Aedes de Venustas Signature Eau de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Aedes de Venustas Signature Eau de Parfum

Ever since it opened shop in New York City, Aedes de Venustas has had a special place in my perfume-loving heart. I remember the old days when I’d anxiously await the arrival of the always-beautiful Aedes de Venustas catalogues and then figure out what perfume(s) and soaps and candles I couldn’t live without (the intervening 17 years have taught me I can live without just about everything!) I introduced “legions” to the store and online boutique by saying, around birthday-time and Christmas (in wording that varied): “A present for ME? There’s no need! Weeeeell, I love just about everything at (you guessed it) Aedes de Venustas.” Now Aedes de Venustas has launched a new fragrance called Aedes de Venustas Signature Eau de Parfum (not to be confused with the L’Artisan Parfumeur Aedes de Venustas fragrance.)

Bertrand Duchaufour, the perfumer of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Aedes de Venustas, developed Aedes de Venustas Signature, too; it has fragrance notes of rhubarb, tomato leaf, red currant, green apple, honeysuckle, vetiver, hazelnut and incense.

Aedes de Venustas Signature begins with a tangy, green/fruit accord: a “hot,” rough tomato leaf scent combined with musky currant, a quick burst of apple, and rhubarb. Let’s stop right here and talk “rhubarb.”

Often, an engineered fragrance note in perfumery is inspired by or named after something in nature; for instance, the ocean (walking next to it is one of my greatest pleasures), air (I breathe it often) and, in Signature’s case — rhubarb (I eat it). The oceans and air I’ve experienced really don’t smell like the calone/ozone notes I’ve encountered in perfumes, and the rhubarb I make into jam, jelly, or a tart, garnet-red syrup isn’t exactly replicated, to my nose anyway, in Aedes de Venustas Signature’s rhubarb accord. The Aedes de Venustas Signature “rhubarb” note smells a little bit like grapefruit; it’s fruity, tart and fresh, and a bit “unripe” in character. I like it. (And you’d better too if you’re hoping to enjoy this new scent; the rhubarb note lasts throughout the development of Aedes de Venustas Signature.)

After the fruity opening, a “filtered” or New Age (no smoke/no ash) incense note appears; it’s clean and clear and on the “quiet” side. (I do detect what I believe is the “hazelnut” note — moist, almost “oily” — but only if I sniff my skin closely.) Slowly, the notes of fruit and incense (with a touch of vetiver) meld and soften, but don’t turn powdery. Aedes de Venustas Signature produces a lovely, close-to-the-body veil of “incense candy” scent with good lasting power (though I’m tempted to reapply often because of the vibrant opening notes).

As I wore Aedes de Venustas Signature over the course of a week, it reminded me of two perfumes I’ve owned: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune (its problematic “pisse” note removed) and another Duchaufour perfume, Dzongkha (imagine those two perfumes masterfully blended). Aedes de Venustas Signature is a unisex fragrance, almost smack-dab in the center of the Male-Female perfume scale.

Aedes de Venustas Signature Eau de ParfumAedes de Venustas Signature Eau de Parfum (for sale at Aedes is $225 for 100 ml; it comes in a gorgeous bottle and lavish velvet-covered box (see the unusual gold cap in ‘closed’ and ‘open’ positions in the photos above and at right). Aedes de Venustas Signature also is available in scented soap ($35 per 8.8 oz. cake); according to PR materials, candles will be sold, but are not currently for sale on the Aedes de Venustas site.

Disclaimer: Aedes de Venustas is a long-time Now Smell This advertiser.

Note: top images of Rhubarb [altered] by f_shields at flickr; some rights reserved.


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32 Comments

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  1. Rappleyea says:

    Love that bottle! Thanks for reviewing.

    • Kevin says:

      Rappleyea: you’re welcome…

  2. ladymurasaki says:

    Thanks for the review, Kevin. What an interesting combination of notes and I just loved that bottle!

    • Kevin says:

      LadyM: the bottle seems to be a “hit”…love the color and heft

  3. FragrantWitch says:

    oh, now I have bottle lust! The scent sounds intriguing – does it ‘smell’ like the colour of the juice? If that makes sense to you, that is.
    Waering the Costume National Homme that you turned me on to today..such a great fragrance…

    • Kevin says:

      FragrantW: now that you mention it…the color is apt. HA!

  4. odonata9 says:

    Not sure how I’d like this one. Love rhubarb, not so crazy about the tomato leaf, and so-so on incense. If anyone is looking for a non-perfume realistic rhubarb smell, there is a new Mrs. Meyers hand soap in Rhubarb and it is spot on.

    • Kevin says:

      Odonata: oh…like the Mrs Meyers stuff…will look for it.

