The 18th edition of our “He says, she says” column. He: Jakub and She: Aleksandra of Persefume — two people, two genders, two opinions, both valuable, both sincere. Sometimes similar, sometimes contrasting — we test without checking each other’s impressions. Choose what fits you better. Write your own part in comments.
This time we are focusing on Orlov Paris – French fragrance house founded in 2015 by Ruth and Thomas Méaulle. Ruth Méaulle is skilled diamond expert, professionally trained in Antwerp and at the same time passionate perfume lover – no wonder that couple approached their favourite perfumer – iconic Dominique Ropion to work on five initial compositions of the brand.
Sharing a passion for perfumes and diamonds. Firing up imagination. Awakening the senses. Each Orlov Paris fragrance is named after a legendary stone. Whether they were given as tokens of love, worn as insignia of power or acquired to satisfy an obsession, these jewels have always been objects of desire throughout their often mysterious history… Today, Orlov Paris adds a new facet to their legends with a collection of olfactory gems crafted by diamond cutters of scent. Each, as unique as the mythical diamond it is named after. As captivating as a lover’s gift.
Orlov Paris scents are truly refined, made from high quality ingredients and with impressive longevity. Some of them might resemble a bit other Ropion’s work, yet her the result is more long lasting, bold and elegant, with feminine to unisex feel (men can easily reach for most of those, starting from Flame of Gold and Star of the Season. Orlov’s scents are offered in two collections: Diamond Collection, the main line and Elixir Collection with more rich and opulent formulas of Orlov and Star of the Season scents and real, certified diamond hidden in the bottle.
We are covering five Diamond Collection scents, all available as refillable Eaux de Parfum:
CROSS OF ASIA
Inspired by a spectacular champagne-colored stone, Cross of Asia is that rarest of gems: a fragrance which sheds new light on a classic note. Like an expert diamond cutter, Dominique Ropion has studied ylang-ylang closely in order to bring out each of its facets. Surprising hints of green apple and crystalline pear. Spices, enhanced by cool coriander and essence of cypress. A glowing rose note and heady white floral effects, set off by orange blossom, tuberose and jasmine absolutes. Finally, a lash of leather reveals the yellow bloom’s secretly animal nature.
He - Stunning, glourious and vampy Ylang-Ylang and tuberose combo layer with fruits, spices and leather. Sounds feminine, but I have been wearing it with pleasure. This exquisite and long-lasting gem evokes for me eighties classics including Dior Poison. Talking about pre-reformulations times of course. It might resemble other Ropion’s work – yet in much complex form.
She – a very beautiful, dewy white floral with prominent ylang ylang and a nice, synthetic touch to it – nothing wrong in it, as I love huge white florals, and they work wonders if they have a solid, unnatural backbone. This one reminds me of Amarige by Givenchy – there is a shadow of its boldness here, although in a more secretive, toned-down manner. A pinch of geranium refreshes this quite sweet and musky concoction. And when all the ylang dew dries up – it becomes just gorgeous. Very wearable.
FLAME OF GOLD
Sparkling with a thousand fires, this blazing blend was named from a canary-yellow diamond owned by flame-haired movie star Greer Garson. To conjure the gem’s tawny glow, the perfumer has fused the two most sensuous notes in his palette. An extravagant overdose of velvet-smooth musk suffuses the scent with a luxurious, captivating aura, fired up by powerfully radiant amber notes. Sweetly smoky guaiac, cocoa-dark patchouli, bracing Virginia cedar and luscious sandalwood: the richest wood essences fuel this lustrous Flame of Gold. An incandescent delight.
He – Black bottle – it suggest it might be more for gentlemen. Not necessary: Flame of Gold is animalic musk with fiery vanilla and precious woods. Very exotic, bit beasty. Love it.
She - Strange scent, sparkling and cold like a black diamond. An initial burst of fresh notes makes me want to run away, but it changes into something dangerously interesting: a peppery-dusty-cedar-oil-dark vortex, not to be worn, but very much to be investigated. I would never name it gold though. It is static, brewing and electric.
The glamour of tuberose. The brightness of orange blossom. The sensuousness of jasmine sambac… In Orlov, the master perfumer Dominique Ropion has picked the most radiant facets of these rich floral absolutes to compose a single, perfect blossom: the quintessential white flower. As dazzling as its namesake, the legendary diamond that crowns the Imperial scepter of Russia, this flawless floral gem is set in cool-as-platinum iris, on a backdrop of dark, velvet-soft leather.
He – Monumental white floral where tuberose and jasmin are combined with bit animalic musk and vanilla. This feels very retro, decadent and indeed, feminine. It warms up with time and actually, is getting more sensual. Composition rather for ladies, I must admit – but I fully appreciate it.
She - Magnetic and exotic mix of fruit, nuts, flowers and summer. The scent is immensely joyful and erotic, covering skin with a creamy, edible film. It reminds me of Chinatown by Bond no 9, one of the best exotic fragrances I have ever smelt. Orlov is slightly more on a fruity side, making this mix more like a sorbet and less like a cream. Nonetheless: double delicious.
SEA OF LIGHT
As limpid as a diamond of the first water, this brilliant variation on the eau de Cologne draws its inspiration from the mythical, 182-carat Daria-i-Noor, which means “sea of light” in Persian. Luminous grapefruit shines on a bright citrus accord, enhanced with a trio of festive fruity notes: raspy blackcurrant, velvety peach and bracing buchu, a leaf with mint and rhubarb facets. Dewy lily-of-the-valley and a salty splash of sea spray conjure cool, glinting waves, fringed with an ethereal foam of white musks.
He - Inspired by Daria-i-Noor diamond (Sea of Light in Persian). Beautiful, gentle, genderless and refreshing in the heat. Freshly ripped lemons and mandarins mixed with petitgrain, salty seanotes and almost undetectable warm musks. Blackcurrant is just lurking in the shadows, without revealing its full sour effect. Whole composition is optimistic, light, yet very long-lasting. It becomes harder and harder to create non-banal citrus and here Mr Ropion fully succeeded: Sea of Light is far from being either boring, or too aquatic. I wear it with joy and smile: I have my Riviera scent, just private yacht is for now missing.
She – here we go again, fruit with a creamy vibe to it seems to be the main idea also here, this time it is pure citrus plus musk. Quite simple to be honest, but it does not have to be a disadvantage. Very refreshing, sunny and sparkling.
STAR OF THE SEASON
He - Easily my favourite of the line, every time it gets me many compliments. Rich, decadent, even erotic gourmand, with traces of Ropion’s La Vie est Belle, yet with much more niche appeal. Perfectly unisex, complex scent of seductive vanilla and iris. Love it to bits.
She - Prominent and radiating iris paired with chewy vanilla make this perfume really mouthwatering. Sophisticated like pistachio salty ice-cream, elegant as little black dress. I do not feel it as masculine at all. All I see is black velvet and violet eyes shining amidst the deepest night. It feels as if a great love story were standing behind this concept. The only funny note I find here is a perking rose, rather fruity than herbal. She is like a little girl lurking in shadows, peeping at two adults kissing passionately. A perfume to be seduced in.
Orlov Paris scents are currently available at Harrods, Luckyscent, Bergdorf Goodman and via company’s e-shop.
Samples, pictures and quotes – Orlov Paris, thank you!
Jakub (left) and Aleksandra (right)—photo edit by Jakub Grabarczyk Photography. All rights reserved.