I first encountered Bertrand Duchaufour's newly-released Mon Numéro series at L'Artisan Parfumeur's Printemps boutique in Paris in September. My advance research had lead to me to anticipate Numéro 10 the most feverishly, built as it is around my ever-lovin' solids: incense and amber. But as I huffed and puffed my way across the collection, it was Numéro 8 that had my number.
Right out of the bottle, off the nozzle, on the strip, Numéro 8 smells personal, like it has already been living on a beautiful body for some while. It's a sophisticated floral musk that pushme-pullsyou between elegant, withholding iris and the round-heeled trio narcissus, cassie and mimosa: flowers with a mammalian pong and minds in the gutter.
There's a muffled, thick intimacy that lurks in those sheer layers of iris and wisp. The moiré created by iris plus carrot creates a woody/metallic/vegetal vibration that recalls the tang of skin on shower day plus one, maybe two. It edges towards powdery, but the fine white dust never actually lifts off into the air. Mon Numéro 8 strikes me as the posh, understated, less powdery version of Love, Chloé, which I'd categorized as a “porny ballerina” scent. My Number 8 may indeed be posher, but it's no less porny.
BONUS EXTRA REVIEW...
...courtesy of my fume buddy jtd. When I ran into him at Scent Bar last week, I happened to have my bottle of Mon Numéro 8 with me and sprayed a blotter for him to try. The clever-clogs ran home and promptly produced the following review. What a show-off.
Mon Numéro 8 starts with an iris root so carrot-seedy that the two notes actually seem distinct. They converge slowly and a throaty, rich, iris-dominated floral picture comes into focus. Just into the heart, whammo! An exceedingly strong, exceedingly gorgeous soapy note grabs the wheel. (I kind of wondered about Katie's "shower day plus one" comment at this point.) Soon, in a convincing juxtaposition, a musky, ripe body scent starts creeping through the soap and brings back the rootlike, almost mucky feel of the iris/carrot seed bit. While not similar in scent, Mon Numéro 8 captures that clean over dirty intimacy that is the heart of Amouage Gold Man. I've only smelled it on a strip, but where most perfumes are a statement, or perhaps a simple question, Mon Numéro 8 is more like an argument, an assertion, and I'm completely persuaded. I’m certain I’d have the urge to nuzzle up to anybody wearing this.
Nude Behind Red Curtains by Frederick Carl Frieseke