Eau de Gloire by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d’Empire 2003

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Post by Portia

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Hi there Fragrant Family,

When Michael Edwards of Fragrances Of The World fame had his cleanout this was one of the fragrances he gave me. I had liked it very much from my original Parfum d’Empire sample set (that I can’t find on the site anymore). So my review today is based on an older bottle like the top picture in the review. I have no idea if the fragrance has been reformulated for the new bottle but I’ve read nothing on the boards to indicate there has been a change.

Eau de Gloire by Parfum d’Empire 2003

Eau de Gloire by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Eau de Gloire Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, amalfi lemon, lavender, rosemary, neroli, tangerine, myrtle
Heart: Tea, star anise, licorice, immortelle
Base: Leather, tobacco, olibanum, french labdanum, oakmoss

The first fragrance that Parfum d’Empire brought to the world in 2003, modeled on Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s scent memory of his boyhood home Corsica, Eau de Gloire is literally translated as Water of Glory and dedicated as an homage to all those who’ve left their homelands to go into the world and conquer. Especially to his own home island boy Napoleon Bonaparte.

Photo Stolen HistoryFiles

The first words that jump into my head when wearing Eau de Gloire are Bracing, Citrus, Salt, Squeaky, Floral, Masculine. Yes, I know we don’t deal in masculine/feminine archetypes here but Eau de Gloire definitely skews towards what my upbringing has defined as a masculine scent, which does not minimise how spectacularly it will perform on the girls so please don’t get up in arms.

Eau de Gloire opens with a powerhouse icy cold screech of bergamot, citrus twig and broken branch and briny sea air then the herbs and flowers come and take the edge off. As the rosemary, lavender and star anise waltz in they warm the scent slightly but still it stays cool and laid back. I don’t believe in fragrances for the sexes but I keep imagining Eau de Gloire on a very masculine man though I would love to see how it smells on a woman. There is a squeaky dissonance here, the trilling of the citrus which lasts well into the heart of the fragrance and the rumbling of the incense, anise, oakmoss and tobacco. Unfortunately my nose misses the tea and leather in the composition completely, maybe you will have more luck.

Eau de Gloire comes and goes from my ability to smell it, very interesting, but when i concentrate I can. It’s like it hides from me to make me seek out its loose billowy freshness. At about 3-4 hours I get more soft and flowery notes over the various resins, this fragrance grows more interesting and textured as it matures. At 7 hours it is soft as butterfly kisses and almost as ephemeral.

Eau de Gloire Parfum d`EmpirePhoto Stolen Parfum d’Empire

I hadn’t worn Eau de Gloire for a while but last night when I wore it to work there were three compliments on my fragrance throughout the night. One of whom I am making a small decant for because her eyes were shining with enthusiasm. I think we have a new perfumista in our midst.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Chemist In A Bottle
Parfum d’Empire has 120/100ml
Libertine Parfumerie has $199/100ml and FREE AUSTRALIAN SHIPPING!
Surrender To Chance has samples that start at $3.50/ml

What have you worn lately that people have noticed?

Please treat yourself well, it’s hard to be happy when there’s someone being mean to you the whole time.
Portia xx

Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007

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Post by Portia

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Hi there Fragrance Fiends,

I have long lusted after the Parfum d’Empire perfumer. Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is a friggen hottie, so suave and handsome looking, so finished and grand. Here’s a photo to get you in the mood….

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato Parfum d'Empire

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d`Empire 2007

Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Fougère-Bengale Parfum d'EmpirePhoto Stolen Parfum d’Empire

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, tea, ginger, mint
Heart: Hay, tobacco, pepper
Base: Oakmoss, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean

From Parfum d’Empire: Edwardian dandies scented themselves with fougère, a classic fragrance family based on lavender, tonka bean and oak moss. Fougère Bengale revisits the genre with a powerful, honeyed blond tobacco accord, and carries us off to India…

Smoky tea, spice and hay are what come through initially on my skin and honeyed sweet tobacco. I know there’s lavender here, my brain is saying lavender, lavender, lavender but my nose doesn’t smell it at all. The smoky tea goees pretty quickly and the spice changes, not so energetic and I really do feel like I’m about to light a cigarette in a hayloft.

