EnVoyage Perfumes Carmel de Ville: Olfactive Landscapes Of The Monterey Peninsula

One of the more interesting things about the 8th Art is when an artist chooses fragrance to create an olfactory profile of a specific place. Certainly one of the most successful examples of this kind of artistry are the first two fragrances in Hermes “Un Jardin” series; Un Jardin en Mediterranee and Un Jardin sur Le Nil. For both of those fragrances the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena spent time in the Meditteranean and near The Nile and let his nose become the way we would experience his impressions of those locales. I am reminded of this by perfumer Shelley Waddington and her Carmel By The Sea Series for herEnvoyage Perfumes label. For the four fragrances in this series; Debut de Carmel, Poete de Carmel, Carmel Boehme, and Carmel de Ville Ms. Waddington takes one on a olfactive tour of this town on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

Debut de Carmel is that morning walk full of green floral beauty courtesy of violet, rose and sweet pea.

Poete de Carmel takes you along the cliffs with the ocean crashing as a base of amber, moss and vetiver give the feel of the surf roaring below.

Carmel Boehme feels like twilight as the heart of white flowers over a base of incense, amber, and sandalwood carries the magic of the in-between times.

Finally at the end of the day you need to sit down and enjoy a little dessert at the Inn you’re staying in, and that brings me to Carmel de Ville.

Ms. Waddington says that she was inspired by the Cypress Inn in Carmel. The Cypress Inn is famous for having Doris Day as one of the owners. Carmel de Ville has the bright quality that Doris Day brought to her romantic comedies with Rock Hudson. Like those movies that lightness can sometimes be taken as something which carries less weight to it. I think that quality is something difficult to achieve and, in both Ms. Day’s and Ms. Waddington’s work, I find it refreshing .

Carmel de Ville starts with a fruit accord that carries with it a hint of sweetness. The dominant note is a bitter orange aspect over the sweet mélange of juicy fruit. The heart of Carmel de Ville is a floral festival of indigenous plants from Carmel. Orange blossom, lily, jasmine, narcissus, heliotrope are the notes I can pick out. They are kept light and lively and they feel as if they are in a beautiful centerpiece on a table. What is in front of me on the table is a fresh crème brulee. This is where Carmel de Ville takes an unexpected turn from fruity floral to gourmand. A lightly vanillic and caramel accord comes to the foreground and stays. There is even a hint of the crispy, flamed hard sugar shell atop the vanilla and caramel. The last half of the development of Carmel de Ville is all gourmand on my skin.

Carmel de Ville has excellent longevity and average sillage.

Ms. Waddington has made a lovely fragrance that like the best of Doris Day’s romantic comedies has a sense of fun and an unexpected depth.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by EnVoyage Perfumes.

Art from the Monterey Museum of Art website

-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor - cafleurebon.com