L’Artisan released Safran Troublant in a trio of spice perfumes called Les Epices de la Passion. Also part of the set were Poivre Piquant and Piment Brulant. Never smelled ’em so I can’t critique the album, per se. Just the song. And the song is Safran Troublant.
It’s got a voice like Bonnie Raitt, or Mary Chapin: dry, warm, and intelligent with no excess. This is Tracy Chapman singing “Give Me One Reason”.
You know all the words. You love to sing it. It’s no aria, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s an acoustic blues number that ain’t so blue. It’s simple in that perfectly rendered manner in which adding something would only take away.
The only Reason I usually need to turn right back around when it comes to perfume is spice. And Safran Troublant has that very thing.
I am a fan of the Inedible Gourmands. That is, perfumes full of foodie type things without all the sugar. That leaves a lot of gourmands behind to stay in their cotton candy shrouded bakeries. The inedible gourmands, if done badly, smell like potpourri. But if done well, they make my heart sing. And they sing songs of warmth and spice and everything nice. And then sometimes things you can’t talk about in front of Grandma like tobacco and underpants. Well not my grandma at least. She was a lady.
Safran Troublant is NOT a lady but also is not particularly a gent either and that makes it all the better. It just smells good. It is a state of being rather than a persona. It is dry and warm and autumnal. It is a sunny early October afternoon.
My best friend recently informed me I overuse the word Autumnal. It’s because of perfumes like Safran Troublant. Plus, risking being called, ahem, “basic”, Fall is my favorite season. (video upcoming)
This is not, however, the perfume equivalent of a pumpkin spice latte and a pair of Uggs.
What makes this little saffron number so special? Well, for one, the saffron.
NEW SPICE GIRL: SAFFRON SPICE.
Who is Saffron Spice?
The Dalai Lama?
No. This is a gingery cat napping in a pool of sun. Trick question.
Saffron’s not a typical perfume note. Not unheard of, but unusual. I dig saffron both for it’s color and flavor and because of this, its smell. It’s so golden. And don’t worry, no paella here. Others may disagree but it ain’t paella until I’m disrobing a prawn and staining my shirt with paprika while being a little germaphobic about that sharing thing.
Plus here? There’s cinnamon. When it comes to perfume I like my cinnamon not ensconced in a bun but rather dry in the sun. Raspy almost. I have read other reviews and no one seems to mention the cinnamon but dammit this is cinnamon. And maybe nutmeg and cardamom. Chai but no latte. Like…chai. The real thing. I was once on an elevator with a couple coworkers, one of whom is originally from India and the other from China. They were already on the elevator when I arrived so I caught them mid-conversation and it went something like this:
Coworker 1: I don’t understand. The word for tea is “chai”. They say “chai tea.” They are effectively saying “tea tea.”
Coworker 2: (just sagely nods)
This is that chai. A mixture of spices with a pinch of cream, served in a rose rendering it beautiful but not drinkable and all the more wearable.
Not just any old rose, mind you. A jar of rose jam.
If I abuse another word more than “Autumnal” it might be “Jammy”. I love jammy. Jammy perfumes, jammy wines, jimmy jams, Jimmy Johns jibber jabber jibber jabber jammy jammy jammy. Give me a jar of rose jam and a jammy zinfandel and some cool jams and I will be set. LL Cool J. This lady loves Cool Jams.
Er…slow jams. Avec Epices.
L’artisan calls Safran Troublant “just a little dangerous.” I mean…maybe like George Costanza in his bad boy phase which is to say…
not at all. Not at all dangerous. Perhaps has an orthopedic back pillow.
Okay, maybe not. It’s too cool and unusual for that. But I’ll let L’Artisan keep crying wolf if this is what I find when I arrive. Safran Troublant lies at the heart of my perfume soul. Spices, warmth, rose and very little sugar. I venture outside this cozy cabin often but it’s nice to return home for a tea, a kitty and a snooze in the sun.
It’s simple. Sometimes the best things are. Like I said before, “Give Me One Reason to Stay Here…and I’ll turn right back around. Because I told you I loved you, and there ain’t no more to say.”