The first thing I smell on spraying my sample of Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture is ambroxan, but it’s just one facet of a strong medley of sharply “perfumey” and animalic notes. I like ambroxan, but as soon as I smell it I always know I’m in for the long haul, most likely 24 hours or more, and for the lifetime of whatever clothing gets sprayed. As the scent settles down on my skin, it first becomes sharp with light citrus, cinnamon, a note that reminds me of geranium, some sort of woods, the animalic notes, and patchouli. At this point it’s unexpectedly dark and intense, leading me to guess that it’s not going to appeal to everyone – a love it or hate it scent in the same genre as the Devil Scents, which it reminds me of. As it continues to develop it goes through a sweetish, “matte” phase where I initially thought it was languishing before its time. However, it quickly gets a second wind and produces an amazing, huge cloud of sillage worthy of any 1980s perfume. It’s sharp, spicy, and woody, with just a hint of teak-like base. I keep saying “sharp” because this is the best way I know to characterize the scent. I could just as well say “pointed” or “jagged”. This is not to say that it’s “rough” in a textural sense. In fact the fragrance is well-balanced and slick, but at the same time clearly defined and piercing, with a massively strong bite. About an hour into the drydown an oily rose makes its appearance, potentiating the industrial-oil/castoreum facets of the animalic-woody base. Somewhere around the 12-hour mark, most of the notes have faded away, leaving what smells like pure ambroxan, so my first impression was correct. Just as I expected, it’s still going strong 24 hours later.
DD Couture is a fragrance that I’d definitely wear and enjoy, especially when I want something to last from one day to the next. It would work equally well on a man or a woman who enjoys strong scents, and would probably be spectacular on a man. When I first tried my sample, it was early in the morning with my breakfast coffee, and it took me totally by surprise, almost knocking me over. If you decide to sample this fragrance, brace yourself, apply sparingly, make sure you don’t have to go out in a perfume-phobic public venue right away, and be prepared for an all-out olfactory experience. It’s definitely worth the ride!
Notes given by perfumer: Cinnamon, tangerine, rose, orange blossoms, honey, animalis, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, white musk.
Available as of April 2013 in a 50 ml EdP spray bottle that retails for $190.
[Review based on a sample generously provided by Hypoluxe. Images courtesy of Hypoluxe]