Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Le Parfum de Thérèse by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Total Reviews: 32
According to legend, Le Parfum de Thérèse was proposed to Dior back in the 50's as a plum perfume and turned down. It's quite pretty and makes perfect sense in that context.

So what does it smell like? To me, mostly coriander, with its round fruitiness, topped with Chanel-esque aldehydes, supported by other fruit (melon, citrus, and perhaps blackberry), as well as rather pretty jasmine and rose. There's an animalic aspect in there as well, more that classic "dirty French panties" smell than anything poopy or leathery, which acts as a perfect foil to all the prettiness.

Of course it's beautiful - just about anything smells amazing in that very classic aldehydic floral chypre setting, and coriander and fruit works exceptionally well. Necessary sniffing if you're into classics like Joy or No 5.
24th August, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening starts with a fruity blast, a melon - more watermelon than cantaloupe on my skin, quite freshish, with the latter being re-enforced by a gently orangey undercurrent. Soon a green side note develops, based on a fresh jasmine impression that balances out the fruitiness, which in any way is never really heavily sweet on me.

The drydown sees the development of a very restrained white-pepper background, which, together with the - at times ozonic - tangy aroma of unripe plums counteracts the fruitiness of the top notes beautifully. The further additions in the heart notes are florals: a somewhat unexciting rose and a pleasant violet with greenish flavours; the latter is followed on by a slightly earthy getter impression that leads into the later phases of the development of the olfactory story.

The base is full of further interesting twists, namely a soft leather with fresh, night minty aftertastes, as if the fruitiness is meeting touches of crispy white musk notes.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity.

This spring composition is characterised by the skillful balancing of the fruity-floral spectrum, with the sweetness and the ozonic tanginess in perfect harmony. The main drawback is that at times the price paid is a bit of a loss of structure, leading to phases when the components are more blurred than interwoven with one another, but this does not detract form the very positive overall impression. 3.5/5.
30th May, 2017
Le Parfum de Thérèse is assembled from disparate elements (many of which, one feels, should clash hideously) that all synchronize from the start to reveal a thing of beauty – not a mosaic, but an organic unified creation. The crucial factor of its success is that though it projects well, Le Parfum de Thérèse feels light – so all the notes that could have shouted at each other instead gently sing.
Chief among the fruity notes is a delicate melon, just about to reach the point of ripeness rather than going over. We’ve all probably had our fill by now of the melon-aquatic pairing, but here the watery note is marine, briny, salty. Among the florals is the ozonic blur of violets but also abstract white flowers coming up behind, an impressionistic lily of the valley among them. There is a curious thyme-like accent that would be totally off-putting except that it marries so well with the worn leather in the base which would also be totally off-putting with the other elements already mentioned except that it is handled with kid gloves and is well aware of its manners.
The trace this perfume leaves in a room is of a diffuse, kindly, sweetness – a fantasy meadow in full bloom just over the horizon, a kind of floral Enya (if that is not too great an insult).
I can easily imagine it’s the kind of perfume that appeals as a signature scent (well, that’s how it started life); it is confident and palpable, refined, but without any suggestion of severity. And it holds a surprise in its later stages – a warm oriental base becomes just about perceptible as the notes blend into each other, speaking in the same civilized manner as the rest.
For all that, I must admit that I would rather admire it from a distance than wear it myself. The memory of the foghorn aquatics that came much later but which I encountered before I met Thérèse interferes too much with my enjoyment of this perfume.
17th November, 2016
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An incredibly beautiful creation. The main notes I get are carnation and vetiver, although the former is not listed in the note tree.

It reminds me very much of Guerlain's Sous Le Vent. Spicy and warm with its nutmeg and plum resting on the understated jasmine and rose. The fruity notes of melon and mandarin are also understated, bringing a lightness to the top notes while not screeching a statement as most modern perfumery does with these notes.

The balance of all the ingredients is the most impressive aspect of this creation. Obviously a master at work.

To create a great perfume for one's wife is quite possibly the highest compliment to be paid a woman. Lucky Madame R.
01st April, 2016
I like Le Parfum de Therese. To me it's a warm, wearable, fruity velvet floral, bright, sweet, and delicious.
14th March, 2016
There is only one other perfume that I would rate comes close to this one in sophistication, longevity and sillage - and that is Chanel No. 5.

