When I started out on my perfumed quest, I had it in my mind that I was searching for ‘The One’. I thought that I was looking for my signature scent, something that would represent me and anchor my scented presence in people’s minds. I understand a little better now that to only wear one perfume you must either be extremely sure of who you are, or very unadventurous. I feel as if I have only just glimpsed the top of this fragrant iceberg, and I’m certainly not entirely sure of who I am. Besides, there are simply too many beautiful perfumes out there for me to decide on just the one.
I am also coming to realise that, dependant on my mood, I crave different scents. Before I began exploring perfume, I simply didn’t have the diversity of fragrance available that would allow me to chop and change to suit my every whim. Now that I have boxes full of little vials, I am far more emotional about how I choose my scent for the day. There is a time and a place for everything and I’m sure as I continue to come across new perfumes they will find a place in my life too, perhaps supplanting my existing choices.
My current line up of scent is loosely arranged thus: For when I feel cheerful and lighthearted and the sun is shining- Vero Profumo ‘Kiki’. For when I need to be on top form and exude confidence- Von Eusersdorff ‘Classic Patchouli’. When I am feeling ponderous and introverted, usually in the evening- Serge Lutens ‘De Profundis’. When I need a massive energy boost and a reminder of how far I have come- Vero Profumo ‘Mito’. For when I want to feel thoroughly womanly and full of verve and sparkle- Jovoy ‘Gardez Moi’.
I had been missing two scents, a simple ‘white T-shirt’ fragrance to wear for work and a proper comfort scent. Something warm and sweet and delicious. I love a sweet perfume but I have had trouble finding a scent that doesn’t end up overly sticky or custardy. Until now. Frapin ‘1270’ fulfills all the criteria that I had listed for the ‘perfect’ gourmand. It is a really fabulous perfume, so let me tell you why.
To lift a quote directly from Bloom Perfumery website,
“For 20 generations, since 1270 the Frapin family of Grand Champagne France have been using time honoured techniques to create exquisite, intense and full flavoured cognacs. Drawing inspiration from their rich history, Frapin first began producing perfume in 2002, highlighting the inherent affinity between the creation of perfume and cognac.
Applying the same craftsmanship and artisanal methods to perfume, Frapin have created a unique sensory and olfactory experience that combines layered complex recipes with the suggestion of age soaked oak casks. Each perfume has been created by a different top perfumer, given carte blanche to create fragrance of their choosing, with no limit with regard to artistic vision.”
Named after the year that the company was founded, Beatrice Cointreau has created a perfume to encapsulate the whole environment of cognac production, from the grape vine to the aged wooden casks. I will list the notes for you, because there are some truly stunning ingredients contained within ‘1270’. There is dried orange, hazelnut, pineapple, prunes, cocoa, tonka and coffee in the top notes, vine blossom, linden, pepper and immortelle at it’s heart, while Guaiac wood, honey and vanilla make up the base. Sounds delightful doesn’t it? Well, I wasn’t disappointed.
There is an incredible toffee apple opening that instantly transports me to an autumnal evening somewhere in my childhood. Dry, cool air, a blue glass sky with ragged grey clouds at its edges. wellington boots kicking up glorious tumbles of golden, russet and ruby leaves. Clutching in a gloved hand the stick of a huge crunchy apple coated in toffee, biting into it and loving the tartness and sweetness all at once.
Then I am transported again to a moment not two days ago, at work, when I opened great boxes of crystallised fruits and piled them into glass jars. Orange peel, lemon rind, candied pineapple, apricots and glacé cherries. The initial development of ‘1270’, after that lovely tart apple opening, is a heavenly rush of fruit. Not fresh, juicy, just plucked fruit, but preserved, candied, liquor soaked fruit in all it’s luxurious intensity. Although my first impression was of a fairground treat, there is not a hint of pink candy floss here, no music blaring and cheap plastic toys to be won. This is a Victorian fair, or an up-market delicatessen. The sweetness and fruitiness is handled in such a refined manner that ‘1270’ never pitches over into that ‘sweet sixteen’ territory of perfume that I despise.
When the cognac note appears it is so fluid and melting that I am hard pressed to pinpoint it. What I notice more is a wonderful brandy soaked raisin, like filling a bowl with plump little fruits, covering them with amber liquid and leaving it all to infuse. Having said that, I don’t find ‘1270’ to be a festive fragrance at all, it is thankfully missing any hint of cinnamon or clove.
I think that what makes ‘1270’ so successful is the wonderful blend of coffee and vanilla and Gaiac wood beneath all the fruit and booze. This accord adds such depth and intensity to the fragrance that the sugar coating never becomes too sweet. The coffee is ever so slightly bitter and smoky, dark and glossy like fresh beans before grinding. The gaiac wood I will not profess to be able to distinguish entirely, but there is a lovely, deep woody warmth that I shall attribute to this ingredient. The vanilla is smooth, the best quality Madagascan pods that are so rich they are almost textural. Velvety and with a slightly alcoholic buzz. That cognac/raisin accord is still prominent too and is wonderfully rich and decedent, almost creamy now with the added vanilla. Amazing.
As ‘1270’ matures it becomes much more about these rich depths, the fruitiness receding to a pleasant blur around the edges. It is much more orangey now too. There is also a very pretty, pollen like powder, maybe from the linden blossom, that just lifts the base slightly and keeps it from going flat. For all it’s intensity it is a very close scent, and a decent spritzing is needed to help it last through the day. I do not mind this in the slightest, I prefer my perfume a little on the quiet side. I rejoice in the fact that I do not have to sacrifice any detail and nuance for the sake of projection though. ‘1270’ has it all without having to shout about it. This truly is the perfect gourmand for me, an exquisite balance of light and dark, sweetness and woods, sugar and booze.
This is my new comfort scent, I have had the sample for a week now I’ve found myself craving it’s all enveloping warmth. I imagine myself wearing this with an oversized camel coat and a Mulberry handbag, such is it’s class. Considering my current bank balance I will settle for wearing ‘1270’ with my best oversized cardigan and a brown leather satchel that I got at the car boot sale. It is perfect for autumn, however you accessorise.