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)