Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Cafe Noir is a moody, rich fragrance. I love it. I call it “beatnik in a bottle”. It’s smart and sophisticated and a bit counter-culture (if a perfume can be described as such). It reminds me of a classic French perfume created for the kind of gal that spends late nights/early mornings reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti by the fireplace, sipping on midnight black coffee.

DSH describes this spicy oriental luxury perfume as “a Paris night…Dark and sophisticated, it evokes late concerts in smoke filled rooms…sipping coffee and listening to jazz.” I love when I create an “impression” in my head when I wear a fragrance before I read about it and it actually “fits” what the creator was going for. I haven’t spent late nights in Josephine Baker-ish Parisian jazz clubs, but I have spent many insomniac moments at 4 o’clock in the morning reading “A Coney Island of the Mind” turning each page with fingers decorated with deep merlot nails. This scent reminds me of “beat” poetry.

My first impression of this fragrance creates a bit of confusion in my mind. I know that I like it but I find it very odd. It hits as if it is a spicy, mossy, dirty, chypre. It smells a bit wild and untamed and actually hot. It reminds me of all of those classic Guerlains like Mitsouko but Cafe Noir is much dirtier and grittier and with a kick of spice. It reminds me of moss and Atomic Fire Balls. You just know like beat poetry, that this is a fragrance with so much to say. Once my mind finally gets that this is a dirty, spicy chypre, I get an unexpected “shot” of bitter coffee beans. To add to even more complexity, I get lovely “classic” perfumey. I get rich, thick Parisian florals of rose and jasmine. But, it isn’t classic because of the bitter coffee. The dry down is moody and fairly simple. It has smoky incense like copal rich sweetness with grounding notes of vanilla, labdanum, and balsam. It is like being in a room where incense was once burning. It is slightly smoky but mostly you get the sweetness of the smoke floating through the air. I can not imagine my perfume collection without Cafe Noir in it. This one is very special.

This blend contains 99% botanical ingredients. Notes listed include: bergamot, black pepper, cinnamon bark, pimento berry, benzoin, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, labdanum, coffee absolute, tolu balsam, and vanilla. I would say to give this fragrance a try if you are looking for an interesting and moody fragrance or if you like Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe Cologne, Penhaligon’s Endymion Cologne, Mark Buxton Nameless EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau de Iles, L’Artisan Parfumeur Eau du Navigateur EDT, and/or Hilde Soliani Bell’Antonio EDP. I must say that the biggest difference between those listed and Parfums des Beaux Arts Cafe Noir is that Cafe Noir is rich and long-lasting and natural. This is no cologne. An 1 ounce parfum spray goes for $135. It is available on the fragrance house’s website. More sizes are available.

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Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I really like the “classic” Burberry EDP that was launched in 1995. This is a great casual fragrance that is warm and a bit “dry”, making it perfect for fall/winter and winter/spring(much like a Burberry scarf). I know that this fragrance contains lots of fruits and vanilla, but on me it wears very dried floral and dried woods and dried fruits. I think of it as my Chanel Cristalle EDP for fall. It smells warm and comforting. I think I love it so much because it smells like an updated classic. It is almost a fruity-floral aldehyde. At first it is stone fruity. It reminds me of the kind of “green” peach found in Chanel Cristalle EDP. It’s an aldehyde peach. A crisp, fall-like green apple appears. It adds crispness to the perfumery peach. There is a tartness from currants. The first “blast” is fruity but not childish. It is very reminiscent of a Chanel or an Annick Goutal type of fruit, a classic French fruit blend. The fruits hang around for about 15 minutes on me. I love this stage but like a bountiful harvest, it doesn’t last. The fruits fade, a bit of the aldehyde peach remains. It is mixed with a faint and almost “dry” jasmine. It is as if the jasmine dried out on a slab of sandalwood. So, I get a woodsy peach that is still fresh and juicy with sweet jasmine. It is very feminine and flirty. This stage lasts for sometime. The dry-down is beautiful and transitions from things living to things dried. I get a mix of rich dried woods, a hint of vanilla (not foody sweet, sweet in a perfume way), and dried fruits such as dehydrated peaches, currants, apples, and dates. It’s cozy and easy to wear. I love to wear this fragrance as my “day” fragrance in fall and spring. This is the classic and timeless Burberry trench of fragrances. It wears on me throughout the work day. And it wears very faintly. Most of the wear is the dried woods stage and this last for 4+ hours on me.

Notes include: black currant, green apple, peach, jasmine, sandalwood, cedar, and vanilla. I would say that you would like this one if you like  Crazylibellue & The Poppies 26 June ile d’Yue, Annick Goutal Quel Amour, Chanel Cristalle EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, Calvin Klein Escape, White Shoulders, Lancome Tresor, Cereus Pour Femme #12, and/or Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu!. The 1.7 ounce goes for $57 and the 3.3 ounce for $74. It is available at sephora.com.* Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


Burberry Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.3 Oz by Burberry

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com