Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Carven Le Parfum description
Francis Kurkdjian’s work for Carven is one of the best examples of floral perfumery going today. Each of his three main Carven perfumes (L’Absolu, Le Parfum, and the Eau de Toilette) combine the same notes (sweet pea, ylang ylang, mandarin) in a variety of ways, so the fragrances fully present their unique personalities.
And like any large family, those personalities are sharply defined, with voices that all carry differently. L’Absolu is dramatic and extroverted. While the Eau de Toilette is summery and lighter than dandelion fuzz.
But what about the middle child – Le Parfum? It has more depth and presence than the Eau de Toilette, while not ascending to the operatic grandeur of the Absolu. Le Parfum is a quiet, but strong fragrance that illustrates what is meant by “Still Waters Run Deep.”
The opening notes of mandarin blossom and hyacinth are both sweet, but with an almost melancholy feel. The fruit facets of the mandarin blossom sparkle with natural sugars, and the hyacinth feels humid and wet. These are hothouse florals, heavy with their own weight. But their lopsided sweetness smells welcoming and warm, and opens the heart to go in a completely different direction.
The sweet pea, ylang-ylang and jasmine that follow are as breathy and light as the top notes were heavy and somber. Carven’s Le Parfum begins in humid sunlight, but soon chases after you into welcoming shade. The difference in texture between the ripening heat of the top notes and the airy coolness in the heart notes is subtle. You’ll begin to feel this perfume becoming lighter and more winsome as it progresses.
The pairing of patchouli with osmanthus continues this heaviness-into-light theme in a clever and artful way.
You couldn’t ask for two more opposing notes than herbal, subterranean patchouli and the apricot-filled puff pastry of osmanthus. But here they harmonize without either note losing its distinctive earthy or ethereal power. The sueded softness of osmanthus tucks into patchouli’s rough herbal edges and they complement each other wonderfully.
Carven’s Le Parfum is a warm, quiet scent that is content to rest in the shade, and offers a quiet balance between the wide-eyed wonder of the Eau de Toilette and the wide-screen dramatics of L’Absolu.
All three fragrances have much to say, but this middle child of the Carven family has a lovely, quiet story it tells only to those who make the time to stop and listen.