Perfume Pen Pals: Eris Parfums



Katie,

Have you worn any of the Eris perfumes yet? It's the line created by Scent and Subversion author Barbara Herman with Antoine Lie. I got my samples and immediately put on Belle de Jour for no reason other than I’m compulsive and it’s the first sample my pudgy fingers pulled out of the bag.

Catherine Deneuve: will the real Belle de Jour stand up?

It’s...nice. I kept thinking these were a collision of feminine and masculine, old-fashioned and modern, and maybe the other two are, but not this one. This one is a soft, lovely feminine, with a little of that dog-whistle musk, definitely more modern, youthful and streamlined than some opulent Margaret Dumont perfume.

Groucho and Margaret D.

Belle de Jour is like a lot of modern perfumes in that it just finds its spot and settles in for eight hours, like a teenager at one of those horrible summer music festivals. Though it does smell better than that. But it’s a tiny bit boring.

I’m a little disappointed and yet I can’t quite explain why, because it’s very pretty and exactly the sort of thing I’d buy for my girlfriend. And she’d actually like. So right now I’ll say any disappointment I feel is more a matter of my own shortcomings and not those of the perfume.


And onto the second Eris: Night Flower. It has a similar effect as Note Vanillee, that dusty, boozy M. Micallef from years ago (I don’t know what the current incarnation smells like). It lists tuberose among its notes but I keep smelling vanilla (which, if you trust the notes, isn’t vanilla but tonka bean), coupled with a dry, spicy friction.

It’s perfectly balanced, it smells good, and yet I’m not blown away. I don’t know what will blow me away at this point, I feel like an old guy listening to a bunch of young indie bands and ruining things for everyone by pointing out how nothing they’re doing is new. So I think Night Flower is fine and if you haven’t tried as many perfumes as we have, it might even be great.


After my post-run shower, I put on the third Eris, Ma Bête, and this one is my favorite. But it’s also very familiar. At first it seems like an old-fashioned jasmine with a big animalic note, but it soon softens, and sweetens, and turns into something more modern. It’s just lovely. This is the one I would buy. Though it’s obviously too feminine for me to wear all that often.

Dan



Dan,

Belle de Jour smells like a wooden wet wipe. A salty, wooden wet wipe.

Night Flower is doing a nice, spicy Play-Doh thing on me, triggering a distant memory of my mother's Coty Emeraude. I'm not getting the “tasty little cookie” of Note Vanillee -- this one is much drier.

Night Flower gets milkier and milkier the longer it's on, the same effect as Penhaligon's Amaranthine. Eventually the creamy tang subsides, and Night Flower dries down to one of those "sweet paper" vanilla notes, like Le Labo Vanille 44. I like this one.

Out of the three, Ma Bête is the vintage-iest. It references Bal à Versailles' thighs'n'jasmine twaaaaannnggg. On a long wearing, it develops, deepens and delivers, traveling from a trebly opening mush into an insinuating encounter in the stables.


There's a dusty puff of face-powder, a soft whinny of barn-trammeled hay. At the (horse) tail end, Ma Bête resolves into the smell of a brand new leather saddle. This is the most interesting one out of the three.

Katie



Katie,

Ha, I was just looking up some early reviews for Eris and Ma Bête seems to be Angela’s least favorite on Now Smell This, and “the big totoro” on Fragrantica wrote:
“Starts out nicely like a cross between L'Ombre Fauve and Musc Tonkin, then something bad happens.... It morphs into a horse pasture saturated with urine. It made me sad.”
She isn’t wrong about the horse pasture and yet I don’t know why it makes her sad. It’s so much more compelling than the other two. Plus, where are the horses supposed to pee?

Dan



Dan,

Ah! “the big totoro” has totally nailed Ma Bête with the comparison to Parfumerie Generale L'Ombre Fauve. But me, I don't see the pee. It's leather leather leather all the way into the golden sunset (not golden showers).

For jasmine with a capital P, I'd cite Patou Joy.

Katie


barn ladies photo by David Hamilton

37 comments:

  1. "I feel like an old guy listening to a bunch of young indie bands and ruining things for everyone by pointing out how nothing they’re doing is new"
    Are you my husband?

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    1. No, but I enjoy hearing him rant on about Vampire Weekend. Someone needs to say it, Nebbe!

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    2. Someone once pointed out to me that Blur's whole schtick is based on Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and after that, I couldn't stop hearing the Ghost of Syd in everything they did. At first it kind of ruined Blur for me, and then weirdly, it enhanced it.

      I love Vampire Weekend. At least for an album's worth.

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    3. Katie, you hooked me on Stella and Tame Impala. I'm sure there are some old school perfume and rock critics who are accusing us of following derivative art. For that I plead guilty as charged. We all come from somewhere. We are all amalgams of what came before us. I'm glad you can enjoy Blur again. I feel the same way about Alabama Shakes. This is not new music, but there's something true about their story. Here's a strong front woman grinding her axe and torturing her vocal chords to a cool musical vibe laid down on stage. I'm fixated. I wonder what perfume she wears?

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    4. Hmm, what does Brittany from Alabama Shakes wear? I'm guessing she wants to wear something unexpected, but she doesn't stray from mainstream offerings, because she grew up with some hardship and didn't have access to - or know about - niche alternatives. So I'm imagining her wearing Dior Homme Intense.

