Post by Sister Mary Magdalen, Patron Saint of Perfumers
Gather round worshipers at the ever growing altar of fragrant wonders. Today something new to put on your skin from one of my favourite and most-patronised perfume houses.
Skin on Skin by Bertrand Duchaufour for L’Artisan Parfumeur 2013
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica Gives these featured accords in one line:
Iris, suede, leather, saffron, whisky, lavender, rose, musks, skin effects
One of three fragrances in the new Explosions d’Emotions collection, Skin on Skin is a lovely scent. I have no explosions to confess, however. This fragrance is intended to capture the contact of one person’s skin with another’s in a tumble of sex and passion, a “wanton embrace” says the ad copy.
Perhaps the first clue that I should not expect anything too raunchy or abandoned is in the image chosen to represent the scent. The naked man and woman are posed in a stagey and disengaged embrace, she gazing into the middle distance, nary a hair out of place, lips pursed and one eyebrow arched. His gaze is on her, but not in a hungry way that suggests he’s reading her moans and palpitations to guide or ride with her to the heights of passion, rather he gazes in a way that indicates his focus on her is as a plinth on which to display his biceps to best advantage… but the fragrance?
Photo Stolen L’Artisan Parfumeur
Let us spray…
My first impression is dry and dark: there’s a slightly bitter saffron and a woody whisky. Also there from first spray is a lovely leather and suede that bring to mind the lived-in, body-warmed, and slightly sweaty saffron and leather of Etat Libre d’Orange Tom of Finland.
As the prominence of all these initially assertive notes settles to form the base of the scent, the heart emerges, more puff than pulse and pump. On me there is a plush and powdery iris and a cloud of the sweet cosmetic violet rose so familiar to me from L’Artisan’s own Drôle de Rose. My skin amplifies this rose, it continues sweet, prominent and persistent, but this was not so for other wearers who strained to detect rose on their skin. A shy line of lavender also weaves through, the deep and sweet purple floral of a Hidcote lavender, nothing camphorous or fresh. As the scent wears, an impression also comes of the rich sweetness of thick cream, a hint of vanilla egg custard and a clean powdered sugar. Perhaps these are the “skin effects” listed amongst the notes.
For me the fragrance evokes feelings of comfort and care. Rather than a “wanton embrace”, Skin on Skin evokes a shorthand contact between long term partners. It distills the adventures and mishaps of their lives together, but is exchanged at leisure in a time of peace, prosperity and safety. More corporate than corporeal, this scent brushes the back of a hand on the beloved’s forearm, making a brief private connection in a public space. Darling… together… we… I adore you.
In Skin on Skin, all the elements are there from the beginning. They shift and settle, bloom and fade but it’s all there at first spray. It’s elegant, well composed, attractive. It speaks of affluence. Its personality is not strong enough to exclude it from any situation. It wears close, and although the rose was more radiant on me than others, it is not a diffusive scent. Staying power is good.
This collection of three new fragrances for L’Artisan gleam like jewels in their bigger, squatter bottles, with bigger, scarier price tags. For Skin on Skin it’s a like and admire for me so far, and I am motivated to give it a good few more wearings.
Go in peace,
Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers.