Psychotrope fits this mysterious, rainy spring mood I've been feeling for the past week or so. I love what I think to be the name, after looking it up in French: "a substance having an effect on the psyche," "antidepressant," and "hallucinogenic." The top is all green, jasmine, and a kind of freshness that smells like the rain outside my window. The florals then come forward, jasmine, cyclamen, and violet, followed by an effortless drydown to a leather base, almost reading as vinyl, with a subtle hint of musk. These unusual notes complement each other harmoniously, and despite the dark, strange, leather base, the whole composition reads as elegant and sophisticated. The overall effect is beautiful and unnerving.
Psychotrope makes me think of two things. The first is dousing myself with Donna Karan Gold while sucking on a mouthful of Jolly Rancher candies. The second is that creating something disturbing while coloring within the lines is an artistic challenge. 1970s punk was easy. Find the easily offended, then offend, then gloat. But when you try to keep the garrulousness while staying within the mainstream you can wind up with something along the lines of the American Idol “Rocker.” It’s an image of rock in the same sense that The Sound of Music is an image of the Second World War.
Psychotrope does veer close to the mainstream. The question is there: could this be any other department store perfume, just sold in niche venues? A mistake? Laziness? Good questions. I find the leather/flower misdirection very much along the lines of Etat Libre’s Vierges et Toreros. Not so much flower as sci-fi candied fruit vinyl.
Psychotrope successfully sends a shiver through the mainstream for those attuned to its particular frequency. It’s deceptively close to normal. It’s like Dior’s Dune in that what registers as perfectly normal flips to the jarringly alien when you look at it askance. The camouflage of normalcy falls away and Psychotrope becomes frightening.
The first time I smelled this I thought it was a drug store fragrance – it smelled cheap and somewhat crude. The testings that I did later gave me leather as the only note that I could smell, and I found that particular leather note terribly annoying… Pyschotrope is certainly not for me – the leather dominance makes it the kind of fragrance I never will enjoy or understand. Be sure to test it if you like leather... Interesting name, though.
I've spent some time with it by now and while I initially was mildly impressed, the more time I spent with Psychotrope, the more it grew on me -- now it reminds me greatly of a few days I've spent at certain places, with leather jackets tainted with aromas of crushed flower petals and general flora, a rather positive association, personally, and a fulfilling olfactory experience. A slight warning though, it'll come off as rather feminine upon application. Just let it settle and prepare to be dazzled.
Hallucinate if you will ... An alien landscape ... A mysterious deep violet nightsky. The moons fade into the mauve of the magical predawn light. The morning mist elevates from the glass still pond. Dewdrops crystalise upon the leather petals, of the odd alien cyclamen flowers, along the water's edge. The elegant blooms awaken. Their shimmering silver leather petals, slowly unfurl. An intoxicating perfume escapes. The scent, a transluscent lilac, visible in the air, like a million suspended sparkling atomic diamonds. It clings to you, your skin and mind, for eighteen hours of sensation .....
Psychotrope is yet another exquisite creation by the genius "nez" Pierre Guillaume, the nose behind PG. - His inspiration was the vision of a flower with leather petals (imagining it's scent).
It was commissioned excusively by a Russian store - Aromateka. (But I know it's available in Canada, and most probably directly from PG, if you're "privvy" to the code necessary to access the Private Collection.)
In the above "scene", I exaggerate for effect, but not the 18hrs excellent longevity. On my skin it easily lasted that long, proving to be one of PG's most tenacious scents.
It's a leather-jasmin scent, with notes in the pyramid : cyclamen , violet , "dark jasmin" , lilac wood , black leather and musk.
It stands apart from most of PG's scents, in that there is no "gourmand" anything in here. The opening is floral and green, like a cold spring morning. With a touch of grass and a slight salty "aquatic" vibe to it. The cyclamen is negligible, and the leather is quite subtle (not as strong as in his Cuir D'Iris for example). The leather is infused with a candied jasmine. As the scent developes it becomes somewhat "darker" and sweeter. Though it never quite looses it's transluscent quality. (Don't read "transluscent" to mean it's light, as it's quite an intoxicating scent). On my skin the violet and lilac become more evident toward the drydown.(more lilac than violet). Ending in a soft wood, musk and lilac, that last on me for hours and hours.
Psychotrope is a quirky, yet enigmatic scent. A sublimely sophisticated and very elegant fragrance. I'd say it could be unisex, though leaning towards the feminine ...(or if you like lilacs, you will luv it).- Another "stunner" from PG.