Olivia Giacobetti has a way of combining disparate elements to make something that while surprising is never shocking. Unexpected, but perfectly coherent when you think about it. The sweet and salty hay of Dzing! The smoked-lily soap of Passage d’Enfer.
It’s a delicious way of changing our reality. The trick is neither fantastical nor over-the-top. She gives us something that doesn't really exist, but easily could since it makes perfect sense. In Safran Troublant, she doesn't give us a talking bear or a winged horse. She gives us a rose/saffron marshmallow. Not only is this imaginable, it starts to convinces me that I might actually have eaten one of these marshmallow at some time or other. The perfume is so persuasive that I question myself. Is the perfume a memory or an imagination? Giacobetti speculates so effectively that I question the experience, but she does it so deftly that ultimately I don't care. It's as if I'm day-dreaming. My mind eases a bit and I become more mindful and less perplexed.
Some perfumes call to mind comparisons to the visual arts. The portraiture of the soliflor. The fruity-floral as a still-life image. The abstract expressionism of Timbuktu. Giacobetti breaks into the written word with her perfume. Safran Troublant is literary fiction. It is the perfect short story. I don’t know of any other perfumer who does this.
I love the creamy initial blast of saffron and rose, but the rose soon leaves and I am left with a medicinal clove-like after scent of the saffron and a bland vanilla.
Very light and not very long lasting.
A for originality, D for follow-through.
I could have sworn there was cardamom in this - like Cartier Declaration but better and more gourmand. In any case, it's wonderful and after one sniff I was hooked. I'm very much looking forward to sniff number two.
25th February, 2013 (last edited: 20th March, 2013)
Veritas and Proportion are the guiding deities behind this divine scent. Giacobetti propitiates Veritas by realizing the truest saffron note I have yet encountered in perfumery – this is the real thing, the kind of magical intoxicating fragrance that first made people pick crocus stamens in back-breaking labour. Unadulterated saffron is pretty difficult to source these days and thus many people's perception of this note can be a bit mixed up.
Proportion (and no doubt craft) is what makes one baker turn out a minor miracle with flour, water, yeast and salt, and another a chewy lump. Here the merest dab of rose gives extra propulsion to the saffron at the start, and then the vanilla smoothes and gently warms the entire composition into creamy voluptuousness. To call this a gourmand is to somewhat miss the point; to my mind this has the erotic charge of being with someone with whom one is completely at ease and to whom surrender will bring only pleasure.
Sadly, loses strength fast and needs reapplications.
Duh : This is one of those ones that's distinctive enough that if you're going to love it, you'll really love it, and if you don't, you won't.
Certainly not your Mr. Studly Sextup type of thing, but rather my go-to comfort scent instead.
And the sort of thing that if you like Tea for Two, there's a fair chance that you'll like this too.
Count me among those who love it.