Parfumerie Générale Intrigant Patchouli, 2008

patchouli intrigant

Perfumer Pierre Guillaume

I wanted to like this perfume so much. It seems to be one that captures the perfumery equivalent of that perfect combination of high and low art that every other form has examples of, and the innermost sanctum of the cognoscenti recognize intuitively. Think Warhol during the 60s in NYC. Perfumeries Generale has to my mind a well-earned reputation as a line of distinction with decidedly less bullshit than most niche firms. Smart, always interesting, willing to make an attempt and fail, but usually succeeding. So there’s the high art. Hippy patchouli: there’s the low art.

All the fumies love it, and give the blogging equivalent of a knowing nod when using it as a reference point. I get one big, gorgeous nose-full of hyper-patchouli, and then can’t smell it at all. Believe me, I know it’s there from the comments of those around me when I’ve tried it. Apparently it’s a patch bomb to most noses, where to mine it’s effectively a glass of water. Were my patchouli neurons blown out as a child in the 60s?

So this is my low self-esteem perfume. The one that captures the best of all worlds in perfumery and tells the world you’ve got smarts and taste. And I’m left scratching my head.

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