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  1. #1
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    petruccijc's Avatar
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    Default New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    From luckyscent.com:

    La Belle Helene
    Eau de Parfum
    by Parfums MDCI

    The Scoop:
    Osmanthus is one of the most unusual floral essences in the perfumer’s palette, barely a flower really, but an oddly compelling hybrid of fruit and animal with its jammy apricot and soft leather facets. And for Parfums MDCI’s 10th fragrance, Bertrand Duchaufour has brought out its beauty with two lightly gourmand accords.

    The name comes from by the classic French dessert Pears Belle-Hélène, invented in the late 19th century by Auguste Escoffier, the first celebrity chef and named after Offenbach’s 1864 operetta, a risqué spoof on the abduction of Helen of Troy.

    Of the poached pears, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and crystallized violets, the perfumer has only kept the pear -- a vivid, juicy pear adding its green, rosy and musky notes to the apricot in top and heart, underlined by a zest of tangerine. The powdery woodiness of violets, another facet of osmanthus, are boosted by pure orris butter and balanced out by their classic partner, rose; ylang ylang adds contrast and a rich floral fleshiness. The leather in the osmanthus is drawn out in the heart and anchored to the base by a burnt sweet, woody licorice accord.

    With its drop of citrus, rose and vetiver, patchouli and oak moss base, La Belle Hélène is also, essentially, a chypre – the third in MDCI’s line-up. But it is decidedly a non-classic chypre, silky, musky, juicy and light-hearted: in fact, like its namesake “the beautiful Helen”, it is quite the charmer. And like Escoffier’s culinary classic, it’s almost impossible not to bite into.

    La Belle Helene notes: pear accord, aldehydes, tangerine, lime blossom, rose essence, osmanthus absolute, ylang-ylang Madagascar, orris butter, hawthorn, Mirabelle plum, myrrh, vetiver Haiti, patchouli, cedar Virginia, amber, oak moss absolute, white musks, sandalwood, licorice wood.

    Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour

    $250 for 60ml or La Belle Helene - “Resin” Bust Edition: $375 for 60ml

    http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/secti...le_Helene.html
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  2. #2

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Thanks for the heads up. I have the sample coffret from the house, and I like some of them a lot (sooner or later I'm going to jump in and buy Invasion barbare, perhaps. Or Promesse)

    Fruity florals are always risky, but if anybody can do them right, then it's probably parfums mdci. (Enlevement was very good, though too sweet for a man). I also wonder if, given their price range and target, they'll truly put in the right dose of oakmoss to make a good chypre, or they'll restrict themselves to the IFRA regulations too.

    The perfume doesn't seem to appear on the P MDCI webpage. Also, the price of the flacon with the head seems way off. It used to be 3 times as much (700+ euros). A mistake (nobody every buys the head) or simply they slashed the price since nobody was buying it.

    cacio

  3. #3
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I don't know, another fruity-sweet-floral-gourmand? Is this really necessary? I am just not on the radar of these companies, I suppose. I really wish they would make a proper chypre. I got close with Une Coeur En Mai but it was overall too heavy on the white musk.

  4. #4
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Also, the price of the flacon with the head seems way off. It used to be 3 times as much (700+ euros). A mistake (nobody every buys the head) or simply they slashed the price since nobody was buying it.

    cacio
    The older, pricier bust editions were carved marble I believe, the newer, cheaper ones are out of resin.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Hillaire:
    you are right, it's resin. The ones I was thinking about are biscuit, which I assume is some sort of china. Even pricier, the chrystal ones are around $3,000. With these prices, I cannot even imagine what marble would be!

    Kumquat:
    was it you who liked 31 rue Cambon? Their Promesse de l'Aube is similar in style (though darker and mossier).

    cacio

  6. #6

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    How funny, I just ordered a sample from Lucky Scent five hours ago. My review will be up soon!
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  7. #7

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Take a break Duchafour. Please!

    Another one of his scents that lists everything but the kitchen sink but will probably smell a muddled mess.
    ***For sale:

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  8. #8

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Could be marvelous! I hope the notes of vetiver, oak moss, woods and patchouli are rather prominent.

