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April 03, 2007

Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum : Perfume Review


A woman who wears Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum is most certainly not a wallflower. Even the first impression of this fragrance banishes any thoughts to the contrary. The lemony brightness of hedione and the green richness of the floral accord do not hide the animalic warmth and honeyed patchouli foiling the heart of this distinctive composition. The Paloma Picasso woman is not a delicate waif nor is she an inaccessible ice queen. Mon Parfum is a smoldering beauty, with its masculine touches evoking the olfactory equivalent of a perfectly tailored tuxedo suit rather than a skintight dress. …

Mon Parfum (1984) was created by perfumer Francis Bocris for Paloma Picasso, the jewelry designer and daughter of renowned artist Pablo Picasso. The fragrance not only captures the vivacious and dramatic glamour of its muse, but also the spirit of its time. The ornate and voluptuous composition takes its inspiration from both the classical fruity chypres like Christian Dior Diorella (1972) and warm rose-patchouli blends like Clinique Aromatics Elixir (1972) and Jean Couturier Coriandre (1973.) If the initial impression of Paloma Picasso gives a hint of its ravishing animalic beauty, then as the composition develops and gains in ambery and mossy tones, its seductive quality deepens.

The fragrance manages to retain a marvelous balance between its rich and ornate elements, presenting a strong signature and distinctive character. As a result, while being a true child of the 1980s, Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum does not feel dated. Its luxurious woody base touched with leathery sweetness has just the sensual animalic effect that the lovers of niche perfumery seek out in fragrances like Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit and L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!. Its intriguing interplay between austere dryness and honeyed richness would appeal to women who are tired of the currently fashionable pink and meek perfumes. Although there exist some modern fragrances such as Agent Provocateur, Sisley Soir de Lune and Lalique Perles de Lalique inspired by Paloma Picasso, none match its voluptuous beauty and take-no-prisoners demeanour.

Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum includes notes of bergamot, lemon, hyacinth, ylang-ylang, clove, angelica root, iris, jasmine, lily of the valley, mimosa, coriander, rose, cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, castoreum, vetiver, oakmoss, civet, musk, tobacco. The current version of Mon Parfum does not have the pronounced honeyed animalic touch of the original due to the restrictions on the use of animalic materials such as castoreum. However, the original composition had so much character that even the reformulation was not able to detract too much from its allure. If you are looking for an older bottle, I would highly recommend the splash flacon in white glass (used for the parfum.) The round black bottle in glass is usually used for the Eau de Parfum. Plastic encased flacons are of much more recent vintage. An excellent genealogy of bottles is available from Ventesuroffres (courtesy of Dmitri.)

Paloma Picasso advertisement from Parfum de Pub.



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