Photo Stolen WikiCommons

Then the main notes take a balmy turn, everything smooths out and the honeyed sweetness that often catches in the back of my throat becomes a softer, suppler and more comfortable beast all together. All of a sudden I am in a cozy, warm fragrance that is still dappled with light but now it’s a less golden and more burnished copper. Calmer, sweeter, smoother and cuddlier. The tiger is now a kitten purring happily in your lap or cuddled in the crook of your arm.

Fougere Bengale Parfum d`Empire Tiger Moni Sertel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I still get wafts of tobacco and hay through the heart and into the base but they are quickly quelled by the lovely resins. To be honest I get very little of India in Fougere Bengale at all. It’s too clean and too European elegant, once the fireworks die down I get much more Professor Higgins library than Shah Jahan’s tiger hunt. Yet I find it both appealing and wearable, it’s interesting enough to keep me sniffing and the longevity is excellent.

Further reading: Scented Hound and Non Blonde
Parfum d’Empire has 120/100ml
LuckyScent has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

India! Have you been? Is it on your list?
Portia xx

Eau Suave by Parfum d`Empire 2005 + Kate Bush

Hi there Music Lovers and Fumies,

Recently I posted a piece of music and told you how I love to put on the classical music and saif (spray a LOT) myself in a particularly big fragrance, close my eyes and just let myself float away on the music and fragrance together. Sometimes when the world gets too much, when I am bombarded by questions or negativity, when the next step seems unreachable or when I am completely overwhelmed by my to do list. Look at it this way: I could continue freaking out for 5 minutes or I can concentrate myself elsewhere, completely give myself to something else, and let my subconscious do its job. Quite often I find myself at the end of the piece of music 100% calmer, able to focus, aware of the next bite sized step or in touch with my gut feelings.

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire Josephine WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Last time it was Debussy: Rêverie but today I went looking for a childhood memory song. One that used to make me feel happy and sad, I used to play it repeatedly on my 3in1 and sing along in my thin childish tenor until one of the family would bang on the door and ask me to turn it down and stop that catterwauling.

Today it brings back happy memories and a smile as I completely let myself be taken away by the amazing voice of Kate Bush. What did I spritz today to listen to it?

Eau Suave by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2005

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, saffron, rose
Heart: Peach, raspberry, red berries, pepper, tea rose
Base: Vanilla, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

Spicy, sweet rose. I think the top notes of my bottle have been compromised slightly because the zingy coriander opening that I loved so well is muted nowadays. The rose is still lovely and sweet, not quite jammy but a fruity sweet and that wonderful hint of cracked pepper that some of the apricot rose flowers have when you grow them in the garden. A perfect soft focus fragrance to lose yourself in while listenbing to Kate Bush and beyond into the afternoon where it becomes a lovely soft rose and vanilla wash.

My review is for the vintage, I have not smelled the new in their very austere new bottles.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
LuckyScent have $145/100ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $4/ml

Whjat music or fragrance makes you float away?
Enjoy,
Portia xx

Kate Bush – The Man with the Child in His Eyes – Official Music Video

Equistrius by Marc Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007

Hello Fellow Fumies,

One of the sad things that happens in the perfumista world is that we often have only time to try the new and many of the veteran niche fragrances get left behind in the rush to smell the MILLIONS of latest and greatest. So I thought that I would dedicate as many Saturdays as possible to reviewing fragrances that are older than this current decade. Today we look at….

