La Route d’Emeraude by Isabey is a lush and rich floral. It starts up pretty standard- you know the drill: bergamot, a bunch of sunshiny flowers, rose jasmine... we all smelled it before. The thing is that it's good, really good, with a heady white floral heart and an intoxicating sweet ambery base. Parfums Isabey is most famous for the classic Gardenia, and it's clear that someone there takes flowers very seriously. The jasmine is clean (not even slightly indolic) yet isn't lacking in body; the rose is as opulent as it gets, red and sweet. Then there's tuberose, curvy and feminine. That's my downfall. The sweeter, stickier, goes-right-up-to-the-head the better. And it does. And I swoon right into my decollete.
The dry-down is a competition between muskiness and a sweet amber. Amber wins on my skin by a small margin. That's where the oriental aspect of La Route d’Emeraude is most noticeable. The back story is about journeys to the Emerald Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I expected something more along the lines of ELdO's Fils de Dieu, or at least a good dose of steamed rice. Instead we get more of an orienatlist fantasy, carved gemstones, golden temples, dancers, and yes- flower-covered altars. It's like the rich tourist's version of the trip, and smells utterly exquisite.
Forced to choose I'd take Fils de Dieu because it's incredibly original and fascinating, but Isabey's La Route d’Emeraude is beautiful, long-lasting and highly satisfying.
Notes: Bergamot, Rose Cinnamon, sambac Jasmine, Maroc Jasmine Absolute, Orange Flower, Tuberose, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Musk
Isabey- La Route d’Emeraude ($175, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent and Twisted Lily.
Publicity photo for Isabey La Route d’Emeraude.
Jasmine offerings on ice in the Chiang Mai riverside market via travelingchili.com.