Parfumerie Generale perfume review

Going through the Second Chapter of the Parfumerie Generale line has been a blast.

Now I need to go back and pick up the first set of perfumes too.  They have won the Patty’s Impressed As All Hell Award as best new (to me) line this year. I ignored them at first — too many, no time, another line of French perfumes — when will it end?! — fearing they would likely be the same as everything else, but once I started sampling this line, I have formed the opinion this new house is the “Next Big Thing” in perfuming.  You heard it here first — well, or second or third, but I’m on board the Parfumerie Generale Lemming Train now. They bring a freshness to perfuming, it’s just not the same old crap that wearies our little noses. Each perfume I have tried so far has been something new and different or an odd take on an old theme, and there is something for everyone in this line.  Even when an individual perfume in the line is a stinker on me, I still have found the creation admirable.

Parfumerie Generale Harmatan Noir – from their literature, “A Pungent breath inspired by the Sahara…the spicy fragrance of a warm wind mingled with dried flowers, wood and salt, overlaid by a faint, refined fragrance of mint tea.”  This is just… unbelievably beautiful, it has almost made my heart stop with how utterly captivating it is.  Spicy woods and salt, but that mint tea just pops up and throws me off at first, then keeps flirting around the outside of this perfume through the drydown, but not enough to in any way make this a mintish perfume — just enough to add interest.  I keep thinking this is what it must smell like on a yacht anchored off the African coast in the cool of the night, sand still on your feet, drinking strong, rich tea with a sprig of mint that whispers around the edges of your privileged existence — or whatever vision you have in your head where life has no deadlines or budgets, your wrinkles are beautiful smile lines and it feels great to be alive.  What a glorious rich tea scent it is, but so much more than that.   It has a honeyed feel, which is usually the kiss of death for me, but it somehow all works together and makes this one smooth, amazing thing.  I wish I had better words to express how much I adore Harmatan Noir, as this is my very favorite of the line. Jardins de Kerylos comes in a close second and sometimes goes ahead depending on my craving for figs.

Parfumerie Generale Hyperessence Matale – The EDP of Matale. Notes of citrus, jasmine, black Matale tea, cedar leaves, musk and pepper.  As far as the two  scents in this post, Harmatan Noir is still my favorite, but this has much to recommend it for the woody pepper lovers, which I am one.  Very citrusy when it goes on, but drying down to awoody tea scent, heavier on the wood and pepper than the tea. It is primarily peppered wood, just a little tea and citrus to round it out. It reminds me just a little of Bois D’Encens in the drydown, but only from the woody peppery aspect. This one doesn’t have as much oomph as I think I would like, but then I wonder… maybe there can be too much woody peppered tea accord?  At first it seemed to fade too quickly, but I was trying it after Harmatan Noir, and that must have fooled my nose into finding everything else Not Lovely Enough. Trying it alone on a different day, I have changed my opinion —  it has just about the right amount of sillage to keep you from thinking you have gotten lost in Mirkwood, but enough to keep you thinking there is a campfire full of hobbits drinking tea with lemon just over your shoulder somewhere. It’s another winner in the line, though it still falls behind HN and JdK as favorites for me.

For this week’s giveaway — your choice of four of the Parfumerie Generale second chapter perfumes. Choose from Aomassai, Iris Taizo, Harmatan Noir, Hyperessence Matale, Brulere de Rose,  Ilang Ivohibe, Jardins de Kerylos.

58 Comments

  1. As you know, I am still working my way slowly through the samples, because … because they just deserve that kind of attention. Because they’re so weird and wonderful. And interesting. I am not finding any common PG base whatsoever, but dang, they are really compelling, aren’t they? I almost thought from previous reviews they might be too much, but no. Great review.

  2. The second group of scents from this line really has just knocked me to my knees. Harmatan Noir and Aomassai are currently duking it out for first place. Harmatan Noir, however, does have an assured place as my new favorite tea scent. Your review was wonderful and I’m going to have to retry HM later today. I’m trying hard to ignore the fact that I actually think almost all of them are FBW.

  3. Should I even ask to be included in the drawing? I mean, it will be VERY bad for anyone who wins…full bottles cost a fortune! :(( My dream is to win the samples, despise them, and pass them on to someone who hopefully has a deeper wallet than I ;D

    I’m especially curious about Harmatan Noir. I LOVE Bulgari Black, and I’m lemming L’Artisan Tea for Two badly…why can’t there be more amazing, cheap, non-citrusy tea scents? :(( why??

  4. “a campfire full of hobbits drinking tea”:)– I’m on board! Patty, you and March both write such great, funny reviews.

