I try out a lot of new fragrances during the year and there are some I’m not very keen on and some I really like. Very occasionally I come across one which I absolutely fall in love with and this is the case with Moonlight Patchouli by Van Cleef & Arpels. I’m absolutely hooked and I crave it if I haven’t smelt it for a few days. I’m sure over time my initial infatuation will evolve into something more steady and it will take its place alongside my other perennial favourites that I don’t necessarily wear frequently but feel happy knowing that they’re in easy reach if the mood strikes. For now, though, it’s what I’m wearing all the time.
Moonlight Patchouli is the latest addition to Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraodinaire range which is inspired by the beauty of nature and tends to focus on a particular note which, obviously, in this case is patchouli. The collection is also characterised by its use of high quality raw materials and gorgeous but understated bottles.
Top: Patchouli, Cocoa, Woods
Heart: Notes Bulgarian rose, Iris
Base: Suede, Leather, Fruit
While the notes make interesting reading they don’t really convey how special this fragrance is. I find the smell quite linear though it does starts off a bit sharper and has a more powdery finish. While the main act is patchouli, this is heavily supported by Bulgarian rose and it’s the interplay between these two that really defines this fragrance.
I find the scent quite contradictory as on the one hand it’s bold, opulent and sultry but it also has a radiance and lightness to it too. I think it’s quite feminine but it’s a sharing fragrance and apparently on men it adapts so the more woody notes come to the fore.
There was a recent piece in The Sunday Times Style about the rise of artisan fragrances that are priced upwards of £100 and Moonlight Patchouli falls into this category. The main point of the piece is how once you’ve tried them you’ll want to buy and I completely agree with this. I notice a huge difference in fragrances that cost around £100 – they’re more complex and unique than those around the £40 mark.
I’ve looked at other online reviews of Moonlight Patchouli to see if my nose is in tune with others who’ve smelt it and there’s a large consensus that this is an outstanding perfume. In terms of the amount of pleasure it provides, it’s one of my biggest beauty recommendations of the year.
Moonlight Patchouli is normally £126 but it’s currently on offer at House Of Fraser for £113.40
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