I am always interested when one of the successful mainstream perfumers chooses to strike out on their own. It is not a slam dunk that someone who has success at the popular can make the transition to independent niche aesthetics. The new brand Parle Moi de Parfum is perfumer Michel Almairac’s branching out. He is doing it with his entire family on board. His sons Benjamin and Romain are providing creative direction. His wife Elisabeth designed the Paris boutique which is the only place they are being sold, now. It took me a while for the trans-Atlantic perfume underground railroad to get me some samples. I requested three of the eight perfumes which make up the inaugural collection; Guimauve de Noel, Woody Perfecto, and Tomboy Neroli.
The overriding design of each perfume seems to be based on simplicity. When I was looking over the note lists they name three ingredients and only three. It is a departure from M. Almairac’s mainstream work which can sometimes seem overcrowded. In these three perfumes I tried, there is a stripped down feel. M. Almiarac is working with some more precious ingredients and perhaps doesn’t feel like there needs to be a lot of things to get in the way. In the case of Guimauve de Noel I wanted something more than the orange blossom pastry that it is. It ended up feeling like a trifle while I wanted cake. Still what shone through was a spectacular orange blossom matched with an equally beautiful vanilla. I asked for Woody Perfecto because the idea of coffee, leather, and vetiver sounded perfecto; and it was. As with Guimauve de Noel there is a richness to the coffee and vetiver along with a strong leather accord. Of the three it was the most kinetic. The one which grabbed me was Tomboy Neroli.
I’m not sure if my newfound enjoyment from Neroli is because there has been a steady stream of excellent neroli perfumes over the past fifteen months but Tomboy Neroli is another to add to that list. M. Almairac uses one of the isolates of neroli that allows for the terpene-like quality to have a little more traction. It is those molecules which add the bite. The neroli in Tomboy Neroli stands its ground as if defying anyone to challenge it. A subtle use of orange blossom scrubs some of the dirt off the tomboy and gets her to braid her hair. A sublimely chosen amber warms things while also framing the neroli further giving it something to really interact with.
Tomboy Neroli has 10-12 hout longevity and moderate sillage.
I must commend the Les fils D’Almairac for providing the creative direction which convinced him simple was the correct choice for his own perfume line. Based on these three I will need to endeavor to get the other five. For the time being these will hold me over and Tomboy Neroli will lead the way.
Disclosure: These samples were obtained from the Paris Parle Moi de Parfum store.