Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sample Give-Away + Review: La Belle Hélène from MDCI (2011)


If there's one thing Bertrand Duchaufour can do with envy-inducing finesse, it's using smell to paint incredibly precise, near-holographic visual images. La Belle Hélène, the latest release from MDCI, showcases this skill as successfully as the finest of his creations.

The perfume's initial juxtaposition of leathery iris immediately calls to mind Traversée Du Bosphore, but there the similarity ends - icing sugar sweetness notwithstanding - because Hélène turns into a vivid, ripe pear. But rather than conveying an impression only of the fruit's yielding flesh, Duchaufour adds a dry edge that suggests the rougher taste of the peel and lends the whole a near-palpable feeling of substance. Eschewing syrupy predictability, the scent dries down to an orchard-inflected lipstick note which serves to complete the picture with admirable wit: first we were treated to the smell of the eponymous beauty's garments, then she served us a luxurious dessert, but in the end, she lets us get close enough to smell her make-up. And all the while she remains charming and seductive.

Highly recommended, not least for the manner in which it combines classical sensibilities with a recognisably modern aesthetic.

(NB: I should point out that according to the official list of notes - and several other bloggers* - La Belle Hélène contains a notable proportion of osmanthus absolute. I'm not sufficiently familiar with this particular material to identify it myself, but if it really is as jammy and apricot-like as web descriptions would have us believe, then yes, there's plenty of it in this perfume.)

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by MDCI in 2011; fragrance tested on skin.]

* For more reviews of La Belle Hélène, please visit Bois De Jasmin, Grain De Musc, Now Smell This and Perfume Smellin' Things.

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Thanks to the generosity of MDCI's Claude Marchal, I'm able to offer a sample of La Belle Hélène to a lucky Persolaise reader, but this time, instead of asking you to write a response to a specific topic, I'd very much appreciate it if you would follow this blog using Google Friend Connect (you'll see this facility to the right of your screen) AND/OR add me to your Facebook friends AND/OR follow me on Twitter. Once you've done that, please leave a comment on this post to tell me so... at which point you'll be able to consider yourself in the draw. If I'm already fortunate enough to be on your Google/Facebook/Twitter lists, then please just leave a comment about any subject you like... pears, perhaps??

Terms & Conditions:
i) the competition/draw will be open until 10 pm (UK time) on Monday 11th April; ii) the winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog; iii) if the winner has not made contact with me before Sunday 17th April in order to claim his/her prize, an alternative winner will be selected; iv) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; v) by entering the draw, you indicate that you are willing to pay customs charges (if applicable) and that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume / perfumery product posted from the UK; vi) if the prize is lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be sent; vii) the address of the winner will not be kept on record, nor will it be passed on to any third parties; viii) I take no responsibility for the composition of the perfume, as regards potential allergens and/or restricted materials.

Persolaise.

39 comments:

  1. I was a follower of your blog (although I'm not sure whether through google connect but now I am) and you already know I follow you on twitter. :)
    I've been trying my hand in all La Belle Helene draws so far but no luck. I do hope it changes now. ;)
    Btw, I've never tried this dessert but would love to as it sounds very yummy.

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  2. I already follow you on Facebook and Twitter as you now! ;)
    I am very curious about this perfume and would love the chance to try it. The pears I have encountered mostly in recent history are of the pureed variety to feed my son. I would love to upgrade. ;)

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  3. Sounds fabulous. I'm most curious about the fruity pear note. I will smell some osmanthus to check it out. I've just joined twitter to follow.

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  4. Junelady / MarieApril 7, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Now following via Google Friends.

    I love fruity notes so I'd love to try Belle Helene.

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  5. I follow you on Google Friend connect and have just added you on FB =)

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  6. I was already following you on Twitter, but I am now on the Google connect and sent a friend request on Facebook! Thanks for the chance to try this, it sounds very nice!

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  7. Have added you on Google connect! Social media all the way!

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  8. Ines, I've always appreciated the fact that you read my blog... and you never know, perhaps the gods of Random.org will smile on you this time...

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  9. Olfactoria, thanks very much indeed for reading my humble scribblings... and for linking to me so often from your own blog.

    If you win the draw, I think you'll find that Le Belle Helene is DEFINITELY an upgrade ;-)

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  10. MamanParfum, thanks very much indeed.

    I think I'd better get my hands on some osmanthus absolute, eh?

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  11. Junelady, thanks very much indeed.

    You're in the draw too.

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  12. Womo531, many thanks.


    Your name's on the list.

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  13. Alice, thanks very much indeed. If you send positive thoughts to Random.org, you may well win next week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cutecandyhearts, thanks very much.

