One of the characteristics which separates a great perfume from a good perfume is balance. When every ingredient used is part of a delicate construction built upon a keynote that is modern perfumery at its best. A recent heritage brand, Maison Violet has been showing their desire for fragrances which are like this. The creative team of Paul Richardot, Victorien Sirot, and Anthony Toulemonde have been behind the rebirth of this heritage brand. What they have achieved through the first five releases is re-imagining of the idea of translating vintage to contemporary. Maison Violet Compliment is the culmination of this effort.
(l. to r.) Paul Richardot, Anthony Toulemonde, and Victorien Sirot
Since the resurrection of the brand they have been exclusively working with perfumer Nathalie Lorson. She has collaborated on a blueprint for how to keep a vintage brand from feeling old. Throughout the releases they have understood this is 2021. Which means they take the intense ingredients that typified early 20th century perfumery and modernize them. Most of that comes through working on an opaque template. These perfumes are relevant because they hew to the current trend of transparency. They do this without becoming so ephemeral as to be unmemorable. These have just a couple extra pounds of weight. Which is why Compliment is such a beauty because the keynote is one of those hallmarks of the early days of modern perfumery, tuberose.
Tuberose is one of those gigantic white flowers. It can be a narcissistic scene stealer if you’re going to make that less obstreperous you have your work cut out for you. Mme Lorson does it by using smart choices to tease out parts of the tuberose to make a dynamic fragrance.
The tuberose is here throughout. The one she has chosen is light on the indoles and high on the creamy quality it displays. In the opening she uses orange blossom as a complement to that. Eucalyptus acts as an activator for the green streak inherent to tuberose. She adds it in and like a sputtering filament of green neon the floral’s hidden piece peeks out. Two sources of jasmine come next; this is the pivot upon which Compliment moves. The jasmine confronts and harmonizes with the tuberose. With ylang-ylang pushing the rotation it arrives at a base of vanilla and benzoin. The sultry quality of tuberose has found a place to smolder on the resinous sweet base accord.
Compliment has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is the best perfume this brand has produced so far. It is such a marvel of placing each piece of the formula in just the right place. It also is a summer weight tuberose which are rare. I wore this on hot days expecting to find it difficult. It is at such a level that it was fantastic in the warmth. That’s what you get when you prioritize balance.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.