Friday, September 19, 2008

Une Fleur de Cassie : Frederic Malle : Dominique Ropion

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.


Abigail said...

I so enjoy your writing style.

I like a good story more than a list of notes. I can find the notes everywhere...

Will you review Ormande Jayne Woman soon?

I must be out of the loop entirely because I have yet to smell anything from Ormande Jayne. OJ is constantly talked about so I'm very curious. Surely it's because I'd have to purchase samples from the UK and that seems extravagant - but maybe it isn't and I should visit the website. (Of course I desperately need more perfume...350 bottles and a zillion samples just aren't enough).

Aimée L'Ondée said...

Oh thanks, Abigail! I appreciate you saying so. Sorry 'bout the commenting confusion: I have comments set to be moderated before I post them. I always love reading I Smell Therefore I Am, too!

Seriously, I can't afford to buy more bottles right now, but am dying to get: a) UFdC b)Iris Silver Mist (+trip to Paris) and c) Bois des Iles.

I'll do a review of Ormonde Jayne Woman soon!

ScentScelf said...

What I keep thinking about when I think of Une Fleur de Cassie is how at the very moment I was taking my first hit, the salesperson was relating his favorite description of it. I was half listening--partially because I like to form my own impressions--but at the same time I started to pick up a certain note, I realized he had been saying something like "it smells like ____ and sex." And that second note is exactly what I was smelling. And he was looking me in the eye. Zoiks. Who knew one could still feel schoolgirl embarassment at its finest?

Aimée L'Ondée said...

*snigger* it smells like mud and sex is probably what he said!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I love how something small like adorning a lovely perfume can brighten an otherwise bad day... well written!

Anonymous said...

FdC is one of my favorite great gatsby perfumes created in modern times. It would be perfect with a dark silk gown, a glass of champagne and a longe cigarette. maybe a fur draped over my shoulder. It's like auntie mame in her youth.
Hope you fared well with Ike, I just got home today...