Histoires de Parfums, Discovery Kit pt 2

1740: Marquis de Sade

Depiction of the Marquis de Sade by H. Biberstien, 1912

Marquis de Sade was someone I had to look up. Apparently he was sort of a famous erotic kind of fella who dabbled in politics and philosophy, but was really made famous because he was rich and naughty. Reading about him, I didn’t find him to be all that interesting.  He was a rapist and pedophile with ideas that probably publicly may have been unpopular, but were certainly not privately that interesting at the time or even by today’s standards. What is interesting, is that “Sadism”, the pleasure derived out of harming another, is named after him. Fortunately enough for him, time makes history blind and he now has fans and a perfume.

Histories de Parfums lists 1740 as an spicy woody fragrance for men.

  • Top Note: Bergamot, Davana Sensualis
  • Heart Note: Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom
  • Base Note: Cedar, Birch, Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Elemi, Immortelle

A truly unflinching scent for the modern male hedonist. A perfume where Leather and Davana explore the scandalous liberties of the Century of Lights.

My thoughts on the scent when I first applied it to my skin:

Lovely. Leather, smoke, herbs crushed underneath oiled fingers. What’s really lovely about this is that it takes these traditionally hard, brash, masculine ingredients, and it mellows them out into something comforting, warm and inviting. Really feels like you’re in someone’s home and dinner is just about ready. It’s light and mild, not something I’d imagine someone really wearing in 1740, but it’s composed effortlessly. There is a long trail of powder and musk as it sits on the skin. Superb. Between a 7.5 and 8/10 for me.

My thoughts haven’t changed too much, except significant mental disturbance with the awareness of what the perfume is intended to be reminiscent of. And also it’s not as pleasant on paper as it is on skin. On skin with my chemistry, it was way more green herby and much more woodys and leathery. On paper, Coriander is a strong stand out as well as the vanilla which is a nauseating mix. As well as the Bergamot, a note I generally love, makes the whole dish seem tart and sour. It does try to mellow out but it just never evolves into what it is on skin. So maybe a peg down, a 7/10? Maybe even a 6.5. No longer on the higher spectrum of taste for me.

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