  9. #9
    Warum's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I love Osmanthus, so I am very very interested.

    On the other hand, their "not-really-a-chypre" chypre turned so bad on me, I don't even want to think about it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Alright, I got my sample and I've been wearing it all afternoon.
    This will require 2-3 wearings for a proper orientation, but here are my initial thoughts:

    -Like other scents from this line it's fleeting. When I wear it again I'll use a heavier hand
    -My very first thought was 'ooh luscious fruit'. You will certainly detect the pear/apricot/nectarine vibe.
    -I prefer it as a halo, I"m not so happy sticking my nose in it and taking a whiff
    -There is something in the base that isn't jiving with me, musk?
    -High quality. Not harsh smelling at all, and smoother than I expected
    -Very much a spring time fragrance, light and airy.

    More to come, I usually don't get high end fragrances for a while.
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  11. #11

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Quote Originally Posted by BayKAT View Post
    Alright, I got my sample and I've been wearing it all afternoon.
    This will require 2-3 wearings for a proper orientation, but here are my initial thoughts:

    -Like other scents from this line it's fleeting. When I wear it again I'll use a heavier hand
    -My very first thought was 'ooh luscious fruit'. You will certainly detect the pear/apricot/nectarine vibe.
    -I prefer it as a halo, I"m not so happy sticking my nose in it and taking a whiff
    -There is something in the base that isn't jiving with me, musk?
    -High quality. Not harsh smelling at all, and smoother than I expected
    -Very much a spring time fragrance, light and airy.

    More to come, I usually don't get high end fragrances for a while.
    Thank you for posting your findings! I've have a weird relationship with MDCI. I ordered the sample set directly from them and received nothing but great customer service. Their 10ml set was a bargain, and they even included an 8th scent for free! When I first smelt Invasion Barbare, I was blown away and saw my decant quickly empty. I proceeded to purchase a FB and only added the price remaining because of the sample set! However, I quickly grew tired of the scent and haven't worn it in over a year Something in it smells synthetic now! The Enveliement au Serail (sp?) is a fabulous modern take on Mitsouko but with an indolic jasmine twist. I would purchase a bottle but it quickly becomes a skin scent, even with liberal application. I wore it once and I thought that it had disappeared, but 12 hours later it came alive in the shower! The 2 new-ish orangey ones I found interesting but repulsive. I still have the decant of the peachy one, but again, it's too damn fruity. Un Coeur de Mai is lovely but turns to a screeching white musk during the drydown. Ambre Topkabi is extremely generic, but I have no idea (given my tastes!) why I am attracted to it! I haven't tried the Rose Siwa but I've read that it's a soft, feminine rose. Sometimes I feel like I want an uncluttered rose so it prove to be FB-worthy. The only one I really, really wanna buy is the (rushes to google for name)...ummm...Promesse de l'Aube, but it's too similar to 31 Rue Cambon, which is cheaper.
    I don't do well with pear notes (although I love it Guerilla 1), so we'll just have to see how La Belle Helene plays out

  12. #12

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Scent:

    Invasion Barbare was on my to-buy list - now that you say you eventually grow to dislike it, I'm kind of worried!
    I was also thinking about Promesse de l'Aube - true that the opening is similar to rue Cambon, but my impression (I haven't worn rue Cambon though) is that Promesse has a very different drydown, more mossy. What's your opinion?

    cacio

  13. #13

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Scent:

    Invasion Barbare was on my to-buy list - now that you say you eventually grow to dislike it, I'm kind of worried!
    I was also thinking about Promesse de l'Aube - true that the opening is similar to rue Cambon, but my impression (I haven't worn rue Cambon though) is that Promesse has a very different drydown, more mossy. What's your opinion?

    cacio
    You know cacio, I haven't smelt either in a long a time, but I remember Promesse being more peachy than 31RC. I also remember 31RC being more irisy. Promesse smelt like a cross between 31RC and Attrape Couer. I'll have you to revisit them soon.

