Review: Luxe Calme Volupte Francesca Bianchi
On June 18, 2021, Netherlands-based indie perfumer Francesca Bianchi released her new fragrance, Luxe Calme Volupte Francesca Bianchi. If you missed our announcement and our news on social media, the name of the fragrance Luxe Calme Volupte is a quote from two works of art at once, namely, from the poem by Charles Baudelaire L'Invitation Au Voyage from the collection Les Fleurs du Mal from 1857, and the title of the 1904 painting by Henri Matisse (below), which started the Fauvism movement (although the artist borrowed this name from the poem)...
Francesca loves classical perfumery, and the legendary scents of the 20th century often are a source for her inspiration - she learned composing as if she was attending perfumery school, where they often give the task to deconstruct and then make their own fragrances of the Golden Age: Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Green Water, etc. Getting acquainted with Francesca's new perfumes sometimes had an added interest for me - can I figure out which scent of the past inspired her this time?
In the case of Luxe Calme Volupte, in less than a week the perfumer revealed all the intrigue - her creativity was stimulated by three well-known and popular fragrances at once: Y Yves Saint-Laurent, Must de Cartier, and Envy Gucci. While they could have been Luxe Champaca Comme des Garcons, Calme & Volupte Godet, and Volupte Oscar de la Renta, for a double voluptious effect.
On my skin, Luxe Calme Volupte starts off with sweet benzoin amber, which suddenly reveals bitter green notes of galbanum and hyacinth. The citruses that other reviewers write about beautifully did not appear on my skin, and it is especially a pity that the tangerine part is not available for me (I love tangerines!). The greens are followed by a beautifully sweet floral and very powdery accord of ylang-ylang, orris, and benzoin, and its classic sweetness is grounded by the smoke and earthy character of vetiver. The closer you get to the base, the brighter something sulfurous-fruity appears in the amber accord, maybe a Passionfruit perfume base, against which hyacinths reappear, reminiscent now of green apples.
In general, Luxe Calme Volupte seems to me to be a sweet and full-bodied amber scent with a classic vibe, enriched with smoke and a green fruity beginning, which is unusual for classic amber perfumes (the color green is displayed on the box). I would choose to describe it as Habanita Molinard combined with herbs and tropical fruits (or for example, one of the Vero Profumo fragrances, Onda, in a fruity Eau de Parfum version).
Francesca Bianchi created her new perfume in the pandemic time and wanted to create a fragrance without contradictions and sharp corners, a fragrance that would be pleasant to everyone. I think that's the reason for her choice of the structure "ambergris-ylang-mandarin." But if it were not for the tropical fruits bringing their unusual accent into the amber scent, it could have remained ordinary.
Luxe Calme Volupte Francesca Bianchi is available as an Extrait de Parfum (25%), in 30 ml, at a price of 98 EUR (1.5 ml samples - 7 EUR), either on the official website of Francesca Bianchi or in the brand's partner stores.
Top notes: Tangerine and Bitter Orange;
Middle notes: Galbanum, Tropical fruits, Ylang-ylang, and Hyacinth;
Base notes: Benzoin, Iris, Opoponax, Vetiver, and Sandalwood.
Sergey Borisov Editor, Columnist
Sergey Borisov studied Physics at Krasnoyarsk University. He's been known in the Internet perfume world under the nickname moon_fish for more than 15 years. His texts about perfumes have been published in Russian print and online publications such as GQ, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Rake, Glamour, and other magazines. He loves oud oils, as well as vintage perfumes, and notes of leather, vetiver, neroli, and orris. In 2013, Sergey joined the Fragrantica team.
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