French Line goes on with an aromatic mix of mild, slightly powdery rose, carnation and jasmine with hints of subdued coconut and more substantial sanitized patchouli support, before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the now supporting rose, carnation and jasmine floral melange gains slightly more powder as it pairs with powdery amber from the base, now joining a significant co-starring moderately rough leather and patchouli tandem that takes the fore. During the late dry-down the amber-laced florals take a back seat, as remnants of the sanitized patchouli and subdued coconut join slightly animalic musk through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity very good at around 10 hours on skin.
French Line is a real find. On first glance, one sees a relatively unimpressive looking bottle that doesn't inspire confidence in its contents, but looks can be deceiving and indeed in this case they are. As soon as one applies the composition on skin you get a quick whiff of wormwood before the sublime rose and carnation florals take over. When the jasmine, patchouli and leather join the fold, the composition smells absolutely heavenly and probably is at the best part of its universally great development. The powder, shortly thereafter, gains some steam, firing a warning shot that it might go too far, but the perfumer skillfully stays just under the "danger line" for the powder averse like this writer to enjoy the composition while providing enough of the stuff for powder fans too. The late dry-down is probably the least interesting aspect of the composition's development, not because it smells anything less than exceptional, but rather because it is rather subdued, as the aromatics largely vacate to shift to a slightly animalic musk driven finish with patchouli and coconut support adding subtle depth. Speaking of the coconut, while it never is a huge player in the composition's overall fragrance profile it deserves special mention. When one envisions coconut they probably are thinking tropical drinks and climate, but the stuff used in French Line is much more subdued and skillfully used than that. There is no "tropical island" vibe in French Line at all, with the coconut used more as a softener to the aromatics and later to the musk. At the end of the day, French Line proves that one should not let a fancy bottle (or in this case the opposite) drive whether one should or shouldn't try a composition, as if you skip sampling French Line due to its unimpressive housing you are missing yet another one of the 80s wonderful smelling greats. The bottom line is the long since discontinued French Line is very difficult to find and will most likely cost one dearly to acquire on the aftermarket, but with its extremely polished mix of florals, leather, patchouli and even coconut, this "excellent" to "outstanding" 4 to 4.5 star rated rare gem is absolutely worth the effort and cost to acquire. Superb!
04th February, 2016 (last edited: 03rd February, 2016)
The begin is green and fresh, with a bit of basil giving it a bright note. In the drydown oakmoss takes over, assisted by a touch of wood. This is an oakmoss-based fougere in it full beauty. Very good longevity of about five hours, at times over seven hours, with decent projection and sillage. The quality of the components appears very good, without any synthetic hint. A classic oakmoss fragrance.
I get cinnamon pepper and spice. Nice blend and many compliments and enquiries. Sadly not in production.
A spicy fougere? Chypre? A mix of the two? It's got oakmoss in the drydown and sandalwood as well but it has a very spicy opening that's almost aquatic yet green. A little on the potent side. Decent sillage. Good scent.