Guest Post by Michael
Hello fellow Fragaholics
For a kick off I thought I’d review one of my favourite fragrances and, dare I say it, a modern masterpiece –
1740 Marquis De Sade by Histoires de Parfums 2008
1740 is part of the Library of Scents range of Histoires de Parfums and inspired by the: “Birth year of a Parisian gentleman, named Donatien-Alphonse-François, which posterity remembers as the Marquis de Sade. For this man, whose licentious morals had him imprisoned many times, luxury rhymes with literature. The libertine writer would undoubtedly have enjoyed the audacity of this spiced wooded scent, an invitation to pleasure with its bergamot and Davana Sensualis hints, rounded with patchouli and everlasting flower.”
Fragrantica gives these featured accords::
Top: Bergamot, Davana Sensualis
Heart: Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom
Base: Cedar, Birch, Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Elemi, Immortelle
This fragrance has wonderful depth and volume. The opening combines bergamot, coriander and the high register notes of cedre – you could not call this “fresh” however as sweetness, booziness, leather and naughty spices form the opening too. Cumin and cardamom play they’re dirty little games while the birch and woody notes support the leather undertones. I can understand why some might call out incense however it seems to be more of a fleeting impression than an actual part of the composition. There is a slight persistence of the softer bergamot elements between the opening and the mid offering a soft tone to the dryer spicy woody aspects.
Photo of Marquis de Sade Illustration Stolen art.com
The sweetness is a little syrupy but not cloying despite being reminiscent of maple syrup or molasses. The booziness is not entirely specific but it does give off a somewhat dry sweet liquor impression; something akin to oak aged rum or port pipe aged whisky.
1740 does not change drastically during wearing but the middle phase does see some development. The little there is of fresh notes retreat and the spices are turned down allowing a greater overall balance. The sweetness loses its syrupy edge and moves into a subtle amber accord. The tobacco and leather are still there in dryer incarnations. There is a slightly peppered note but I’m not sure if it’s black pepper or an aspect of the patchouli combining with the cumin and dry woods. Certainly it helps add to the perception of tobacco’s presence. This is where the fragrance is at its best– the warm Indian spices, immortelle , tobacco, dry leather and amber swim and dance on the skin and it smells oh so wonderful and comforting. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a big warm hug from your SO or burying your nose and forehead into the nape of your lover as you cuddle up at night.
The drydown sees a further drying of the composition. A somewhat gritty but non head shop patchouli has been at play all the way through but it seems more prominent now with the immortelle, spices, tobacco and leather still rumbling along, albeit at a lower volume. All in all a masterful unisex masculine; hah!
1740 has moderate projection and excellent longevity.
See you soon,