Safran Troublant by Olivia Giacobetti for L'Artisan Parfumeur was launched in 2002, the same year as another saffron-rose perfume, Donna Karan's Black Cashmere. They don't have much in common, though. Black Cashmere comes from the heart of darkness. It lures you in and hypnotizes with its incense, and is so dark you can almost start humming the Imperial March and feel Darth Vader's black cloak swooshing by. Safran Troublant is the exact opposite. It's all pudding.
I love both, but for some reason only have a full bottle of Black Cashmere. Maybe because it took me a while to get behind my pudding-loving ways. There's no doubt that L'Artisan's Safran Troublant is easier to wear and friendlier for one's elevator and cubicle neighbors with its delicate milky aroma (sandalwood galore) and vanilla embrace. The rose in Safran Troublant is sweet and almost candied- I don't get any of the sourness that often accompanies roses on my skin. It's the same kind of rosewater that scents Turkish Delight. Safran Troublant has none of the spices that pierce Black Cashmere- no nutmeg, cinnamon or clove. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't have objected to some cardamom, or maybe a steamed rice accord. Then again, that might have taken it fully into the kitchen, and this is a L'Artisan perfume, after all, and people should be able to wear it without obsessively googling the nearest Turkish restaurant that can satisfy the all-consuming craving for a Zerde pudding.
L'Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant ($135, 100 ml EDT) is available from L'Artisan boutiques around the world, Aedes, MiN New York, Barneys, Henri Bendel, Beauty Habit and Luckyscent.