Like this celebrated perfume, Le Parfum De Therese weaves a fine path through a complicated mix of fruits, florals and spices without falling into a sickly and overripe mess. quite incredible when you consider the long and varied list of notes to be found in this perfume. You certainly get a big kick of the fruity accompanied by that tangy, nose tingling pepper on first spray. This drys down into a wonderful piquant spicy scent, abley supported by a sweet (but not overpowering) floral base, and there it stays - for absolutely ages.

Someone described LPDT as smelling like the nape of a woman's neck after an illicit tryst with her lover. I thought the description a bit overblown at the time, but I can definitely see where that sentiment came from. There is something very carnal and musky about the base notes in this perfume which clings to the skin, hair and even the clothes long after they have been worn.

It's lovely, sophisticated and classically comforting - No. 5, you have a rival in this wonderful EDP.
10th October, 2015
I’ve been wearing Le Parfum de Therese for several days now, and let me tell you – this is a perfume with savoir-faire. Everything in this perfume is pulling in exactly the right direction at the same time, and with a whole host of tricky elements to manage – melon ripe with incipient rot, sour tangerine, salty plums, grassy vetiver, and leather – it is no small feat. Le Parfum de Therese pulls it off with aplomb.

Everything falls right into place here – click, click, click is the sound you hear as each of the elements take up their assigned place. The bitter tangerine dropping in beside the ripe melon, ready to tame its excessive sweetness. The bite of the black pepper anchoring the boozy purple plum. The texture fizzing with a twang and a snap, but also smoldering with ripe fruit, rose, and leather. Dewy fruit is balanced by an almost meaty, savory feel. The jasmine smells thick and heavy, and yet the perfume as a whole never loses that watery, citrusy, green-yellow timbre that brings it close in feel to both Diorella and Eau Sauvage by Dior.

Most alluring to me in Le Parfum de Therese is the slight smell of salt grass wafting through the perfume. It brings to mind a woman reclining on the reeds of a salt marsh after a tryst with an illicit lover. Le Parfum de Therese is the smell of her nape as she drowsily pulls her loose hair up into its habitual bun – salty droplets of moisture that have gathered there during intimacy, as well bits of crushed grass, flowers, and the imprint of her lover’s plum-stained mouth. In a few moments, she will button up her white silk blouse and become again the respectable, bourgeois French wife and mother that she always is. But right now, she is a woman come undone – her body loose and relaxed with love.

Needless to say, there is something very French about Le Parfum de Therese. Something about the balance between sweet, salty, sour, fresh, prim, and carnal that reads as both deliberate, and a happy accident of nature. It is sophisticated and yet effortless. The very definition of savoir-faire.
12th May, 2015
Nobody and again, nobody does fruity-melony and/or aquatic notes like Roudnitska. From Diorella to the massively overlooked masterpiece that is Ocean Rain. Le Parfum De Therese makes no exception and exudes genius from all over.

Juicy citrus and melon on top quickly joined by the typical and *so peculiar* lived-in leather accord which became the Roudnitska's hallmark. Floral patterns do the rest.

Completely unbeatable.

13th January, 2015
Genre: Fruity Floral

I'm at a loss for words on this one. (And if you've seen any of my past reviews, you know how serious that is!)

More than Diorissimo, or even Eau d'Hermes, Le Parfum de Thérèse demonstrates why Roudnitska was a giant among perfumers. Ladies, if some mysterious dark haired guy is stalking you while you wear this, it's probably me. Just call my wife and she'll drag me on home. Utter glory!
19th June, 2014
This fragrance is so beautiful that I had to blink back tears when I first sniffed the sample card. Totally elegant and feminine. What a knockout Therese must be.
04th May, 2014
fruity floral, it has my favourite plum:)

but not that strong spicy plum as in poison, this one in the company of melone, gives this parfume very feminine tone! so nothign for boys here!!

the leather here is like in Visa, you cant notice it.

the whole composition is very classy, femminine, for femme fatal!
09th October, 2012
LE PARFUM DE THERESE is predominantly floral but is far from the 'heady bouquet' territory with its highly elegant profile and very classy feel. No surprises to why it reminds me strongly of Diorissimo - both were composed by Edmond Roudnitska and share similiar DNA, especially with the noticeable presence of muguet which is not listed.

