Five years ago L’Artisan Parfumeur released a six-fragrance collection called Natura Fabularis. All the perfumes were composed by perfumer Daphne Bugey without active creative direction. Her only brief was to make them “whimsical”. That opened multiple interpretations of simple three-keynote compositions. I found it a solid effort which I enjoyed the more Mme Bugey pushed the envelope of her compositions. They have released two new additions 25 Obscuratio and 63 Crepusculum Mirabile.
They have decided to re-name the entire collection La Botanique. Mme Bugey is back to work in the same way she did before. An explanation of the number before the name, it represents the number of mods she made before the final one.
25 Obscuratio is what I mean about pushing at the borders. It is meant to be a perfume of the canopy of the tropical rainforest. The three keynotes are ylang-ylang, patchouli, and vanilla. It was one of those rare times when I correctly predicted the positioning of the ingredients. What I didn’t anticipate were the three partnering notes which altered each of them.
In the opening the ylang-ylang is here in all its tropical glory. What adds to it is the freshness of freesia. Now that could have just lightened up the lusty floral. It also portrays the dense humidity underneath the trees. The patchouli renders the rich earthy scent of the floor of the rainforest. To it some cedar adds in the woodiness of the trees. Next comes the vanilla. This is the version of the pod that comes from the orchid not the confectioners. There is a hint of vegetation to which a clever smidge of a synthetic amber adds in a subtle spiciness.
63 Crepusculum Mirabile is meant to evoke that moment at twilight when the night-blooming jasmine just begins to scent the air. In this case the three keynotes are jasmine, sandalwood, and tonka bean. In the dusky failing of the light jasmine acts as the harbinger of the end of the day. This is a perfume which represents that.
It opens with the jasmine. She keeps it reined in for a few moments. In that early phase the piquancy of cumin finds the hint of indoles in the jasmine. It feels like the scent of honest work as you put away the implements of the day. Tuberose intensifies the jasmine without raising it to suffocating levels. Sandalwood and tonka bean form a sweet woody counterbalance to the jasmine and tuberose. A gentle give-and-take with which to watch the sunset.
Both perfumes have 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I enjoyed both and am hoping I won’t have to wait another five years for more from Mme Bugey. For now I’ll just enjoy alternating between the tropics and twilight.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples I purchased.