Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

...heady, voluptuous, and densely feminine.

Back when I was a teenager, and devoted to all things alterna-hip and ironically retro, I wore an emphatically unhip and earnestly retro perfume: the original Chloé by Parfums Chloé. This Chloé, not to be confused with the brand new Chloé, which smells like angry soapsuds, had peach-colored juice and came in a peach-colored box. That was all it took to seal the deal in my impressionable mind that Chloé was a peach-scented perfume, but like so many other things I was positive I knew at 18, I slightly right, but mostly wrong.

In fact, Chloé was a tuberose, rich and animalic; green at first, then sultry. The beast in this beauty sprang from the jasmine, with its hint of overripe decay. The effect was densely feminine, a wallow in the womanliness I did not yet possess.

I moved on from Chloé, then forgot about it, until the other day when I tried Parfums DelRae Amoureuse. Parfums DelRae is a San Fransisco-based line that features scents that smell to me like “proper” perfumes. And no wonder, since Michel Roudnitska is the nose behind most of their fragrances, including Amoureuse. Roudnitska is the son of two perfumers, with his father Edmond’s output providing some real doozies in the masterpiece-of-all-time category: Eau Sauvage, Diorissimo, and Diorella, all for Christian Dior. Son Michel seems to have the same taste for the friction between fresh and funky, betwixt the tang of citrus and the putang of indolic and animalic accords.

(Kids, I know it’s hard to believe in our world of apologetic laundry-detergent body-sprays, but in the olden days, one expected at least a sprinkle of skank in each and every bottle of fancy perfume.)

So when I smelled Amoureuse, I flashed on “Chloé Classic” in a pleasing episode of Recovered Perfume Memory Syndrome. Amoureuse is heady and deeply sexy. It makes a vivid, sweeping entrance, announcing itself with tangerine and the green, peppery sweetness of cardamom. In no time flat, huge lilies are surfing the impressive sillage, which is billowing and room filling.

All of this carry-on is certainly plush and diva-esque, but where my nostrils really perk up is at the onset of the dirty-minded jasmine and creamy tuberose. It’s the Chloé effect. And then comes my absolute favorite aspect of Amoureuse: the warm, honey drydown that hums for hours on the skin.

Honey in perfume is tricky: it can read as sickeningly sweet, or even worse, public-toilet urinous. Not a problem in Amoureuse, where the honey is perfect, adding a buttery voluptuousness. It suggests raunchiness, without actually smelling raunchy.

Heady, voluptuous, densely feminine - that’s Amoureuse. Now excuse me while I wallow in my womanliness.

Amoureuse is available from LuckyScent at $135 for 50ml

Image: Anouk Aimée with Jean-Louis Trintignant in "A Man and a Woman"


  1. I have never smelt the delrae range but..... I sure have smelt that shocker New chole!

    Oh, what a "ordinary" little scent that is--- bring back the Karl's OLD chole!!
    I know a little pest that would say its the best Chole of ALL TIME! :)

  2. I swear Divine by Divine smells like the old Chloe. Katie, have you tried MAC Naked Honey? Just curious what you think about it, in terms of smelling urinous. :)

    Amoureuse has been on my to-try list for a while, looks like it needs to be bumped to the front of the line...

  3. I wore the old peach-boxed chloe too! It was my first perfume; I wore it until late high-school when Obsession replaced it. I wish I still had a bottle. I will have to try the nw Amoureuse.

  4. Angi - It's happened again - another instance of Recovered Perfume Memory Syndrome, thanks to your mention of Divine! Yes yes yes, you're absolutely right, Divine is a “Chloé (Classic)-alike". And I'm not sure if I ever made that connection until now, but as a Chloé fan, that would explain why I loved wearing my bottle of Divine about 10 years ago. I'm now keen to smell Divine again. Divine and Amoureuse certainly share a rich butteryness and ample womanliness. Off the top of my head, I'd say that Amoureuse is greener, more summery, while Divine is "opera house".

    I've smelled the MAC honeys, but haven't worn them, which is the true test. Just on the blotter, I preferred the depth of Africanimal to the intense sweetness of Naked Honey, but I liked them both and found them unusual in the context of mall perfumes. Both are fab for honey lovers.

  5. Krista & Lady Jicky - Hurrah for the "real" Chloé!

  6. Almost every time I read one of your blogs I have the urge to go buy a perfume!

  7. When sampling Divine L'Infante for the first time I thought "Amoureuse lite". Of course, that was just my thought at the time, I have yet to wear them simultaneously to compare. Amoureuse is one of my absolute favorites! Have never sniffed Chloe, original or new.

  8. So I stumbled across something from ahsu's Hit Parade, eh? I love the way Amoureuse lingers the next day.

    All of you heady/sultry perfume ladeez need to investigate the new Comme des Garçons, Daphne. I just smelled it for the first time today. It hits the "opera perfume" spot for me.

  9. I couldn't agree with oleandr more. You & Dan are causing me to have a major crisis. I don't know which scent to stock first!

  10. It reminds me of Boudoir or Euphoria. Now, I know they're not the exact perfumes, but there's something sexy about them, that every time I sniff one of them, I remember the other two. Each time you inhale, you get a lot but you want more

  11. CherryBlossomRain, Dan and I really egg each other on with our perfume binging, and I'm starting to get the idea that we're spreading our little "problem" around...ha-ha!

    81endo, I've read the Vivienne Westwood Bourdoir comparison to Amoureuse before, and am very curious to smell it. My friend Alison who used to wear Boudoir swore that men went crazy for it, and that it has a tinge of (as she put it in her British way) "pissy Granny knickers". Which makes me even more curious to try it!