Owning horses, and riding, was a cherished privilege of my youth; my happiest moments were on the back of my favorite horse, Duchess, a noble-looking 15.3 hand blood-bay Standardbred retired off the sulky track (harness racing). Perhaps these fond memories taint my imagination, but in Traversée du Bosphore I don’t smell what I imagine as Istanbul, but instead the courtyard of an English manor on a brisk fall morning just moments before the hunt.
Bertrand Duchaufour may have traveled to Istanbul for inspiration, but the leather opening is, to me, the leather of a fine saddle, the lightly sweet tobacco lingering on a smoking jacket, a crisp faint aroma that could be apples—a suitable snack for a favorite mount, and the smooth suede that evolves for the duration is the knee-pads of well-worn breeches.
There’s also a nutty warmth I’ve tentatively labeled in my notes as “cinnamon cookie”, and a candied, slightly chewey (but not particularly sweet) far dry down that reminds me faintly of Carmel Cremes. I find TdB less sweet than the earlier Havana Vanille; when I was taking my notes I wrote “sweet” down several times, but it’s really not. There’s a dusting of confectioners sugar over the whole composition that gives it a close to home feel, which I noticed more on the second application than on the first.
I applied the first spray at about 8:00 pm last night, and at 9:00 am, it’s still tenaciously clinging to my wrist.
Per our usual ritual, I presented my wrist to the husband for inspection. “Awesome,” said he without much thought. Well, this kind of flippancy does not belong in our home, especially when it comes to perfume. After some agitated back and forth, I discovered that it was not a write off, but he really does think it smells awesome. I tend to put a lot of demands on a fragrance: it should be interesting, original, composed with quality ingredients, and have good lasting power—all this at the very least. When approaching TdB with my nose and my little notepad (I’ve got two pages of notes), I failed to ask the most important question. Does it smell awesome?
Why yes, it does.
For sale in 50 ml ($115) or 100 ml ($155) bottles and is Eau de Parfum strength.
At the moment, I think you have to call Neiman Marcus to order this, but it will be available at the usual suspects after it launches in November.