I'd dearly love to catch a whiff of its sillage but I reckon very few ladies have the poise to do it justice. Malle was indeed lucky to land this masterpiece; on the shoulders of giants, it stands heads above the rest.
16th October, 2011
BayKAT Show all reviews
United States
There are certain things in life that mankind recognizes as 'master pieces', but when pressed we can't really say why. The Mona Lisa: why does this stand out amoung paintings in the Louvre, when everything there is so good? The Grand Canyon: why does standing on the North Rim always take your breath away when the world is full of wonders? Mozart: why is this music still relevant after all this time?

The answer is emotions. When we experience a master piece it is our emotions that are evoked, not our sight, hearing, taste or smell.

Parfum de Therese is an emotional experience. I've now worn it over a two month period, and each time i appreciate it more and more. There is something 'masterful' here, the play between wet ripe fruit, salty flushed skin, electrifying citrus and stable leather.

Parfum de Therese can't be described any other way.
06th August, 2010 (last edited: 26th September, 2010)
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LaNose Show all reviews
United States
I can sum up this fragrance in two words: an enigma. I'm not sure I "get" this perfume. At once, it is many things and nothing (special); it has great complexity and subtlety, but an exceptional whole does not emerge from it's constituent parts; the elements are not transformed into something special.

I know I am tempting the wrathful fates when I say that for me, Le Parfum de Therese almost grabs me, but then I slip through her fingers. I want to love her; she's got great lineage and backstory, but after several tries, I'm at a loss in my ability to love her. At the best moments she reminds me of Guerlain's Paure, but without its depth or breadth. At other moments, I'm reminded of Chamade.

I know that this is Edmond Roudnitska's final masterpiece and, in part, that's why I want to love her but, for now, I'll have to live with the reality of just liking her; not so bad..
07th June, 2010
One of the top 20 feminines of all times. If you knew me, then you would know how serious i am about this statement. An olfactive work by a genius in the later days of his career , when his creaticity became at its most empure (sorry no accent graves on this computer). I understand now Mr. Ellena, the prodigy learned his lessons from THE maestro...
02nd May, 2009
Eliza Show all reviews
United States
This particular perfume is for me. I love strong scents. After an hour it sits so well on the back of my neck (where I always apply). It's like an amber scent in that it mixes well with body heat. The ingredients blend so well, there isn't a big loud whiff of any one ingredient to my nose.

I think I smell plum. I love plum. I have canned plum butter from italian plums. The sweetness is tempered with whatever else is in there, really, it's a beautiful perfume. When I find one that works for me- it is such a joy. This is my leather fragrance that I was looking for (for so long).
18th March, 2009
I was very taken with the story of this perfume and wanted to like the fragrance but I really don't - the mixture of fruit and aquatic gubbins is just not something I want to smell like. Shame - my loss and poor taste, I'm sure.
03rd February, 2009
This soo beautiful and so totally not me. Very vivid, deep and transparent, feminine in a brilliant French way. I like the melon here, even though I don't even like the smell of real melon. The violet, another note I usually don't enjoy much, evokes the velvety texture as well as the chromatic vibrance of violet. I love the leather in this, which is very strong -- a real illusion of oiled saddle leather. The whole thing has a very Parisian, mid-century quality, like a technicolor movie starring Martine Carole. I'd buy some to wear at home for fun, but my husband doesn't like it, so it would have to be very occasional and clandestine.
29th October, 2008
Violet comes first to my nose, and wow, it's pretty! Perfectly sweetened by juicy ripe plums, I am reminded of the rich fruited notes of Christian Dior's Dolce Vita and also YSL's Yvresse(Champagne). The flowers, spices, grass, fruits, wood and leather are a symphony for the nose. Seamless and utter beauty...this is exactly how I'd expect a perfumers wife to smell!!! My favorite of the Malle label!
20th October, 2008
The minute I smelled Parfum de Therese for the first time, I could tell it was created by Edmond Roudnitska as it is very similar in style and smell to one of my all-time favorites Diorama, which was also created by him. In fact, I did some digging around and had my hunch confirmed. Parfum de Therese and Diorama share a number of key notes which are: melon, plum and white florals.

In the actual testing of Parfum de Therese, I got a delicate orange blossom top note and then the buttery jasmine note that I love so much in Diorama came out and mingled beautifully together with rose and plum. I did not catch any cedar, vetiver or leather notes as others have and unfortunately there was not much sillage at all. Regardless, Parfum de Therese is beautiful, lady-like fruity chypre perfume that is likely to become a classic. Well done!