    Please do throw my hat in the giveaway; the PG’s sound fascinating, especially the Harmatan Noir.

    March, many thanks for sending the e-mails about the Caron base. I can’t imagine liking licorice and iodine in anything, but I haven’t so far met a Caron I didn’t like. Patch

  5. Patty, I absolutely agree, this is the best new line and the next big thing. I am very impressed with everything about PG, from, obviously, the scents, to customer service. 😡

  6. I’ve only tried Aomassai and Brulure de Rose, both of which I’m absolutely smitten with. I’d love to be included in the drawing and try one of the others!

  7. I’m with you Patty, HN is probably the best thing I’ve smelled this year. A full bottle is winging its way to me as I type, as my sample has reached its last spray. There’s something almost soapy about it, but in the best way possible. The mint is quite a strong presence for me but not in a fresh, greeny, skippy la la kind of way. It’s almost camphoraceous. I L.O.V.E. it. HN is the most unusual thing my nose has nabbed so far this year. I’d love to imagine myself moored off Essaouira, sipping tea or cocktails, but when I wear this I’m so busy slavering over my wrist I must look like I’ve dribbled my way right out of the sanatorium…

    None of the others (except perhaps Coze from the first series) have grabbed my nose in quite the same way. I loved Jardins but then compared it to Philosykos and that won out for me (something too sweet and wafty about JdK), and Aomassai, which I know is favoured by many, shares a peculiar hidden-in-the-depths buttcrack accord with Rose Poivree (honest – sniff them side by side) and whilst I can admire it, that’s tamed my ardour.

  8. Me too – very impressed with the few I’ve tried. Love the Musc Maori, it’s so irresistably creamy. Please sign me up for the giveaway.

  9. Aomassai is still my favorite from the second set, but I haven’t tried them all. HN sounds wonderful, it’s on the list! Please sign me up for the drawing!!!

  10. March, this is definitely one line that needs to have its time taken with. It’s been a great journey through them, like reading an incredibly interesting book that you don’t want to end, so you go back and just read it again for the pure pleasure of it.

    I can’t wait to hear you favorite, but I’m relatively certain it’s going to be the Iris Taizo that is gorgeoue but turns into something hideous on me, damnit!

  11. Elle, I know! I definitely need at least two more of these in full bottles, but I’m not really feeling very guilt stricken so far at buying any of these, they have a decent price point and are just so unique and worth having.

    It has been a while since I was so struck by an entire line.

  12. Josey, if you are a tea lover, you will adore HN. If you are not a tea lover, you will adore HN. 🙂 How’s that?

    There will likely be a few in the line that just won’t work for you for many reasons, or that you don’t fall in love with, but I cannot think that any one person would not find at minimum two of these they absolutely want to have!

  13. Yay! I received word yesterday that my set of Chapitre 2 minis is FINALLY on its way!!! I ordered this some time ago, but it was out of stock; I’m hoping they give me something extra for the delay.:) So far, I have only tried Aomassai (deep love) and Iris Taizo (deep like), but I should be smelling the rest soon! Can’t wait!

  14. Marina, nothing else could have persuaded me but your lovely reviews to get the sampler pack. Given the odds of us agreeing on scents, if you loved most of them, it was sure that we had a 20% chance on agreeing on one or two of them. 🙂

  15. D – you’re in. I envy you getting to smell them all for the first time. It’s like that.

  16. Leopoldo, it is great to hear you love this one too so much! I fall in lust regularly with perfumes, but there are very few that completely knock me off my feet. I think it is the mint that tames the spices enough for me to be able to just swoon on this one.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Fifi Awards would ever pick up and look at one of these? Ha! Never happen.

    You are about the only person that could convince me to put Rose Poivre on again, only to sniff the “buttcrack accord” as a comparison. God, I hate you. :d

    But you are right to some degree. The BA/BO is not as pronounced in Aomassai for me, though I do get it far in the background, it’s just covered up a lot better, so I can take the Polished BA presentation. RP is just out and out pure, unadulterated drawz down, wind’s in the right direction Buttcrack.

  17. Sybil, don’t read what Leopoldo wrote. 🙂 He didn’t mean it. I do love Aomassai, as well. So far the only one that turned really bad was the Iris Taizo. All others have been huge winners.

  18. Judith, I can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest of them. Have you tried all in the first set as well? I’ve just gotten to the Coze and Yuzu Ab Irato {{Colombina}} with more on the way, but I would think the Coze and Cuir Venem (sp) would be winners for you too.

