Thursday, February 3, 2022

Essential Parfums - A Quick Look


Essential Parfums began with a modest proposal: to hire senior and celebrated perfumers to create scents and give them free rein. Then present these perfumes straight to the consumer at an accessible price point. They do this by cutting out the middleman, expensive advertising campaigns, and fancy bottles. All the money is put into the scent itself and savings make these perfumes an affordable luxury. After trying all the scents in the discovery set I can agree that they did an excellent job at delivering quality at a very affordable price, 75 Euro for 100 ml, a true bargain in today's market.

I've been dabbling in Instagram posts, and I took this discovery kit with me on a trip to Krakow in autumn. I had a lot of fun exploring each scent, describing them in a few words rather than a wordy review, then finding scenes around town to superimpose with the scent descriptions, thus making my exploration of Essential Parfums and Krakow a joint discovery. I am going to review the line here and use some of the photos I posted. I will start with my favorites from the line.

Bois Impérial by Quentin Bisch

An opening of thai basil, peppercorn, and grapefruit give an unexpected sparkly and bright opening to this woody perfume. Vetiver and cedar wood enhance the aromatics and make this refreshing and very sniffable. Eventually it deepens with akigalawood, which is an uncycled patchouli. This lends a spicy and earthy aspect and translates to a beautiful piece of ancient wood, burnished and polished to a shiny hue. Below is one of the slides I posted to help describe this fragrance. It's a favorite, not just with me but reviewers in general!

Divine Vanille by Olivier Pescheux

I'm not always a vanilla fan but this one won my heart. Rather than playing up the sweetness of vanilla, the perfumer used cinnamon, black pepper, and clary sage to give it a spicy and aromatic opening. Osmanthus gives a suede-like creaminess and there is a slight whisper of incense. Tonka and resins blend with the vanilla to give a boozy gourmand sweetness, but it's light on the sugar, which suits me fine! This is on my buy list.

Rose Magnetic by Sophie Labbé
This opens with a pretty note of litchi, mixed with playful notes of bitter grapefruit and mint. Like the perfumes above, it is an aromatic opening. The rose floats in an at first is light and pretty. Eventually cedar wood, musk, and vanilla deepen the rose and make it rich, strong, and a truly unisex choice.

Mon Vetiver by Bruno Jovanovic

Once again we have an aromatic opening, this time with a gin accord from notes of Mexican lime and juniper oil. It is a fresh but elegant opening. Lavender is present, but it is an herbal, not a floral lavender. The vetiver is joined by patchouli and cashmeran wood, which amplify the scent's earthiness. I don't always love vetiver but I quite like this one.

Orange X Santal by Natalie Gracia-Cetto

This starts with the smell of a bright pithy orange; skin, juice, and all. Then fairly soon creamy sandalwood smooths everything out. This is simple, fun, easy-to-wear and a great summer scent!

Nice Bergamot by Antoine Maisondieu

A burst of Calabrian Bergamot mixed with soft notes of rose petal, jasmine, and ylang ylang give this a light and pretty opening that speaks of easy breezy summer days. Tonka gives it a gentle creaminess and sweetness, grounded by cedar wood. I like this very much but unfortunately, as is usually the case, the citrus notes are elusive and gone fairly quickly. 

The Musk by Calice Becker

A musk is a musk is a musk, unless that is, it's in the hands of a master perfumer like Calice Becker. These fragrances are all created by different perfumers who worked independently, but it's surprising how many of them started their scents with unusual aromatics. This one opens with notes of red ginger and spicy lavender. It smells warm, like skin. Musk and sandalwood form the base. I like this scent  a lot, but it doesn't have great longevity on my skin. The good news is these perfumes are reasonably priced so repeated spraying is not unreasonable!

I like all of these scents and consider them good value. I particularly like the first three in the list here. Their discovery kit is reasonably priced and a great way to try out the line. I would be surprised if you didn't find something to love!

Photos are my own, all taken around Krakow. I purchased the Essential Parfums sample set myself. Opinions are my own.