Les Liquides Imaginaires Peau de Bete: Sex & The Beast

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, "Girl gone wild." Source: kontraplan.com

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, “Girl gone wild.” Source: kontraplan.com

Sex, heated skin, animalic musk, wild horses sweaty after their ride through forests, sweaty balls, and even S&M leather — they’re all things that come to mind with the very evocative and aptly named Peau de Bete (or “Skin of the Beast”) from Les Liquides Imaginaires. An immensely animalic fragrance, it is bold in aroma, but skin-like in both its feel and soft reach. Above all else, though, its animalic muskiness is redolent of human sexuality.

While other fragrances have trodden this path before, most recently Papillon‘s fantastic Salome, few of them have done so with quite as much singularity as Peau de Bete. It strips everything away but its sexualized animalics; there are no extraneous elements like chyprish bergamot top accords or middle-layer florals to adulterate the purity of vision. It’s as though the composition were merely one, single (albeit multi-faceted) base accord. Depending on your tastes and on your experience levels with raunchy, sexual, and dirty animalic musk fragrances, that’s either a good thing or something that will make you scrub right away. I happened to think Peau de Bete was damn sexy, but it is certainly not a scent for everyone.

Peau de Bete. Source: beautik.ro

Peau de Bete. Source: beautik.ro

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Ajmal: 13 Reviews En Bref (Eau de Parfums & Attars)

Ajmal Dahn Al Oudh Nayyir via ajmalperfume.com

Ajmal Dahn Al Oudh Nayyir via ajmalperfume.com

Ajmal is a Middle Eastern brand with a long history. Founded in 1951 in India and now apparently based in the United Arab Emirates or GCC (Gulf countries), Ajmal has over 300 fragrances in its portfolio. The quality seems to vary across the range which consists of low-end mall fragrances at one end, some Euro-Arab eau de parfums in the middle, and some “Dahn Al Oudh” attars that I’ve heard great praise for at the other end. Unfortunately, the latter were not what I was given for review. I seem to have gotten the low to middle end of the stick, alas.

There is a long story behind this post that I think you must understand in order to make sense of what is to follow. Ajmal was at Esxence Milan earlier this year to show off its wares. A friend stopped by and asked for samples for me to review. From his account, I have the sense that the Ajmal’s assistants were harried and also didn’t understand the whole blogging issue, either. They seemed confused, so they quickly handed over a big armful of samples, and that was that. No time was expended to provide the best of the best in a carefully curated selection, although my friend did try to ask for a few attars. They disgorged a heaping pile of 20 carded manufacturers samples, and moved on.

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Eris Parfums: Ma Bete, Belle de Jour & Night Flower

Eris Parfums' Barbara Herman (right) and perfumer, Antoine Lie (left). Source: Fragrantica. com

Eris Parfums’ Barbara Herman (right), and perfumer, Antoine Lie (left). Source: Fragrantica. com

Eris Parfums is a new brand, founded by Barbara Herman, a vintage perfume expert who wrote the book, Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume (2013) after many years of being a blogger on her site, Yesterday’s Perfume. (Book links provided at the end in the Details section.) When she decided to launch her own line, she turned to perfumer Antoine Lie whom she’d first met as an interview source for her book. As she explains in her biography section on Eris Parfums, she wanted to “create a collection of fragrances as daring and erotic as fragrances of the past.”

Eris Parfums trio. Source: erisparfums.com

Eris Parfums trio. Source: erisparfums.com

The results were three eau de parfums launched earlier this year: Ma Bete, Belle de Jour, and Night Flower. I’ll look at each one in turn. As part of my new resolution of providing a more succinct analysis whenever the perfumes permit it, I’ll give a more generalized breakdown of a perfume’s development instead of my usual detail, and also skip discussing comparative reviews.

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Serge Lutens Renard Constrictor

Renard Constrictor via Premiere Avenue. [Photo cropped by me.]

Renard Constrictor via Premiere Avenue. [Photo cropped by me.]

I’ve already shared with you my feelings about the totality of the five new Serge Lutens fragrances, so I’ll skip any introduction for Renard Constrictor and get straight to the review.

Renard Constrictor is a pure parfum or extrait that was presumably created by Christopher Sheldrake, and its name translates to “Fox Constrictor” (which my mind unfortunately insists on reading as “Boa Constrictor”). The official description that is quoted on Premiere Avenue talks about furry animals, but says nothing concrete about the scent itself:

The memory is but fleeting, it refuses to remain in my conscience.
Like a timid furry creature, it retracts at a caress. It is a fear that stifles the hero.

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