Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne (2009): Blue-Mauve Rose {Perfume Review}

The bottle is very pretty, like a feminine flask with an antique flair, one that could have almost belonged to Marie-Antoinette. It has a nice heft; the facets of the faceted glass bottle is more harmonious to my eye in the bigger size although the petite size is still very pretty and pleasant to hold in the palm of the hand. 

Parisienne is the latest feminine launch by Yves Saint Laurent. We have covered the topic before by following the ad campaign with Kate Moss. I did not have any preconceived notions about the composition nor any particular expectations. What I discovered is a very particular poetical atmosphere evoked by the perfume. There is at the center of the composition an interesting work on color so as to create a fictional rose that is bluish and mauve in turns. It is a very romantic composition, more wistful than YSL Paris, very soft and feminine.

The fragrance was created by Sophia Grojsman and Sophie Labbé of IFF. Grojsman is the author of Paris, a perfume that refreshed the genre of the rose soliflore for a new generation of women and the next ones to come. She is considered unofficially the queen of rose perfumes for such landmark perfumes as Paris, Trésor, Yvresse, CK Eternity, White Linen. Sophie Labbé has also tackled some rose accords of note in Cacharel Amor pour Homme or Pure White Linen.

About Parisienne the perfumers said that,

"It is a great floral with a woodsy structure, luminous even in its aspect of mystery (...) It is the perfume of ultra femininity, warmed by the imprint of the man who brushed against her."

"un grand floral à la structure boisée, lumineux même dans sa part de mystère (...). C'est le parfum de l'ultra-féminité, réchauffée par l'empreinte de l'homme qui l'a effleurée." ...



Notes are: vinyl gloss, nail polish, accord of stiletto heel in asphalt, cranberry, Damascus rose, delicate violet, fresh peony, leather, patchouli, vetiver, musk and sandalwood.

Parisienne is a rose perfume based on a rose-violet-peony accord with woody accents. The rose-violet accord is different from the one in Paris as it is not powdery at all but rather aims at and imposes a subtle watercolor effect which is painterly rather than aquatic. The composition feels at times as if you were looking at it through a blue or mauve pastel gauzy veil as if it were an homage paid to another classic of 20th perfumery, L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain. It does not smell like the perfume by Jacques Guerlain but it could be a poetical homage to this famous olfactory painting of Paris and the Parisiennes.

The rose accord here has been fleshed out with some fruity and candied nuances but in soft doses. The peony which smells quite a bit like lychee to my nose, with some green nuances,brings its fruity facet as early as in the top notes. An edgy, admittedly urban, rocker style has been incorporated with some touches of metal, asphalt, nail polish, and vinyl gloss, but those nuances are not really dominant nor styled to feel discordant. They add a touch of modernity. I personally prefer not to linger too much on the details of these modernistic notes as they tend to make me think too much and too prosaically of metallic musks. The personality of the fragrance remains romantic throughout even betraying nostalgia for a child's indulgence when the rose-violet accord conjures up old-fashioned violet-flavored candies with a hint of raspberry in them. The floral accord is a bit jammy, berry-like (cranberries; blackberry) elegant, never literally gourmand. The perfume is enveloping, soft, downy like peach skin, buttery like the surface of a rose petal.

I retain from Parisienne the impression of a mauve-bluish rose that is all delicacy and mystery offering an intriguing palette of soft, cold pastel colors. It seems that it will be a perfect match for the gray of Paris roofs especially against the skyline in the fall.

Photo credits: femina.fr


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5 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. I love the hommage concept here for L'Heure Bleue that Sophia Grojsman has repeate it again, she did it first with Paris where she based its structure on L'Air du Temp, & they are both different stories & not cloning each other..
    & also Jacques Cavallier did an homage to SHALIMAR through OPIUM Pour Homme ..

    even though I am not into sharing same name & concept of fragrance for both men & women but this time I'd love to sniff Parisienne PH by Sophia Grojsman & that would be her first masculine creation.

    • Yes, that is a seductive idea indeed. Perhaps when you tackle a myth like Paris or the Parisienne it makes sense to add an element of olfactive myth as it brings depth to a perfume, an impression of historicity, time and mystery. I think also that it is very hard to find a truly creative and novel way to pay homage to a classic, an homage that is in equal measures respectful and original.

      I also get an impression from Yvresse in the way the rose was worked with an exotic fruity facet.

      I love the painterly palette of half-tints in this perfume and the way it succeeds in creating poetry.

      Chant Wagner
  2. I am not a perfume expert by an means, although I know that I don't enjoy most fragrances. Every once in a while I smell something that I MUST have, and Parisienne is the first fragrance like that for me for a long, long time. It is so romantic, totally unobnoxious and yet still leaves and impression! It also is a rose fragrance that does not smell antiquated- it's totally me and it's totally right now. Love it!

  3. I'm not much into department-store scents, lately. They're so generic, they all smell the same. Enter this little gem. Finally, a floral this oriental/spicy/heavy scent fan can relate to. Parisienne is femenine, sweet (w/o being cloying) and, miracle of miracles, it actually has staying power. Yes, you actually get your money's worth. Fancy that. Anyway, I love it. The only YSL scent that impressed me enough to want to buy it since the unique Opium. Well done!


    • I thought it had a hazy, pastel charm to it too

      I am glad you found a perfume that you love. Isn't it the bee's knees when that happens?

      Chant Wagner

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