Lots of perfumes are inspired by the passion between two human beings. Of all the parts that go into that the one precious moment you only get once in any romance is the first kiss. It is a beautiful thing when two people look at each other. Each giving the other permission to come closer. As you close your eyes and your lips touch it is magic. You can understand the power of a kiss in so many fairy tales. Isabey Prends-Moi is a perfume which wants to capture that magic.
Luca Maffei (l.) and Rania Naim
Creative director Rania Naim has shown the ability to translate perfumes of the past into today. Almost everything she has done with Jacques Fath is testament to that. Prends-Moi is the update to the original released in the 1930’s. I have never smelled the vintage, but I suspect this modern incarnation to be significantly re-worked. Mme Naim worked with perfumer Luca Maffei to find a contemporary version for the name from the past.
Prends-Moi is a tuberose perfume. It is a type where the tuberose doesn’t go all out obliterating everything around it. Nor is it part of that transparent trend where the qualities of tuberose are nearly lost. Sig. Maffei finds a lovely middle ground for a perfume ingredient which represents carnality. As the keynote for a perfume trying to represent a first kiss it feels like it is at just the right volume.
In the early moments it is like our couple is holding hands. Raspberry represents one of our lovers; baie rose the other. The raspberry finds the fruitiness hiding under the herbal green nature of the baie rose. as the two come closer a nice bit of tension is formed. As they look at each other a breeze of citrus-y cardamom ruffles their hair. They start to move towards each other as passion rises. Tuberose steps forward along with rose and iris. The iris captures the smell of lipstick and powder as you get close just before you kiss. The tuberose rises in enveloping swirls amidst all of this. As they move back lingering in the magic of the moment, a dry cocoa and sweet sandalwood represent our two lovers holding hands again. They walk with a different feeling now that the first kiss has passed.
Prends-Moi has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
As one who enjoys the fulsome tuberose perfumes Prends-Moi is better because of the restraint. The tuberose never felt like it was taking over. Sig. Maffei found a way to strike the correct balance to be able to imagine someone whispering “prends-moi (take me)” as a tuberose perfume.
Disclosure: this review is based on a bottle provided by Isabey.