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Psychédélique - dark and smoky and ambered patchouli

It's winter where I am but, I'm ready for it since I brought my favourite cold weather fragrances to the front of the shelf at the end of autumn. Now, by the middle of winter, I notice that the fragrance I've been wearing most is Psychédélique from Parsian niche house Jovoy Parfumeur Parisien.

Jovoy was started by Blanche Arvoy in 1923. The shop on Rue de la Paix catered to perfume lovers looking for rich, luxurious scents. But times change and tastes change and by the early 1960's the line had disappeared. Enter François Hénin. A genial, amiable man, he revived the line and used it to anchor Jovoy, a multi-brand perfume store at 4 Rue de Castiglione in Paris that he opened in 2006. It wasn't long before this spacious, inviting shop became the Paris destination for perfumistas from all over the world.

I have little resistance to the scent of patchouli any time of year, but the heavy, dark, sweet, earthy, woody scent that comes from that bushy herb from the mint family, really sends me swooning in cold weather.

For some people, patchouli is forever associated with a head shop, hippie vibe they find challenging to wear.  I get it. I really do, but patchouli is a complex ingredient, and in the right hands, a patchouli fragrance defies that tired cliché. Psychédélique is one such fragrance.

Of Psychédélique, the Jovoy website says: 'This 'revival' perfume pays homage to the '70s, the decade that transformed patchouli into the legendary scent of the counterculture. At all the festivals, from Wight to Woodstock, patchouli's woody and mysterious richness sang the backup vocals for the rock mindset of a new generation of rebellious youth. Today, it has made its comeback, more hippie chic than ever and the boho-glam idol par excellence. It is a classic in its own right, with all of its audacity intact. Retro-nostalgia has never been so modern'.

M. Hénin knows about patchouli. In a previous life, he worked exploring and distilling raw ingredients for the perfume trade in places like Vietnam, where patchouli is extensively cultivated. Of Psychédélique he says: "Psychedelic: my great patchouli fragrance, dark and smoky, ambered, generous and opulent…Even the rain and mud of Woodstock won't wash it away."

Psychédélique opens fresh and tart with a note of nose-tingling citrus followed by a punch of ambery labdanum. As it quietens down, the citrus fruits become jammy and sweeter as a potent note of patchouli appears dark and smoky, yes, but also leathery, woody, earthy, spicy, sweet and camphourous it. A quiet OMG leaves my lips. The patchouli quickly moves to the sidelines to allow the nuances of its facets to shine before it blends with the sweet amber, which coaxes up a delicious chocolate facet of the patchouli. At the next stage, the patchouli is lightened and rounded by rose and geranium before settling into a smoky, warm, earthy hum, sweetened by creamy vanilla and softened by musk at the base.

At the drydown Psychédélique becomes more of a skin scent on me - refined, sophisticated, and beautifully seductive with its come-close siren call — a truly wearable patchouli fragrance.

If you are a patchouli lover, I think you'll love Psychédélique, if you're not, well, remember, you're never too cool to try something new.

Psychédélique is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml

Image - Wikipedia - Party like it's 1969  - Oil projection by Dominik, 14 Nov 2019