Perfume Pen Pals: Ys Uzac


As you know, we do a great disservice to art when we judge it not by what it is but by what we want it to be. Putting that aside, I've decided I want my next fragrance to make me feel like Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless (minus the murder), something reckless and unrefined, but lately all my samples are delicate, meticulous things, intentionally lacking in boldness. And, surprisingly, they're mostly from very small niche brands.

Remember when I used to complain about all the thick, leaden offerings from one-person perfume houses? (Come back Neil Morris, all is forgiven.) Now it seems like many indie perfumers have just discovered L'eau d'Issey. I wonder if they're watching Beverly Hills 90210 and wearing high-waisted jeans, too.

My latest batch is from Ys Uzac, a Swiss line with four perfumes of undeniable quality, all of them lovely and balanced and wearable. But how do they serve my needs?


Metaboles comes closest to something I might like: licorice, tomato leaves and clove, but all delivered with a very light hand. It's a cool, modern fragrance, handsome but without any real depth.
Jean-Paul Belmondo meter: 5/10 (Luke Perry)


Monodie is a charming citrus backed by a light rose, bright and feminine and also redundant.
Jean-Paul Belmondo meter: 2/10 (Jennie Garth)


Lale is a warm, slightly sweet osmanthus, optimistic and almost fruity, an interesting variation but not quite as good as a few others in this category.
Jean-Paul Belmondo meter: 3/10 (Jason Priestley)


Pohadka initially holds the greatest promise for me, jasmine and tobacco, but not at all like the blunt, amusing Jasmin et Cigarette. This one doesn't smile and instead of smelling like a grand old dame going on her second pack of the night, Pohadka is the lightly perfumed girl in the next cabana who snuck a cigarette a couple hours ago.
Jean-Paul Belmondo meter: 6/10 (Shannen Doherty)

I'd recommend each one of these to one person or another, but for me it's another disappointing discrepancy between what I'm smelling and what I want to be smelling. It's not you, Ys Uzac, it's me/Jean-Paul.



  1. I had exactly the same impression with Metaboles. The notes sound so promising but the fresh green topnotes and licorice are verrrry weak and it hust ends up smelling mostly like vanilla. I wish it had a greener heart and some more herbs too.

    1. Every time I see "Metaboles" I read it as "Meatballs". Thank goodness it doesn't smell like that.

    2. It's exactly the right time for high waisted jeans again. You have been warned.
      Portia xx

    3. Haha, Portia! I predicted the clog comeback a year before they did.

  2. We must still be getting aftershock ripples from the plate shifts in the fragrance world that started the fresh, aquatic scent tsunami.

    1. Or it's the fallout of perfume climate change...

  3. Dan, what can we possibly suggest? You've tried every perfume in existence ten times over.

    If Belmondo were a perfume, I'd say he'd be Caron's 3rd Man. Not necessarily tough, more like a suave troublemaker. And pretty.


  4. Nora, Good call on 3rd Man. Unfortunately, I already have it and I'm constantly cursed with a restlessness for the thrill of something new. Hey, maybe I'm already Jean-Paul Belmondo and I don't even know it! (I could drop in a Wizard of Oz reference here, but we've recently worn that analogy out.)

    1. No, do please outline the Wizard of Oz analogy you think you can draw here, as I think it will be quite telling!

  5. Dan
    Have you tried Akaba by Antonio Visconti ?.
    It's a really heavy, dirty tobacco fragrance.

  6. Now you're talking, Chris! I've not tried anything from that line, but Akaba looks great. Tabarom, too. Have you sampled any of the others?

  7. Dan
    Along with Akaba, the other Visconti that i tried was
    Musk du Roy - a marvelous indolic jasmin/filthy musk.
    Looking at Tabarom with jasmin & tobacco, this could be everything that you had hoped Pohadka would be.
    You can get samples & full bottles from first in fragrance.

  8. Dan, have you tried some of the D.S. & Durga line? Especially Bowmakers is something I imagine, you (and Jean-Paul) might like. I find the whole line very expressive, sometimes a bit raw, sometimes you rather want to inhale the scents than smell them...

    About Tabarome of Visconti, it reminded me a bit of Virginia, one of the rare Villoresi scents. It's also quite sweet, but has a lot more layers, whereas Virginia is very linear.

    Good luck!

  9. Thanks Safran, I've not tried anything from D.S. & Durga and now I have a longer list.

    I'm embarrassed that people are putting real effort into my Belmondo project. Embarrassed and grateful.

  10. Wow, Dan - Ys Uzac - looking for J-PB in all the wrong placesI Actually, I see J-PB as Eau Sauvage.

    I really like Pohadka, but then I'm about as far from Jean-Paul as one can get, aside from being an African pygmy or Eskimo or something. Now I'm wondering if the pygmies make natural perfumes - like their amazing music...? ~~nozknoz

  11. The name Ys Uzac gives hope to those with a bad set of Scrabble tiles. What d'you mean, you can't use proper names?

    I did try this range in Zurich at the end of a long day's sniffing, so the name and the elaborate packaging are my abiding memories.

    1. By gum, you're right! It's a bum Scrabble hand.