Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Parfumerie Generale- Tonkamande


Something important to remember before trying Tonkamande from Parfumerie Generale is to take a step back from the name (tonka bean+almond) and concentrate on the scent itself and the way it feels on skin. Tonkamande is sort of a gourmand, but only up to a certain point. It has a certain lightness, a whiff of smooth cool air that flows through the open window into the bakery and lets in the first whiff of spring.

In Tonkamande perfumer Pierre Guillaume created a skin scent that takes the best of all worlds: the Parisian patisserie, a sexy oriental, and a satisfying cozy comfort fragrance. It's not quite a croissants aux amandes-- the almond note is about almond milk, not marzipan, and it's far less sugary or buttery than you might expect. Instead, you get the creaminess of sandalwood, a warm fresh bread that satisfies one's heart, and a floral vanilla that ties everything together. There's a longing in Tonkamande-- for spring, for beauty, for grace and solace; you pull it around you and feel better instantly.

Tonkamande is subtle and more perfumy than  my other  favorite gourmand(ish) Parfumerie Generale fragrances, which makes me appreciate the artistry behind it even more- Pierre Guillaume doesn't repeat himself- he uses various facets of vanilla, different ideas of sensuality and skin; this results in a fragrance that's the complete opposite of Felanilla but just as emotionally moving.

Notes: Almond milk, aldehydes, tonka bean, wheat, sandalwood, vanilla, amber.

Parfumerie Generale- Tonkamande ($100, 50ml) is available from Osswald in NYC (only bigger bottles, though) and Luckyscent.

Image: Iris Egbers for The Sunday Times, May 2011


8 comments:

  1. His things are subtle deep and also pure beauties

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    1. They are. My dream perfume collection includes about 90% of the line.

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  2. Gourmand fragrances that smell like bakery goods/vanilla/sugar/cinnamon etc. can be so comforting, I do adore many, but I find sometimes when they are too sweet they can be sickly. Gaia, can you please tell us what the lasting power and sillage is like for this fragrance?

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    1. Here's something funny-- I'm usually pretty good at detecting my own sillage and am quite sensitive to it, but this one (even when I apply with abandon) seems to me very moderate while others (including PG himself!) can smell it in the air around me. It is very long lasting (10 hours, I think) in my personal space and lingers on scarves and such.

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  3. Gaia, you crack me up. Your sense of visual humor is exquisite. I imagine it must take you hours to match up your reviews with the right images ... thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. I collect images I like and matching them to my posts is among my favorite things about blogging. I do spend a scary amount of time on this.

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  4. I am so very torn between this & Felanilla. I'm just about through my samples of both and I simply cannot decide.

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    1. I hear you. Get them one at a time. I already have a full bottle of Felanilla, so this one is next.

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