L’Artisan Parfumeur Poivre Piquant: better than the real thing

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Poivre Piquant is an interesting blend of white pepper, liquorice, milk, and honey… and it smells just as good as it sounds. It blends into the skin seamlessly — you know how some fragrances smell great, but they smell like fragrances? Well, this smells like your own skin, but softly spiced and scented to perfection. As if you’ve consumed something magical and it’s slowly emanating from your being!

I expected something much bolder, with a name like “Poivre Piquant,” but I actually find this to be very easy to wear; “mainstream” friendly. On my skin, the first twenty-odd minutes are my favourite, as the pepper (my favourite part of this fragrance) starts to wane after that point. The white pepper has been crafted impeccably, and smelling freshly-applied Poivre Piquant is like smelling freshly ground white pepper on a soft honey-and-liquorice base. Minus the sneezing. Somehow, Bertrand Duchaufour (the perfumer) has succeeded in creating a pepper that is more real than the real thing. 

After about a half hour of wear, Poivre Piquant settles into a very friendly blend (for both sexes, might I add.) At that point, it smells very similar to more mass-market scents, with a clean, sweet, woody base, making it the perfect choice for someone who is looking for a subtle “safe”-but-better scent. The resulting dry-down will leave you smelling just as well-cut as the rest of the lads and ladies in your office… but you’ll have the extra “oomph” of just a pinch of pepper.
Availability: Poivre Piquant can be purchased through the L’Artisan Parfumeur site here, or through retailers like Neiman Marcus and BeautyHabit. It can also be sampled (or purchased) though LuckyScent.

As an introduction to niche perfumes, Poivre Piquant is perfect: it’s just as wearable as a mass-market perfume, but has a beautiful peppery opening to compliment the blend. At $95 for a 50ml bottle of Eau de Toilette, it’s within reach of most budgets, though this likely means some saving up beforehand! What I’d love to see released is an “Extrême” version, with a more lasting pepper note and a balance tipped just a touch toward more the slightly bitter liquorice rather than toward the smooth, sweet honey note.

Poivre Piquant was crafted in 2002 by Bertrand Duchaufour.
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