Portrait of a Lady (2010)
by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle


Portrait of a Lady information

Year of Launch2010
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 323 votes)

People and companies

HouseEditions de Parfums Frederic Malle
PerfumerDominique Ropion
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady is a feminine perfume by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. The scent was launched in 2010 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Dominique Ropion

Reviews of Portrait of a Lady

Every time I tried it on I get different ideas. This perfume is a Rubik's cube, my dumb brain can only work out one face at a time.

The most current version I got is: vivid rose blast at opening, accompanied by something strongly reminiscent of oud(incense?), with some sort of spicy animalistic undertone. A panther hide in rose bushes. If I get close enough, there is a soothing aspect of aldehyde.

The rose, thankfully, doesn't have the indolic feel as in Une Rose, possibly due to some fruity softener that I couldn't tell. My skin stays a battlefield between army of red rose and slightly pungent musk. After an hour or so, rose is utterly defeated and the musk decimated, a vast land of patchouli finally reveal itself.

If it really is a portrait of a certain lady, then it's the portrait of Rebecca, the devious and charming mistress of Manderley.
18th October, 2017
Portrait of a Lady is now called "Portrait of a King embracing his Lady!!

...WOW, what a fragrance!!!

Floral, because of the Rose and spices; but also, slightly woodsy from the Patchouli and Sandalwood.

In the end, you are going to get a beautiful creamy, yet rose combined spice fragrance that is dry and incensey! Lovely!

Performance: 10/10
Silage: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Overall: 10/10

[Update: I didn't have to sell myself to get this :o); got a 1.7oz for a really good deal! new-$135]
13th October, 2017
Fantastic projection, fantastic longevity. Perhaps bit too much floral. Only the second cologne that I tried that last until I was in the gym the next morning. Although not quite my fragrance definitely has a lot to have any protection.
15th July, 2017
Rose dominated fragrance that can easily become cloying if more than 1-2 sprays applied.

Leans feminine but does have similarities with other Montale rose-heavy fragrances that men wear, so if you're inclined to like those, then you might like this.

Performance is excellent, just a few sprays fills a room and lasts all day.
24th April, 2017
I've been putting off writing a review of POAL for ages, because I've had difficulty putting into words what makes it special, and also why I don't care much for it.

In terms of smell, at its core, it's a fruitchouli, that mix of berries and rose and patchouli that comes together to smell like rich flowery fruity jam. It throws in some saffron to give it a leathery oud feel, and goes further by adding some sandalwood in tribute to a classic sandalwood/rose attar.

What makes it special is twofold. First, while most perfumes of this type use cheap fake rose (because it's easy to get away with hiding it behind all the strong ingredients), POAL uses a large amount of upfront real rose, which is the main reason this is considered the best of the genre. Second, as explained wonderfully in jtd's review, there's a high-performance sheen to POAL that's remarkable. Rose usually fades in a couple of hours, but somehow POAL's rose shines brightly and unwaveringly for days. The whole perfume has nuclear longevity thanks to a combination of masterful chemistry and a high budget, which is simply unmatched elsewhere.

Given all this, I have no choice but to give POAL a thumbs up, but I just don't like it that much. The top-of-its-class longevity actually makes it kind of boring to me - I would have enjoyed a slow descent from rose to sandalwood, but instead it just sits there, glowing brightly with its changes happening too slowly to be appreciated. Also, I just don't like fruitchoulis very much, so even the best isn't going to win me over.

Anyway, thumbs up, of course. This is one of those perfumes you should know.
18th April, 2017
La belle ferronnière by Leonardo da Vinci
16th April, 2017

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