Piment Brulant is a weird and eccentric fragrance. As the majority of reviewers have pointed out, it prominently smells of red peppercorns, the sweet variety more than the hot one. I personally love peppercorn smell, along with its taste: I particularly like the contrast between the fresh sensation of peppercorn pulp with the hotness of its seeds. I have always also thought that it shares the peppery, transparent freshness of a fragrant bunch of freesias.
So, the opening of PB is fresh, peppery, radiant, rendering successfully the fresh/hot contrast I mentioned before. The heart is floral- woody, rounded by the subtly sweet creaminess of cocoa. The drydown is light, transparent woods and musk with slightly harsh (and a bit synthetic) spicy undertones resulting in one of the typical signature Duchaufour accord (as in Fleur de Liane or Sienne LHiver, for example). The lasting power is good, up to ten hours on my skin, and the cool/warm effect this fragrance provides makes it suitable to every climate condition.
L'Artisan fragrances are hard to forget or hard to wear or both. For me, 10yrs after it's launch, Piment Brulant falls into the category of hard to forget. I tried a sample years ago but never made a purchase. This year I asked and was granted a big bottle as a Christmas gift. I could never quite get the thought of wearing a Mexican mole sauce out of my mind. This fragrance is gourmand but not in a sweet," foody" sense. It starts as sweet red bell pepper and quickly turns to chocolate and finally to vanilla. I love when all of these scents reach an apex of delight! My only regret is that it has slight sillage and staying power. I will try this again in summer to see if I have better luck!
I was dreading the density of a chillies-and-chocolate combo. Would this be like slathering oneself in stinging mud?
However, the wearing experience reminded me not to take notes lists too seriously, for this is mainly a cool and airy green floral. The chilli here is sappy and aromatic, just sliced, but fortunately without fire. This aroma was always there in the real thing but its one of those things one takes for granted unless reminded of its qualities in a novel and poised context.
The floral sweetness adds an elusive dimension the faint scent that certain flowers not known for their scent have, like some kinds of tulips that have a trace of musky saffron lingering within their cups. Here the note is supposedly poppy.
Disregard the spices, they are all but imperceptible. The chocolate and cocoa are a waveform in the air. The totality sparkles stimulating and calming at the same time.
A caveat: this perfume will not impress those more used to strong fragrances. Its perfect, however, for cool days of clean air.
Cinnamon, pimento, chili peppers and rich chocolate. Great scent, I don't think I could pull it off, too warm and chocolatey for me. Might make a good winter fragrance. Well made though...
UPDATE: I bought a new bottle of this in 2016 and it has NO notes of cocoa or vanilla. Straight green pimento/pepper accord. Beware of reformulations...
09th September, 2012 (last edited: 26th June, 2016)
My favorite quirky niche perfume.
I get the bell pepper reference, though it's more like an unripe green bell pepper than anything I'd eat. Actually, stepping away from the pepper reference, I find that this smells mostly to me like a mix of cilantro and a green leafy vine, with a very subtle dusting of unsweetened chocolate powder hovering underneath. As the green leafy vine small fades, I'm left with a piquant red pepper smell that reminds me of those bunches of dried red peppers people hang up to decorate their kitchens, but with a vaguely chocolate-tinged smokiness.
I enjoy wearing Piment Brulant. I've never felt apprehensive about smelling like this, and it's one of my favorites for going to dinner parties where I know we'll be in a kitchen (I've even been known to make people smell me and guess what they're smelling - but I'm weird like that...). However, I can appreciate that some perfumistas will feel a little silly in this. To each their own, but with a hearty thumbs up from me!