Parfumerie Générale Intrigant Patchouli, 2008

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(image source londonwalkblog.blogspot.com)

Perfumer Pierre Guillaume

I wanted to like this perfume so much. It’s niche perfume’s equivalent of that thing that denotes a groovy art minute. The locus of high art and downtown discernment—that moment the cognoscenti recognize intuitively. The Silver Factory, the Judson Church Dance, Fluxus. The niche perfume scene.

Perfumeries Generale has to my mind a well-earned reputation as a line of distinction with decidedly less bullshit than most niche firms. Smart, 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 online fumies love Intrigant Patchouli, and give the blogging equivalent of a knowing nod when referring to it. 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 insight and discernment. And I’m left scratching my head.

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