1740 Marquis De Sade by Gérald Ghislain for Histoires de Parfums 2008


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.”

MarquisDeSade FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

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.

Orgy, Illustration from Histoire de Juliette by the Marquis de Sade, 1797 art.comPhoto 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.

LS008465Photo Stolen developmentagezim

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.

Further reading KatiePuckrikSmells and Olfactoria’sTravels
LuckyScent has 60ml/$125
SurrenderToChance starts at $5/ml

See you soon,

10 thoughts on “1740 Marquis De Sade by Gérald Ghislain for Histoires de Parfums 2008

  1. This is one of the Best Ever Masculines ever made! (Although I’d be happy to wear too, if I had any) It’s different, rich, complex and a little audacious. (Did I just describe my ideal man? 😉 ) I think what I love most about it was the interplay between labdanum, which accounts for that sweet, boozy, ambery-smoky tinge) and davana – surely the greatest shapeshifter in perfumery? I’m not sure just how much it has in common with the Marquis – except that it comes from a different angle than we expect, perhaps? Another relation to 1740 is the grossly underrated Baudelaire from Byredo – if you love 1740, you should sniff it out! Adored your review! 🙂


  2. 1740 is definitely a stricktly masculine fragrance. Dark, opulent, mysterious and seductive. It was a little bit too much for me but I’m known for prefering lighter perfume compositions. Histoires de Parfums is one of my favourite houses, 1725 Casanova being my favourite.


  3. I absolutely love 1740 and never thought of it as strictly a masculine. Tarleisio, thanks so much for the comparison to Byredo’s Baudelaire. I love both scents but, never really put two and two together and thought of them in the same category – duh! I love immortelle but, find that it can quickly become too maple syrupy in certain scents on me and with our heat/humidity. 1740 (and Bauldelaire) has enough of the other great stuff to maintain a wonderful balance. Great review, Michael!


  4. This sounds like something I’d love to smell on my hubby but it also sounds like something he’d never wear. I think I should get him a sample anyway. Thanks for the review!


  5. Hi guys

    Thanks for the encouragement. Nice to know the review wasn’t a total stinker 😉
    Also glad to read the love for 1740.

    Interesting that you mention Baudelaire Tarleisio. It’s another frag I like, but I never made a connection with it and 1740. How does one remind you of the other?
    I absolutely agree about it being underrated though. Too many have become fixated on the name and missed the subtleties hidden in the fragrance. One of the best of the Byredo line imo.

    lucasai, 1725 certainly is a gem too. Have you tried Sartorial and Invasion Barbare? It’s definately worth testing these two if you love 1725. I’m still trying to decide which of the three I love most.

    poodle, just tell your hubby he has no choice! Seriously though, you can try applying heavier frags sparingly and avoiding the upper chest and front of the neck. It may not be as much of an issue if the fragrance isn’t constantly attacking his nose from up close.

    Madeleine, I’ll throw some 1740 your way when we next catch up but please come back and tell us how it goes 🙂


  6. Masculine, shmasculine, I want to try this on me! You make it sound great, Michael, and I’ll search it out soon. The only Histoires I’ve tried thus far is their Ambre 114, but I’ve been very impressed by it, as well as by the small bottle option, so one of my 2013 goals is to explore the line further. Welcome to the APJ crew. 🙂


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