L’Artisan Parfumer, Piment Brûlant
Piment Brûlant smells, upon application, of a fresh from-the-garden green bell-pepper, sliced up, placed on a platter, and sprinkled with finely ground black pepper. The watery green sensation is nicely juxtaposed with the dry, nose-tickling black pepper, and PB is a scent, that, if I had to place in a fragrance category, would be simply “weird.”
After a few minutes of wet/green, dry/spicy, the chocolate note makes it’s first appearance, and what a show stopper! How is it possible that it remains behind the curtain until the second act? This trick of perfumery truly astounds me, especially since the opening notes are so translucent—how could they hide anything? Yet they do. The chocolate is soft, velvety, creamy, and deep, with vanilla creating an accord that reminds me of sweetened, condensed milk. Although the watery bell-pepper never completely disappears, the show is all about spicy, lactonic, chocolate.
Even with the condensed milk reference, Piment Brûlant still maintains the transparency introduced in the first act of the show— I predict that I will like it as well in the heat of summer as I do in the cooler days of winter (though an Austin winter is a decidedly less fearsome thing than an Oregon winter).
Definitely gourmand, but not sweet enough to relegate it to the ‘ladies-only’ side of the aisle; sillage is low, but the lasting power is tenacious. A fascinating fragrance, and one that I think I’ll be coming back to frequently…