I ponder at this fragrance, ponder some more and realise I am pondering its raison d’etre. Prompted by Victoria Frolova’s reaction to ‘Pineapple Compound’ in her perfumery training I question why it had to open with pineapple. I’ve been wearing Annick Goutal’s Musc Nomade in recent times, it being the epitome of sheer gauzy musk and so the transition to wearing Courtesan was not out on a limb; they are both ephemeral and arcane. At first I thought there was no fragrance at all; applied on freshly showered skin it simply disappeared like a wraith. I’m still not sure if the bottle I got (online discounter) was past its best.
The next morning, still warm from sleep I sprayed it on some bare skin and went downstairs to make tea and toast. It transmogrified into a pineapple fruit salad and the dry down asserted itself, soft floral, a little like Eau Claire des Merveilles. (EDCM is far superior IMO) Now, this was a little more like it, the Isoamyl acetate (Juicy Fruit) was tamed and there were soft skin scents. These wispy tendrils that emanate from a woman’s thigh were called ‘Cuisse de Nymph’ ...sigh, petal soft, and the French named a rose such to titillate. The Victorian English couldn’t cope and called the rose ‘Maiden’s Blush’
There are better roses, better accords, better musks and better pineapple. I don’t know why they bothered. I don’t know Courtesan’s ‘reason to be’ I would be grateful for other contributors input as to how this perfume should smell. It will nag at me, is my blind buy ‘off’?
The perfume was named for Cora Pearl, a Courtesan, associated with the Worth family and its ‘Haute Couture’ The gorgeous creature looked like Viven Leigh if the pictures are anythng to go by.
There is an experiment for Courtesan that I will leave you with. If, whilst wearing the perfume, you enjoyed a little lovemaking, might it bloom into a sex siren’s scent?.
I won’t tell and I don’t expect you to either. Cora Pearl’s life was not a family show, but
it could be its ‘reason to be’
I've been wearing this all day and it smells heavenly. It is not a gourmand, which is what I was expecting, but truly plays like an Oriental on my skin and the spices seem to come to the fore with a Chardonnay-like butteriness. That's the best way I can describe this, like a wine bouquet on the skin. I can totally imagine a Parisian Courtsan at the opera, with a wine glass in her hand and a lush corsage pinned to her dress smelling like this.
I started a thread on the female fragrance disscussion forum - " any thoughts on Courtesan by Worth". Well, my sample has arrived.
Now, here are MY thoughts on Courtesan. Firstly, I'm wondering why Worth decided to call such a timid fragrance Courtesan. I've always thought of courtesan as bold, sexy, fantastically beautiful women desired by every man who sees them. That certainly isn't represented by this scent.
Neither is the word "gourmand", although the notes should lead in that direction.
All in all, I find this fragrance just confusing. I'm not saying it's a bad scent, but it's taken me many squirts to get any kind of reading on it. What I get mainly is a slightly syrupy, fruity cocoa butter smell with a little musk and amber in the drydown. Quite pleasant, but not outstanding.
This is wonderful stuff. Light, spicy, feminine oriental with a powdery dry down reminiscent of their Je Reviens. Note: later sprays remind one of Mugler's Angel drying down to YSL's Opium.
At first clove and cinnamon leap at you, announcing the oriental nature of Courtesan. Then a sweet wood note enters - the cardamom? Finally, the combination of spices lay gently but firmly in the air - the powdery dry down enters after an hour - the whole experience one of delight and buoyant fragrance.
Men, you may not be able to wear this - it is decidedly "feminine" in its gentle sweetness, but no reason you can't have a small bottle handy to enjoy at home in private moments.
Difficult to find stateside, though common through UK sites. I found a 2 oz. bottle of the edp at unlimitedperfmes.com - pricey though at $40 for this tiny amount.
Worth (no pun) experiencing for all lovers of oriental blends.
21st March, 2012 (last edited: 18th April, 2012)
Red Berries, very tart. Sweet juicy pineapple. Just enough tang to make it quirky, and yes I smell the pungent sea salt note. I won't lie, it is fruity. It reminds me of teenagers on a beach: Musky BO, fruit body spray, sea water brine. Kids that went swimming, dried off on the beach, got a little sweaty after some time in the sun and then tried to hide it with fruit-scented body spray. As unpleasant as that sounds, it really isn't. It brings to mind mixed drinks while watching the sun go down on the beach. Others have said that this couldn't be for summer. I think it IS summer in a bottle (instead of the usual pineapple/coconut-laced beach scent, they used raspberries/pineapple), and therefore perfectly fine for summer nights. Maybe not for the heat of the day, but great for night. Test it if you get the chance and decide for yourself. I won't buy this, but I did think it was pleasant enough.
Courtesan opens with a hint of the fuzzy, sexy notes I associate with Bal à Versailles, but it is as if watered down BAV leftovers were reheated in rich,spicy sauce. I find Courtesan way too foody for me, and for its name. Makes me appreciate the unblushing animalic blast of Bal à Versailles. In fact, it’s as if the two names were switched at birth--kind of like Greenland and Iceland.