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    5. Ah, Brittany would wear it well. "Guess the artist's perfume" might be a nice sidebar to a perfume blog. To echo other fumeheads, any project that you pursue will bring me along. I enjoy your guest work on BBC and hope that you return to visual media soon.

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  2. I don't respect Dan as a reviewer. Could you get in to correspondence with someone else?

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    1. Perfume Pen Pals is The Katie & Dan Show, so if it's not for you, you'll have to change the channel, I'm afraid.

      For the vast range of niche perfumes discussed on KP Smells, we have Dan to thank. It's his never-quenched curiosity (obsession) about the new that keeps me in the game.

      Not to mention Dan's hugely original, idiosyncratic and emotional approach, which is unmatched in all of perfume writing.

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    2. On the whole, I think I agree more with Anonymous than with you, KP. That must be part of my idiosyncratic approach.

      I grateful he specified “as a reviewer,” because I’d feel hurt if he also didn’t respect my collection of macramé owls.

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  3. We love Dan and his macrame fragrance covers. We miss your Videos Katie.

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    1. Perfume cozies! (Several Parisians just took a deep sigh.)

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    2. I vow to return to the smallest screen, Michael. Thanks for your urging.

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  4. I love Dan, and I love Katie, and I love the Katie & Dan show. Dan's posts have entertained and enlightened me. Please don't stop, you. And doesn't Margaret Dumont look young and wonderful in that photo! I remember when...I didn't think so.

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    1. Margaret Dumont always looked like she smelled great. She’s my favorite perfume-reference personality.

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    2. Hanamini - do an image search on "young Margaret Dumont" - she was an absolute heartbreaker - stunning!

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  5. Yowza! "Young Margaret Dumont" is what I'll be aiming for next! And let no-one tell me it's too late for that. I'll be wearing my Fleur Burlesque and Fleur de Cassie until the Eris samples arrive.

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  6. I had a surgery, and I would smack anyone who tried to give me perfume instead of Percocet. But as a non hoi polio de trop person, may I suggest Estée Lauder Sensuous. How do you even use the Serge perfumes? The opening looks as bus as a mouth wash bottle. No it is better to stay cheap and at least get a sprayer device. Ps. That stuff in Molecule will make some people sick because of a headache. Then they will hate you, and your damn macrame owls. Do don't do it. But I will take your Serge to sell it in Ebay if this lady does not want. Enjoy your day.

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    1. Anne, I agree that drugs are more practical in this instance, but they aren't as pretty as perfume.

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  7. I'll have to look into sampling these, I'm especially curious about the Belle de Jour. I have this (weird) thing when watching some older films (60's and prior), I like to try to find a matching fragrance. For this Catherine Denueve film I wore Sisley's Soir De Lune (honey/rose/oakmoss) so I associate it with that movie now. I'm curious how this one would compare.

    Katie, echoing missing your video reviews. :) Would love to know what your favorites are these days. Whenever I wear my rose incense combos (Portrait of a Lady, Aramis Calligraphy Rose) I think of you haha.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in, Antonella. I like the idea of your Perfume Film Club in Surroundsmell.

      These days, I'm absolutely lu-lu about Jo Malone Red Roses. I'm kind of obsessed with it. I wear it to bed, I wear it to rise and shine. It does rose-and-honey like no other for me. And very, very green grassy, not sweet.

      I start with Red Roses, then musk or woody it up with other perfumes: Acampora Musc, Armani Prive Bois d'Encens, and just now, Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac.

      xx

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  8. I love Dan in the Katie & Dan show. This instantly takes me to my older days. I found a profound love for the London based perfume brand by yardley. Their perfumes smell extra-ordinary on my skin and helps keep me happy all the time.

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    1. Thanks Rihan. A tribute to the magic powers of a favorite perfume.

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  9. Dan and Katie are both by far my favorite fragrance reviewers! Funny, insightful and entertaining! I'd ask if you can get alternative anonymous commentators that I can respect? Surely there are other anonymous posters you can correspond with?

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  10. I would also like to toss in my wishing pennies for your return to visual media! Whether it's through YouTube or somewhere else, I care not. I would enjoy your well-spoken commentary/musings on fragrance, music, fashion...anything really! Your personality, presence and wit are refreshing.

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    1. Seeing this just made my day, lady! Your support really makes me feel...supported. Thank you.

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    2. As someone who has benefit greatly from the hours of inspiration you provide across a multitude of platforms, thank you too. :) Just wanted to make sure you knew how appreciated you are.

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  11. Also another who misses your YouTube reviews. I just read on MUA that Axe / Lynx Peace is a dupe for your long lost Ultima II skin scent. Hope it is !

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    1. Thanks, dear Jennifer. I appreciate the dupe tip and the longing.

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  12. Just one more who wants you back, but I totally understand that your time may be filled with better things, which I certainly wouldn't begrudge you. But remember us :'(

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    1. Oh gosh! I can't say that my time is filled with better things - you're tugging on my heartstrings. I've actually spent all of today smelling and researching perfume. I hope to come back soon. Thank you for not forgetting me.

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  13. I love watching your reviews!! I will check out the ones discussed here. You have inspired me to really enjoy fragrances much more than ever before. Really love your channel.

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    1. To know that I've inspired your nose is a wonderful compliment. Thank you!

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  14. Yes, Katie! You are appreciated! And gosh darn't, we like you! We really, really like you no matter how you smell!

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