Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - Eau des Iles

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is one of those perfume houses that is often admired, but more elusive than one might think. There were rumours that they were closing down, but Luckyscent got them back in stock (albeit a fairly limited range) as did Les Senteurs in London. 

Eau des Iles is quite a strange perfume in my opinion. There is a green coffee note in it that while ingenious, is also slightly offputting for me. The notes include galbanum, coffee beans, myrtle, tarragon, ylang-ylang, incense, vetiver and patchouli. If from these notes you are thinking 'earthy', then you'd be correct, but not in a dirty, earthy way. The earthiness smells like dust and plant life to me. The opening is a very strong coffee and herbal concoction, and quite floral. The herbalness initially made me think that there was lavender in there, but this is probably myrtle. The initial phases are also very green and even a bit sour. The greenness comes from the galbanum, no doubt, of which there is a hefty dose here. The sourness might be from the vetiver.  As the opening fades the very realistic, freshly-brewed-coffee accord is replaced by what for me is the smell of the actual coffee bean. If you've ever smelled a coffee bean that is only lightly roasted, or perhaps not at all, then you'll get what I'm trying to convey. This green coffee note persists for some time, although it does soften to become green and woody, with an undertone of patchouli and what I perceive as a powderiness. Patchouli can smell a bit powdery in my experience and this is the effect I get with Eau des Iles. 

Like quite a few of the fragrances I've sampled in this line, Eau des Iles strikes me as quite gentlemanly and refined, even perhaps ever so slightly fusty. I do like this fragrance, but it seems a bit too conservative for my tastes, albeit very well done. This is highly rated on Basenotes, but for some reason I don't find it that groundbreaking - it smells quite traditional to my nose. Not that this is a bad thing, but just not what I'm really looking for in fragrance at this stage. Some might say that Eau des Iles is a bit quirky, and I do get that to an extent.

Overall though, I would certainly recommend that you sample this. While quite masculine, as ever I see no reason why a woman should not give this a go. 

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