There are always new brands which I am hopeful about which don’t connect with me upon their first releases. One of those is the French brand La Parfumerie Moderne. Owned and creatively directed by Philippe Neirinck it has a stated desire to reach back and revive the classic perfume aesthetics in a modern way. Certainly an effort I am appreciative of and want to support. M. Neirinck even chose a perfumer who I expected would take this concept and run with it in Marc-Antoine Corticchiato. I received my samples of the first three releases at Esxence in 2013. For all that I wanted to be drawn in by this effort I was left unimpressed. There was definite quality here but in a couple of cases these felt like evolutions of perfumes from M. Corticchiato’s own brand Parfum D’Empire. The one which held some promise for me was No Sport which had a classic fougere feel to it but still didn’t capture me fully. I was hopeful that they would try again. That fourth try is called Annees Folles.
Annees Folles is the French term for the Golden Twenties referring to the 1920’s. In the US it was called the Roaring Twenties. In both France and the US it was a time after World War I where the young adults of the day were attempting to rewrite the societal rules. The Great Depression would bring the long party to an end soon enough. This was also a golden time for perfume making as both women and men wore fragrance. If you just do a search for perfume released between 1920-1930 many of the classics are to be found there. The prevailing men’s fragrance type was the fougere. Messrs. Neirinck and Corticchiato had tried to make a Retro Nouveau fougere with No Sport. With Annees Folles they tried again and this time hit the mark.
When a Retro Nouveau perfume succeeds it uses some classic tropes but infuses them with modern flourishes. A brand called La Parfumerie Moderne almost has to do this just to live up to the name. I think that is the biggest difference between No Sport and Annees Folles in that the new release does that job much better.
Annees Folles opens with lavender as the focal point. M. Corticchiato adds in the herbal snap of thyme and the sweetness of nutmeg. The thyme keeps the lavender from being too floral. The nutmeg adds an orthogonal spicy sweet vector. With a bit of vetiver and geranium also along for the ride Anness Folles carries an almost classic barbershop vibe with a twist. I keep thinking of all these grooming lounges for gentlemen which have sprung up and think Annees Folles would be the perfect mix of past and present to represent them. Annees Folles eventually develops further with a nicely balanced trio of benzoin, amber, and patchouli as the final accord.
Annees Folles has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
One other aspect of Annees Folles which marks it as contemporary is its weight. In the 1920’s the fougeres were not subtle. In 2016 M. Corticchiato has made a transparent version of a fougere which still has a spine present. With Annees Folles La Parfumerie Moderne has finally lived up to its mission by creating a golden fougere.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.