  14. #14
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Rue Cambon is not at all like Invasion Barbare. IB is a dense incense frag. Cambon (to me) is best described as a pink chypre. You really should try it, it is quite unique. Promesse is heavy on the peach. It is sweeter than RC.

  15. #15

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Thanks for the info. I have smelled rue Cambon and its development on paper, but have never worn it on skin - certainly a must-do (I have a small sample, so I'm afraid to use it up for now).

    Re: Promesse, as a newbie, I've never smelled pre-IFRA oakmossy chypres. Would you say that Promesse contains true oakmoss? I find its drydown different from that of rC, a little more "vegetal rotten", for lack of a better word, which would be consistent with some descriptions of oakmoss.

    cacio

  16. #16

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Thank you for sharing! It sounds promising.

  17. #17
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I am no expert on the IFRA rules or who follows them. I do remember Promesse struck me as very dense & heavy in comparison to RC which is more like a dry light, crisp champagne. I hope that helps.

  18. #18

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    Rue Cambon is not at all like Invasion Barbare. IB is a dense incense frag. Cambon (to me) is best described as a pink chypre. You really should try it, it is quite unique. Promesse is heavy on the peach. It is sweeter than RC.
    The similarity pointed out was between RC and Promesse, not Invasion Barbare. I agree that Promesse is a bit sweeter than RC. RC is kind of bittersweet because of the rooty iris and the sweet jasmine.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have smelled rue Cambon and its development on paper, but have never worn it on skin - certainly a must-do (I have a small sample, so I'm afraid to use it up for now).

    Re: Promesse, as a newbie, I've never smelled pre-IFRA oakmossy chypres. Would you say that Promesse contains true oakmoss? I find its drydown different from that of rC, a little more "vegetal rotten", for lack of a better word, which would be consistent with some descriptions of oakmoss.

    cacio
    cacio, I cannot comment of the drydown of Promesse, as I finished my decant about two years ago. But I do remember it being quite mossy, but not in a bitter moss way (oakmoss), more like in a fuzzy, vetiver-woody manner. Also the drydown of RC is very ambery but also mossy. Quite something!If you haven't tried Attrape Coeur, you have to! You'll go nuts!

  19. #19

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Scent:

    thanks for the info. So I guess it means that Promesse doesn't really have much true oakmoss, presumably because it was composed when the restriction was already in sight. I do perceive some bitterness in it, but not a deep, inky bitterness, more like a vegetal bitteness, which I think you're correctly identifying in vetiver/wood. Oh well, the search for a true oakmoss drydown continues.

    Tania Sanchez thinks that rue Cambon gives the idea of oakmoss by putting in familiar clues (from other perfumes) so that the mind mentally fills in for the missing, forbidden ingredient. Exactly as you said - ie that the drydown is not very mossy but contains other notes, though it's still in the chypre mold.

    Much as I like Promesse, I guess I'll probably hold off buying it for the moment, and focus rather on Invasion Barbare (easier to wear anyway for a man).

    cacio

  20. #20

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    HI, OK, I wore Belle again yesterday and I'm sniffing again today on my wrist.

    -isn't it funny how second and third wearings differ so much from the first? Scratching my head...

    anyhow, this is really straight up candied pear. I did use a heavier hand yesterday, and I put it on before going to my workout. As my body warmed up, so did the scent. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying this, but you must like fruity florals to appreciate this. I don't. I was incouraged by the oakmoss in the base, but you will not get much of it. This is ery much a life like pear. Do you like pears? Upside down pear cake? Then you'll like this.

    I think this is a young person's scent, which doesn't make sense because of the price tag. sorry, but I associate high end perfumes with 'maturity', i.e., darker bases, more complexity, heavy on the wood finish. Belle I see on a young twenty year old. Hmm...

    so not my thing, but again, I hope others will chime in.
    Passionate supporter of parrot welfare www.thegabrielfoundation.org

  21. #21

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I would just like to throw in a mans perspective on La Belle Helene. I absolutely love this scent. A very sophisticated gourmand. Feels and wears like a Jean Claude Ellena creation. Even with the long list of ingredients, Bertrand Duchaufour manages to give this a minimalist feel to it.