  5. Bee says:

    Hi Kevin
    thanks for the review! I bought this on a impulse, but I have this love & awe feeling going on, I like the rhubarb accord, but it soon disappears on me and the drydown reminds me of Dzonkha, and that is just too awe-inspiring (I only wear it when I’m in my intellectual-asian-arts-museum-visiting mode, i.e. no daily event). I just have this weird feeling of not being worthy of it. I actually also find it slightly on the masculine side, but this is very debatable. The bottle is lovely, yes indeed.

    • Kevin says:

      Bee: Robin here at NST thought it a TAD masculine too…and I thought it a TAD feminine…we decided that made it the perfect unisex.

  6. nozknoz says:

    I snapped up Duchaufour’s earlier rhubarb, the delightfully fresh (and inexpensive) CdG Rhubarb cologne last summer. I also love tomato leaf, so I’ll certainly try this one, though I’m having a hard time imagining all that freshness with incense and hazelnut.

    I have the L’Artisan AdV, and it’s the only Duchaufour that I don’t like at all – I find the combination of snuffed candle, tea and incense unpleasant. A cautionary tale of blind buying (wasn’t listening to Kevin when I did that ;-) ) – someday I’ll swap it away.

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: good grief…forgot all about CdG Rhubarb! I don’t think I’ve smelled it….

  7. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Dzongkha is one of my favorite L’Artisan scents, and your thoughts on the newest AdV fragrance is very intriguing and perfectly descriptive, Kevin. I can almost imagine the fragrance and it has now moved up my must try list. Dzongkha with a bit of fruit interwoven sounds lovely, especially for summer when the original feels to me more like a winter scent. Must try.

    • Kevin says:

      AbScent: I always leave out my Dzongkha in summer…usually there’s a day or two I can wear it. Great on a cold NW beach.

  8. poodle says:

    Rhubarb. Incense candy. Oh my! Now this sounds like something I want to try.

  9. Merlin says:

    The only rhubarb I have smelled is the one in that new limited edition trio of Joe Malone scents. I started off liking (what I take to be) the note but after a while I started disliking it and ended up having to scrub…

    • Kevin says:

      Merlin: Jo Malone and me don’t get along…don’t judge “rhubarb” by that line! HA!

  10. Karin says:

    This is at the top of my buy list (along with the Neela Vermeire fragrances). Interesting that they’re all Duchaufour. I’m loving what he’s done lately.

    • Kevin says:

      Karin: he’s a busy man

  11. Emily says:

    Anything with Dzongkha-like qualities is something I have to try. Thanks for the review, Kevin.

  12. OperaFan says:

    I agree with Emily above. Dzongkha with a fresh, pee-less grapefruit note sounds like a winner!
    Not a big fan of the bottle, however…

  13. helenviolette says:

    That bottle is DIVINE!!! (I can hear chamber music)….want to sniff!

  14. Martitia says:

    Super review.Tomato leaf, “sans pisse” grapefruit and “incense candy”? I’m due a FB, and this one is calling my name. Will go sniff it this weekend.

    • Kevin says:

      Martitia: hope you enjoy it!

  15. SmokeyToes says:

    I tried this a few Saturdays ago at Barneys and I loved it! The rhubarb and tomato leaf note were so green and refreshing. It didn’t last very long and I was trying other scents-I don’t remember the dry down very well.

    • Kevin says:

      Smokey: it lasted a good five or six hours on me…with my usual, ten to fifteen spritzes.

  16. donanicola says:

    Good review, thanks Kevin. I like a good rhubarb note (it beautifully cuts through one of the limited edition Burberry Brits, Red, I think it is) and I love green scents so this should be a love for me but I’m not there yet. I think it is stunningly creative with its fauvist “brushstrokes” but it is a little too astringent on my skin.

  17. Joe says:

    Hi Kevin,
    This is definitely a very interesting and creative scent, which is always a plus. I’ve finally (after having a love-hate thing going on, decided I like it, though I’m not sure I’d buy a whole bottle).

    I love Dzongkha, though I don’t feel much similarity here. I also love a rhubarb note, and this one is TANGY. With the astringency of the tomato leaf (another note I enjoy), it really makes the scent open with a burst. Where it gets odd for me is later in the development when the florals and incense come in — it’s as if something very sharp and tangy were layered over a more traditional perfume. Very yin-yang with two dissimilar feelings going on at once. That’s what makes it interesting and perplexing.

    • Kevin says:

      Joe: I can’t decide either on a whole bottle…an investment! I wore Dzongkha along with this for two days and felt the incense note is very similar (though of course joined by different ingredients). I love the opening best, too.

      On other matters: The “marine” Bois 1920 you bought has me drooling and I’ve not smelled it. So, you’ve paid me back in creating a desire I must go to great lengths to investigate! HA!

  18. sacre bleu says:

    I live in the U.S. My fav unisex might be Bois 1920 Amari Agrumi di Sicilia, but it’s hard to choose just one. Thanks for the contest!

  19. hajusuuri says:

    I just received a sample…and the green note I’m getting smells like GUAVA. I wonder if that is what rhubarb smells like?

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