Immortelle de Corse by Claire Chambert for L`Occitane 2011


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

12 thoughts on “Immortelle de Corse by Claire Chambert for L`Occitane 2011

  1. Hi Claire
    I regularly spritzed my mothers’s Caleche and First back in the 70s and 80s. I think she also had a Givency which was beautiful, but I can’t remember the name of it unfortunately.


    • Hi Virginia, sounds like your mum had great taste!

      Honestly, growing up, the only perfumes I remember my mum having were CK Eternity (which I coveted with a zeal I rarely have for any perfume these days) and Issey Miyake. She still loves the Miyake but only wears the No. 5 EDT. Was the Givenchy your mum wore perhaps L’Interdit or III? Their older perfumes were very beautiful. It’s kind of a shame what happened to their range.

      Cheers, Claire


  2. Hey Claire,
    HA! Stealing fragrance? When I was a kid Mum had been given a 16oz EdC of (my memory says Joy but Jean Kerleo said they never did an EdC so it must have been) No 5. Anyway it was about 3/4 empty and I climbed up on the bench to put some on. It slipped from my hands and shattered on the bathroom floor tiles. I couldn’t even get down & run for it because I was barefoot and there was glass EVERYWHERE! He he he I had to man up and take the fury of my Mum.
    When Mum died I got all her fragrances, some I gave to friends but most of them I used in loving memory. Now I buy vintage bottles of them.
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia,

      Oh my God, was she terribly angry? I am sure you made it up to her before she passed away, though, and I am sure you bought her some lovely stuff (assuming, that is, that you were into perfume before that time). How touching to have memories of your mum in the form of perfume – it must have been difficult to spray them on the first time, but it sounds like you got over that and used them abundantly in her memory. I would love to find a vintage EDC of Chanel No. 5. I know many perfumistas swear that’s the best, most leathery version, and the most unisex too.

      Cheers, Claire


      • Claire,
        She was so angry she couldn’t even be angry. My dad was very tight with money, even though Mum worked in their watch, jewellery & gift shop, so when she was given lavish thank you gifts by the salesmen because she’d sold so much fragrance it was a big deal. Yes the No 5 EdC is amazing. You can find it pretty cheaply still on eBay but only about one in five that I buy are real.
        Portia xx


    • Hi Morrigan!

      Yes, I’ve tried Tabac Rouge but it’s entirely different to Immortelle de Corse. They both have honey but whereas Tabac Rouge smells like a tobacco tea gently flavored with cinnamon honey, IdC plays more on the pure honey note, using immortelle to give the honey a caramelized, burned sugar chewiness – no tobacco leaf (to my nose at least). Both very nice, subtle fragrances, though, and I suppose that Tabac Rouge would fit nicely into the fall harvest theme too!

      Best, Claire


  3. I’m in. I’m now going to be trolling ebay. This sounds right up my alley. Immortelle so often is not favored but I love it. Great review. I went for my mother’s EL Youth Dew but also Magie Noir, her Tabu and Maja when she wasn’t looking. She liked spicy scents. No “Joy” in the house, just rich, powerful and spicy.


    • Hi Shiva Woman,

      Your mum sounds like a woman after my own heart! I love dry, spicy ambery orientals, although I’ve never tried Tabu and only ever the modern version of Magie Noire (which is actually pretty good). I am currently thinking about Nanban by Arquiste and Noir d’Epices, but you know, $$$ 🙂

      Do they still sell the Youth Dew bath oil, would you know? I find Youth Dew too balsamic to wear on its own but would love a rich, spicy bath oil.

      Cheers, Claire


  4. Thanks for the article. Is there anyone want to sell this discontinued Immortelle de Corse, would love buy from him/her.
    When I was teen, wore my Dad favorites Chanel No 5, Brut & Chanel Antaeus. I borrowed Hermes Bel Ami from my cousin & fallen in love thus buy it from him.
    Similarly my married daughter borrowed Dior Poison (Vintage) from me & I later gifted her. Another daughter frequently wearing Youth Dew & then gifted her, so I bought another for myself last week.


    • Hikmat, you sound like a lovely dad…no need to steal from you, I see, as you generously give your daughters whatever they wish from your collection. That is so nice of you 🙂

      I have no idea where to find Immortelle de Corse these days apart from eBay, but honestly, I wouldn’t pay the high prices they are usually asking for. You might wait and see if L’Occitane decide to reissue it, as they recently brought back three of their most popular discontinued scents, including Eau d’Iparie, which is a very good myrrh scent. Best of luck, Claire


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