    This just isn't for young people, it's a scent that just smells wonderful on my wife, who is going to be 60 in two weeks. Seems like the perfect gift for her birthday. She sampled it yesterday and again today. She just loves it. Good longevity and subtle sillage. A great snuggling fragrance. It's kind of a stealth scent. You'll go unnoticed at work until someone hugs you, then you'll see them smile.
    Last edited by thebeck; 27th February 2011 at 06:44 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I was very curious about this scent so I am grateful to all of you for the discussion and insights. I agree with kumquat, though -- and like kumquat, I am a staunch fan of 31RC -- I am anxious for MDCI to produce a chypre.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Ordered a sample - we'll see how it goes !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  24. #24

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Should have asked for one -- there is plenty floating around. Please just ask next time, like on SotD thread or something. I would have sent you mine in a heartbeat, you know that. While we are on it, are there any other MDCIs you are not familiar with?

    You would like this, me thinks -- it is your AG Petit Cherie but slightly grown up. Nothing out of context, high quality ingredients, a sweet harmonious fragrance. Wears close to skin, does not last very long (and everything lasts on me and you). Overpriced.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Oh Dear Twolf- many hugs- you are very kind !
    Oh - a grown up Petite Cherie sounds very much better ! Another scent that does not last long ?? Oh help !

    Petite Cherie is growing on me as the DH and son LOVE this Goutal like there is no damned tomorrow.
    I have to say regarding Petite Cherie - the EDP 's longevity is a joke and a half. Even Folavril lasts longer and it's an EDT. Seriously I do wonder how Petite Cherie became a best seller with such dismal longevity. At the rate I spray I can get through an entire 100 ml bottle in 2 weeks flat. Expensive !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  26. #26

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Please PM me with the answer to the question in my post, willya?

    I think I also know of one pear-based scent that is similar to La Belle Helene, lasts longer, more available on the net and is tons cheaper.

  27. #27

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Don't keep us in suspense Twolf... what is the other scent?

  28. #28

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I would like to know, too!

    I really liked La Belle Helene. It's a great summer fragrance. I was a bit worried about the pears, but I am glad that they didn't linger long on my skin. The dry-down is a wonderful neo-chypre, with a delicious and subtle plum note. It is long lasting as well. Alas, I had a sample only; might like a full bottle or at least a large decant.

  29. #29

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I am not telling all at the moment, do not want to jump anyone's guns, please give me time to research this better. I will definitely get back to you with answers.

  30. #30

    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Ok, I can be patient if there might be good things coming. Thanks Twolf.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Bumping to see if Twolf is ready to spill the beans?? Or perhaps "pears" is a better choice of words......
    A Scent Rescuer
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  32. #32
    Hillaire
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Patience, knit. Good things come to those who wait.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Some would say waiting five months shows great patience- especially at my age, Hillaire. But I shall retreat to the mountaintop and sit Zen-like until T graces us with the magic moment of scent enlightenment ......LOL
    A Scent Rescuer
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    Sorry to bump this, but dear Knit has now been patiently waiting for nine months on the mountaintop (very zen-like, I must say). And I am also curious... What scent is similar to La Belle Helene?

    We await Pear Enlightenment

  35. #35
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I tried a sample of this and, sorry to say, this was just too sweet for me. If you like a gourmand super-sweet pear liqueur, this is right up your alley. I think anyone who finds this one 'light' has not applied much at all. A little drop rubbed on the wrist lasted too long for me & was hard to remove.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: New Fragrance: Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene

    I dug out my sample and I have applied it Hobbes.

    First up I get more tangerine rather than pear. I do love pear accords in perfumes . (Petite Cherie EDP has THE best natural pear accord to me - it smells like Bartlett pears in the can you know - I used to eat canned pears and spray Petite Cherie at the same time *LOL* . )

    As Kumquat has said, this is sweet. It's going through some kind of weird waxy -crayon-y sweetness on my skin right now.
    I will keep sniffing. My sample is probably 9 months old or so but it doesn't smell off.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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