Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Parfum d'Empire- Equistrius

Every time the husband reaches for our bottle of Equistrius by Parfum d'Empire (or when he smells it on me), he asks whether I've reviewed it already. "Why haven't you?" he wants to know. It's a good question considering how often Equistrius is worn around here. We both love it. We both love this mellow interpretation of orris. And we both have a serious thing for Parfum d'Empire. So why haven't I?

There's something about the low key character of Equistrius. It's like a background noise sometimes, and I have to make myself pay attention until I notice how good I smell. It becomes one with my skin in a non-perfumy way. Dry powder, dry orris powder, dry rice powder, all float leisurely in the air just above the skin. Something in the late dry-down melds into an almost leathery note, which I'm guessing is where the equestrian theme is leading, but for the most part I find Equistrius to be comfortable yet romantic, which I think is a far departure from perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato's intention of a tribute to the Roman Empire.

As you must have figured above, Equistrius is a rather powdery perfume, but not in the sweet makeupy way of rose-violet-orris. It doesn't have that vintage boudoir vibe at all, and it's not particularly feminine, just as the animalic musky veteiver in the dry-down doesn't make it particularly masculine. The latter, with it's use of the not-so-clean skin note of ambrette seed is probably a nod for that horsey theme, but this is a very pampered and groomed horse (I was tempted to use a photo of Queen Elizabeth and one of her cherished horses, but it would have been just as far from the atmosphere Equistrius creates as a Roman statue).

Equistruis is incredibly smooth and easy to wear. It behaves in extreme heat, in close quarters, as well as outdoors. It's lightness might be misleading. It has a dusky quality, the result of the classic pairing of violets and orris, which my brain automatically labels as "romantic". In any case, this is a beautiful and elegant fragrance with a modern twist on a familiar theme, and horse or no horse, it's gender-free, long-lasting on skin level and thoroughly a pleasure (must love orris).

Notes: orris, violet, rice powder, chocolate, ambrette, sandalwood, vetiver, grey amber

My older reviews of Parfum d'Empire fragrances:
Ambre Russe, Cuir Ottoman, Osmanthus Interdite, Fougere Bengale, Wazamba, Corsica Furiosa, and Musc Tonkin.

Parfum d'Empire- Equistrius ($145, 100ml eau de parfum) is available from Luckyscent.

Photo: Ewelina at an equestrian fashion photoshoot for Poland's Next Top Model, fall 2014.


  1. One of my go to favorites. It's serendipitous that I wore this today and and then saw your review. I still wish they offered 50ml bottles as my decant is almost gone...

  2. My first bottle is one of the old 50ml bottles. About half way through, I wondered why I had asked for a small bottle instead of the 100ml bottle. I love this one that much. So does everyone else around me when I wear it, including my horse. I noticed the bottle and cap design has changed since I received my bottle. Does that mean there's been a reformulation? This is definitely one of my top ten, go to scents.

    1. My bottle is also the old 50ml so I don't know if it's been reformulated. I wouldn't be surprised, so if anyone here has concrete information please chime in.

  3. I adore this scent. The colors in the photo you chose are an absolute perfect match for the feel of Equistrius.
    I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that it has undergone a reformulation and it's not a fortunate one - maybe it's only a bad mix with that person's skin chemistry, but it does nothing to dissuade me from my belief that I should always buy back ups of perfumes I adore.

  4. I have been using your blog as refrence for years and have never commented. Three days ago I experienced the masterpiece that it Aziyade by Parfum d'Empire and wanted to suggest it to you. I have never be so incredibly blown away by a perfume.

    Scent notes: pomegranate, crystallized date, almond, orange and prune, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, Egyptian cumin, carob, frankincense, vanilla, Madagascar vanilla absolute, patchouli, musk, cistus

    Have you tried it?

    1. Kathryn, I really like Aziyade and would have gotten a bottle long ago had the husband not hate it with a passion. For him, the cumin stands out more than anything else and gives him a serious BO associations. I'd rather not smell like BO to him ;)

    2. My husband thinks it smells like sweat too. I was thinking that's some pretty luxurious sweat. I haven't worn it at home or even out for that matter. I just keep sniffing the bottle and almost drooling on it. It's so lovely but not sure if anyone will feel the same way.

  5. I also have Wazamba and Fougère Bengal and think they're are magnificent. If Aziyade works on your skin it's magic. I have Equistrius too. Can't wait to try Cuir and Ambre, Have sampled the rest and they didn't work for me. I love dark, rich and complex and will be using your Top Lists to delve into the niche market further.

  6. Equistrius is for men, you do a great mistake


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