There are two perfumes I've been sampling off and on for months: Ormonde Jayne Woman and Une Fleur de Cassie. I associate them not because they smell alike, but because they are all highly respected, complex floral blends in a modern style, and because when I'm on a vintage perfume tear, as I had been all summer, it's hard to appreciate them. But grand perfumery they are, and they deserve some love! I'm focusing on Une Fleur de Cassie today.
So after a rough day at work, I pulled my little toiletry tray that I use to organize samples out of the perfume cabinet which is in my bedroom. (By the way, I measure how bad the perfume bug has hold of me by how many shelves I fill with perfume rather than folded pants and blankets.) I sat down on the bed and browsed for a sample to try this evening. When I finally decided on and dabbed some Une Fleur de Cassie on my wrist, I fell over onto the bed in full swoon.
This is the perfect perfume to loll about it after a rough day: langourous, rich, muddy, smoky, juicy and strange. It is a bit similar to the Fangorn Forest quality (in which the trees come alive to threaten unwelcome intruders) that I get in Ormonde Jayne Woman, but UFdC is more sinister and more stately. They are both subtle forces of nature, though. They aren't rough or scratchy. They turn the teeming undergrowth into a balconied opera house.
There's definately what Annie Dillard calls fecundity in them:
"The driving force behind all this fecundity is a terrible pressure. I also must consider, the pressure of birth and growth, the pressure that splits the bark of trees and shoots out seeds, that squeezes out the egg and bursts the pupa, that hungers and lusts and drives the creature relentlessly towards its own death." (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 163)
Oh, you want an actual description? Well, I get chalky violet (some smell a wet paper note here) which turns into an indolic jasmine and cassie, all anchored with cinnamon-flavored dirt. It doesn't last all day, unfortunately, but the tenacity isn't bad (3-4 hrs). It's sublime, and I may need a full bottle of this even before the rounded, shadowed, spiced evergreen of Ormonde Jayne Woman.
Bois de Jasmin's review of Une Fleur de Cassie is really helpful, and lists the notes as: bergamot, rose, violet, aldehydes, cassie, mimosa, jasmine, clove, cedarwood, sandalwood, musk.