I usually understand the creations of Pierre Guillaume even when they're not my thing. The same goes for Psychotrope, the 2006 Parfumerie Generale Private Collection fragrance. But it takes about an hour of discomfort before Psychotrope and I reach some sort of mutual understanding. It stops making my stomach turn and I quit calling it names.
Looking at the notes (jasmine, cyclamen, violet, lilac wood, black leather and musk), one would think Psychotrope might belong with older classic pairings of leather and violet such as Jolie Madame. But this is Parfumerie Generale, after all, and Psychotrope is a completely modern creature. The opening and first hour of Psychotrope is full of sheer watery flowers, aquatic notes, a hint of the odor I smell at the dry cleaners, burnt plastic carried in the wind on an otherwise glorious spring day and lilacs. I would also swear on a large decant of Felanilla that I smell lilies- waterlilies, stargazers, I don't know. But definitely lilies. None of the above sits well with me.
It's only after an hour that the musky and maybe-leather (more like pleather, if you ask me) start to emerge. This is a case of "it's not Pierre, it's me". I know well that certain notes do not play well with my skin chemistry; lilacs and watery flowers top that list, so maybe I shouldn't have gone through more than 4ml in samples to figure out the simple truth: Psychotrope is sophisticated and interesting perfume and I should never wear it again.
Psychotrope by Parfumerie Generale ($100, 50 ml EDP, from the Private Collection series) is available from Luckyscent.
Art: Lily Pond And Koi by Marcia Baldwin