A vanillic red rose with animalic and jasmin undertones which
is followed by an edgy upper accord of incense and cassis. Marigold and ginger give an unusual dry
side note that contrasts finely with a musky narcissus hum. This opening blossoms into a fully rounded accord in the classical French manner of voluptuous and slightly disreputable rich florals.
By the first half hour a peppery, powdery and oily-rich red rose-jasmin bouquet establishes itself centre stage.
The body proper is slightly disappointing because the delicacy of the floral heart is soon clouded by a dark whiff of leathery amber and patchouli, but when the incense arrives like the glamorous star guest at a reception, Parfum de Peau sparkles with an exquisite richness and maturity.
Next on the scene is an underlay of chewy amber which develops a condensed milk feel.
Its lactonic quality blends with and accentuates an existing skanky nuance to give a somewhat lascivious feel, and meanwhile a leather note prowls around.
As the body declines around the rose-jasmin and over the amber to the base its character remains vibrant thanks to the longevity of the incisive top accord. After the incense-blackcurrant fades, however, what remains into the drydown is a very nice and persistent floral musky patchouli.
In essence the profile is a rose with sweet powdery and incense sides and various nuances in tow. The floral bouquet is very subtle. It can appear now like rose, and then like jasmin, but the neroli remains close to invisible at all times in my sample, perhaps due to age.
A difficult perfume to wear because of its uncompromising sharp overtone and a classical, somewhat haughty demeanour which makes it most definitely not a casual proposition, but it does have moments of sheer beauty and a comfortable drydown which on the right person would be stunning.
Created by Jean Guichard.
Turin calls this a neon floral, gives it four stars, and goes on to say it is a fluorescent woody rose, reminiscent of Rabanne's La Nuit, "garish and excellent."
Barbara Herman calls it both a "hybrid floral oriental" and a "fruity chypre, loud and cacophonous."
I don't find it loud at all. I find it a perfectly balanced fruity/spicy chypre. The peach and plum are lusciously sweet, but kept in check by the drier cassis. The ginger, pepper and cardamom give it a caramel, burnt sugar sweetness, and the civet and castoreum in the base give it an old-fashioned flora/woody chypre quality - something from the 1940s.
Montana opened its house in 1979 and closed in 1997. Parfum de Peau was a re-working of their first scent, Montana. The title is odd in that it has no leather notes, nor does the scent of leather ever emerge. Go figure.
In any case, this is a delightful "original," both happy and grounded at the same time. A terrific scent for summer evening wear.
Top notes: Peach, Cassis, Plum, Pepper, Cardamom
Heart notes: Ginger, Rose, Tuberose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Carnation
Base notes: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Civet, Castoreum, Amber, Musk, Olibanum
Parfum de Peau’s assertive aldehydic rose top notes smell “perfumey,” but the rose is rounded enough that they fall a few yards short of crass. As the composition infolds, Parfum de Peau expands into a powerful, opulent rose chypre, a genre that also counts Beautiful, Knowing, and Paris among its members. Parfum de Peau shares with this clan its dense rose, patchouli, and mossy-woody base notes, but where the others cling tenaciously to their gargantuan rose accords, the Montana turns more resinous and animalic with wear. What begins as an aldehydic floral pupates as a rose chypre, to emerge in the end as an ambery leather chypre. The wearing experience that results is at once more stimulating and less potentially tiresome than its more steadfastly consitent sisters. It helps too that Parfum de Peau, while tenacious, is marginally less loud than many of the other grand 1980s rose scents. It’s good and it’s cheap. What more could you ask for?
Parfum de Peau is an animalic rose chypre that wears its animal differently than other growly rose chypres. It's not so much a leather scent as a live skin scent. The scent of sweaty skin gives PdP a tannic quality. If you focus on just the rose, PdP is very similar to other big 80s monster roses and rose chypres. But the stinging slap of ripe skin is bolstered by the tart green feel of unripened fruit and together they create a deliberate imbalance. The acrid skin and the young fruit highlight the electric feel of the rose and PdP charges at you like it wants to eat you.
90’s edt version (I think- I don’t have the original box but my bottle is old and labeled made in France.)
+1 for Tott’s review, which is precise to my experience.
If you garden, you’ll recognize the tagete variety as “Orange Gem”.
Warning: For serious chypre lovers only, Parfum de Peau is a jolie laide.