The 12th 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 cover Pour Toujours Martine Denisot – the line which was exclusively presented in our Persefume post.

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It comprises of seven creations by Martine Denisot who gave up her career in communication to start a new, perfumed path. After one year of work with Chanel’s nose Jacques Polge and further practice at Cinquième Sens she founded Flair Paris fragrance studio, together with two talented perfumers: Amelie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel.

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Martine Denisot’s first six creations are composed with rare, lavish ingredients. Textural, granular, effervescent, nearly tactile, they embrace the wearer like a cocoon, with an emotional expressiveness that lasts far beyond their olfactory presence.

Pour Toujours is the personal project of Mrs Denisot – six creations composed with help of Amelie Bourgeois and inspired by her memories and favourite destinations. Persefume was personally guided through all scents by truly charming and elegant Martine Denisot, now it is time to present you our impressions:

BOOTYLICIOUS
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Juniper Berry, Quince, Osmanthus, Rose, Davana, White Musk, Ambrette
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “The fruity-syrupy impression of davana, an intriguingly unusual, animalic flower.”

He — Name inspired by Beyonce’s song used for nice tropical scent, but actually bit too cloying, static and syrupy for my taste. Can work in the heat, on some lady in pareo. Cliche, yet suitable connotation.

She — very juicy stuff indeed, quickly evolving into a white-pink light veil. There is a hint of candy sweetness to it which makes it little to childish for my taste.

TUDO BEM!
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Italian Citron, Limette, Lemon, Petitgrain, Citrata Mint, Blue Ginger, Olibanum, Black Pepper, Nutmeg
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “The ‘spice of immortality’ in Madagascar, blue ginger gives the composition a bracing edge.”

He — Citruses done right. Caiprinha effect, but it avoids banal direction known from several similar compositions, mostly thanks to the use of ginger, pepper and hint of incense in the base. Positive, refreshing. Test-worthy.

She — I love the name. A very optimistic scent, full of joyful citruses, never sweet. Recently I discovered orange juice with ginger (I make it at home, fresh pressed!) – it is such an invigorating mix! Tudo Bem! reminds me of it. It works well in hot weather, but also makes wonders during the winter – because I love the bright contrast it creates.

GRAINES
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Mitcham Mint, Oregano, Osmanthus, Tuberose, Carrot, Cocoa, Cardamom, Barley Seeds, Iris, Oak
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “Carrot seed, with its facets of dry apricot, iris, whisky and hay, a fragrance unto itself.”

He — What a powerful perfume! First minutes remind me of pre-reformulated version of Dior Homme and its iris/cocoa facets. Later Graines becomes much stronger, drier and aromatic, almost like walking through spice bazaar. Accent is still put on iris and carrot seeds accompanied by oregano, wild mint and spices which add fiery, almost chilli-like effect. Absolutely love it, great scent with huge aura and longevity.

She - This one wants to be loved. First it makes the quickest striptease in the world, taking bergamot, mint, oregano, carrot and cocoa off in a few seconds. Then all the notes play unison with an accent to the cooler side of the story. I feel mint and iris the most, in a soft, almost fluffy way. Also cardamom kicks in, giving the perfume a final, almost exotic touch.

PYRUS
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Citron, Pear Balm, Rose, Mimosa, Beeswax, Ambrette, Vetiver
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “Honeycomb absolute, with its surprising smoky quality, sweet but never cloying.”

He — It is hard to create good pear-themed perfume (with few exceptions like Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene) and here the result is sunny, bright and joyful, similar to very good limited, 1998 Escada Sunny Frutti from the long gone times when Escada created actually interesting scents. Pear in Pyrus is freshly cut, layered with honey – lovely, refined summer offering.

She — Sunny and citrusy with a strange, chemical vibration – yeah, I know it is supposed to be pear, but it is very hard not to give too much of that ingredient into the mix, I find it a little overwhelming here, but the feeling fades with time. The scent is nicely and surprisingly built: instead of simply getting sweeter it drifts into an earthy, slightly salty territory. I remember the first time I ate cheese with pear – I would never tell these ingredients would refine each other, still they do. Something similar happens here.

BOULE DE GOMME
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Lavender, Neroli, Iris, Ambrette, White Musk
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “Lovely Maillette lavender, with its endless facets and its fresh, aromatic odour, at once floral, camphoric and even woody.”

He — Very classic and very French (it reminds me work of Amelie Bourgeois for another new line Les Eaux Primordiales, reviews to follow). Lavender, iris and neroli based: retro charm.

She - A classic, dry iris, still with an ambrette seed twist, which adds the necessary depth, a drop of moisture. Sometimes I think of Insolence EdP – muted a bit. Well, muted a lot.

KHAMSIN
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Notes: Italian Bergamot, Italian Lemon, Narcissus, Jasmine, Rose, Oud Wood, Golden Stone, Saffron, Sandalwood
The ingredient that makes all the difference: “Poet’s daffodil (Narcissus poeticus) with its tobacco-tinged green facets, evoking straw, hay and sometimes beeswax — and an air of mystery.”

He — The naughty one. Complex, rich, with animalic undertones and lush note of narcissus (glad to see this flower back – it is perfectly used in Masque Romanza). The beginning seems to be too flowery (I have been accused by my special one of smelling like lily of the valley, ha!), but it gradually turns into bold and beasty scent. Bravo, I am impressed.

She — I am getting more and more in love with narcissus in perfumes, this one is beautifully done, although the beginnings are tough. The perfume is shot through with quasi-eugenol, phenolic note, clouding the delicacy of the flower, but after some time it fades to reveal a tender, yellow heart of angelic pollen. For some reason it also reminds me of lily of the valey, which makes the overall impression even more heavenly. I would gladly wear this one.

And summing up – Pour Toujours is a fun line, perfect example of perfumers’ skills. You can smell great quality raw materials and relaxed, personal vision. Three perfumes of the range perfectly evoke summer, tropical escapades, while other three are more serious, rich and classic with the twist. Test them all if you have a chance!

Since our initial post, the distribution expanded – Pour Toujours Martine Denisot collection is now available at Le Bon Marche, Liquides, Jovoy and Marie-Antoinette in Paris plus Liberty of London, 160 EUR/150 GBP for 100ml EdP, housed in bottles with porcelain stoppers and cases designed by Philippe Di Méo of Liquides Imaginaires.

Quotes: Martine Denisot, pictures: Heuduck/Portrait F. Coquerel. Samples received from the brand at Pitti Fragranze, thank you.

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Jakub (left) and Aleksandra (right)—photo edit by Jakub Grabarczyk Visual Artist. All rights reserved.