Per The Perfumed Court, here are the notes of Parfum de Therese: mandarine, melon, jasmine, pepper, violet-rose, plum, nutmeg, cedar, vetiver and leather.
19th June, 2008
When it arrived on this summer day, I grabbed it out of the mailbox and immediately got into my car to go to work. I realized I had not taken any other perfume and this was it. Given a few random reviews I read, I expected to experience a heavy, potentially cloying perfume, especially for a summer day. At the very least, a perfume better suited for the winter. To my surprise, quite the opposite is true. It is perfectly suited for summer, light and very lovely. It is a tad sweeter than I expected but I don't find it annoying. Very nice, with a very French attitude. I like it and the men in my office seem to, as well! Works for me!
27th June, 2007
I received this as a sample from Malle and why they would part with a drop of it is beyond me. What a class act. On my skin, no notes predominate - it is a lovely rounded light floral sweetness that never cloys....a "lingering kiss" as Purplebird7 says. If Vibert stalks me, I ain't gonna call his wife - I'm going to hang onto a man who appreciates a "masterpiece" like this. Definitely FBW.
15th May, 2007
I adored it initially, and got tired of it. Contrary to others, I find this a little heavy for me.
But on the plus side, and it is a big plus, - it lasts and lasts, and the sillage is noticeable.
Loved having it, but wouldn't buy another bottle.
14th February, 2007
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Definitely one of the most unusual perfumes I have ever had the pleasure to inhale. I find it very "yellow" (although I can't really explain what I mean by this!!) It is really mellow and sunny and succulent - just lovely.I would wear this to happy occasions such as weddings or summer balls.To me it smells very similar to mimosa at the start. It is the epitome of French chic and a true masterpiece by one of the greatest perfumers pf all time - Roudnitska.
16th December, 2006 (last edited: 31st December, 2011)
Breezes off the skin, cool and clean. Fruity, mainly melon. Floral, lots of violet. This perfume is "all heart" literally and metaphorically speaking. Long after the top notes are gone, the middle refuses to relinquish its grasp to the base. I may smell some grassiness from the vetiver, but a crisp leather provides the only heavy counterpoint. It is as if Edmond Roudnitska created this as one sweet, lingering kiss for his wife. Stunning. A bit too airy for an earth-lover like me.

23rd October, 2006
I completely agree with helg. I want to like but the melon is overbearing. Not for me:(
01st May, 2006
Tovah Show all reviews
United States
I find Le Parfume de Thérèse to be astonishing. It transports me to other places. If I wear it to bed I dream of romantic things like a Victorian summer home on a still, cerulean lake, or a courtyard of a Spanish villa at dusk...On my skin it becomes a manifestation of memories and desires. I don't want to describe the notes of Le Parfume de Thérèse, because, for me, wearing this fragrance is an experience and an enchantment. It's a work of genius; a masterpiece.
24th April, 2006
moon_fish Show all reviews
Russian Federation
Yes, I`m with Opalsdad saying that Le Parfum de Therese smells alike Diorella, but more feminine (me thinks that it has more plums and melons, maybe more artificial than vintage Diorella)!
And yes, it is multigender scent to wear by either men or women. As almost all parfums made by Genius. Wonder how Frederic Malle make this gem alive again - archives of perfumers are always such a mess and some ingredients of past gone and forgotten...
Great legend about one person parfum - but for me it does not work as it is Diorella with a twist. Anyway - great fragrance!
26th November, 2005
Why am I not impressed? Why does the fact that it has behind it such an illustrious heritage ( the last unedited Roudnitska ) and romantic story (dedicated to his wife ) failed to convince me? Why have I not succumbed to the innvation of the scent ( a fruity-floral with a marine accord in the 50's)?
Simple : fruity and aquatic are not for me. Period. Nice frag but not for me.YMMV.
06th October, 2005
Le Parfum de ThÈrËse is my favourite FrÈdÈric Malle scent: a unique combo of fruit, floral, spice, wood and leather notes. Elegant, yet very sensual scent, somehow full of love. The late, great Roudnitska created it for his wife who for decades was the only person allowed to wear it. The scent wasn't "published" until after Roudnitska's death.
05th February, 2005