Certain perfumes give an illusory first impression like people who come into a party seemingly underdressed only to impress you with their smarts and true chic as the night unfolds. Spirituelle, the latest Divine fragrance, an at once delicate and spirited take on the rosy powdery floral, took me a cursory first sniff and then a much more attentive one to appreciate its twists that put the chic into the chica. It ended up winning me and might win you too if you're either a floral phobic or a rose hater, so lend me your eyes for a sec.
|Bulle Ogier via Photobucket/francomac123|
Two major themes play into the blueprint of Spirituelle. The first one is a dessert-worthy succulent note that derives from the two rose absolutes (one from Turkey, the other from France), flanked by rosy, fresh spice on one side and a smooth lightly ambery caress on the other. The feeling is not unlike the deliciousness of Neela Vermeire's Mohur eau de parfum, rendered here more ethereal and a bit less dense. Never too sweet, but inviting.
The second theme is the wink of a smoky cigarette note that rises only from a certain distance. The French are known for their predilection for smoking and I don't smoke myself as a rule, so the illusory effect is not a trail off my clothing or skin. Rather it recalls the practice of French perfumes of yore which had a compatible ambience to human habits: food, sex, drink and smoke. The hand is quicker than the eye (or the nose, as circumstances apply): the effect is lightweight and imperceptible if not told about beforehand. Chapeau then for such a clever little conjurer's trick which makes Divine Spirituelle go beyond the polite, prim and beige rose perfume that so many fragrance companies issue for Victoriana admiring fans, without on the other hand falling into the commonality of either patchouli nor oud.
Spirituelle comes as the 11th creation for Divine, the small niche brand by Yvon Mouchel, founded in the small town of Dinard. Perfumer Richard Ibanez who worked on Spirituelle has been a longtime partner with the Divine brand: he was the one composing the word-of-mouth cult first Divine scent, Divine by Divine.
I have 6 perfume samples for an equal number of lucky readers. Please let me know your experiences with rose in the comments to be eligible for the draw. Draw is open internationally till Friday midnight and winner will be announced in the weekend.
Fragrance notes for Divine Spirituelle:
Top: pink pepper, Sichuan pepper, geranium, cistus
Middle: May rose absolute, Anatolian rose absolute
Base: Texas cedarwood, white amber, white musk, incense.
Spirituelle is available as eau de parfum (50, 100, 200ml splash bottles or 30 and 50 refillable spray bottles) and as pure parfum extrait 20ml.