La Belle Hélène (2011)
    by MDCI

    Average Rating: 3.5

    Based on 13 ratings
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    La Belle Hélène Fragrance Notes

    La Belle Hélène information

    La Belle Hélène is a unisex fragrance by MDCI. The scent was launched in 2011

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    60ml EdP

    Reviews of La Belle Hélène

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    positive 3 Positive Reviewsneutral No Neutral Reviews • negative No Negative Reviews

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Chypre

    Osmanthus is popular with niche perfumers. Witness The Different Company’s, Ormonde Jayne’s and Keiko Mecheri’s Osmanthus; Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan; and Parfum d’Empire’s Osmanthus Interdite. Now, close on the heels of Serge Lutens’s Nuit de Cellophane, comes Parfums MDCI’s entry, by Bertrand Duchaufour. Many characterize osmanthus as a fruity (apricot) floral note, and Duchaufour’s apparent object in composing La Belle Hélène is to see just how much fruit he can load the flower with before burying it altogether. The answer? A lot.

    La Belle Hélène opens on a powerful fruit accord that spans candied pears, peaches, and apricots - all in Technicolor, stereo, and 3-D. These top notes might be mean to smell appetizing, but fruit at this intensity tends toward a plasticky, artificial character that’s anything but tasty. After a few minutes’ wear the fruit calms down just enough to reveal the powdery floral facets of osmanthus, backed by the sugared almond of heliotropin and a doughy iris note. These last two soften the profoundly sweet fruit accord while pressing the composition more firmly into gourmand territory. Indeed, the buttery, yeasty component that lurks deep within Duchaufour’s Amaranthine and Fleur de Liane finds fuller expression here. (Is it any coincidence, I wonder, that a similar accord anchors the French bakery allusion at the core of Serge Lutens’s more recent Jeax de Peau?)

    La Belle Hélène balances precariously between fruity floral and gourmand – at least until the base notes emerge in full, to take the scent in a whole new direction. You see, beneath the flower-garnished fruit tart lies a classic chypre foundation of patchouli, moss, and labdanum that’s far more abstract and sophisticated than I’d expect from a run-or-the-mill fruity floral. In fact, as the chypre foundation comes into full focus, La Belle Hélène reveals itself as a modern, intensely fruity gloss on historic precedents going back - by way of Yvresse, Badgley Mischka, and MDCI’s own Enlévement au Sérail - as far as Mitsouko. Could I do with a little less of the cloying fruit syrup up top? Yes. A little less powder? Yes, that too. Nevertheless, Le Belle Hélène is one clever composition, and if you’re at all susceptible to hyper-realistic fruit notes, osmanthus, or fruity chypres, you ought to give this scent a wearing.

    19th June, 2014

    Longexact's avatar

    United States United States

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    MDCI continues their exploration of fruit themes (pineapple in Le Rivage des Syrtes, peach in Peche Cardinal) in high-quality fashion with this pear chypre (!!). This is one of the rare fragrances that smells exactly like what you would guess it would smell like based on its description, and it is wonderful. (Interestingly, this fragrance is not made in Duchaufour's standard postmodern style - although I really like his usual style it's nice to see him working in a more classical mode here.)

    22nd March, 2014

    mademoiselle_nicole's avatar

    France France

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    so.... I really wanted this bottle.... and couldn´t find any fragrance of this house that I really liked. Until they released la belle hélène. When i read Ducheaufour made it, I wanted to give it a try. It is a gourmand Chypre. Even though the Chypre notes are not all present, this is the effect of it. Elegant, rich, gorumand but not overly sweet. Candied pear in a bed of gourmand and oriental notes. Nice and warm. Definitely worth a try for who dislikes the sweetnes of crushed fruit salad in perfume. nicely done

    27th December, 2013

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