Parfum d’Empire, Equistrius

“Go Straight to Full Bottle, Do Not Buy Decant, Do Not Save $200.”

Dionne made me laugh with that quip, but who’s laughing now? I can barely contain my anticipation as I await* the (lightly) used bottle I just snatched up off evil-Bay. Don’t get me wrong, I slept on it before clicking, “Buy it NOW,” but it took all of my tiny reserve of self-control to do so.

An iris-gourmand that hit my radar like a deer in the windshield, Equestrius had been on my Luckyscent wish-list for ages. It’s something that piqued my interest about a year ago, based on the iris and rice-powder combo, and is something that I nearly blind-bought on many occasions. But since I’m trying not to do that anymore, it was a stroke of fate that my dear friend sent me a sample.

The first day I wore it, I was surprised to be unimpressed. One spritz on the wrist, and I got velvety-cocoa gourmand, but no iris. Which is weird, since my nose is hyper-sensitive to orris, sometimes amping the note up to uncomfortable levels, and this scent is reportedly composed with three varieties. Turns out, for some reason, it needs a much more liberal application to get that promised orris, which I discovered the following day. Five spritzes (at least) is the magic number for iris-overload, and I was delighted to find that the longevity of the fragrance is stellar. As in, 8+ hours.

I first encountered “rice” as a note in Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca, and like others before me, responded with the resounding cry, “why isn’t this note used more?!” Champaca is an utterly different fragrance, but each showcases their rice note beautifully. In Equistrius, it creates a warmly tactile aspect to the cool, silky, powder of orris— not unlike a quick stroke on the heated neck of your mount after an elegantly executed passage.

What’s not to love?

A beautiful and noble scent, named after a noble animal.


Coming Soon: Dionne’s take on Equistrius!

*my bottle has arrived (and been getting much use), since I wrote this post several weeks ago.

20 thoughts on “Parfum d’Empire, Equistrius

  1. This sounds nice. I have been loving the cocoa-iris-honey-patcholi Dark Passage lately, a lot more than I thought I would. I *really* need to do the Parfums d’Empire exploration set.

    1. I think I mentioned the other night at Alyssa’s reading– this house can do no wrong! I have really liked every single fragrance, and loved several (this one, Azemour, Fougere Bengale, and Amber Russe), and really believe that this is one of those line-ups not to miss!

      How about as a honeymoon gift to yourself??!!!

      Congratulations on your marriage!!!! ❤

      1. I’m definitely buying myself some honeymoon perfume gifts, but I’m not sure just what yet. 🙂 Since the honeymoon is in NOLA, maybe something from Avery Fine Perfumery, Bourbon French Perfumes, or Hové. We’ll see!!!

        I got muh man a scented wedding gift – he’d used up his mini of 4711 and since he liked it so very much, I got him a huuuuuuge replacement bottle.

  2. This sounds just lovely. I’m definitely going to try to find a sample of this. Thanks for posting the video of Andreas and Bleu Hors Matinee. She is my all time favorite dressage horse.

    1. It’s SO worth sampling! It’s beautiful, a little unusual, and I always get compliments from people when I wear it; which I know isn’t why we do what we do, but it’s nice to wear something that others notice positively 🙂

      Yes to Bleu Hors!!!

  3. Rising to your challenge, I dug out my sample of Equistrius and gave myself about four spritzes to be distributed between wrists, a couple of spritzes on cleavage and one at the back of my neck. Then off to the farmers’ market where, not surprisingly, all personal scent is overcome by market smells of fish and flowers, vegetables, meat, coffee, chai, spices, bread, olives, nuts … Only a triple helping of Opium would rise above all this.

    But back at home (with my salmon, bread, apples, potatoes, honeycomb, narcissis and daffodils) I still was only getting that slightly sweet cocoa and rice powder scent that you mention. That is all I ever get from Equisitrius. Pleasant, but nothing special. Oddly enough, I do get iris if I spritz on a tissue. On skin, it dies. Damn! You make it sound so wonderful. Birgit loves it too.

