Friday, February 29, 2008

Purrrrerrrr Parure de Guerlain

If you wear Mitsouko well, there is a good chance you will wear Parure with ease. Parure is the wonderfully plummy sister of Mitsouko. Misunderstood and dismissed as matronly, this scent was never embraced as it should have been. Bright head notes are a turn off for some, and they never let this complex chypre work its magic. Some claim it is more of an oriental, but it is definitely a chypre. Everytime I wear it I think of Mitsouko, and on rainy or damp days I prefer the warm peachy smokiness of Mitsouko to the bright plum and lilac notes of Parure. Chypres are not for the faint of heart, and take time to understand. You can see the similarities by comparing the notes, below.

Parure: 1975
Chypre ( Floral, Animalic )
Head notes: plum, bergamot, hesperides, greens
Heart notes: Rose, lilac, jasmine, lily of the valley, jonquil
Bottom notes: oakmoss, patchouli spices, amber, leather

Mitsouko 1919
Chypre (Floral, Spicy)
Head notes: peach, bergamot, fruits, hesperides
Heart notes: rose, lilac, jasmine, ylang-ylang
Bottom notes: oakmoss, patchouli, spices, amber, vetiver

Where I find Mitsouko pleasurable from the instant I apply it, Parure's top notes are somewhat sharp and the scent mellows much more slowly. The leather and animalic notes are very deep and complex. Some people find layering Parure with an Aqua Allegoria scent tames Parure somewhat. I tried layering it with Rosa Magnifica and found that combination agreeable, but I prefer to wear it on its own. I find a drop of Parure is plenty, as it has more depth and sillage on me, and feels stronger than any other Guerlain. (The EdT strength is powerful enough for me.)