laura Tonnato Safram are two very different treatments of saffron perfume, but have similarities.

Laura Tonnato Safram is sweeter.  It goes on with a slightly medicinal edge, but quickly mellows into a nice, sweet saffron smell which certainly does justice to saffron. Not sickeningly sweet, but it just seems to lack some of the saffron pungency that I crave. If you like your saffron to stay pretty and a little sweet, the Safram is a good choice.

L’Artisan’s Safram Troublant is a smeeeelllly saffron, and I mean that in a good way. It has that pungent reek that hits your nose and makes you go “oh, yes, baby, i like it like that.” It is hard for me to believe this has vanillla in it at all, though I can catch it a little bit every now and then, and that seems to round off any rough edges of the saffron and adds to it, but not in any way that seems to be vanillaish.

I can say I like them both, but the L’Artisan seems to be the truer rendition in capturing that saffron pungency, while keeping it wearable. Not an easy feat. As much as I love saffron, I would never just smear that stuff on and wear it out the door.



  • lk says:

    Wonder how this will taste

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  • Patty says:

    Cimabue? How have I missed this one so far.

    Carolyn, love your blog, I’m so glad you started writing one! I’ve added you to ye old blogroll!


  • Patty says:

    March, I thought it smelled like saffron, but in a more bready way, yup, sweeter. I put them on arm by arm, and then dug out my saffron out of the kitch — what’s left of it — and they definitely have the smell of it.

  • Patty says:

    Cait, what other perfumes have it? I’m trying to think, and I’m drawing a blank, except the ones that are definitely saffron. Oh, I kid about my posts, but I’m known in the office as the quickest memo in the West.

  • Patty says:

    Marina,but…but…but I don’t want to just slam a review out! I have to be careful on these because it’s just hard right now, they’re different.

  • carolyn says:

    I didn’t think I liked saffron until I tried DSH Cimabue. It is so glorious. It’s a sweeter saffron, probably closer to the Safram, but I’m not sure because I haven’t tried that one. The L’Artisan was a bit too realistic I think for me! But all saffron lovers should definitely sample Cimabue. Mmmmmm.

  • marchlion says:

    I find the LT sweet and faintly bready and it reminds me vaguely of En Passant without the wet pavement note… but it doesn’t really smell like saffron, does it? Not to me, anyway.

  • Cait says:

    I have saffron on the brain too! So much so that I imagine it in frags that don’t contain it. Now you’ve got me wanting all these. As for your posts: I love ’em! So don’t dis yourself.

  • Patty,
    I LOVE saffron too. I have LT’s version and like it, but I like L’Artisan’s just a little bit more, it is more complex, there are more things going on there. I am plotting and planning…:-)

    And you are killing me with those Abinoams, post a review already!!! Please?