WHAT I SMELL: Arpege opens with a large blast of aldehydes with an herbal essence, but immediately shows its floral beauty with rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang infused with a warm and soothing light amber musk. Arpege unfolds seamlessly making it very hard to pick apart the notes and that’s a good thing. I can tell you that there’s a bit of peach hiding inside just enough to give it a slightly sour flavor, but one that’s not offsetting. Instead it gives it just tad bit of a bite to make this a more than a run of the mill floral fragrance. There’s a graceful beauty in Arpege that keeps it’s notes grounded in mystery rather than in light. Not that Arpege is shy by any means, its projection is great and its bold without being loud.
Arpege notes from Fragrantica:
Top notes: bergamot, aldehyde, peach, orange bloom, honeysuckle, orris
Heart notes: rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, coriander, sensitive plant, tuberose, violet, and geranium
Base notes: sandal, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla and musk
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE ARPEGE: proper, poised, serious
BOTTOM LINE: There is nothing playful about Arpege. It’s wonderfully elegant and very staid. It’s what you think vintage perfumes should smell like and I love it. And don’t get me wrong, even though I say that Arpege is a lady, there is a masculine edge about the fragrance which bodes well with me. Do I wear it at the office?…no. But I often wear it when I do my Saturday errands, it makes the drudgery of going to the dry cleaners and grocery store so much more palatable.
I do have to say that I originally purchased a 7.5ml bottle of extrait on eBay and that’s when I fell in love. So much so that I saw a good deal on a 30ml extrait bottle (again on eBay) so I snatched it up as well. As with any vintage perfumes, depending on storage, etc. the fragrance can wear differently. In this case, the 7.5 ml bottle is deeper and richer and maybe a bit creamier (don’t get me wrong, this is not a creamy fragrance) right from the beginning which says to me that the top notes may be a bit lost. The 30ml bottle goes on greener with more bergamot, but then moves into wonderful heart notes. But both are wonderful and I’m thrilled that they’re part of my collection.
- Bone Rating: 4.5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Floral Aldehyde
- Classification: Feminine
- Review based on: vintage parfum extrait
- Expense: Varies, but can be found on eBay for what I think is a reasonable cost