  19. I tried many of the first set. I liked Coze, but I wasn’t as wowed as Marina was. I thought Cuir V. was OK, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I thought I would; I found it difficult to wear. I’m not sure why, now; someone in Belgium really wanted it, so I sent it to her, and it got lost somewhere over the Atlantic.:( Actually, my favorite of the ones I tried in the first series was Intrigant Patchouli–powdery and nice–but even that, I have to say I didn’t wear much. From my brief taste of the second set, I think I like these much better.

    BTW, when I ordered minis of IP and CV from the first series (the ones they recommended for me on their questionnaire), they sent a third, extra mini whose label reads “Private Insense [sic], for Judith Hxxxx, with compliments of Pierre Guillaume Parfumeur. I kept this:) It’s a rose incense, and frankly I’m not crazy about it, but it’s hard to resist something with your name on it. 🙂 I’m curious whether others received the same scent, a different one, or what. . .

  20. Um, no. :((

    I want my own scent too! Though I did ask for a sample of the Tuberose Couture that Ina got and it sounds like they sent it. Whee!!

    Name on the bottle is such a great touch, it’s what I really like about Le Labo too.

  21. I’d love to sample anything that falls within range of winning Patty’s Impressed As All Hell Award! These sound delightful.

  22. Love the second line! I thought Harmatan Noir was good but I didn’t give it as much praise as you did, so I’m gonna go dig for my sample and try it again. My faves are Brulure de Rose, Aomassai, Iris Taizo, and Ilang Ivohibe. Maybe I should get a sample pack…

  23. Carol, got you in!

    Ina, you *need* the whole second chapter pack. And PG ships so fast, mine voomed here in less than a week, and the sizes are absolutely wonderful for casual usage either permanently or until you decide which ones you can’t live without. I *adore* the sizes they came up with for that.

    HN needs vigorous spritzing, as does the Hyperessence Matale. I have a hard time sampling many things out of the sample vials unless I just uncap the vial and just throw it on my arm like Holy Water.

  24. Did you scrub afterwards P? Sometimes I just have to sniff RP and then MKK for a bit of a reel…

    It’s true, Aomassai does have more refinement on the animalic score than RP (no winking of the starfish in your face, as it were) but it’s enough to control me for now. The stale sweat is there ever so slightly. Or maybe I just smell like that and most scents cover it up better.

    HN is on its way. August’ll probably see me with Iris Taizo and Coze and who knows what’s next? Destitution? Renting out my sorry…? We’re back to RP…

  25. Oh, how I’ve missed you, Posse! The past two weeks have been ghastly in many respects (Mordor pales in comparison), and I’m so happy to be back among my favorite people! Patty, the reviews are drool-inducing, but don’t enter me in the giveaway cuz I believe I’ve already got something under way 😉 Luv y’all

  26. OK, you’ve brought another lurker out into the open – it’s just TOO MUCH for me to resist! Please would you enter me into the drawers – uh – drawing? Am I to say which I’d like here or some other way?

    THANKS for such a wonderful blog, and curses at limited finances (and the cold I have right now that has *completely taken away* my sense of smell – which is scary as all get-out…)

    Tomm.

  27. I’ve heard so much about these, they sound so wonderful. But my big lemmings of the bunch are the Brulere de Rose (love rose scents and this one sounds so different) and the Jardins de Kerylos (sweet and wafty are good things in my book). I feel so embarrased to ask :”> but I would love to be placed in the drawing. Thanks again for your lovely commentary!

  28. Whoa! Look how many folks have posted already about the PG giveaway. Oh well…sign me up, too! :)>-

    These fragrances sound amazing, Patty. At first I was skeptical, like you. But now that I have read your reviews of them, I may be on board. (Plus, Ina posted a picture of the gentleman who creates the line, and I have to say that he’s pretty cute!).

    Hope you received my little something-something!

    Hugs!

  29. violetnoir – I checked it out that picture, he’s hot. \:d/

  30. Leopoldo — I hate to admit that I haven’t scrubbed yet. I was going to, but then it’s like some weird nose perversity takes control, and I keep sniffing the darn thing, then the Aomassai. a “bit” of a reel? There’s an understatement.

    Oh, enjoy the HN when it gets there, I cannot wait for mine to arrive, then I can just spritz until all the boys in the house scream for mercy. Heh heh.

  31. Dusan, we’ve missed you! Did they exile you, and how did you escape? And what have you been up to? :)>-

  32. Tomm, I put you in the drawing! If you win, you can tell me which you would like, and I’m so glad it brought you out from the shadows. 🙂

    You get better. A cold is the sworn enemy of the perfumista. Be careful with them. The last one my sister had totally screwed up how she smells some notes, and it has gotten better, but not by much.