Equistrius by Parfum d`Empire 2007

Equistrius by Marc Antoine Corticchiato

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Iris, violet, green notes
Heart: Iris, chocolate, woody notes, powder, rice
Base: Amber, sandalwood, vetiver, suede, ambrette (musk mallow)

I thought I’d start with a fragrance that I tried once a while ago and always had on the retry list but it got pushed to the back of the cupboard. Last night for some reason I grabbed Equistrius and spritzed before I went to work. WOW! What most attracted me in the opening is a lovely smokiness, weird because its not talked about and then I wonder if my nose is playing silly buggers but I have just drained my sample for my third wearing and it is most decidedly smoky behind the earthy green opening.

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Great Smoky Mountains WikpediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Then the scent kind of blurs and becomes a soft focus fragrance that never really settles on a note but waltzes through the heart as a sweet bouquet, this is quite long lasting and smells great but no notes jump out and accost me. Sadly the rice note doesn’t appear on my skin or to my nose. One of the yummiest and freakiest smells in our house is the rice cooking in the pressure cooker. It always smells so enticing and I wish someone would capture that exact scent and bottle it.

Dry down is soft and very close, a mere breath of fragrance shimmering softly above my skin. A sweet vegetal nothing that you have to be very close to notice, pretty and a lovely surprise for someone undressing you……..

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Brumbies_Australia WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

How do I feel about Equistrius? While I enjoy it very much and love the ride I am not fully taken by Equistrius. Something in it doesn’t sing on my skin and after reading some other pieces on it I think the fault is me, not the frag. There are pieces missing from the puzzle and I wonder if its a sign that Equistrius and I are not buddies. There are so many others in the line that I adore so I can’t really complain. It’s a shame because the notes list and others reviews make me want to smell what they all smell, I think it would smell killer on the right person.

Equistrius Parfum d`Empire Icelandic Horse Brian Gatwicke FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and BOTO
Libertine has $150/50ml with FREE Australian P&H
LuckyScent has $145/100ml in the new bottles
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

Did you ever try this line? What about Equistrius? Did it ever spend skin time with you? What did you think?
Portia xx

Parfum d’Empire, Fragrance Reviews

Hi Stinkophiles,

Today we are looking at 4 of the Parfum d’Empire range of fragrances. I’m glad I’ve had a couple of days to do this because they have been so delicious, interesting and fun to wear, not to mention totally enjoyable to look up on different sites all the reviews, chatter, science and mystery surrounding them. Considering how little we know about the perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato there is a wealth of information about his fragrances, which has made my job easier and harder in equal measure. What to put in, what to leave out, what is true, fantasy, science, madness or necessary to give a complete picture? The samples were bought from the Parfum d’Empire website, all of them were purchased late 2011 and I had tried only a couple and from that have 2 unopened bottles awaiting a suitable opening ceremony.  I hope you enjoy this short journey through about a third of the range. This is not a favourite list it is merely a random snapshot of the magicians art of fragrance in one house. I will give you my first impressions in words then work through the fragrance as my often wonky nose takes me through each perfume. Come.

Eau de Gloire EdT

The first fragrance that Parfum d’Empire brought to the world in 2005, modeled on Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s scent memory of his boyhood home Corsica, literally translated as Water of Glory and dedicated as an homage to all those who’ve left their homelands to go into the world and conquer. Especially to his own home island boy Napoleon Bonaparte.


Photo Stolen from telegraph.co.uk

Bracing, Citrus, Salt, Squeaky, Floral, Masculine

WOW! This opens with a powerhouse icy cold screech of bergamot, citrus twig and broken branch and briny sea air then the herbs and flowers come and take the edge off. As the rosemary, lavender and star anise waltz in they warm the scent slightly but still it stays cool and laid back. I don’t believe in fragrances for the sexes but I keep imagining Eau de Gloire on a very masculine man though I would love to see how it smells on a woman. There is a squeaky dissonance here, the trilling of the citrus which lasts well into the heart of the fragrance and the rumbling of the incense, anise, oakmoss and tobacco. Unfortunately my nose misses the tea and leather in the composition completely, maybe you will have more luck. At about 3-4 hours I get more soft and flowery notes over the various resins, this fragrance grows more interesting and textured as it matures. At 7 hours it is soft as butterfly kisses and almost as ephemeral.

