Post by Claire Vukcevic
G’Day lovely-smelling APJ people!
Have you ever nicked a perfume from your parents or siblings? I have. Well, I’m too scared of my father to lift his Terre d’Hermes parfum. But I’ve mentally placed post-its on it just in case, you know… My mother has no interest in perfume, but like any good mum, is given loads of it and stacks it all up at the back of her wardrobe.
Now, I used to joke that the only perfume I’d be likely to inherit from my mum would be a half-used bottle of Eternity. But it turns out that she only likes No. 5, and so I was free to take her vintage No 19 EDT, vintage Je Reviens, and a bottle of Opium that she tried to persuade me not to take “because it must be 40 years old at this point and no good at all.” Ha!
Also among the bottles I re-housed for her was L’Occitane’s Immortelle de Corse. I had never heard of it. A quick search on eBay, however, told me that it’s pretty rare and that people pay up to €200 for it. But I don’t think I’d ever sell it because it’s G…G….G…Gorgeous.
Immortelle de Corse by L`Occitane 2011
Immortelle de Corse by Claire Chambert
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Corsican immortelle
Heart: Honey, rose, black tea
Base: Corsican immortelle, benzoin, iris, musk
I’m a big immortelle fan, to the extent that I grow it in my garden and own pretty much every perfume iteration of the note. To me, it smells in turn of delicious hay, tea, leather, maple syrup, honey, booze, curry, and sometimes dried grass. It is not a simple, one-dimensional smell, so that’s why I think it’s not redundant to own more than one fragrance that features it.
Initially, Immortelle de Corse smells like whiskey mixed with Acacia honey. The rich booziness that rolls off the topnotes remind me somewhat of the Scottish whiskey note in Like This, which also features immortelle, but with less smoke and gingerbread, and more of a simple, liquid honey.
There is a maple syrup-like chewiness to the honey that’s pitched halfway between amber and burned sugar, but the accord never comes off as heavy or sickly. Immortelle can be slightly cloying, but here the potential clinginess of the maple-honey note has been cut with notes of black tea, which introduce air and smoke.
There is also a dry, powdery iris evident in the drydown, which joins with the delicious smell of sun-baked hay and benzoin to make you think of lazy harvest afternoons, smoking on a shady veranda and looking contentedly at all the haystacks you’ve just built. Basically, it’s a cornucopia of harvest smells – wine must, honey, booze, hay, and tea.
Longevity is great – about 6 hours on me, when it fades into a leafy, curried warmth that is pure immortelle. The kind of person I see enjoying this would be a fan of other autumn harvest fumes such as Botrytis, Volutes, and Frapin 1270.
Further reading: Now Smell This
What about you guys? Have you ever nicked, er, I mean, “borrowed” perfumes from family members? If so, what were they?
Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir!
Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off