APERCU belongs to a rare segment of chypres that are quite alike and altogether wonderful - the scent of a warm autumn day, with the amber-sweet decay of vegetation supported by crisp fallen leaves.
Schiaparelli's SHOCKING was like this.
Raphael's REPLIQUE was like this.
Now all we have is APERCU, outside of vintage bottles of the two discontinued fragrances above. This is I believe one of a handful of Houbigant's original formulas being recreated for the current market.
Stock up - it's cheaper than finding SHOCKING and REPLIQUE on Ebay.
Another great scent by Houbigant and very unisex. I have both the edt and the pure perfume version. it stays very close to the skin and last for as long as 12 hrs on my skin. Beautiful oakmoss chypre- with subtle hints of cinnamon, cloves, rose and sandalwood. One of my faves!
In the Persian language, you call a person who lacks in temperament "salt-less". Obviously, there's a parallel to the Spanish perception of a "salty person" so wonderfully pointed out by Hillaire in her review of the scent.
Apercu is a gorgeous, original perfume. The first deep sniff you take of it will tell you what an outstanding creation this is. It is a chypre with a very radiant touch, not sharp or biting, but stylish and elegant. Highly recommended - grab it while you can.
In the Spanish language, the adjective salty (salado) is often used to describe an attractive woman who is self-possessed, inherently sexual, and amusing. It's a wonderful term, and I have always considered its contrast with the more common description of women as sweet ('Sweet' is nice and fine, but not half as great as 'salty'!), particularly as we lack this association in English. (I feel that we are really missing out on something profound.) I love the sensual range of flavors I associate with saltiness as opposed to sweetness and the idea that 'saltiness', in a woman, is considered a sensual quality. I'd like to be "salty"!
Well, 'Apercu' is a *salty* chypre, if you can conjure what salt smells like, and it's absolutely for a 'salty' kind-of woman (though it's utterly unisex). It is truly a powerful, unapologetic, and sensual beast.
This imposing, paradigmatic chypre is neither supplicating nor attentuated, nor degrading to its genre, like so many other newer chypres are, in their efforts to appeal the fickle, sweetness-loving modern perfume-consumer. 'Apercu' triumphantly declares chypres are the nes-plus-ultra *goddesses* of perfumes!
It's both an homage to the greatest originary ladies of the genre, e.g.: 'Mitsuko', 'Coty Chypre', and a credible contender for the title of 'best chypre ever'.
I my humble opinion, there is not one classic-style chypre out there, which is currently in production, that uses finer ingredients or adheres more honorifically to the chypric tradition.
I absolutely think every classics- collector *needs* a bottle of this miraculous achievement from Houbigant. Because it is both a reference chypre and a symbol of great character and taste as a perfume. And because I cannot imagine it will be around for much longer, considering both the "new laws" and its totally unremorseful, old-style type-of pizzazz.
Ladies and gentleman, if you love old perfumes, or gender-bending chypres like 'Mitsouko' or "Amazone', do NOT deprive yourself of this cost-effective, impeccable enchanter.
23rd November, 2009 (last edited: 27th February, 2010)
Geranium and rosewood in this do an amazing job of making you believe you are smelling roses. This is reinforced by the cinnamon notes in both cinnamon bark oil and cassia bark. The actual florals, in the top note here, are white florals used with a delicate hand, and closely associated with citrus notes, which also exist in attar of roses. The capstone of the rose deception is in the addition of sandalwood, the final brush stroke in the simulation. The bergamot-oakmoss-patchouli triangle make of this s perfect classical chypre, worthy of Houbigant. As suitable for men as for women, if worn lightly. Sadly now withdrawn from the market.