Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture was created by Micallef for the French fashion designer and launched earlier this year during Cannes Shopping Festival. Durand is a Lyon-based designer who offers handmade couture gowns as well as a bridal line. His work is all about the details, featuring lace, crystals and delicate beading. These dresses are show stoppers, the stuff of fantasy and not exactly what I'd wear here in suburban New Jersey, but when it comes to perfume the sky is the limit, right?
Micallef's fragrant interpretation of Denis Durand's couture style is spot-on. It's a mega-amber that could have come straight from the 1980s, an animalic floriental the way you rarely get to smell these days unless you're hoarding bottles of the good stuff. Somehow, though, Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture doesn't smell dated. It plays the game of modern perfumery by first giving us a sharp technicolor burst of sweet and bitter citrus with a synthetic overlay that seems to be intentionally magnified and exaggerated, almost like a wink and a nod that acknowledges the rules of designer fragrances yet making fun of them. It quickly starts to remind me one of the Escentric Molecule perfumes (most likely Molecule 02, though I don't have any left to verify) with its effect of a fizzy drink over clean skin. Quickly, though, Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture becomes a "real" perfume: spicy and ornate, just the way I like it.
Once Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture gets there you could have mistaken this Micallef perfume for a Maurice Roucel creation. It's the cinnamon and sweet animalic heart. I smell honey and dirty orange blossoms, before it becomes all about amber and musk.
I know that the black lace and couture stuff makes it appear like a fluttering lashes femme fatale kind of thing, but with a different marketing angle Micallef (and Denis Durand) could have taken Le Parfum to the masculine side of the aisle. Rich and animalic ambers smell stunning on men, and Denis Durand Couture is not even as bold as Absolue Pour Le Soir. The way the fragrance holds onto the skin and seems to live, sizzle and stir under one's clothes will also appeal to men who seek a statement fragrance that has more to offer than top notes.
Notes: Cinnamon, tangerine, Bulgarian rose, orange blossom, honey, sandalwood, patchouli, amber and white musk.
M.Micallef- Le Parfum Denis Durand Couture ($190, 50ml EDP in the stunning bottle you see above) is available from Osswald and Luckyscent. The sample for this review was sent by PR.
Fashion photos of Denis Durand Couture by Benoit Tariot and Yann Malotti.