Un Crime Exotique (An Exotic Crime) is the latest offering by the house of Parfumerie Générale. It is part of their so-called Private Collection which is a private reserve one reportedly coming from a super secret stash of perfumes; it is not advertised on their site and is currently exclusively carried by Luckyscent.
The noir-novel name here appears to make little obvious reference to the perfume which holds no apparent sense of foreboding, mystery or threat when you smell it. The only crime one can detect is that of greed - more of a sin than a crime.
Un Crime Exotique is simply a deliciously decadent spicy gourmand and dessert-y perfume with a subtle hint of indolic florals in its core, which seems mainly to contribute to the creation of a lush triple-crème perfume accord oozing with gourmandise and good memories. Are those subtle tuberose and osmanthus dangerous floral hints in its core the exotic-crime accord? In this case it is a humorous Agatha Christie reference to what is a well hidden crime scene covered up by the brouhaha of joyous relaxed conversations around a festive meal by the candlelights.
The composition evokes memories of animated family and friends dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas complete with especially decadent desserts, good alcohols, tea, pot-pourris, and even ginger and pumpkin-scented candles......
The perfume seems especially geared towards the American market as aromas of ginger, cinnamon spice, pumpkin and cream irresistibly conjures up fall colors and a major turkey feast. Un Crime Exotique we thereby decree is a perfect Christmas and Thanksgiving concoction to be worn around that time of the year, or even more eloquently the rest of the year to help recapture happy moments in the fall and winter as well as from one's childhood.
If Clinique Happy aims to be the spring and summer definition of happiness, Un Crime Exotique would be its colder season counterpart.
The fragrance is fairly linear starting with a warm, super creamy and well-done gingerbread and spice accord then going on to smell like mulled cider, apple caramels, rum baba, hot buttered rum, gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and to my nose very specifically, evokes a New England Indian Pudding. Everyone can play at this game and recognize their favorite sweet festive favorites.
After having helped yourselves to this rich suggestive series of olfactory desserts and while you hope some digestives are being served - it smells so intense it feels rum-like - the scent becomes more contemplative and nostalgic as the dimension of time gets alluded to. This is done through a switch from a spicy gourmand mood to a spicy candlelit mood. The fragrance becomes redolent of the aroma of warm wax candles scented with gingerbread and spices. You are thus able to sense the end of an evening of festivities as the smell of wax candles slowly lose their fire going from hot to warm and then cold. This impression parallels the fiery character of spices winding down too.
The conversations have died off, people have left until next year, only lingers in the air the fragrant trace of the Turkey Feast and the comforting memories of the recent past populating it.
Notes are: Chinese osmanthus, gingerbread, tea, cinnamon, star anise, mate absolute, vanilla sugar, South Sea Island sandalwood.
A 50 ml flacon retails for $105. You can sample it for $3 at Luckyscent.
Tips: for another great gourmand Christmas scent see Jean-Paul Gaultier Gaultier2. For another fragrance inspired by the scent of fragrant candles see Hilary Duff With Love (it is less realistic however in this regard than Un Crime Exotique).