La Belle Helene Eau de Parfum
La Belle Helene Eau de Parfum is a fragrance by Parfums MDCI. The notes of this fragrance are Pear accord, aldehydes, tangerine, lime blossom, rose essence, osmanthus absolute, ylang-ylang Madagascar, orris butter, hawthorn, Mirabelle plum, myrrh, vetiver Haiti, patchouli, cedar Virginia, amber, oak moss absolute, white musks, sandalwood, licorice wood.
Osmanthus is one of the most unusual floral essences in the perfumer’s palette, barely a flower really, but an oddly compelling hybrid of fruit and animal with its jammy apricot and soft leather facets. And for Parfums MDCI’s 10th fragrance, Bertrand Duchaufour has brought out its beauty with two lightly gourmand accords.
The name comes from by the classic French dessert Pears Belle-Hélène, invented in the late 19th century by Auguste Escoffier, the first celebrity chef and named after Offenbach’s 1864 operetta, a risqué spoof on the abduction of Helen of Troy.
Of the poached pears, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and crystallized violets, the perfumer has only kept the pear — a vivid, juicy pear adding its green, rosy and musky notes to the apricot in top and heart, underlined by a zest of tangerine. The powdery woodiness of violets, another facet of osmanthus, are boosted by pure orris butter and balanced out by their classic partner, rose; ylang ylang adds contrast and a rich floral fleshiness. The leather in the osmanthus is drawn out in the heart and anchored to the base by a burnt sweet, woody licorice accord.
With its drop of citrus, rose and vetiver, patchouli and oak moss base, La Belle Hélène is also, essentially, a chypre ? the third in MDCI’s line-up. But it is decidedly a non-classic chypre, silky, musky, juicy and light-hearted: in fact, like its namesake?the beautiful Helen??, it is quite the charmer. And like Escoffier’s culinary classic, it’s almost impossible not to bite into.
Specification: La Belle Helene Eau de Parfum