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Throughout the years that I’ve been writing about perfume, I’ve noticed that patchouli is one of those a love it or hate notes. I happen to love it. I love its rich, earthy, smoky, sweet, spicy balsamy, woody scent. And with so many fabulous aspects, a good perfumer can really get creative with it. I am reminded of this every time I wear Intrigant Patchouli 08 from French indie line Pierre Guillaume Paris.
Intrigant Patchouli 08 was created by self-taught perfumer Pierre Guillaume in 2005. M. Guillaume worked as a chemist in his family’s business before he became interested in artistic expression in fine perfumery. In 2002 he launched Parfumerie Générale. Later he added two other lines to this brand: Huitième Art Parfums and in Phaedon Paris. Today, all his fragrances from these lines are under the Pierre Guillaume Paris trademark.
I own several fragrances by M. Guillaume, but Intrigant Patchouli 08 was the first one I bought, and its hold over me hasn’t weekend.
On me, it opens with a nose-tingling note of spicy, bracing ginger and tart citrus notes of juicy, sweet mandarin, aromatic lemon and vibrant citron. As the citrus brightness fades, the top settles into a warm, fruity sweetness with powdery undertones that read elegant and chic. The piney aspect of the ginger connects to a note of earthy, sweet patchouli. Warm and leathery civet and castoreum show up. Perfectly balanced and in harmony, they give the patchouli an animalic depth that is just sublime. Before long, creamy, woody and sweet-tinged, Mysore sandalwood moves into the mix. It highlights the rich, balsamy, woody aspects of the patchouli. The dirty aspect of patchouli, which was never very pronounced, is even less noticeable now. Benzoin sends resinous curls up from the base notes, where musk benzoin amps up the sensuality of Intrigant Patchouli 08 with a sensual undertone. Amber, vanilla and honey play their parts - amber adds warmth and depth, honey gives it a sticky sweetness, and vanilla makes it cozy and just a little boozy.
The Pierre Guillaume Paris website says that the inspiration for Intrigant Patchouli 08 was “The transformation of a bohemian wood into an elegant and complex elixir inspired by the Chypres of the 40s.” To me, Intrigant Patchouli 08 is less a ‘counterculture’ patchouli and more of a complex patchouli fragrance that manages to be seductive, elegant and surprisingly soft without compromising the patchouli’s personality.
This is a patchouli that was made to be worn and enjoyed.
Intrigant Patchouli 08 is in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00.

Photo: courtesy of CREED

Fragrances can often trigger memories. Sometimes these associations are deliberate, like when you choose a scent for your wedding, and some are unintentional, like the year my husband bought me Aventus for Her for Christmas.

I was in the laundry room, in the basement, a week before December 25th, preparing things for the big day. The weeks and days surrounding the holidays are full of excitement and fun, but there's also tension and lots of work. I felt a bit overwhelmed until I remembered my husband always hides my Christmas gifts in the basement. Maybe a little peek at a gift might put me in the jingle bell mood? It didn't take me long to find Santa's stash, and soon I was touching, squeezing and shaking those presents.

"Hey, what are you doing down there?" my husband cried out from the top of the stairs.

Too startled to think clearly, I shouted, "Getting food for the dog." Then I got back to the gifts

One made that heavy clunk sound of a glass bottle in a box. Carefully, I eased the Scotch tape away from the wrapping paper just enough to see what it was: Aventus for Her.

I was dumbstruck. I've coveted it since I first smelled it, so this beauty was at the top of my Christmas list.

Aventus for Her opens with nose-tingling bergamot, bitter and green, and fresh, juicy lemon. A note of tart green apple rounds out the citrus fruits, making the opening refreshing and elegant. Pink pepper adds a little warmth to the fruits as its rosy aspect links to a note of tender violet. Patchouli makes a surprise appearance, supporting the fruits and flowers with its sweet, earthy woodiness. At the heart, a blend of lush, opulent Bulgarian and Turkish roses bloom on my wrists as Mysore sandalwood, deep and woody, picks up the patchouli just as its floral accents brace the roses. Styrax adds resinous hints that flit throughout the fragrance, as musk keeps it smooth. The patchouli and sandalwood stay down to the base that's fruity from sweet, luscious peach tempered by tangy black currant. A note of sweet, fruity, heady ylang-ylang joins the fruit and mirrors the fruity/floral opening. At this stage, it gets powdery from lilac and amber, which also makes it warm and erotic.

The drydown is warm, sophisticated, and enticing.

Aventus for Her is an anytime/anywhere fragrance. Still, at that moment, in the basement a week before Christmas, I saw myself walking to meet a friend for lunch on a warm summer's day. I feel confident and carefree in a loose cotton blouse, linen skirt swirling around my legs, strappy sandals on my feet, the heat of the sun on my skin and Aventus for Her in the air.

"You opened one of your Christmas gifts?" my husband's voice came from over my shoulder.  I didn’t even hear him come down the stairs.

"Yeah. I'm sorry, I just…."

"…. needed a little lift. I know," he said gently.

"You know me so well," I said.

"That, and we don't have a dog."

And that is how loving memories are made.

Aventus For Her is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $7.00 for 1 ml.


Welcome to

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

We’ve tested and tried hundreds of samples over the years, and when we deemed a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let others buy and try samples from our collections and experience the fragrant beauty we write about.


We blog

We write a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent critics, so these aren't negative reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants. That's .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retail store or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
We hope you enjoy, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.