New Perfume Review Christele Jacquemin Underworld and Meandering Soul- Transitions

Yesterday I introduced you to independent perfumer Christele Jacquemin. She describes herself as “photographer-perfumer-traveler”. The other two debut releases from her eponymous line showcase all three of those.

Christele Jacquemin

Christele Jacquemin Underworld

Underworld was inspired by the perfumer’s travel between Barcelona and Paris while she was studying perfumery at the latter. The photographs the perfume is based upon are differing blocks of color in bands framed by darkness. This serves as a good description of this perfume.

The top band of darkness comes through a mix of cumin and black pepper. Mme Jacquemin finds a neat harmony between these two obstreperous ingredients. The light begins to come through with cardamom and carrot seed. There is a lot of the latter providing that unique sweetness as contrast to the top notes. The real spotlight comes when tuberose and mimosa come out. She takes these notes and allows them to have about as much presence as they could. The golden powdery mimosa coats the creamy narcotic tuberose. The lower band of darkness comes through a smoky frankincense and vetiver. Swirls of these ingredients rise through the florals creating a memorable shadow effect.

Underworld has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.

Christele Jacquemin Meandering Soul

Meandering Soul came from Mme Jacquemin’s residency in Taipei. When you are in one of the great metropolises of the world if you want to find some peace you need to go out in the wee hours of the morning. I share this fascination with her. I greatly enjoy walking through the streets of the big cities I’ve lived in when it doesn’t exactly sleep but it breathes a little slower. Meandering Soul captures the sense of discovery these kinds of walks can offer.

It begins in an urban greenspace. In the light of day the scent of these parks is overwhelmed by the other scents of the city. At night they come out like a night-blooming flower. The top accord is fennel and hinoki. The vegetal licorice-like root with the refined version of cedar finds that moment. As you begin to walk you find a small flower box with narcissus and ylang-ylang growing. Through all these debut perfumes I have admired her ability to find interesting contrast in her floral choices. It is at its best here. The suppleness of the ylang-ylang meets the deep -rooted depths of narcissus. The last stretch of our stroll takes us past a bakery working on a caramel confection for the next day. A fantastic gourmand accord of caramel, cinnamon, and tobacco form an odd kind of sticky bun effect. It was so good I wanted to go find the real thing on the days I wore this.

Meanderng Soul has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Mme Jacquemin has made an impressive start to her perfumer’s career with all three of these. She has a wonderful habit of finding equilibrium between what seem like unlikely partners. She finds the place of transition and pins it down.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Christele Jacquemin.

Mark Behnke