In any artistic field it is just fun to see an artist hit their stride and start producing at the highest levels within that field. 2009 is shaping up to be that kind of year for Bertrand Duchaufour as in the last half of the year he has composed two very different scents that are also two of the most compelling scents out there. The first was L'Artisan's Havane Vanille and on the flip side is his contribution to the Penhaligon's Anthology series, Amaranthine. His stated goal in creating this fragrance was to compose a "corrupted floral oriental". The idea was to take a structure of white floral notes over green and then find a way to dirty it up a bit by traveling the spice road that M. Duchaufour has traveled so successfully in the past. The top of this is like an overture to a Broadway musical as the first group of notes give you a little hint of each of those qualities; the floral is represented by freesia, the green by a banana leaf and the spice components are cardamom and green tea. This is a beautiful beginning as the banana leaf adds a tiny fruity hint to the top but it really is more green in nature. The heart is completely floral as a mix of jasmine and ylang ylang create a heady bouquet. This mix of jasmine and ylang ylang create a very strong floral aspect to Amaranthine and if you are not a fan of other strong florals like Bandit or Carnal Flower then this is probably not your cup of tea. I do like those scents and this is exactly my kind of floral as it is deep and lush. As promised M. Duchaufour dirties the heart up a bit by adding in carnation and its clove like aspect before allowing clove itself to come in and carry the development into the base. The base has what will probably become the make it or break it accord for many, warm milk. As this transitions into the base I get an accord of the smell of heating up milk in a pot on the stove and it has a comforting feel to me. M. Duchaufour then adds in more traditional comfort notes as vanilla and sandalwood join the warm milk accord. This takes Amaranthine into comfort scent territory, for me, and it feels like the reward at the end of a long day. Amaranthine has good longevity and excellent sillage on me. For most I think Havana Vanille is going to be the scent that most remember by M. Duchaufour for 2009; which is too bad because I think Amaranthine is every bit as good while being completely different.