Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne à L'Extrême (2010): The Parisian Woman According to Grojsman {New Fragrance} {Perfume Review}



"The portrait of an incredibly free woman.

She wasn't born in Paris but Paris has adopted her.

In the heart of the night, in the fever of a caress, she knows how to love and live, live and love with intensity..."

"Le portrait d'une femme incroyablement libre.
Elle n'est pas née à Paris mais Paris l'a adoptée.
Au cœur de la nuit, dans la ferveur d'une caresse, elle sait aimer et vivre, vivre et aimer à l'extrême…

Perfume notes: vinyle accord, incense, blackberry, violet, Damascean rose, powder note, patchouli, suede, musk.

Parisienne à L'Extrême opens on the very recognizable rose-violet accord of Paris by Yves Saint Laurent (1983) but as if it had been made more limpid, more watery (lychee), and purplish, with a hint of nail polish (the vinyle accord.)

Perfumers Sophia Grojsman and Sophie Labbé of IFF sign this composition which pays in part homage to Grojsman's work on YSL Paris...

Parisienne à L'Extrême 2010 Ad - Kate Moss.jpg


The scent then veers for a moment in the direction of old-fahioned violet candies dusted with sugar like a nod to nostalgic Belle Epoque Paris, a trait which was more perceptible to me in Parisienne.

The perfume offers an important fruity, dark blackberry facet lightened by aqueous lychee. The patchouli-suede accord of the base notes soon mingles with the incense and the limpid notes to create a slightly foggy impression which seems to reveal affinities with the misty Parisian fall weather on certain days when it is particularly gray and drizzly.

After the smoky incense veil lifts a bit - the patchouli is hazy rather than earthy - Parisienne à L'Extrême goes back to a more classic cosmetic reference of rose-violet-scented face powder and lipstick. There is a contrasting, a bit incongruous green and crunchy nuance which feels like what perfumers call a cyclamen note and is almost sappy as if there were vine growing under the city cobblestones. Then the scent becomes creamy and vanillic. Later in the drydown, the vanilla starts smelling less of cream and more of pâte à choux recalling the gustatory, offbeat vanilla showcased in Ditpyque Eau Duelle.

This flanker has more density than the original Parisienne, which was its intended purpose. Its composition is also more complex in contrasting nuances and more appealing even than the first. I also thought that there was a playfulness and coquettishness about it that I do not remember experiencing with Parisienne and which made me think of the particularly bubbly and vivacious fruity-floral Deci-Delà by Nina Ricci, for its spirit, not for its notes. Comparing Parisienne and Parisienne à L'Extrême side by side the latter is indeed more impertinent and light in tone, more ready to seduce and more sensual.

Musk lovers will find here to some extent a variation on the classic fruity musk of Mûre et Musc by l'Artisan Parfumeur, which has become a standard of perfumery. The musk note is very nice, offering the feeling of a naturally musky and salty flower. 

The drydown becomes quite doughy, which might also be an effect linked with the suede accord, evoking iris roots with chocolate nuances.

The clinching point for me in the end is the sticky leathery apricot unfolding in the last stages of the perfume reminding you of the leather-and-apricot accord of Daim Blond by Serge Lutens, but also much later of the powdery apricot of Trésor by Lancôme (1990), also by Sophia Grojsman. It creates a rather addictive and certainly sensual apricoty-ambery-leathery sillage accented with light floral rosy nuances and even tobacco/cigarette-trapped-in-a-tweed atmospheric nuances.

This is Paris and the Parisian as seen through the lenses of Yves Saint Laurent, without the shadow of a doubt. Perfumer Sophia Grojsman helped define the mythical olfactory personality of the Parisian woman, you realize, like few others. Parisienne à L'Extrême, that is "Parisian to the Maximum" or "Extremely Parisian" is yet another brick added to the construction of this image thanks to perfumery and the work of a single perfumer.

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. I first wore this in Paris, so a few sprays and I'm back there!!!

    • Wonderful! I also think that this perfume does smell "Parisian": a mix of lightness of being and seriousness

      Chant Wagner

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