Fragrantica gives you the low down but Olfactoria’s Travels really does this lovely fragrance justice.

Osmanthus Interdite EdP

The French missionary and plant hunter, Jean Marie Delavay in the mid 19th century “discovered” Osmanthus (O. fragrans), a native of the GuiLin area of China (GuiLin means “Forest of Osmanthus” in Chinese). Osmanthus is a fast growing “bushy” tree that can grow 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide with glossy leaves and clusters of small, highly fragrant, yellow tubular flowers. Traditionally a symbol of love and romance and one of the 10 famous flowers in China and Taiwan.

Photo Stolen from trax2

Green, Crisp, Fresh, Light, Cold tea, High florals.

Osmanthus Interdite, which means Forbidden Osmanthus, is like arriving late for the presentation of tea during the cooler days of  jasmine and rose blooming. Honestly, I don’t smell jasmine and rose as I know them in life, this is an aloof, cool and soft scent on my skin, not a clean scent but reminiscent of cleanliness. Discernible and noticeable without a fanfare or scream, this is no bombastic floral. It is an old perfumed leather pair of driving gloves kept in perfect condition but worn, used and loved. The leather notes are far gone but you still can almost smell them, do I make sense? Almost as if they have become soaked with the wearers tea scented perfume and bodily fragrance over time, on top of a soft floral fragrance impregnated into the leather pre-purchase. They work side by side to create an intriguing unisex dichotomy through the heart. At the 8 hour point and there is still a whiff of something lovelier than me, faint and clean.

Here is Fragrantica and Abigail at I Smell Therefore I Am gives a 5 star rating to this luscious juice. WOW!

Wazamba EdP

Wassamba or Wassahoumba is a percussion instrument or disc rattle played rhythmically in loud, penetrating pulses by dancers during ceremonies in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Made of gourd and white wood the Wassamba usually weights about half a kilo.


Photo Stolen from ancestralmemory.com

Char, Sparkle/fizz , Olive green, Incense, Bark, Intense

Once the initial screaming, burning rush of Wazamba cools it becomes another perfume, churchy and sepulchral. It reminds me of years spent in Roman Catholic churches and the theatre and drama of religion. I think it’s interesting that many ceremonies of religious and tribal spiritual cleansing over the world smell similar. Having never been to West Africa personally, a neighbour once bought back a good luck talisman in the form of a fragrant pillow of woven grasses with smokey herbs, spices and incense inside, this has almost the same smell. What a powerhouse of memory and reflection Wazamba has been for me. A fragrance that wanders through a thousand shades of itself, more a journey than a scent. You must try this. Wazamba gave its all for about 5 hours and then became a skin scent, discernible to my partner as something other but lost to me.

Fragrantica for the notes and accords, but you must take time to read the Perfume Shrine‘s review, it covers everything and more, that I wish I could have said. Snaps!

Cuir Ottoman EdP


Photo Stolen from settemuse.it

Heat, Medicine, Booze, Fire, Hot new patent leather, Rubber, Road tar

OMG!! This opens like a Banshee wailing on my skin. It’s infernal and smells like I imagine being in Paul Chenavard’s (1807-1895), Inferno di Dante would smell like if they were burning tyres and a road in the background while drinking Kentucky bourbon in a hospital. I can’t believe I am smelling these things and wish I had a fragrant Godmother here so I could talk it through. WOW! Awesome MC AWESOME! After about 15 minutes Cuir Ottoman starts to breathe a bit, there’s air between the notes and I have a moment to think, leather, sweet leather and the flowers have arrived. There is a softening and prettying of the abrasive opening, we are covered in luscious leather and blossom and root. By the one hour mark we have arrived at the seraglio, beautiful full lipped sweating women, incense, hookah, floral unguents, leather and horses. There is still a beautiful ride and drydown to dark vanilla and spice but that is hours and hours away.


