You might have noticed that I regularly explore indie & artisan perfumes, small brands, lesser-known houses, absolute beginners: let’s shine some light on them!
My personal taste is not what I write about here. Yes, there are perfumes that made me cry because I felt their beauty soul-deep, yes there are brands I fell in love with – head over heels, but that doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Test before you buy, trust your nose: if I managed to describe some perfumes in such a manner that made you want to try them, I’m happy. We all need to expand our olfactory palate, learn and grow!
Some niche perfumes are divinely magical – masterpieces of art, others nicely composed or just – well crafted. There are also ones I call “the great pretenders”, or simply boring, badly composed, mediocre fragrances – I leave them without a word. I don’t have time to write negative reviews, I’d rather spend it reading books, doing more research, perfecting my photos, or my French…among other things.
The beauty of life lies in simple things. We all sometimes overthink, overdo or seek something groundbreaking, breathtaking, different from everything else. I’m talking about love for perfumes, right? Let’s show little love for people behind the fragrances, trying to make their own little fragrant worlds. Artisans, using good quality materials. Beginners.
A while ago I spoke with a young perfumer, Florian Legrand of Aden Parfum and I liked his assertiveness. When two of his fragrances arrived, it took me weeks to sample them (busy time of a year) and another week of wearing, testing them on my skin.
Questions were asked because I always like to learn something about the person standing behind the fragrances: people making perfumes matter. Their personality matters. I always feel as though they have given a part of themselves with every perfume, breathing life into it.
Florian is a self-taught perfumer, young and sharp-minded. Dedicated. Determined. If you are asking how can I tell, check my bio. :-). I can.
He needs to be assertive, more than ever. Perfume making is neither an easy business nor does it come at a low cost when you are just starting. The competition is brutal. There are quite a lot of sharks swimming in an overpopulated niche sea, turning the waters muddy and bloody sometimes…Even the smaller, artisan pond is already getting crowded.
Alors, Mr. Legrand is the owner of this relatively new indie French brand.
He founded it when he met his wife: “After a journey full of failures and successes, questions and challenges, he embarked on the wonderful adventure of perfumery.” – in his own words.
The process of thinking about perfumes, searching and learning lasted for years, and it took him a year and a half before he finally decided that he’s ready to offer his fragrances to the world. He also told me that he trusts his mother’s and wife’s feedback, and their say is important. It’s a family business.
Aden Parfum draws inspiration from the Middle East meeting Europe, the oils are alcohol-free, and the small, 3ml hexagonal glass bottles are roll-ons. Eaux de Parfum are 20% perfume concentrate spray bottles, with labels and logo reflecting the oriental influence. Hand-made, in France.
I sampled these two fragrances:
This is a fine interpretation of a classic rose-lemon-sandalwood accord-spices profile, with stages of subtle sweetness. A bit oriental, a bit sparkling, feeling smooth in all its stages.
The Taif Rose note is Iris-dusty enough to smoothly merge with soft sandalwood surroundings, and again fresh enough not to fall into the “dark rose” category.
Whiffs of pepper and/or carnation lick the edges of its petals and the musky drydown is very enjoyable.
Elegantly composed, with average longevity and sillage, better than many very popular niche fragrances I have smelled, it flows with grace. Even when I didn’t notice it anymore, my son later commented on it, saying that it left a gentle and “pretty” trail.
Notes (as stated by the brand): Musk with notes of lemon, rose, sandalwood and white musk.
Soleil Noir/Black Sun
A patchouli-rose variation, a dark one, more Gothic-Oriental. The one that makes you feel like you are wearing a fine velvet dress. Also, a classic combination executed smoothly.
I sniffed the bottle sprayer first and got an immediate impression of a big, dark red rose dipped in thick honey.
It makes a grand opening, with greenish layers serving lavishly a rush of patchouli, vibrating between sweet and sour. As my skin moves and warms up, it gets dirtier, showing thorns and moist earth beneath them, black and heavy.
You will feel sensual sweetness soon enough, a seductive rose looming behind veils, lush at moments, then sprinkled with dew, heavily breathing dark-eyed rose! You need to be fond of patchouli to play this game, as the rose gets a sour and “sharp” vibe at moments – at least on my skin.
Later on, it becomes tamer, a bit sweeter and gentler, slowing the tension down, lingering for hours.
A very nice transition between dark and light, ranging from sharp, bitter-sour to tender and sweet, changing rhythm and pace. I didn’t mind re-spraying, just to feel that initial burst again…
I would say that Florian needs to unleash his creative potential fully and boldly in order to create his own little pond in which to swim freely and in his own style. Yes, he needs to continue learning, yes he needs to grow, but the potential is there. Keep an eye on Aden Parfum!
Feel free to check out other fragrances from this brand. They are available at Aden Parfum website. 3ml roll-on bottle (oil) – 6,00 EUR, 10 ml Eau de parfum – 9,00 EUR. Testers are offered as well. In my experience French post functions perfectly.
There’s a new post coming up soon, about fragrant news in April!
I will be reporting from Esxence-The Scent of Excellence regularly! I also have a theme for this year’s event: you’ll see, it’ll be fun…can’t wait! Make sure to follow my IG account!
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl/Aden Parfum Website
3 ml Rose Santal and 10 ml Soleil Noir were generously provided by Aden Parfum, opinions of my own: