I'm sure many of you have had this experience. You find a new perfume. You love it. You wear it a few times, and the love fades. You decide it isn't you at all, and you give it away to a more deserving home. Then....it keeps popping into the back of your mind — perhaps it really was all that after all? You get another sample or bottle, decide your original doubts were on target, it just isn't right for you, so you give it away again. And then...
Such has been my relationship with Safran Troublant. I gave away my original 15 ml bottle, and since then, I swap for new decants and then give them away again on a semi-regular basis. Safran Troublant was released (along with yesterday's Piment Brûlant and Poivre Piquant) as part of the L'Artisan Les Epices de la Passion trio in 2002. It was created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, and the notes include saffron, sandalwood, rose and vanilla.
Safran Troublant starts off with an explosion of spices: saffron, maybe cardamom, maybe ginger, a pinch of clove, who knows what else. It is a heady mixture for a matter of some minutes, then the spices dissolve into a milky cloud and the whole thing gradually turns pale and transparent, as you would expect with an Olivia Giacobetti creation. The dry down is a creamy, very soft sandalwood sweetened with a touch of vanilla and accented with soft spices. The saffron itself is quite distinct but subdued, and the rose seems to float in and out of the composition. There are times when I wear it and never notice the rose at all.
Of the three scents in the Les Epices trio, Safran Troublant strikes me as easily the most foody; it is also probably the sweetest, but it isn't overly sweet and it is a far cry from your usual heavy gourmand. It wears almost like a skin scent, with a sort of golden glow (it was originally called the Gold Philtre; Piment Brûlant was the Red Philtre and Poivre Piquant the White Philtre). It is as likely to please a sandalwood-vanilla fan as much as a spice fan, and perhaps that is the problem: maybe I'd like just a dash more spice to liven up the dry down? I'm not sure. I'm wearing it at the moment and it is lovely — I really do need to buy the coffret, don't I? — but I won't be at all surprised if it lets me down next week.
Safran Troublant is an Eau de Toilette, and the lasting power is so-so. You can buy it with Piment Brûlant and Poivre Piquant as part of the Les Epices coffret (three 15 ml bottles for $75), or you can buy it on its own in the standard L'Artisan 50 and 100 ml bottles. For buying information, see the listing for L'Artisan under Perfume Houses.
Note: the L'Artisan advertising image is via Parfum de Pub.
Tomorrow: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Cimabue