Photo Stolen from believerwoman

The Scented Hound has done a lovely review of Iskander by Parfum d’Empire today also, go check him out,

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our mini trek through the Parfum d’Empire range. I think I’ll do another set of four next month for you all,

Happy, fragrant and loving hopes for your day,
Portia xx

Parfum d’Empire: Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Hi Everyone,

A fragrance house and its makers story have inspired me again this week. Hopefully this tiny snapshot of the scientist, perfumer and artist Marc-Antoine Corticchiato whets your appetite for tomorrows fragrance reviews from the house, Parfum d’Empire.


Photo Stolen from parfumdempire

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is the handsome, urbane looking man in the photograph we all find on the front page of the Parfum d’Empire site. Considering his good looks and ability, his obvious charm (from the French videos I watched, but didn’t understand) and that his fragrance house is a continuing financial and critical success I am surprised there isn’t more information about him flying around the scentbloggosphere. I have stolen wholesale and remixed outrageously from the 2 best sources I could find; an interesting and informative interview on CafeFleurBon that you will be well rewarded should you take the 5 minutes to read it and the media fantasy that may be reality on the Parfum d’Empire site.

Born in Morocco, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato’s family hails from Corsica and he grew up in the village of Cuttoli Corticchiato, deep in the Corsican maquis (as Corsicans refer to the local bushland) and in Morocco at the family citrus groves. A competition horse rider, at an early age he considered becoming a professional equestrian. It was not to be; thank all the Gods and goodness itself.

“As a child, I was not especially attracted by perfumes but rather by plant scents, because I was curious about the different smells of a plant (through) the day or at various time of the year, even of the season. I was also curious about the great variety of plant smells…. ” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

This drive to understand mysteries of scent production in, and why this fragrance varies through the life of, aromatic plants led Marc-Antoine to study chemistry. He developed a new technique to analyse extracts of aromatic plants through carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR: an important tool in the chemical structure elucidation of organic chemistry; wikipedia) for his Ph.D., then training at the renowned École Internationale de Parfumerie de Versailles (ISIPCA).

Going on to work in a research laboratory focused on the analysis of aromatic plants and extraction methods, for years he “dissected” natural raw materials and acquired in-depth knowledge of them, their characteristics and various uses. His work has been publishing in international scientific reviews.


Photo Stolen from cafleurebon.com

His first blends were aromatherapy, teaching him to work towards therapeutic and olfactory goals simultaneously. He joined a Parisian perfume laboratory after carrying out this research for several years, where he found the opportunity to express his creativity more fully.

“Finally, I decided to create my own fragrances and I founded PARFUM D’EMPIRE in 2003 because I wanted to express my own vision of perfume…. I was inspired by all these Corsican people who have left their country to get a better life in different parts of the world…… The most well-known of  them is of course Napoleon… (who said) “Eyes closed, in the darkest night, if by some miracle I were transported to Corsica. I would recognise it immediately by its smell. “….. So do I.…. For all these people, the scent of the Corsican scrubland is still their favorite perfume.” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Through perfume Marc-Antoine expresses the emotion conjured by blends of the most beautiful raw materials, coveted for centuries for their refinement, aphrodisiac properties and use in sacred rituals. Even going so far as to set up a production unit for essential oils in Madagascar. It is the link between perfume, eroticism and spirituality that he has revived with his fragrance house Parfum d’Empire.

Founding my own brand PARFUM D’EMPIRE was a real challenge!  I did it to be free to create with the noblest raw materials.…My perfumes are an invitation to explore the most complex and mysterious of empires: the realm of the senses.” Marc-Antoine Corticchiato


Photo Stolen from bilan.ch

Marc-Antoine also teaches at ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l’aromatique alimentaire).

I wish I could find more but I think much of his interesting story must be hidden in French text, beyond my reach. Tomorrow though we will let the perfumes speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading, now it’s time for you to share. Do you have a Marc-Antoine or Parfum d’Empire story to share with us? We’d love to read it. Leave a message in the comments,

Portia xx