Perfume Review: Micallef Denis Durand Le Parfum Couture

I know nothing of couture.

And, to be honest, I’m not bothered that I don’t. I’m fine not knowing. Couldn’t afford it, couldn’t fit in it, find it interesting to look at but not very practical: that all adds up to my don’t-care attitude.

An evening frock by Denis Durand.  I actually like this one a lot, despite its overblown quality - it's a slinky Hollywood vixen being nuzzled by a giant mutant pink rose, what's not to love here?
An evening frock by Denis Durand. I actually like this one a lot, despite its overblown quality – it’s a slinky Hollywood vixen being nuzzled by a giant mutant pink rose, what’s not to love here?

I went looking for images of Denis Durand’s couture frocks when Parfums Micallef so kindly offered me a sample of the fragrance composed with Durand’s sensibility in mind. They’re interesting, at least – often what I’d call over the top, in terms of silhouette or embellishment, and really only wearable when you’d want to make an emphatic statement. “Simply pretty” is not really applicable to any of the ones I saw, though I will say that often the embellishments are luxurious and very feminine – Swarovski crystals, silk ruffles, enormous floppy satin bows. Le-Parfum-Couture-Denis-Durand-for-M.-Micallef-cafleurebon-300x300

The flacon offered for this fragrance is beautiful, too, at least in photos. It’s square and blocky, with a blocky rectangular lid, but as the press release says, “Dressed with hand sewn delicate Chantilly black lace, the bottle is adorned with a little satin bow and a golden medal with the initials of the two artists.”

Micallef calls it an oriental, but it seems quite floral to me so I’m going to toss it in the floral-oriental category and be done with it.  As for the notes:

Head notes: Ceylon cinnamon, Italian tangerine

Heart notes: Bulgarian rose, orange blossoms, honey and animalis

Base notes: sandalwood, patchouli, amber and white musk

On to the fragrance. Does it smell like this dress?

A Durand dress that fascinates me. LOOK at it - all pale pale pale pink satin with a floppy bow, and the black Chantilly lace overlay, and - holy cow. Slit practically to the waist.
A Durand dress that fascinates me. LOOK at it – all pale pale pale pink satin with a floppy bow, and the black Chantilly lace overlay, and – holy cow. Slit practically to the waist.

Um… well, without the slit rising to risque levels, it’s not too far off.  It wears closer to the skin than these outrageous dresses would suggest, for one thing. For another, it’s not particularly dark, but it’s not a clean bright floral either. There’s enough of a black-lace quality to the earthy base to suggest evening wear and liaisons over drinks, but the florals are quite lovely. Orange blossom tends to dominate the heart, and despite the Animalis note – which smells something like my fur hat, a delightful hint of really-vintage fragrances – it is relentlessly clean on me, like a bar of scented soap. (But then, I typically get a soapy quality out of orange blossom, so this is nothing unusual.) The opening moments remind me just a bit of Tauer Une Rose Chypree, with the aromatic tangerine and cinnamon, and they might be my favorite part of the fragrance. Not that the rest is dull or badly composed at all – no, it’s lovely.  A number of people are getting oud and honey out of this, but I really don’t. There’s nothing about it that smells particularly animalic (the way oud and honey often can) to me, and it’s possible that other reviewers’ “oud” is my “dry wood,” but honey can sometimes go really, um, ladyparts on me, and I am not getting any of that at all.

The drydown is what many oriental-lovers are going to rave about, because it is warm and sensual without being too sweet or too raunchy. It makes me think of Givenchy’s Organza Indecence, though Parfum Couture is a little drier, its patchouli a little more prominent. I smell both sandalwood and a different, drier kind of wood in here (is this what everybody else is calling oud? I’m really only familiar with oud from those Montale rose-oud things, and the By Kilian Arabian things, and those were all much more medicinal), as well as a touch of amber.  Lasting power is about average for an edp on me, 4-5 hours, and sillage is also average.

Another Durand dress. I don't know how you could walk in it (or sit, for that matter), but it is a gorgeous color.
Another Durand dress. I don’t know how you could walk in it (or sit, for that matter), but it is a gorgeous peacocky thing.

All in all, a very lovely fragrance.  It’s available at Lucky Scent in the US.

Other reviews of Le Parfum Couture: Angela at Now Smell This; Mark at CaFleureBon (brief); Kafkaesque; That Smell; Chemist in the Bottle; The Scented Hound.

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6 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Micallef Denis Durand Le Parfum Couture”

  1. Organza Indecence is one of my favorite perfumes (two back-ups!), but I did not like the Durand. Won a sample of it and had high hopes but it was way too sweet on me. Money saved, because I really love the bottle.

    1. OI is lovely. Funny that it seems sweeter to me than the DDLPC (Ha, I abbreviated!), and you seem to feel the opposite. But that bottle is gorgeous, isn’t it?

    1. It IS nice, isn’t it? I think it would be great on a guy. And you’re welcome. I really need to add your blog to my links, you do a good job.

  2. This one was really sweaty on me, so much so, that I couldn’t get past the animalis. It reminded me of Absolue Pour le Soir, with a bit of Cabochard thrown in. Wowza! Good for guys though.

    1. Oh dear. It’s funny the varieties of skank and what we each will and will not tolerate! I cannot do the Ho Panties in Joy and several other jasmine-centric fragrances. Then there’s sweat, which I probably tolerate better than some people do but am not hugely fond of. And leather/fur, which is also iffy for me (when it works, I love it, and when it doesn’t, OH BLEAH). Then civet, which I do okay with in small doses (except, say, PdN Maharanih, which smells like unwashed male undergarment – at least I THINK that’s civet). And musk, which can range all the way from “clean baby” to “boys’ locker room hermetically sealed for two weeks in August”. Sigh. I’ve still not smelled APlS.

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