BERGAMOTTO E BENZOINO: Digitalis and Mandrake

February 01, 2017

Les Potions Fatales (website here) is the name of a new line of fragrances inspired by plants such as datura, digitalis, mandrake, poppy, belladonna, hemlock... plants renowned for their healing, energizing, even aphrodisiac powers that, when used in excessive amounts, become lethal
For centuries they have been used to ignite passion, to enhance energy, to cure diseases, but also to take out "cleanly" politicians, priests, noblemen, husbands and wives...
In the end, the problem is always the amount you take, never the raw material itself, right?Even the sun kills you, if you get too much! 
These plants, with their life/death duality, might be here to teach us sobriety, or the use without abuse (a much-needed lesson, isn't?)

The idea of creating perfumes inspired by "lethal" plants is not completely new (think of "Datura Noir" by Serge Lutens, or Goutal's "Mandragore"), but it had never been used as inspiration for an entire line, and I liked it. 

Even if launching a line already equipped with nine scents may sound quite challenging, the founder of Les Potions Fatales is Joseph Quartana (former founder of Six Scents line) and I think he's got a clear vision of which direction he wants to go, and enough experience to know what it takes to go there.

However, fragrances in this line are nothing too complicated or intellectual: they are immediately interesting, lively, extremely wearable, with a contemporary feeling
I smelled all of them but I've been able to wear only two: Digitalis by David Apel and Mandrake by Carlos J Vinals.

Digitalis is a fresh, green and slightly ozonic scent featuring a sour, bitter, fruity note. I sprayed it on my arm and I envisioned a lawn at night, lit by 1000 fireflies that light up a dance of fairies. In my opinion a very good fragrance: interesting, original, hilarious, fizzling, good for opening the mind's horizons.
Mandrake is instead some kind of fruity oriental. It's dominated by a red, velvety note that reminded me of Snow White's apple on a modern woody, slightly smoked base. Mixed feelings of warmth/freshness, delicacy/rigor, light/shadow. It contains a mysterious accord named "Lethal addiction" that caused me a burst of laughter. I love it when brands shows a little irony.
With a cost of $ 160 (on average) for 50ml of perfume, these Potions Fatales do not leave much room for compulsive buying (and perhaps it is good, because otherwise I would've already bought three!). 
But here you can find a fantastic discovery set with all nine fragrances for $56 which I think it would be worth putting your nostrils on, in order to study all the offerings and chose your own Potion Fatale.