Blog post by Gwen

11.1 Indian Wood – spicy and lightly woody and fabulous

Pierre Guillaume. He's so good-looking; he's kinda unforgettable. In fact, he could have chosen to be a model but chose to be a perfumer. Strangely, I’m glad he did, especially after smelling his perfume called 11.1 Indian Wood.

That’s right, 11.1 Indian Wood. Guillaume numbers the fragrances in his Pierre Guillaume Paris line (formerly 
Parfumerie Générale), and the “.1” refers to the fact that 11.1 Indian Wood is a rework of his 11 Haramatan Noir, which was launched in 2001. 

The Pierre Guillaume Paris website says that Haramatan Noir 11 is “A pungent breath inspired by the Sahara… the spicy fragrance of a warm wind mingled with dried flowers, wood and salt, overlaid by a faint, refined fragrance of mint tea….”

While 11.1 Indian Wood is a reprise of “the same aromatic-spicy logic by associating peppermint with nutmeg and cardamom. The woody, exotic character of the composition is based on a triptych of oak moss, fir balsam and sandalwood, bound with a drop of coconut milk.”

For Pierre Guillaume, each fragrance in the line is a new stop in a journey to the heart of the PG style.

If 11 Haramatan Noir is the fragrance of a desert wind in Africa, 11.1 Indian Wood is the next stop on the journey: India.

When I was at the counter choosing between 11 Haramatan Noir and 11.1 Indian Wood, I asked the sales associate which one she preferred. She said she liked them both but found 11.1 Indian Wood to be a bit more intriguing. Hmmm. I wasn’t on the market for intriguing that day, but I am always on the market for fabulous, so I bought 11.1 Indian Wood.

It opens fresh and spicy from lemon zest and cardamom. A note of coconut milk gives it a milky sweetness. The spicy/sweet contrast makes the opening captivating. It is carried through to the heart of cool, refreshing, herbaceous peppermint, its pepperiness heightened by spicy, sweet nutmeg. The peppermint's green aspect threads to the base's woods: sandalwood, vetiver and fir balsam. The woods are light, not heavy, and rise through the spices and the sweetness to create a lyrical, fragrant blend that goes on for hours. Fabulous.

Guillaume is the master of gourmand fragrances – he knows how to take the sweetness to the precise moment where it still adds to the fragrance and just before it starts to spoil it.  He makes the balance of sweet/spicy/woody in 11.1 Indian Wood so seamless and perfect that it seems it was easy to do. But then, isn’t that what great talents do: make difficult things seem easy?

Another thing - I like that Guillaume revisits his fragrances, explores them, reworks them and takes them in other directions. If each fragrance is indeed a new stop in a journey, then I can’t wait to see where Guillaume takes us next.

Check out 11.1 Indian Wood in our Shop.