Jul et Mad Terrasse a St Germain ~ fragrance review

Jul et Mad Terrasse à St Germain

Terrasse à St Germain is the second fragrance in the “Histoire d’Amour" trio from new niche line Jul et Mad, meant to evoke "a veritable 'coup de foudre' between two souls on the terrace of a Parisian café." It is described as "a floral woody musk" with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, rhubarb; freesia, lotus flower, blue rose; musk, sandalwood, and Indonesian patchouli. It was developed for Jul et Mad by perfumer Dorothée Piot.

I reviewed Jul et Mad's Stilettos on Lex when the line was first launched: its powdery plum-violet composition was right up my alley. Terrasse à St Germain feels more contemporary and more unisex, but it's similarly sophisticated. Don't be scared by the inclusion of grapefruit and tangerine in the top notes: the fragrance's fruity opening includes plenty of tart rhubarb with just a little candied citrus. The fruit and the floral phase that slowly emerges after it both feel cool and very slightly metallic, as though they were sprinkled in silver dust. The freesia and the rose are soft and pretty,  but they never dominate enough to turn Terrasse à St Germain into a strictly feminine fragrance.

The later stages and long dry down of Terrasse à St Germain turn woodier and a bit deeper. I don't notice the patchouli — it must be too "clean" to register as such — but I do enjoy the musk and sandalwood base. It feels silky and decidedly non-animalic, it brings the fragrance securely back into unisex territory, and it seems to include a trace of something incensey. Overall, Terrasse à St Germain doesn't last as long as I'd expect for a parfum; it feels more like an Eau de Parfum in its duration. It has low sillage.

Jul et Mad's description for this fragrance says that "this perfume incarnates the portrait of a perfect duality: classical and modern at the same time, masculine and feminine." I often laugh at that kind of description, but in this case it actually makes sense. Terrasse à St Germain does feel as though it emerges from a tradition, but it's still contemporary: you'd never mistake it for a bottle of vintage perfume. I'd place it in the same category as Maison Francis Kurkdjian's rich-yet-sheer, autumnal Amyris; and, like Amyris, it doesn't fit my personal taste well enough for me to covet an entire bottle (Stilettos on Lex is more "me"), but I've enjoyed trying it.

Jul et Mad Terrasse à St Germain is available through the brand's website and at MiN New York; the Jul et Mad collection will be arriving at Aedes de Venustas later this fall. Terrasse à St Germain sells for $280 for a 50 ml bottle of Parfum accompanied by a refillable 7 ml “Nomad Perfume” travel atomizer (already filled).

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  1. daisyabow says:

    It’s not my style either, but I did enjoy Jul et Mad’s take on rhubarb! I agree as well that this could be as good on a man as on a woman.

    • Jessica says:

      Now I’m thinking that I should have done a side-by-side comparison with the Aedes de Venustas house fragrance!

  2. nozknoz says:

    This line sounds very good, but I’m noticing this costs more than the new Kilians, with their elegant packaging.

    Glad to see your post, too, having been worried about everyone in New York.

    • Jessica says:

      Hm, you’re right! Luxury niche has gotten pricey.

      My DH and I were remarkably fortunate throughout this storm. We’re feeling grateful!

  3. 50_Roses says:

    Jessica, how did you fare with Hurricane Sandy? Some of the photos I have seen of NY and NJ are just gut-wrenching.

    • Jessica says:

      Hello, and thank you!! We were quite fortunate — we didn’t even lose power, although many of our neighbors did. (We’ve had fun inviting friends over for wine and recharging!) And our neighborhood is on high enough land that it didn’t experience any flooding.

      But it *has* been frightening to see the photos of the flooding along the shores of Queens and NJ, and even in the East Village and Chelsea, and Hoboken NJ!! Who ever would have thought?! I feel for those residents.

  4. dolcesarah says:

    Hoping everyone is safe and warm. Love to all in the tri-state area.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much! I’m feeling grateful that all my friends and family are safe. They’ve even gotten power back by now! Keeping our fingers crossed for all the areas that are still waiting, or dealing with terrible damages…

  5. hajusuuri says:

    i was thinking of the Aedes de Venustas house scent too when I saw rhubarb. This one seems quite expensive…I wish they would just sell the 7mL Nomad Perfume traveler atomizer by itself.

    • Jessica says:

      That would be great… just enough! I wonder whether they’ll eventually offer that option.

  6. m_french says:

    I had the occasion to try the Terrasse à St Germain via a friend who got a sample at MiN. I don’t know if it’s me or my skin, but I would call it a real Perfume, as it is one of the most long-lasting I’ve tried lately and the compliments wouldn’t stop :)

  7. Luccia says:

    I like this one far more than Stilettos, which ended up as melon on me. I seem to have developed a melon aversion, for some mysterious reason. I don’t think anyone much likes the word unisex, so been trying to think of substitutes to describe perfumes like this.

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