I grew up with a specific flaw in my understanding of history. It has to do with over-valuing the present. It's like a child's understanding of history and can be described as a misunderstanding of the expression, "There's no time like the present." American exceptionalism leads to a hubris of the moment where the exceptional is always manifest in the present and therefore every moment is the best ever. It’s exhausting.
As a result of this skewed view, my bias is to regard contemporary trends as separate from history. Cultural trends are a break from tradition, a break from history, not a continuity. I struggle with the notion of tradition and am guilty of an over reliance on expressions such as 'old school' to mean anything prior to my using the expression. The present isn’t an outcome of the past, it’s the launching pad for the future.
Amoureuse is my lesson in continuity. It's become easy to refer to certain perfumes as traditional, old lady perfumes, retro… and therefore value style over composition and intention. That is to say, a perfume is characterized and then dismissed based on it's superficial qualities. It would be wrong to dismiss Amoureuse as outmoded. It’s not ‘old-school.’ It’s successful for the same reasons that the better perfumes from, say, the mid-20th century were so good. Classical technique isn’t a stab in the dark. It is a methodical and successful means of achieving an artistic goal. Amoureuse is a contemporary example of classical work, something that, even as I write it, appears strange to my American sensibility.
Amoureuse points out an important distinction between style and intent. Post post-modernism, it’s easy to see belonging to a particular artistic school (ie. minimalism, expressionism) or the use of a certain form as a matter of style. A brief that calls for a simple or accessible perfume doesn’t imply minimalism. It describes the desired end product. Minimalism, like all artistic school, is a doctrine, or a working set of principals that links concept, method and product. By way of example, a new fruity floral perfume might have a simplistic goal (eg. a sweet berry perfume with notes of rose) but might lead to a complex formula. On the other hand, Jean-Claude Ellena, as a minimallist, makes perfumes such as Terre d’Hermès and Jardin sur le Nil by distilling concept and formula to as few working parts as necessary to express his ideas.
Tradition and classicism have specific meanings depending on the particular form of art. The canons, techniques and pedagogy of perfume-making can appear vague due to the historical secrecy of the perfume industry. Behind the obscurity of the profession, though, the practices of perfumery are codified and precise. Regarding perfumery, “traditional” and “classical” are more or less synonymous. They refer to the lineage of late 19th and 20th century perfumery, more specifically deriving from the French lineage.
Amoureuse is a gorgeously lush perfume, and is about as minimal as a Bernini sculpture or a Transformers movie. Applying traditional compositional methods to an unconventional mix of notes (Lily, cardamom, tangerine) gives an unexpectedly tropical bent to the flowers. A spiced lily with a creamy citric base underlines the ripeness of tuberose and jasmine and gives the perfume a languid, heady feel. It's similar to the lay-in-and-be-seranaded-by-the-sirens quality of Patricia de Nicolai's other-worldly Odalisque. Histoires de Parfums 1804 shares Amoureuse’s sensibility of a prim French person on vacation in the Pacific tropics.
These three perfumes demonstrate the value of a trained, classical approach. Assured technique, a slightly unorthodox mix of materials and a creative mind lead to something new and fresh.
One way to create something new in perfumery is to take a new aromachemical or a new technology and to build a perfume around it. Advances in science have always made for changes in perfumery, from coumarin and vanillin to nitro musks and ethylmaltol. When the impetus is not a new chemical but a new idea, the perfume is a particular thrill. Amoureuse isn’t earth-shaking, and it doesn’t rewrite the rules of perfumery. But it is a joy and a pleasure that is perfectly suited to the personal scope of perfumery.
This is potent love juice ! Quite beautiful floral chypre - old worldly charm .Very well blended florals ,smells strong and classical . Use with caution as this could easily overwhelm .
Amoureuse is a big -- and I mean BIG -- incandescent white floral: strong open, massive sillage, buttery-soft finish. Superbly blended and well-thought-out. It's glamorous, romantic, womanly etc etc hypoerbole etc... but maybe the most important bit of information here is that it isn't exactly easy to wear. It's not a casual fragrance by any means. You have to be woman enough to wear this fragrance, because otherwise it will wear you.
Very lovely and spirited. It's a girl-next-door kind of pretty, yet subtly sensual fragrance with a whole lot of white florals and a little bit of honey and sandalwood to skank it up in the drydown. The honey, while not sweet, prevents it from smelling like every other floral. I'm not a fan of white florals, so I can't stomach this. And exactly as a previous reviewer said--I didn't get any tangerine or tuberose like I had hoped--it was almost all jasmine and honey. But I do appreciate its composition and I think it makes an absolutely perfect scent for a very specific kind of person.
Manuel Canovas makes a gorgeous candle that smells just like this scent. It' comes in a luxe blue shagreen-effect box, and is called 'Nuits de Serendip'. I loved it so much, for a while I actually saved my pennies to buy these extravagant candles to scent my home (before I discovered cheaper 'Goldleaf 'candles). So, when I smelled 'Amoureuse' today, I was a little dumbfounded by the nostalgia blast. It even seems to replicate the snuffed wick and wax effect.
It moreover reminded me of a quirky friend from then used to actually wear the pink shagreen Canovas ('Palas d'Ete) room spray as perfume, her rationale being that at 75 bucks a pop, it was basically a fine fragrance, so what? ...
Anyway, good times.
And for me, at least, this is more of like, a wearable fine room spray... or rather, I love it, but might like it even more as a perfect home scent. :)
18th April, 2010 (last edited: 27th July, 2010)
Amoureuse's top notes are pure heaven for me - easily my favorite top notes of any fragrance I've ever smelled. For those alone, I wish Amoureuse a long life and greater popularity. The world needs more perfect moments like this.
The top notes are a seamless mixture of tangerine, tuberose, and cardamon, the last in particular adding a delightful twist on this fragrance. This accord is very intense, but nuances in the background include a certain nameless green quality and slight dewy note. Do not think the latter makes this as an aquatic; it doesn't. It merely gives a slight coolness, and places it somewhere between Manoumalia and En Passant, two florals that have a similar note hiding somewhere in their structure.
In the heart, the drama leaves and we're left with a fragrance in a more familiar territory: a mixed floral chypre. The florals are very realistic and only slightly powdery. I detect tuberose, jasmine, lily, lilac, and muguet at one point or another; a shimmering quilt of different flowers. In the way that CdG's recent release Daphne was a bit of an eye towards the mixed-florals of yesteryear with a nod towards orientals, the heart of Amoureuse has a similar tone of homage, this time to classic florals with a chypre base. None the less, like Daphne, Amoureuse is a modern fragrance. There is a distinctly modern greenness, akin to Carnal Flower, that livens up the mossy background.
The base is perhaps the least remarkable, but none the less still beautiful. On my skin at least, the lilac seems to dominate a little more and some of that peculiarly enchanting accuracy of the other flowers quiets down to accompaniment volume, while moss gives a pleasant if familiar encore.
Sillage and longevity are well above average on me, but this is no way coarse or brash. "Powerhouse" is too crude a term. Amoureuse is loud like an orchestra, not like a rock concert.