a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
POIVRÉ – 1954 – ♂♀
Classification: Oriental Spicy
Top Notes: Clove, Pepper, Red Pepper
Heart Notes: Rose, Ylang-ylang, Carnation, Jasmine
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Opopanax, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Perfumer: Michel Morsetti
Price: $100 for 7.5ml bottle
Created by Michel Morsetti for Caron, Poivré pushed quite a few boundaries with its introduction in 1954. It was definitely a departure from the pretty floral chypre fragrances created for women during the 1950’s. There is no confusion regarding Poivré’s intention. This perfume has the temperament of a searing red hot poker and the charisma of a roaring fire. Poivré’s personality is intensionally aggressive, spicy and perfect for the spice enthusiast. To many people’s dismay, Poivré’s fell victim to reformulated in 1997 due to IFRA restrictions. While having a reduced intensity of spiciness, the current production of Poivré can be viewed by some as slightly less interesting than its predecessor. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most intriguing in the Caron line today.
What better way to launch Poivré than with a shrewd combination of clove and red pepper. Straight out of the gate, Poivré is quite a treat for the olfactory senses. This savory, yet racy concoction is deliberately blended to be fiery. Poivré’s heart launches with an interestingly rich floral twist featuring carnation, rose, ylang-ylang, and jasmine. Carnations naturally have a spicy scent but the spiciness tinges the flower without masking the underlying sweet floral quality. The addition of rose works out to be the perfect companion to the spicy nature of the carnation. Some rose varieties can be inherently spicy. The rose also necessitates a balance of subtle sweetness and exotic qualities that the carnation can sometimes lacks. Ylang-Ylang and jasmine share similar dramatic characteristics and play off each other well, which amps up the floral intensity slightly. The carnation takes the part of the usher, insuring the floral accord is a successful one. Poivré’s base is woody and expectedly Oriental. The base commences with oak moss, directing Poivré towards having guaranteed Oriental undertones. The slightly resinous and herbal opopanax is the perfect companion to sandalwood with its smooth and luxurious character. The vetiver here is nothing but a nod to the herbal suggestion made during the base’s introduction.
Poivré is not for the faint of heart. If spicy Orientals are not your cup of tea, I would suggest steering clear of this fiery dragon. On the other hand, if you love spicy fragrances, Poivré will hit the spot. Created for women but eventually loved by men just as vehemently, Poivré is an interesting creation that few seem to be able to resist. The longevity of the Extract de Parfum is amazing and sillage was still noticeable after 14 hours. I think Poivré leans to the masculine side of the perfume spectrum. It does so in the say way that Caron’s other legendary creation, Tabac Blonde, does with a heavy-handed suggestion of huskiness.