    You're in the draw!

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  15. I already follow you on Twitter!

    I smelled a nice pear note recently in U4EAHH! by YOSH but sadly, it was short-lived.

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  16. I Have sent a friend request on Facebook. I like every thing is created by Bertrand Duchaufour.

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  17. I have been following you on Twitter and FB for some time already, and am most curious to try this!

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  18. Persolaise,
    Since I'm following you through the RSS feed and find your blog interesting to keep reading I do not mind, in principle, to honor that request - drawing or no drawing - but can you please tell me why this is important to you? Excuse my ignorance, but does the number of followers change anything in the way how your posts will be found/indexed by SEs/something else?

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  19. I have been reading and enjoying your blog on a regular basis for a while now.I now subscribed to google friends and added you as a facebook friend. Thx

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  20. Your review has really piqued my interest! I've become more interested in iris as of late. I'd also be curious to know what your favorite iris-based scents are, if you'd care to share. :)

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  21. Elisa, thanks very much... and thank you for that superb shop name. I wasn't aware of it until now. Genius!

    You're in the draw.

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  22. Marcopietro, thanks very much indeed. Your name's on the list.

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  23. Vanessa, much appreciated, as you know.

    You're in the draw.

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  24. Undina, thanks for raising this. Most of the time, the number of Twitter/Facebook/etc followers does not matter hugely to me. If people enjoy my writing enough to keep coming back to read more, then that's wonderful in itself, regardless of the numbers of people involved.

    However, there are times when the outside world's perception of my blog becomes significant, for instance when I'm trying to arrange interviews with industry figures. That's when it can be extremely powerful to be able to say that I have 'x' number of friends on Facebook or 'y' number of Twitter followers. Rightly or wrongly, people do judge the 'reach' of blogs by such stats, and if increasing the connections in my 'social network' ultimately results in more interesting articles for me to write and for my readers to read, then I'm happy to do that.

    As for search engines, I confess I'm a little ignorant about this too, but I was recently told by someone who knows about this kind of stuff that the importance of Google Friends Connect is about to increase. Apparently, Google are planning to make this facility more prominent in search results.

    If anyone else out there can shed more light on this, I'd be grateful for your insights.

    Anyway, thanks very much indeed for reading my blog... and you're most definitely in the draw :-)

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  25. Taffynfontana, thank you :-)

    You're in the draw.

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  26. Carrie: Apres L'Ondee, Apres L'Ondee, Dior Homme, Apres L'Ondee... and Dior Homme.

    You're in the draw!

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  27. Following you now through GFC & been following you on Twitter for ages and ages. Love your blog, I'm always learning something new from it!
    @Kemcaflipflops
    kirsten murphy

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  28. Kemcaflipflops, thank you for the kind words. I learn a lot from reading other people's blogs too.

    You're in the draw.

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  29. I'm already following you on Twitter, where I usually follow your links along, too - I know you will show me something interesting which I may not have seen otherwise.

    Pears are one of my favourite fruits, especially ripe, juicy Conference. But they are so often sold when dry and woody and unripe, and have to be ripened. With eating them, the timing is all!

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  30. Hi Persolaise,

    That was interesting about Google Friends Connect becoming more prominent to the old search bots. For what it is worth, the one SEO specialist I know reckons the most important element is not the number of hits or visitors but the back links as measured by Google Page Rank, as long as these are honestly gained, otherwise you slide back down the pole again if it suspects rigging! But I am no techie, and this is only one view of a complex area.

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  31. Tania, thanks very much indeed. I really love pears too... and pear liqueur.

    You're in the draw.

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  32. Vanessa, yes I think you're right about links... and then there's the whole business of unique visitors as opposed to page hits...

    I'm glad I allow myself to think about this sort of thing only once in a while.

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  33. I tried to post a comment earlier, but it did not seem to have come through. I hope it's there somewhere, since I wrote more in it.

    I've sent a friend request to you on FB. Thanks for the draw.

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  34. Warum, I can't say I know where your comment got to. I've checked the Spam box, and it's not in there.

    I'm sorry your insights have been zapped away!

    You're in the draw, though.

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  35. Petruccijc, I love your direct approach!

    You're in the draw too.

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  36. Enter me! I'm already with you on FB will add Google too! Love love MDCI! One of my first HGs was Les Rivages!

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  37. ~elise, thanks very much.

    You're in the draw.

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  38. *** THE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED ***

    Thanks for all your entries.

    The winner will be announced on Persolaise.com within the next few days.

    ReplyDelete

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