Perfume review: L’Eau Rare Matale by Parfumerie Generale

Parfumerie Generale L'Eau Rare Matale

There are currently 7 numbered fragrances in the Parfumerie Generale line. L'Eau Rare Matale is no. 6, and features notes of sage, white fowers, bergamot, black Matale tea, Virginia cedar, Chinese cedar, vetiver, birch, burnt woods, pepper and musk. Matale, by the way, is one of the tea growing districts of Sri Lanka, and is also known for its spice gardens.

L'Eau Rare Matale has shot straight to the top of my list of favorite tea fragrances. It starts with a wonderful buzz of smoky tea leaves and bergamot. The floral notes are very light and indistinct. Over the next hour it softens and deepens, and the vetiver and wood notes kick in, creating a beautiful earthy-peppery undertone. As indicated in the list of notes, the wood smells slightly singed, although it is not a particularly smoky scent once the top notes settle.

It strikes a nice balance between deep and fresh notes. It is not too heavy to wear in the summer — although obviously, I'm just guessing as it is freezing here today — but nor is it the light, ethereal tea of say, L'Artisan Thé Pour Un Été. It could easily be worn by either sex. The lasting power is good, but it is very subtle and close to the skin after a couple hours, and I find myself reapplying just to get that lovely burst of tea and bergamot in the top notes.

Parfumerie Generale L'Eau Rare Matale is an Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Parfumerie Generale under Perfume Houses.

Tomorrow: Parfumerie Generale no. 4, Musc Maori

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31 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I want!!! That is all.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Argh, another tea scent lemming! Do you like this more than Hermessence Osmanthus Yunnan? OY is a spectacular tea fragrance to me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another lemming… had a look at the site, and thought that the Musc Maori looked interesting too…and you're doing that tomorrow…oh, help.

    I'm drifting around in Divine l'Homme Sage right now, which I'd never even heard of until you reviewed the house!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I thought I had my lemmings all nicely under control. Now I am having to fight my fingers to keep them from typing in an order for the 7 scent tester package. The tea scent sounds irresistable!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    the shipping is crazy! *sheepishly admits that I've already added 2 samples to my cart and checked it out* How do you find these places?!?!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ooh, and there's an on-site questionnaire! I filled it in – perhaps this will be like Frederic Malle, and they'll decide the 'best' scent for you and send you a sample???? (Under 'Choose your own perfume').

  7. Anonymous says:

    LOL — my mantra…

  8. Anonymous says:

    R, I´ve nver heard of Parfumerie Generale *cannot believe it* ;D

    Your review sounds very promising – I´ve to look at their website!

  9. Anonymous says:

    N, I like the Musc Maori & the Cologne Grand Siecle. The other 4 are still waiting for a second try but will get to them eventually.

    L'Homme Sage is a good scent to drift around in :-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Everytime I think I have my lemmings under control, another one springs up…it is the way with perfume, especially given the rapid rate of new releases lately. It is impossible to keep up anymore.

    The tester package is a good deal if you end up liking most of them, but I didn't check the shipping rate.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey — let me know if that works, LOL! Does FM even do that anymore? I thought I read that most people just got scented cards now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The fragrance does not have a good tenacity on my skin at all, unfortunately. I liked Cuir Venenum the most, I think. Hope that you will review it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I got a sweet little bottle of l'Eau d'Hiver! (Perhaps that's because I'm in Europe rather than the US). But ended up buying Musc Ravageur instead.

  14. Anonymous says:

    18.5 euro for 2 samples sheesh! where did you come by these rare perfumes? are you located in Europe?

  15. Anonymous says:

    But adding: OY & the Matale are both light scents, and I would love to have both of them in an “Extreme” version. In both cases, I spray far more on than I normally do. The Matale does last, but it isn't so interesting to me after an hour or two.

  16. Anonymous says:

    That is expensive to ship 2 samples, agreed! No, I am in the States, and probably too jaded about high shipping rates from Europe.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Lucky you! I never did the questionnaire at all, as I figured I would be too disappointed if I ended up with the cards.

  18. Anonymous says:

    S, I don't really understand what their distribution arrangements were before they opened their new website, but supposedly it is not a new line. I had never heard of them until recently either.

  19. Anonymous says:

    V, agreed — I like the first 2 hours best. It reminds me of 100% Love, in that it takes several sprays to get a good impression of it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    R, so far as I know it is not in the US yet. I do love it, although do wish the tea & bergamot part would last longer. But nosplurging for me until 2006, and then I will have to really sit down and look at my growing “to buy” list….it is quite out of control!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I visited their website and also Frederic Malle today and they are very much alike, and the questionaire is exactly the same.

    Anyway, I am intriqued by your review of this one, the tea notes sound wonderful. My “to buy” list, and “to sniff” list is getting longer and longer.

  22. Anonymous says:

    NOOOO! I CAN'T LOOK! I have promised myself no perfume purchases of any sort 'til after January, and the pricing on the generously sized samples is too, too tempting. (Okay, so I did allow myself one exception, but it was a planned one for an LE.)

    This sounds just gorgeous. For some reason I seem to be craving tea scents (and tea, heh) this winter, and I'm intrigued. Can't wait to hear about your impressions of the others in this line this week.

  23. Anonymous says:

    K, Happily my “to sniff” list is about 3 times longer than the “to buy” list. Some things sit on the “to buy” so long that I lose interest in them, which is just as well, and then I figure I can live with a decant.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well, I got an email recommending me Musc Maori and Intrigant Patchouli. Someone had carefully analysed my favourite scents and correctly divined that I like rich oriental bases…I feel a sample order coming on here.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So they are recommending those, but not sending you anything? Drat. Musc Maori, at least, is not what I would call a rich oriental base. The Intrigant Patchouli I left until last to try, since its patchouli, but I was surprised by it. Not as heavy as I expected. Will need to try it again though, was wearing 4 other things at the time.

  26. Anonymous says:

    K, I know the feeling!

    I do love it, but V has a good point above: it isn't the longest lasting thing on the planet. I am very forgiving when I really love something, and will just spray it on my clothing or in my hair to make it last longer.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I understand: I'm the same way to a certain extent. Cumming doesn't last but more than a blink of the eye, but I simply don't feel resentful that I have to reapply a lot with it, simply because it's so evocative and cooling to me.

  28. Anonymous says:

    No, it's the other way round, Robin (did I just type 'round Robin'? LOL!): they used to send cards, but they've been sending 5ml samples for about a year now – two or three depending on what they recommend for you. You should do the questionnaire. :-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    I visited the website & also did the questionnaire – still waiting for an answer, will tell you when I got it.

  30. Anonymous says:

    K, Cumming is a great scent. I don't remember it as being that fleeting…must go test :-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Thanks J, I didn't know that. Wonder how I can rig the results to get a mini of Carnal Flower, LOL…

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