Category: Dominique Ropion

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady, 2010

Perfumer Dominique Ropion. The rose and patchouli pairing is such a good fit that it seems like proof of fate. It’s been the basis for a range of leathery, ambery, woody and mossy perfumes spanning woody-floral, chypre and oriental genres. The Malle PR boasts that Ropion used surpassing doses of rose essence and patchouli coeur, a fractionated patchouli. Fractionated naturals…

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie, 2000

Perfumer Dominique Ropion Ropion knows how to make monster florals. Ysatis, Amarige, Alien. Jarring and disturbing to some, ravishing to others. (Count me in the disturbed category.) The key is in the synth-natural play of Ropion’s aesthetic. Take Amarige and Alien (co-authored with Laurent Bruyère). They are considered versions of the soliflor yet to my nose they are so unequivocally…

Frédéric Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire, 2002

Perfumer Dominique Ropion. Vetiver root has been used in perfumery since day one, but the eponymous masculine Vetivers fixate on it with a particular reverence.  Vetiver isn’t simply the masculine equivalent of the feminine white floral.  It’s become a ceremonial totem of male toiletry, ranking with the fougère as a masculine olfactory reference. In the late 1950s and early 1960s,…

digging (into) vintage: Givenchy Ysatis, 1984

(image, dreadful 1980s shoulder pads as worn by Joan Collins) Givenchy Ysatis, 1984.  Perfumer Dominique Ropion. Ysatis gives me some new thoughts on scent and memory. It comes from an era when I rarely wore perfume, and didn’t pay attention to the state-of-the-art at all.  Still, I remembered it instantly when I found a perfectly preserved vintage specimen recently. Ysatis…

Sisley Soir de Lune, 2006

Perfumer Dominique Ropion Soir de Lune is a throwback to a genre whose heyday was the 1970s-1980s: the heavy rose chypre. Maybe it’s a tribute, maybe it’s an attempt to revive a faded genre, but it lands squarely in the company of Ungaro’s Diva, Sherrer’s Scherrer, Lauder’s Knowing, even Paloma Picasso’s Paloma. It is as substantial as the others in…

digging (into) vintage: Ralph Lauren Safari, 1989

(image source, 1970s Yves Saint Laurent Safari Collection featuring Veruschka) Perfumer Dominique Ropion. I hadn’t known that Safari was discontinued until I started to write this reflection. I’m of a couple of minds about Safari, but I’m sorry it’s d/c’d. It’s an interesting alternative to other widely-available, mainstream florals. It starts crisp and grassy. It’s heavy on galbanum, but the high-pitched…