    Anyway, I’m so glad you went for a full bottle. Parfum d’Empire bottles are so beautiful. The Eau Suave bottle melts my heart but, sensible me, I DID buy a decant and I DID save $200 …

    1. Haha, buy a decant, save big! Although, I will point out that these are very reasonably priced for niche 🙂

      I’m glad you gave it another chance! The dousing procedure works really well for me, but it may just be that the different varieties of iris cancel each other out to your nose? I get a lot from it when I wear it these days, but it’s definitely a velvety feeling iris, and not the cold steel of Iris Silver Mist (also love).

      I still haven’t tried Eau Suave! I want to! I need to get on that…

      1. Yeah, I dunno. I don’t get much iris from Iris Poudre, but then I seem to have that in common with a lot of people. So much seems to depend on what a material is blended with. Have you tried Iris Poudre, by the way?

        1. But maybe I need to follow your lead and douse myself with IP. There is a lot in what you say about spritzing confidently, not tentatively.

  4. Dee, congratulation on your new bottle, I’m glad you got it: it’s wonderful when you can add to your collection a perfume that brings up to you not only olfactory but tactile memories.

    It’s a very nice review. Of course, now I want to try Equistrius (as well as many other perfumes from the line).

    I have a question about the video. That circle tail movment – is it a part of a routine or just a side effect?

    1. The tail thrashing is just something that the horses do when their bodies are physically challenged– kinda like us saying “Hi-YA! when we make punching or chopping motions, ala Bruce Lee. LOL.

      I love my bottle! I’m so pleased with my collection, which is good, because it’s pretty small these days. Or, as Tara likes to say, “Carefully curated.” 🙂

  5. I like Equistrius but the longevity isn’t great on me unfortunately. Next time I’ll try your suggestion and increase the dosage. My favorites from the house so far is Azemour and Cuir Ottoman.
    And Susan I agree Dark Passage is lovely and addictive!

  6. The first time I tried it on skin I was kind of well, it’s good, but so are a lot of fragrances. Then I found it again when trying to re-establish some order in my closets and drawers (recurring holiday project), tried it again – and had a completely different experience and found new respect for it – it is so smooth and well blended and classy! Thanks for the dressage video – I don’t know much about horses, but I actually teared up a bit watching this – the horse and the rider seem so in tune and the horse seems to have a great time – if I can read horse language 🙂 It’s hard to imagine that such a performance could come about from anything but respectful colaboration.

    1. … from 4:51 minutes and to the end Blue Hors Matine and Andreas Helgstrand are just showing off – it’s so impressive!

  7. I’m so glad you got your bottle of this, dee! I know you get compliments when wearing it. I got mine from Evilbay too for a good price and the bottle is gorgeous. It’s nice to have a warm, suede-like iris. Interesting to hear you feel the horsey link too.

    I love that quote of Dionne’s!

  8. I have been watching that wonderful video over and over Thank you!

    I almost forgot this was a perfume post, and now I need to sample Equistrius. I’m sure I’ll be thinking of fancy horses and doing a little stepping dance when I do.

  9. Oooh, I love the horse tie-in, Dee, very nicely done! I didn’t go straight for the full bottle like you did (Cuir Ottoman got that privilege) but my 10ml decant is already more than half-drained, so it’ll happen soon. I’ve been very impressed with Parfum d’Empire as a line.

  10. This is a gorgeous review, and of course I’m now also checking the sniff list to make sure this is/was on there (it was – maybe Birgit’s review was responsible for that?). The performance was spectacular! Do you ride dressage yourself?

  11. Equistrius is a lovely perfume, isn’t it? I find many Parfum d’Empire scents pretty wearable. My favourites are Iskander, Azemour, Eau de Gloire and Equistrius. At the moment I don’t have any of these bottles in my collection but I’m hoping to add the 1st one soon (surely this year) and other bottles succesively.


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