Perfume Directory

parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Harissa (2001)
by Comme des Garçons

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parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Harissa information

Year of Launch2001
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 77 votes)

People and companies

HouseComme des Garçons
PerfumerBertrand Duchaufour

About parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Harissa

Harissa is a fiery Moroccan Spice

parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Harissa fragrance notes

Reviews of parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Harissa

So refreshing and light, this would make a dreamy shower gel.
The notes would lead one to expect a heavy, spicy gourmand, but the composition is quite abstract with a plump and juicy fantasy fruit vibe. My nose can identify the cardamom, angelica, chili pepper, nutmeg, blood orange (though not really the tomato, or to be more accurate anything that’s close to a real tomato) – and yet listing the notes will give you little idea of how this thing actually smells. I would locate it out of doors – what a memory of a dew-laden spring garden of mixed flowers, weeds and vegetables might call up, oh with a handy outdoor shower in the middle of it all. In the later stages the red chilli and a clove-like note become more prominent, and yet, this is no spice drawer perfume.
Fun-filled and energizing, it’s a shame the projection is not better.
18th December, 2014
Genre: Fougère

Harissa falls squarely into my "pleasant surprise" category. Coming from a house like Comme des Garcons, and with a name alluding to a mouth-searing North African condiment, I was expecting a harsh and unwearable capsicum concoction along the lines of L'Arisan Parfumeur's Piment Brûlant. Sometimes it's wonderful to be proven wrong!

The bitter, abrasive scent of green pepper is indeed present at the start, but it's folded into a cool and semi-sweet mélange of clove and citrus. Harissa warms up very quickly as the crisp top notes are joined by a mellow spice and incense accord, made edgy by the presence of black (not chili) pepper. All of this rests atop a cushion of sweet, rounded vanillic notes and nutmeg that makes Harissa's heart distinctly oriental in style.

Harissa's spicy-sweet, peppered heart vaguely recalls Lorenzo Villoresi's controversial Piper Nigrum - enough that I feel safe recommending Harissa to anyone who enjoys the Villoresi but wants a lighter, more refreshing fragrance. Given its composition Harissa is a surprisingly bright and transparent scent, perhaps because of a lingering crisp tomato leaf note that punctuates the main spicy accord.

As Harissa ages on the skin it grows progressively more mellow and diaphanous, while exposing a firm woody base that's warmed by just a hint of very clean musk. While it's not a weak scent, Harissa hangs close to the skin and does not trail clouds of sillage in its wake. Longevity is more than acceptable though, as the drydown progresses over the course of six hours or more. My lasting impression of Harissa is of a crisp, clear, yet exotic fragrance that would be great summer alternative to the traditional citrus and aquatic scents. My thanks to the kind Basenoter who sent me the sample - I would not have made this lovely find on my own!
18th June, 2014
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A spicy peppery, but fresh fragrance that I have grown to favour the most of all out of CDG's Red range. Highly recommended.
04th March, 2010
Light peppers and woods. I'm not a fan of this because it lacks depth, longevity and everything else that makes me like a fragrance.
25th September, 2009
Because the company list of notes contains both chilli pepper and tomato, I expected this to smell like a Bloody Mary spiked with Tobasco. To my surprise and delight, it turned out to smell like chilli pepper soda. The scent is bright and effervescent, even fizzy, with a slight sweetness. The tomato appears only in the dry-down, where it is light and not Bloody Mary-like at all. Weird and wonderful
06th March, 2009
This perfume embraced me in a slightly sweaty and humid way. Surprising and spicy at first; not bad. When applied in smaller amounts I found it to be sweeter. The problem is that it always dried down to a menthol smell. Puzzling. I don't want it.
18th November, 2008

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