Secondly, Amourette is probably the best yet representation of the Givaudan material, Akigalawood. Derived from patchouli oil, it has found its way into, amongst others, Dark Rebel from John Varvatos (which is when I first became aware of it) and Blackpepper from Comme Des Garçons. I've never had a chance to smell it properly, but if my memory of my rushed encounters with it is correct, its patchouli-ness is extremely peculiar, somehow bringing out both the oil’s peppery, light-hearted facets as well as its full-on debauched nature. All those traits are pushed to the fore in Amourette, which suggests the fragrance is, at least in part, an intellectual exercise in exploring a single aromachemical, in much the same way that Etat Libre’s superlative Tom Of Finland was an examination of another Givaudan treasure: Safraleine.
Finally, and most importantly, Une Amourette is a gorgeous feat of narrative perfumery, a reminder that scents really can stories. The press notes tell us that Mouret wanted to create an olfactory expression of a love affair: fleeting but unforgettable. Well, that's exactly what Andrier has created for him. The fragrance opens with an emphatic mandarin note, its sweet fruitiness suggesting the fizz of instant attraction. But as this is a holiday romance with no time for taking things slowly, it isn't long before a tanned leather takes over. Spices are sprinkled over skin. Woods raise the temperature whilst dimming the lights. And then comes the real piece de resistance: a strange, brave, partly off-putting, partly irresistible whiff of what can only be called intimacy. Hair on the nape of a neck. Sweat on the small of a back. Silky creaminess on the inside of a thigh. The smell of waking up next to someone whose path will surely diverge from yours, but whose impression will just as surely remain on your soul forever.
[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Etat Libre D'Orange in 2017]