Friday, February 13, 2015

Parfums de Nicolai - Sacrebleu (perfume review)

I feel like I have been completely MIA - it's been a long couple of weeks! The extended and nuclear family has battled several colds and yucky stomach bugs, and somewhere in there I turned 32.  Yep, the big 3-2. :) And though I had fully intended to put several perfumed items on my birthday list, I just never got around to it - and to be honest - there weren't many fragrances that I *really* felt I needed to have. (Still thinking about getting a decant of Gold Leather, though). I guess I'm rather picky, which is delightful for my wallet but disappointing at the same time. 

But finally we're all feeling a bit better and I've resumed the search for some perfume loves. I'm turning attention back to my pile of samples that remained neglected while the family was under the weather. Yay!

I suppose it's not super helpful to review fragrances that are discontinued - but unfortunately I only have a sample of the discontinued Sacrebleu, and none of Sacrebleu Intense which is still currently available. I am curious how they differ.

On me, Sacrebleu opens up with a thick, syrupy sweet orange with an undercurrent of spice and maybe even a touch of anise. Alongside the sweet fruity melange, there is a thick and sweet almondy vanilla aura which gives it a slightly gourmand quality.  On me, however, there is an artificiality to the rich sweetness that lends it a little bit of a rubbery plastic vibe a few minutes into the opening. Overall, Sacrebleu feels plush and enveloping, and in my mind, distinctly golden orange in hue. Wearing it feels as if you're curled up in this chair on a chilly day.

photo from Horchow
After 10 minutes or so, the white floral heart sneaks out, but honestly the components are so well blended that its hard to separate them or sense when they're really beginning or ending. The florals are sweet and buttery, which is a very natural continuation of the sweetness of the opening, though at this point the sweetness isn't as thick or syrupy. The cinnamon lays low in the composition, but partners with the carnation to give the scent a spicy kick.

The early dry down features a slightly sweet and slightly musky amber. Honestly, I'm not that big of a fan of this kind of amber (it's growing on me a little bit), so it's not really my thing. However, an hour or so later into the wear, the amber is accompanied by darker notes of incense, and I really enjoy this part of the dry down. The incense counterbalances the sweetness of the amber and together, the scent is extremely pleasant and comforting.

For me, the opening is a bit too sweet and heavy, which detracts from my enjoyment. I'm starting to realize that gourmandy sweetness is something I'm pretty sensitive to, and often experience headaches or nausea from it. Sacrebleu was shy of being nauseating or headache inducing, but still a bit much for me. I suspect that for others it would be a lovely, comfy, enveloping oriental vanilla. The mid to late stages of Sacrebleu are really lovely, especially (I'd think) if you're a fan of amber. Although this one isn't FB worthy for me, Sacrebleu strikes me as a lovely, well-done perfume that I could envision many enjoying.


Clint's 3: spicy, bubble gum, cinnamon

Sometimes I am so impressed by Clint's nose!  A review of Sacrebleu on Perfume Posse also noted a 'juicy fruit' note - so Clint is in good company!


My rating of Sacrebleu: 3.25 

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  - X -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
      Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent          Great         Olfactory Elation      

Sacrebleu as formally described by the Parfums de Nicolai website:

Family: Oriental Vanilla

Top Notes:  mandarin, red fruits
Middle Notes: carnation, tuberose, jasmine, cinnamon oil
Base Notes: frankincense, patchouli, sandalwood, peru balsam, tonka absolute

Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolai


Have you tried Sacrebleu, or its remaining successor Sacrebleu Intense? How do they differ? Do you like them?


  1. Lovely description, I especially like the bubblegum 😀 unfortunately I never really found a Nicolaï to love in her own collection, some of her perfumes for MDCI are gorgeous though, so perhaps I do feel the difference if 'keeping costs down' in her own line, which is so very reasonably priced.
    I feel that pics of your kitty should be on sometime soon, don't you ;-)

    1. Hi Asali! Thanks for your comment! This is actually the first I've tried from her - but now I'm curious about her scents for MDCI. I've never tried anything from MDCI. (Well, to be *really* honest, I'd never heard of Parfums MDCI until you mentioned it, hehe). Do you have any favorites?

      As for my kitty - you're right! I actually have 3 kitties though, so I guess we'll just have to see who gets the spotlight next :)

  2. Parfums de Nicolai isn't "my brand": I kind of liked a couple but never enough to look for any more than a sample. This one (I didn't know it was discontinued) I thought I liked the first time I tried it but when I tested it for the second time, the magic was gone and I didn't re-capture the feeling I got the first time around. Oh well...

    1. Well, at least you got 1 magical wearing out of it. :) Ah well. What would you consider "your brand"? I don't know if I've found one yet that truly speaks to me!

  3. So interesting that you mentioned the notion of this being just short of headache-inducing, as that was an instant effect of both Sacrebleu and the Intense version. The musk or almondy vanilla (heliotrope) I found too much, like a stifling fug. To be honest I have not been back to try it since. May I say that I like that chair very much though. ;)

    1. Oh no - nothing is worse than the perfume induced headache. :( Or du Serail was insta-super-headache for me, but fortunately this one was not quite as bad. I could imagine that the Intense version could do it though. I agree about the chair - but if you check out the price tag, it's absurd!


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