August 04, 2016
Continuing my reviews of the new Parfums Quartana Les Potions Fatles with Lily of the Valley and Poppy Soma.
When I was looking through the names of the different perfumes in this collection there was one which seemed too common to be included; Lily of the Valley. The rest of the collection features less ubiquitous focal points. When I saw Lily of the Valley I thought to myself this is meant to be the safe haven. Creative directorJoseph Quartana and perfumer Nathalie Benareau do provide probably the least adventurous entry within the Les Potions Fatales but they make sure to add one twist to keep it in alignment with the rest of the collection. What that means is Mme Benareau takes the innocence represented by the floral and dresses it up in a black leather biker jacket.
The early moments of Lily of the Valley are very straightforward as the titular flower is supported by neroli, rose, and jasmine. These are all mostly indole-free versions of these flowers so the purity of the lily of the valley is preserved. Until that leather jacket accord comes forward. At first it seems incongruous but Mme Benareau adds in sandalwood, labdanum, and vetiver which help our innocent discover her wild side.
Lily of the Valley has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Lily of the Valley is the most accessible of the Les Potions Fatales. It is the shallow end of a pool which contains much more interesting things in the deep end.
One of those interesting things is Poppy Soma composed by Emilie Coppermann. One of my favorite movies is “Once Upon a Time in America”. The movie opens with Robert de Niro’s character heading to an opium den to hide from the police. This particular den has a shadow puppet theatre out in front. One of the fun debates about the movie is whether the movie which follows is an opium dream or reality. I have always wanted a perfume which captures that milieu of the wooden shadow puppets mixed with the sweet smoke of the opium. Mme Coppermann has delivered that to me with one of my favorites of this collection.
Mme Coppermann uses gardenia as her nucleus of the sweet opium accord. This is a gardenia in all of its fully narcotic grandeur; which seems appropriate. To add in a touch of acrid to represent the smoke she employs Szechuan pepper, curry leaf, and red pepper. These overlay the gardenia with piquant pungency which adds texture to the intensity of the floral. Once the opium has taken hold Mme Coppermann plunges us into a floral fever dream consisting of jasmine, rose, and tuberose. All of these are given enough room to be as expansive as they can be. Over time as we come down the incense stick burning nearby provides a focus for reality. Labdanum, styrax and musk provides a bit of a reminder that we have been sweating while tripping.
Poppy Soma has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I mentioned that this is one of my favorite Les Potions Fatales I will take it a step further and say it is one of my favorites by Mme Coppermann. I have admired her work for many years but Poppy Soma seems like an artistic breakthrough for her personal portfolio. She has made a joyfully exuberant perfume which still has the ability to ensnare you in its depths.