pg querelleI was introduced to Querelle by Naz at The Perfume Shoppe. She had previously introduced me to the Serge Lutens and PG (Parfumerie Generale) lines and I have been hooked ever since. She has an uncanny ability to find what you would like and most importantly, what would smell gorgeous on you. I went in there on a cold and bitter January day, looking for a pick-me-up, and because I wasn’t feeling the scents I had. SL’s Un Bois Vanille and PG’s Brulure de Rose were perfect for the time I bought them; Un Bois Vanille was perfect for a cold but sunny fall day, and Brulure de Rose was femininity in a starched white shirt. Alas, none suited the cold and bleak January days. My scent for the day highly depends on the weather… everything depends on the weather. Where I go (if not work), what I wear, my makeup palette, my jewelry, and lastly my scent all starts from the weather. I need to know the current and forecasted temperatures, percentage of rain, and when the sun is going to break… but as confirmation, I usually just look outside. Sure most people can’t dress without a mirror, but I can’t do anything without looking outside.

I went away with 4 scents that day, each with a purpose. We’ve pretty much decided that SL and PG were my lines, but I do gravitate towards PG as it’s more complex. I know I’m complex, and do change (moods, dress etc) … and I need a complex scent that changes and grows with me. I purchased SL’s Vetiver Orientale & Chypre Rouge and PG’s Querelle & L’eau de Circe. I’m starting to realize the scents I’m attracted to: amber, vetiver… but I don’t do the department store synthetics scents anymore. Chypre Rouge is for night, especially if you’re going to be dancing close with someone and want an intoxicating scent to rise up and consume the both of you. Naz warned not to judge it at first sniff, as it starts out like cherry cough syrup but dies down to something warm, dark and sweet. Vetiver Orientale is a daytime scent, wearable with cashmere and jeans (which is my current uniform). I asked for a springtime scent to transition into and got L’eau de Circe. And then I was introduced to Querelle, which is my go-to scent of the moment. I cannot possibly put into words how I feel about this fragrance, and the poignant review (hence the title) is a reference to someone else’s which inspired me to mention Querelle. I often visit Colombina’s site Perfume-Smellin’ Things on a regular basis to see what’s new, what’s in, and to discover more scents to try. Her writing is expressive and insightful, and a delightful daily read.

Review of Querelle from her page : “…And that –finally!- brings me to today’s perfume, Querelle. Inspired by Jean Genet’s book of the same name (and, I can only assume, by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film as well), Querelle is, to me, most definitely a haute couture scent. It is strange and beautiful (ugly-beautiful would be a better word, perhaps), eccentric and refined. With notes of citruses, black caraway (aka black cumin), myrrh, cinnamon, vetiver, incense, oakmoss, and ambergris, the perfume is a picture of a bleak, dessicated landscape, right out of some violent and surreal dream. It speaks to me about dust, roots, the color grey, the cruelty and the utter loneliness. The beginning is darkly-spicy and a little earthy. From the middle stage forward I start to smell quite a bit of myrrh and I think that it is the one note that brings all the striking ingredients together, softens and sweetens them a little; it is the note that adds “beautiful” to the “strange” and thus elevates the composition to the level of couture. The drydown should delight the fellow vetiver lovers. Combined with incense and moss, vetiver here smells deep and intoxicating, a brutal, witchy, bitter smell, erotic and evil.”

I love this scent even more…