Parfumerie Generale No. 25 Indochine

I love several scents from the (I think) rather under-appreciated Parfumerie Generale.  Indochine promises to rocket to the top of the list.  Which is strange, since reading the description of “spicy, powdery woods” I would normally think either snooze or scrub.

It opens with a perfect balance of pepper and sweetness and I swear Mace (the spice, not the stuff police spray at miscreants) as well as cardamom and comb honey.  It smells the way I wish chai tea lattes taste: today in Los Angeles it was in the 60’s with wind and I think if I could have gotten away with it I would have just spent my entire morning meeting with my wrist glued to my nose and occasionally moaning.  But that would have looked weird.  The middle adds a powdery aspect and vanilla until finally settling down into a honeyed vanilla wood with just a touch of skin.

I think that PG really does some of the best gourmands out there (coming from a gourmand-hater), perhaps because they keep theirs justthisside of smelling like the dessert cart.  It’s also, like many PG scents completely unisex.  If I had a Sig Other this would be the holiday gift for him so I could snuggle in and smell (and who am I kidding, poach like crazy).  As it is I might have to actually fall from my months-long streak of not buying more and purchase.

$95 for 50ML at LuckyScent, where I sampled.

Image: Luckyscent

  • Ann says:

    Follow-up here: Just got my sample vial and I like it a lot. It reminds me a good bit of Kenzo’s Amour but with a little different twist. Now to try it spritzed …

  • Nan says:

    No first dates for me — I’m happily married — but I will use your sample strategy for when I appear in court.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Update: I wore PG’s Indochine…and the date was wonderful. Probably my favorite first date ever! We just talked and laughed…and hugged. Sigh. I’m all a twitter.

    Indochine *does* have a time when it smells exactly like a masala chai latte should smell, then it veers off to soft woods and musk. Thanks to Tom’s great review, I had the perfect scent. Here’s another funny reason I chose it–I just have a sample. If things went really badly, no bad associations with one of my beloved FBs. Now if things go well, I can add it to my collection, guilt free, right? Fragrant blessings to you all here at the ‘Posse :)

    • nozknoz says:

      Glad to hear it, HemlockSillage! Very clever of you to pick a sample – I must remember that stratagem and also must try this new PG…

    • hongkongmom says:

      oh yay for the “favourite first date ever”! so exciting! hope it keeps going that way

    • Meg says:

      Yay! Thanks for the update, we get to enjoy your vicarious first-date excitement. If your date went in for the hug you know that they got a whiff of how delicious you were smelling!

    • Ann says:

      So happy to hear it went so wonderfully!! I bet your date went home and kept thinking, “Man, she smells absolutely delicious.” And I echo others who’ve said how wise you were to wear a sample — good thinking!

  • (Ms.) Christian says:

    I have to post and say that it bothers me tremendously when women call themselves whores, hoes, hos-or any permutation of whore. It’s a pejorative, there’s nothing cute or funny about it, and it makes me wonder what ever happened to the women’s movement, equality, women’s rights, self respect and so on. Sure, go ahead and identify yourself as a prostitute then wonder why your boss, your brother, your son, your boyfriend don’t treat you well or respectfully.

    It’s like the “N word;” it’s an ugly, horrible word and there is nothing jestful, humorous or good natured about it-no matter who uses it on whom or what context it’s used in.


    • ggperfume says:

      Ms. Christian, I agree 100%! Thank you for speaking up.

    • Lisa D says:

      Whoa. In response to your injunction, I’ll have to politely refuse. I don’t have a boss, or a brother, but my boyfriend and all the other men in my world treat me well and respectfully, and I have a very healthy amount of self esteem. When I refer to myself as a “go’ho’,” it is in my mind much akin to saying, “I’d kill for a bottle of Gobin-Daude Nuit au Desert.” When others on this site post in the same vein, I do not for a moment feel that they are demeaning themselves, or exhibiting a lack of self-respect or respect for other women. I do, in fact, find it exactly as you state it is not – jestful, humorous and good natured. :)

  • nozknoz says:

    I agree, I’m always a bit surprised not to hear as much about PG as some other brands. After testing Chanel Coromandel, PG Coze and SL Borneo, I chose Coze as my protective patchouli force field for winter. I also like Rose Brulure, although it may be too linear for me to need a bottle.

  • Aparatchick says:

    I surprised myself by loving gourmands. I wouldn’t have thought it. I have a split of Indochine coming any day now; I can hardly wait after reading this review! And I agree, PG is underrated. I love Bois Naufrage, Iris Oriental (Taizo), and Jardin de Kerylos.

