Petroleum by Histoires de Parfums

Hi Posse, Weird assed perfumes only perfumistas could love? Yes please. I have a bunch of the here. Mostly they don’t get much wear but get brought out for sniffs and at-home journeys. It feels like a luxury to own these crazy, confrontational, surprising oddities. One of my faves is HdPs Petroleum. Who doesn’t stand at the bowser sniffing deeply of the fumes as we fill our cars? I remember the smell of 2 stroke from the lawn mower too. All the things used to clean paint brushes are another strange sniffing pleasure. I’m so cuckoo for the smell of burning fossil fuels that I even open my windows after a bus belches. Yep, loopy.

Petroleum by Histoires de Parfums

Petroleum Histoires de Parfums

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Agarwood (Oud), Aldehydes, Bergamot
Heart: Amber, Rose
Base: Civetta, Leather, Patchouli, Musk

Firstly, to avoid disappointment, Petroleum doesn’t smell EXACTLY like it. It’s a fantasy recreation. It’s uncanny though what a correlation my nose and brain make smelling it. After 2 minutes a prettier, less toxic version. That first blast though. AMAZING!! Oud and oily aldehydes over birchy tar and all backed by a very animalic amber.

My nose tells me the heart has white flowers or bulb flowers and roses but I see no mention in the notes. The birch/leather softens beautifully through the heart, becoming very suede like.

If you are someone who loves freaky scents and gets a rush out of that hit then Petroleum should be on your radar. One of the really wonderful things about it is the first 30-40 minutes are outrageous. Then it softens and mellows to a very elegant, corporate friendly Cuir de Russe style dry down. Still dark and brooding but in a comfortable, wearable coat of armour way.

After an hour projection is moderate. Longevity is excellent, I can smell whiffs of musky amber base next morning from a single arm spritz.

HdP are such an unsung house nowadays. Here are some other posts I’ve written about them on Perfume Posse: Veni, 1969, Ambre 114. March also talks about another fave of mine Tubereuse 3 L’Animale.

Surrender To Chance has samples if you’d like to try it.

Is there a Histoires de Parfums fragrance that blows your skirt? Could Petroleum be the one?
Portia xx

  • Mp says:

    I’m a Petroleum fa too! My fav HdP fragrances are Fidelis, 1875 Carmen, Tubéreuse 3 and Ambre 114.

  • Ariel says:

    MMMmmmmmmmmm. Gas smells. yus please

    Thinking of you in all the weather- hope you are okay.

    • Portia says:

      YAY for another day sniffer Ariel!!

      Yes, we have survived the Biblical waters and are into our second day of sunshine. We’ve been so lucky. Many of our friends up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia have lost everything.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Oooh! I love scents like this, even as I doubt I would ever actually wear this one! Yonks ago I did a post called (I think) Secret Smells, about the stuff we enjoy smelling that we might be embarrassed to let folks know about.

    Poop from a healthy, very young dog (younger than 2 years) was one of them, iirc. Puppy breath.
    Obviously DOGS played YUUUUGE on that post!


  • March says:

    Hahahaha I’d hate this if I could smell it, I hate the smell of gasoline. Even going to the pump made me gag, I’d breathe through my mouth, I just can’t smell it now. One of my sons loves that smell, along with jet fuel (another gag from me.) It was great when he got old enough I could make HIM pump the gas I was paying for! But asphalt or someone working with roofing tar — sign me UP, baby! I also like the faint whiff of skunk, from a distance (from a DISTANCE is important.) It’s chemical plus animal. Not sure I’d want that in a perfume though.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! I thought of you, as I was experiencing the attars drydown on Tuesday. Kept smelling that faint whiff of ‘skunk!!!’ which was … not unpleasant, at least not after I figured out where it was coming from.


    • Portia says:

      March, I don’t think I knew this about you.

      In India they have outdoor urinals. They are usually on the side of the road and the wee just goes down the hill. From about 100m the scent is alluring and beautiful. It’s a sweet animalic not very unlike honey. Up close it smells like the death of nations, decay, regret and suffering.
      So I hear you on the skunk.
      Portia xx

      • Musette says:

        oh, for f’s sake, Portia!! You made me spray coffee all over my laptop. You FIEND! LOL!!!

        omg! xoxoxo

      • March says:

        Hey, the honey/urine thing is real — I assume that’s why so many people get “urine” from honey frags. I myself love that weird “humanity at a distance” mashup; Miel de Bois is one of my favorite frags.

        • Portia says:

          You know I have an unopened Miel de Bois export bottle that is just too precious to open. So I use an STC decant.
          True Story

  • Dina C. says:

    My favorite HdP is Vert Pivoine, peonies and roses.

  • MMKinPA says:

    I don’t have any true weird ass perfumes, although I love the tire rubber effect in Bvlgari Black, and there is a nifty vinyl (as in LP records) effect in Quartana Hemlock that is fun while it lasts. Both end up being pretty normal and wearable. Have a bottle of Black; Hemlock is still on my wishlist.

    • Portia says:

      Hey MMKinPA,
      BB always smells so weird and fabulous to me because I smelled it very early in my perfume madness. That jolting WOW happens every wear.
      I’ve never tried Quartana Hemlock but the name alone sparks interest for me.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    I’ve away currently from the weird and the wonderful to stuff I just really want to wear — unless I’m looking for samples of stuff to review. The smell of petrol isn’t one of my faves. Prefer newly laid asphalt and creosote. However, the smell of jet fuel at airports is so linked to travel that I sort of like it.

    • Portia says:

      OOOOH! Yes Cinnamon!
      Asphalt when it’s still hot! So good.
      Also, Jet Fuel! Heaven
      I’ve had a bunch of weird assed bottles in my collection for ages. One way I get to wear them is if I write about them. Mainly because I wear the easy comfortable stuff daily.
      Portia xx

  • Alityke says:

    HdP has been overtaken by criminally overpriced clickbait in recent years.
    This write up sent me straight to their website & BOOM! Two hours passed by without me realising.
    I heard my credit cards squealing & that brought me back down to earth. Must search for my samples before spending more money?

  • Tom says:

    This could be right up my Esso station! I love the weird gas-station opening of SL Tubereuse Criminelle and the oily goodness of SMN Nostalgia (but wish they both lasted longer at those stages.) I actually like the smell of exhaust of old cars: one of my neighbor’s had a 60’s Dodge and I loved the smell as she’d drive off. Gas and unburned hydrocarbons. Not the same these days with modern cars. But then again we can actually breath the air here and back in the 60’s there were many days you simply couldn’t.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tm,
      I can definitely seeing you enjoying the opening of this, and it lasts a LOT longer than Tubereuse Criminelle’s blast.
      Yes, we had stinky cars too back then. What a fab smell it was. Breathing is better.
      Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    Well I’ll be dipped! – (an expression a friend who lived down south for a while used when very surprised) Ever since I was a kid I have liked all the smells you mentioned including gasoline. That makes me curious about Petroleum, which means I will have to sample it.

    • Portia says:

      HA! I love that saying Maya.
      Then this could be something fun to have. I think all anyone really needs is a sample but the bottle is so beautiful I couldn’t resist.
      Portia xx