Parfumerie Générale l’Ombre Fauve, 2007

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(image, The Shadow, 1994 film)

Perfumer Pierre Guillaume

This perfume’s richness and sexiness comes from such a basic composition that its novelty is startling. How can it possibly have taken this long for somebody to put patchouli, amber and musk, components joined since the invention of perfumery, in just this combination?

The patchouli, amber and musk, along with incense and spices, fit together so perfectly and with such a convincing logic that you can virtually hear the ‘click’ as they lock into place.  Where some fundamental accords thrive more on the contrast of the elements than cooperation (the chypre, the fougère) this accord is of a piece and forms a honeyed, waxy, sweet-tart skin raunchiness that is so palpable you feel that you can grab a hold of it.

I know people may find l’Ombre Fauve objectionable or rank in the way that some find Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan unpleasant. I love both, and l’Ombre Fauve is one of the most sensuous perfumes I’ve smelled in ages. I can’t stop wearing it.

If this helps to steer you toward or away from l’Ombre Fauve, I love the smell of the jasmine and orange blossom that’s in the air now where I live. It’s intoxicating. But I love the smell of my dogs’ fur and my husband’s skin as much if not more.

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