WHAT I SMELL: Madame Hellene is true to the dessert honoring her name as it opens with bright aldehydes and a sweet pear. The perfume is lush, juicy and dripping with a warmed honeyed tone of citrus. It’s also rich, opulent and almost too much to drink in. The pear is nectarous as if it’s coated in simple syrup and it’s also served with a fruity osmanthus. I can’t get over the dizzying spectacle of the whirling fruit and florals which seem to bounce off the skin like whirling dervishes. In a bit the perfume softens, but just slightly as the sweetened florals take on just a bit of powder, which reduces the ripe and wet which led the path at the beginning. After some time, the perfume’s fruity florals are met with a warmed sandalwood and light musk which helps to even the fragrance out. At this point, La Belle Hellene is as pretty as her name and the perfume develops this radiant powder with this delicious hint of licorice which is unexpected, but completely delightful. Licorice notwithstanding, the perfume really starts to dry as it settles down into a powdered memory of ripened pear.
Top notes : pear, aldehydes, tangerine, lemon flower
Heart notes : Bulgarian rose, osmanthus, mimosa, ylang ylang, iris, hawthorn, mirabelle plum
Bottom notes : myrrh, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, amber, sandalwood, oak foam, white musk, licorice
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A lavish dessert buffet.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LA BELLE HELLENE: succulent, ravishing, fruited
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LA BELLE HELLENE: Olfactoria’s Travels, The Black Narcissus, CaFleureBon
BOTTOM LINE: This pretty lady leaves me rather conflicted. On the one hand it’s too sweet and gourmand for my tastes; at the same time it’s so proper and ladylike with just a hint of licorice making this unique enough to strike my fancy. However, each time I have worn it, it does seem to test my patience a bit as it wears on me and becomes somewhat tiresome.
- Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Chypre Fruity
- Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
- Classification: Feminine
- Expense: $250 for 75 ml eau de parfum (non-bust edition)
August 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm
Consider yourself honored that I have surfed The Sample Sea to find my sample. I must have liked it, as I still HAVE the sample. This one needs a Pez dispenser (as it smells kind of pezzy at present) , with the head of one of those actresses from films from the thirties who had one of those sweet, trilling voices that quavered. That could get on my nerves, and I know what you mean about the perfume doing the same. Why don’t people have those voices any longer? Was it just a matter of the recording? I digress …
It is very pretty, and I’m finding myself drawn to sweeter scents these days which most likely means that I’m regressing as the elderly do. Maybe I simply need that to balance my crotchety side? I’ll dump some more on and see how we get on.
August 30, 2016 at 9:06 am
Thank you for making me laugh. I am picturing Glinda the Good Witch and her quavering voice. I do think that it’s the time of the year when sweeter scents do work. Try the same fragrance in the cold winter and I’m sure it would be rather cloying. And if you are becoming elderly, then I’m right next to you!!! xoxxox
August 29, 2016 at 8:55 pm
Parfums MDCI has a great sampling program with the purchase of a bottle. I have a 5 mL sample of La Belle Helene and love it. The dessert table is an apt representation. I swear I must have been a bee in a previous life. Sweet? Yes, please!
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August 30, 2016 at 9:08 am
Somehow I don’t see you as the sweet fruity floral lover, but I’m sure it smells fantastic on you. Who knew??? Do you have any of their perfumes in the resin bust? If so, I’m so completely jealous.
August 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm
Oh no, I am too cheap to pay extra for the busty bottles!
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September 3, 2016 at 2:52 am
Ha! One more time I get a confirmation that hajusuuri and I are scent twins.
I liked this perfume and thought that it smelled as a pear tart. I wasn’t sure though that I would want to wear it… Well, probably I would – if I could get the bottle with the bust for the price of their regular bottle (which isn’t cheap as is 😉 ).
September 3, 2016 at 6:09 am
Too funny, I would not have guessed your were a fruity floral girl either. Hmmm, I think I need to recalibrate my senses!