Genre: Woody Oriental
Attrape-Coeur is a warm, spicy, woody oriental scent that flirts with gingerbread and Christmas pudding, but doesn’t actually stray into gourmand territory. It avoids the dessert buffet by balancing its cinnamon and cloves with an animalic indole in its floral accord and a pleasantly medicinal accent in its woods. A heavy violet note accompanies the spices, the sweet, jammy rose, and the orange blossom at Attrape-Coeur’s center, while a sweet, powdery, vanillic amber and an ample dose of patchouli ground the composition. No lightweight, Attrape-Coeur radiates prodigiously and leaves a generous cloud of dark, sweet sillage. It’s also tenacious, with those powdery amber and patchouli basenotes stretching the drydown out for hours.
I’ve wavered over rating Attrape-Coeur. It smells pleasant enough at first acquaintance, and it feels to be made of high quality ingredients, but to my nose it’s also overly dense and ponderous, an after and hour or so its unrelieved weight becomes mightily oppressive. However, if you love Serge Lutens’s Arabie, Bond No. 9’s West Side, Chanel’s Coromandel and Bois des Îles, but find them all a little bit too slender, Attrape-Coeur may be just what you’re after!
The opening is not exactly the best one out there, on my skin is a bit cloying and sticky like fresh pouring fir balsam, I smell a lot of sandalwood and resins (it suddenly reminded me of Lutens' Santal de Mysore in fact). Syrupy and sticky, and fairly sweet too. The base is nice, dark and thick like tar, almost animalic too, with an interesting dense mix of hay, moss, incense, and patchouli. The heart of the scent is however that warm, sticky dense blend of resins and flowers, mostly jasmin and heliotrope with just a hint of violet, which will eventually emerge better. Balsamic, oily and woody, with a syrupy heart of floral notes and a waxy/powdery feel, that's basically it for quite long – the evolution is pretty close to zero. It eventually just becomes a little more smoky and earthy on the very inner base. Thick and a bit monotone. After a while, as I said, the violet note emerges better, together with a waxy aftertaste, and it kind of comes closer some classic Guerlain's like Mitsouko, however the "tribute" is subtle and there is no real resemblance, just a faint echo. Not bad, but I see why they discontinued this.
12th May, 2014 (last edited: 13th May, 2014)
The opening is fruity on my skin, but in a retro style, dominated by milky, peachy lactones. l can see the oft-mentioned resemblance to Mitsouko here, but this is warmer, friendlier, less aloof. lt quickly settles into a creamy floral accord, mainly violets to my nose, underscored by sandalwood & a little vanilla. After a couple of hours, there's a touch of ambergris & moss, but these notes are very subtle; the creamy florals & sweet sandalwood dominate right to the end. After four hours, the scent lies very close to the skin, & fades completely after eight hours.
This is a very pretty fragrance, & much sweeter than l expected. For me it's kind of a more grown-up & sophisticated version of the fruity florals that are popular with very young girls these days. lt's charming & delightful, but it's not quite me.
A fragrance with an identity crisis
An interestingly fickle hybrid, straddling somewhere between a floral oriental and a chypre. On skin I get more of the former with facets of iris, amber and sandalwood but on fabric, it's more of a spicy floral chypre. While both sides are attractively presented I rather wish it makes up its mind. But if you like your fragrance to keep you guessing, this should keep you suitably entertained.
The liquid in my sample vial (whose provenance was ultimately a decanter, by way of a fellow fragrance traveler) of Guerlain ATTRAPE COEUR smells suspiciously familiar to the dregs in the bottom of my now nearly empty bottle of YSL YVRESSE, which is so old that it actually bears the original name of that perfume, CHAMPAGNE.
Thick, somewhat gunky stewed peaches and parched vetiver? Hmmm... this seems very similar to the result which I might expect to derive from attempting a reduction of MITSOUKO over the stove. The flowers are really all stuck together in an amorphous blob in this composition. Eventually the drydown smells more like MITSOUKO than YVRESSE, but I never detect a single isolable flower petal anywhere: rose, violet, and iris are nowhere here to be sniffed. I do believe that my sample may simply be old.
I never had a chance to try the 1999 launch of "this" perfume, GUET-APENS, but I am curious as to why it should have been totally renamed if in fact there was no significant reformulation for the 2005 launch of ATTRAPE COEUR. I also wonder why two extra perfumers should be given credit for a perfume originally composed by Mathilde Laurent, if in fact the two creations are really one and the same.