  • Lisa D says:

    I’m with Ann – a complete go’ho’ – and have loved most of the PG line that I’ve sampled, like Coze, Cadjmere, Aomassi and the lovely l’Oiseau de Nuit. This one sounds delish.

  • kjanicki says:

    I usually avaoid gourmands, but you make this sounds wonderful. I’ll try.

    I agree with you that PF is terribly underrated! But I fell in love with 2 of his non-gourmands. My desert island perfume, the one I can’t live without, is the bitter green beauty Papyrus de Ciane. I also adore the beachy Bois Naufrage.

    I tested and like l’Oiseau de Nuit, which reminded me of a fall fair, all candied nuts and wood shavings.

  • Amy K says:

    I received a sample of Indochine last week, and reading your post last night inspired me to wear it today. It’s so nice and snuggly! The drydown is reminding me a bit of Prada Candy, but more interesting with that touch of honey. I bet it smells great on a man. I haven’t had much luck with the rest of the Parfumerie Generale line, but this one might go on my wish list.

  • LindaB says:

    Sounds delicious and a must try!! Thanks, I’ve never tried anything from the line.

  • March says:

    Augh. This sounds SO DELICIOUS. I really want to try it. Also seconding comments that these days, the price is so reasonable. Anything less than $100 is free, right?

  • mals86 says:

    “Poach like crazy.” Thanks for the smile.

    I haven’t explored the PG line as well as I ought, especially since a kind friend sent me samples. That I have been avoiding… for no good reason.

    I did really like Tubereuse Couture, but not enough to buy it. Ditto Iris Taizo. I loved the first ten minutes of Aomassai, and then it skated just a hair masculine for me, and dropped down to just-okay. Felanilla is like (vtg) Emeraude’s reflection in a funhouse mirror, but I’m All Stocked Up on vtg Emeraude. Bois Blond did absolutely nothin’ for me, smelled like a buncha sticks and twigs rather than the hay I wanted. Bois de Copaiba was nice but forgettable, ditto Un Crime Exotique, ditto Harmatan Noir… None of the PGs I’ve tested has grabbed my heart and squoze, so that may be why I don’t consider the brand often.

    • Musette says:

      OMG! You are SO right about Felanilla! =)) The most perfect description EVAH! ^:)^

      I’m still mad at PG for that Nuui nonsense and I usually hate gourmands….so it’s a 😕 why I am suddenly eyeballing this? I. Blame. Tom. [-( for a Great review. 😡

      xo >-)

    • Meg says:

      Mals I have had a very similiar experience w the PG’s I have tried (Drama Nuui, Yuzo, Cadjmere, Felanilla, Praline de Santal). I thought they were all very well done, I *liked* them, but nothing pulling me back with a nagging insistence. Maybe Indochine!

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Tom! Your description had my mouth watering. Yes, I cheerfully admit it, I’m a gourmand ‘ho! I’ve only tried a few things from this line, but they all seem well-done and so far my fave is Cadjmere. Will definitely have to snag a sample of this one. Thanks!

  • Olfacta says:

    These days $95 for 50 mls seems almost…reasonable. I missed out on a split of this recently, might have to get a decant.

  • Masha says:

    I’ve been really wanting to try this one. Nice that he’s kept the price reasonable, too! My favorite from this line is Cadjmere from his early lineup. Coconut and cypress, who knew? He’s great at unusual contrasts and gourmands.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Yum! You make this sound so promising. I’m usually not a gourmand fan, but PG makes some lovely scents. I look forward to trying it.

    Maybe not for my upcoming first date coffee this Saturday, though. That’s my current perfume debate! Somehow my usual skank and incense dosen’t seem appropriate, and my elegant florals and chypres are not likely mainstream taste nowadays. A quiet gourmand might be just the ticket to inspire snuggling desires :) I’ll take it into consideration. Be well.

    • Tom says:

      I think it would be a great first date scent. It’s delicious and completely approachable and when they’re too close to get away..

      well you get the idea. :d

      • HemlockSillage says:

        Wow! You inspired me to dig out my sample of Indochine this morning, as a test-wearing. . .and it *is* great. I’ve just got a tiny dabbing sample, but I think I’ll go with it for tomorrow’s get together. The spices and woods combine to make an *almost* incense, with a gentle sweetness. Certainly snuggle, and nibble worthy.

        Serendipitous timing. Thanks!

  • hongkongmom says:

    sold, sold, sold! wait not available here :-(