  33. Patty…I just put on Aomassai–I’m not noticing the “buttcrack accord” at all, fortunately! It can’t be worse than MKK on me, which was just frighteningly fecal. And what’s w/ the Iris Taizo? Goes on great, stays great about 1/2 the time. The rest of the time, there’s a scary, acrid nose-scrunching note somewhere in the midrange. I can’t figure out the note (damn my novice nose…is it the honey?)or what causes it…the weather, my mood, the humidity?

  34. Oh no – more frags to track down for sampling! Please enter me in the drawing. Thx!

  35. Anna, I would love to put you in the drawing.

    I still need to review the Brulere de Rose. I keep saving it for last, but look for that next week!

  36. R, I think you will find more than one of the second chapter that you will, if not adore, at least fall in strong like with. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

  37. I feel like I really shouldn’t enter another drawing right away, but…”a campfire with hobbits drinking tea with lemon”?? And warm wind, spices, salt and tea? Oh, my…
    Sign me up!
    🙂

  38. Sybil — put Aomassai next to TDC Rose Poivre, and then you will find it. It is just very well behaved, so it doesn’t put me off my feed and I still adore Aomassai even with it, while I detest but have a horrid fascination with RP.

    IT does the same thing for me, and I think it is the honey note. It pops up, is horrific for about an hour or so, then it just trends back down and turns into something completely lovely again. I just can’t bear very often that bad part.

  39. Missy and Twibbet, will definitely enter you in the drawing.

    These are really that good and unusual, and the sampler pack PG sells on their website has a nice amount of each one, if you don’t win!

  40. Pleeeease Missy and Twibbet, include me in the drawing! My choice: Harmatan N.
    My Chiqui and Nellie send a kiss and a fuzz.

  41. Holy moley!

    😮

    42 comments?!

    Well, you don’t need to enter me in the drawing, although you are REALLY messing with my plan to leisurely try these, woman. Right now I am off to smell the Assomassi to see if I can get the whiff o’crack… y’all are nuts about the Taizo. It’s perfect.

  42. O…my…God. You know what it smells like? Creme brulee, candle wax and buttcrack.

    Wow. You don’t smell something like that every day, do you?

  43. Bebe, got you entered in the drawing! Kisses and scritches back to Chiqui and Nellie. Buddy just shook and spread another dusting of fur all over and I need to vacuum for the third time today.

  44. :”>

    You’ve made these sound irrestible. I’d love to sniff the next Big thing! Please enter me in your giveaway thingee. In the meantime, will go visit the PG website. Thanks for pointing me in their direction! -m

  45. :”>

    You’ve made these sound irresistible. I’d love to sniff the next Big thing! Please enter me in your giveaway thingee. In the meantime, will go visit the PG website. Thanks for pointing me in their direction! -m

  46. Naw, March, take your time. I mean, you’re getting left behind, but…:d

    Which one, the Aomassai?

  47. Hi Patty. Count me in please. I noticed that while I was away that another Veronica is around, so I added a V to help sort us out. I’m sOOOoo glad that I got that pink Kerastase stuff and the T3. Me and my horsehair thank you very much. I haven’t had shine like this in years. I’m finally on my fragrance way–during the last week, I ordered samples from Andy Taurer, Ormonde Jayne, and I have some 100% Love on its way. This is going to be such fun! I think I’m going to have to visit the Guerlain counter again to smell some of skanky Jicky. I guess all that buttcrack talk is making me remember how I was strangely repulsed and attracted…….

  48. Oh boy, these sound so good. I’d like to be entered in the draw. 🙂

  49. I’ve been meaning to order samples of several PG fragrances for a while now after reading all the glowing reviews. Especially Brulere de Rose…yum. Please add my name to the list 🙂

  50. I would love to enter the drawing on a PG-scent..These all sounds so interesting, but if I have to choose, it will be Aomassai…

  51. Please sign me up if its not too late! I’ve just moved, its hot and I can’t remember any of the PGs I sampled a while ago. They all sound so good though and I remember none were scrubbers. Good to be back and online again!

  52. Is one more hat in the ring too many? Hopefully not. I haven’t explored the PGs yet. My decant chest overfloweth, yet there MAGICALLY is always room for one more. Patty, thanks for the terrific post.
    CindyN

  53. Patty, is it true this is an all-natural line? The reviews you’ve posted have me on a lemming craze! Sign me up too, I don’t care for what, lol.

  54. Hey, Anya, I think at least one of the PG perfumes is pretty natural, but I don’t know if that’s completely natural or mostly natural. Not sure about the rest.

  55. Please enter me as well, this line sounds/smells wonderful!

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