I am starting to wonder whether the house of Boucheron has a conscious ambiguity agenda going, as INITIAL, like so many other perfumes of this house (with the notable exception of the original powerhouse BOUCHERON) refuses to commit to a category or even to exhibit any sort of consistency from wearer to wearer. To my nose, this creation begins briefly with a tangerine/mandarin-spiciness evocative of the openings of a number of florientals familiar to me.
However, as INITIAL develops, a very strange mid-stage emerges, in which the pepper and cassis leaf (I presume) somehow combine to produce a dry cigarette-ash effect. It does not smell dirty here, as in Givency HOT COUTURE (which I do not like at all--in part because of the artificiality of the raspberries in that composition). Instead of smelling like a dirty ashtray, INITIAL mimics during its mid-stage (which lasts a few minutes) the scent of clean cigarette ashes--as oxymoronic as that may sound.
But wait, there's more: in the drydown, this perfume morphs again--at least on my skin, and according to my nose--into a honeyed-almond layer which lingers on and on and seems to bear no relation to the dry cigarette-ash stage, although it's not completely out of synch with the citrus-oriental opening.
Overall, I'd say that the identity of INITIAL is very difficult to pin down: it capriciously defies categorization and seems to manifest different notes to different wearers and even to the same wearer at different times. Given its manifest elusiveness, I'm not really surprised that this perfume was discontinued. The one thing that I can confidently assert is that INITIAL is both nonlinear and unique!
At first you get the scent of orange
wrapped with spices and warm amber
Cozy fragrant Imaginings of a Old Victorian Fireplace on christmas eve
a rocking chair rocks back and forth
comly listioning to the sound fire
Crakling Misoltoe on top of the archway
faint sounds of tinkling music boxes playing. or in the scene from The Age of Innocence when Madame Olenska and Newland Archer suble erotic chemisty
or russia Before the revolution when
Tsars ruled with Ambered walls decked with fine paintings of great masters
Leo Tolstory with his Anna Karenina
Onegin wondered though
St Peter's Squaire Like a Person without a soul after his Doomed love for Tatyana. the sweet Soft sounds of the balakas playing. this was a world
before Lenin Stalin and Communist Regime
Distroyed it Forever.
these are the thing i imagine when i wear this. a bittersweet Sojourn in a bottle.
I can see this as a precursor for the current style of the modern chypre fragrances, that uses a camphoraceous, but sweet, patchouli note attached to luminous fruity tones and some creamy musks sometimes. Initial in the EDP version has this kind of aura, a creamy honeyed musky that shines after a first medicinal almond opening, followed by peppered satined roses. I have to disagree that this is a common scent, common scents barely shines like this one, that seems sophisticated and balanced after the first minutes, when the dissonant almond starts to fade and open space for the beauty scent to glow at skin. A hidden gem, not for everyone I think, but it`s the kind of scent that seems magic when used in the proper skin. Although it seems to me,as other boucheron scents, a fragrance that you would use only in social moments, I would wear it everyday, since the glowing aroma is so appealing and makes me smile.
18th August, 2010 (last edited: 13th December, 2010)
I have used many perfumes over the years and have never had as many compliments about one as I have this one. Specifically, I have had many men stop me and ask the name of the fragrance (some wrote the name down). It is not for someone who isn't a bit bold in personality, it is not soft. It is like a big bold very velvety cabernet. I love it!!!
I rarely wear this fragrance as I feel it is pleasant enough but not special. I like the warm honey and amber, but just a tad too much vanilla. However, this is one frag that always gets great comments from others. I wonder that they are from people who are used to high street samey smells, as the same people hate it when I wear my favourite frags i.e patchoulis, CDG incense series etc. This leads me to the conclusion that I would not take much notice of the high street junkies, and always please myself. In summary, Initial is nice but not a first choice for me.