The year was 2019, and I was living in Beijing, China, with my dear friend and fellow perfume enthusiast. Amidst our many shared olfactory adventures, we came across a brand that particularly intrigued us. Its name was Les Indemodables, a name that immediately piqued our interest with the promise of timeless scents.
Initially, Les Indemodables offered a collection of six fragrances, each one beckoning us to explore it. As we navigated through the range, we found ourselves lost in the rich tapestry of narratives woven by the scents.
At a time when we were deeply engrossed in exploring the exotic allure of Middle Eastern perfumes, Les Indemodables emerged as a refreshing contrast. This brand distinguished itself with a distinctly unique offering: a regal chypre accented with green and citrus notes, a captivating fougère infused with a trace of enchantment, and a bold musk that wasn't afraid to challenge conventions.
The architects of these enchanting fragrances were Valérie and Rémi Pulvérail. Rémi Pulvérail, besides being a creator at Les Indemodables, also owned L`Atelier français des matières. This was a laboratory dedicated to producing natural raw materials for perfumes, an aspect that added another layer of charm to the brand's captivating story.
The discovery of Les Indemodables reminded me that the concept behind a fragrance is of lesser importance when the perfume itself can narrate a compelling story. This journey through scent was an enchanting experience, one that I continually seek to replicate through my endeavors at Parfum Exquis. Each fragrance we offer tells its own unique story, inviting our customers to find the narrative that resonates most with them.
For anyone eager to embark on the Les Indemodables journey, I recommend beginning with a sample set. This allows you to intimately understand and resonate with each fragrance before deciding whether to invest in full-size bottles. And should you ask me, "Are the large bottles necessary?" my unequivocal answer is – yes!
This is because each scent from Les Indemodables is more than just a fragrance – it's a story, an experience, a moment caught in a bottle. Having a full-size version allows you to immerse yourself in these sensory narratives whenever you please. They say luxury is in each detail, and with Les Indemodables, you're not just purchasing a perfume, but rather a luxurious journey delicately curated for your senses.
Remember, the world of fragrance is not a race, it's a journey – a beautiful, immersive journey that's meant to be savored, one scent at a time. And Les Indemodables is undoubtedly an unforgettable part of that journey.
Rose de Jamal by Les Indemodables, crafted in 2019 by Antoine Lie
5.5% Moroccan rose absolute, 2.8% cedar oil, 1.7% Madagascan pink pepper CO2 extract, and hints of lavender
Embarking on the transition from sample to full bottle with Rose de Jamal was arguably one of my most complex journeys. Having an existing collection of rose fragrances factored into this, but so did the seasonal backdrop. Rose de Jamal isn't a scent crafted for the dreary skies of a Seattle winter. Rather, it cries out for spring, for sunshine, for wind, for an exposed neckline, and for a freshness of perception. When met with these conditions, it transforms into a balm that comforts and mends the heart.
Rose de Jamal is a unique symphony of notes, encapsulating traditional rose oil that intertwines with elements reminiscent of Turkish delight and strawberry juice. Paired with these are the vibrant greens of geranium and a refreshing hint of mint. As the rose and geranium notes melt seamlessly into the transparent oil of sandalwood, their creamy, lightweight attributes remain steadfast. This fragrance isn't one to ground you—it doesn't replicate the rose from a bush, bouquet, herbarium, or garden. Rather, it's a creation more akin to a traditional attar, or a cream, or perhaps even a magical potion. Designed to blend into the skin and ascend into the air, Rose de Jamal truly embodies a captivating beauty.
Oriental Velours by Les Indemodables, created in 2016 by Florence Fuije Dubois
5% Indian Jasmine Grand Cru, 2.5% Madagascar Vanilla Grand Cru, 15% Somali Myrrh, 10% Haitian Vetiver Grand Cru, and Alpine fir oil.
Oriental Velours is another fragrance that took its time to reveal its full potential. With "oriental" in the name, one might expect something spicy or amber-based, but as we've come to understand, the story of Les Indemodables is far more complex.
When applied to the skin and warmed, Oriental Velours unfolds like the scent of an autumn park, where green mingles with the reddish hues of fall and a mattress of fallen leaves springs underfoot. Bare branches etch black lines against an opal-gray sky. Among the old tree stumps, red-capped boletus mushrooms protrude, their fresh cuts smelling of the underground realm and salt.
Ambre Supreme Les Indemodables, 2021 Antoine Lie
Sage, aldehydes, pink pepper, cardamom, patchouli, neroli, jasmine, grey amber, everlasting.
Ambre Supreme by Les Indemodables is pure seduction. It smells as though vintage Guerlain's Rue de La Paix perfume has evaporated from a thoroughly kissed skin, leaving behind a light scent of jasmine and fine garden cloves. Ambre Supreme has the freshness of morning cologne, the bitterness of herbs, a drop of scorchingly fresh honey, and a ghostly, sleepy corporeality under a heavy blanket. Keep in mind, this is not a spicy accord with vanilla absolute called "amber"; here is the mischief of the perfumer Antoine Lie – a tincture of natural grey amber, a famous scent fixative since ancient times. In the perfume, it smells transparent, animalistic, slightly salty, and seems to echo the scent of flowers, like a reflection in a puddle replicating the blue of the sky.
Vanille Havane Les Indemodables, 2020 by Antoine Lie
Comorian Vanilla Grand Cru: 9.1%, Cocoa extract Grand Cru: 3.1%, Egyptian jasmine distillate Grand Cru: 0.2%
Initially, I was skeptical about the hype around Vanille Havane by Les Indemodables. I was accustomed to the usual vanilla scent, which left me indifferent, but I decided to give it a full wear nonetheless. And, to my surprise, it was an entirely different experience, as far from mundane vanilla as one could get. It reminded me of a rich single malt whiskey, boasting strong alcohol tones laced with the unique aromas of dried persimmon, a greenish dried apricot with a pit, thyme, and chocolate-covered plum. Despite its richness, it lacked any overt sweetness, thus creating an impeccable gourmand scent. Its daring and joyful character won me over completely, and it's no wonder that it's now a bestseller in the Les Indemodables collection.
Cuir de Chine Les Indemodables, 2016by Florence Fauje Dubois
Chinese Osmanthus Grand Cru 10%, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute Grand Cru 1%, Tobacco Absolute 0.2%, Alpine Sage.
Cuir de Chine is akin to a mythical creature's smoky interlude. Imagine ripe apricots with their fuzzy skin, jasmine blooming under the cloak of the night, mischievous forest spirits bearing pouches full of tobacco, and yellow-eyed goats. The mosaic of Cuir de Chine is composed of osmanthus, which unfurls into delicate fruity, slightly soapy, and leather aspects, coupled with sage and its astringent herbal and animalistic spirit. Among the numerous osmanthus-themed fragrances released recently, Cuir de Chine stands out as one of the most harmonious.
Iris Perle Les Indemodables, 2017 by Antoine Lie
Orris Absolute Grand Cru 0.3%, Mimosa Absolute 0.25%, Jasmine Absolute 0.7%, Ylang Ylang Oil 0.7%, Alpine Sage.
All these beauties are already in my bottles, and I'm still considering the rest, with Iris Perle being next in line. Without a doubt, these are perfumes for a fair-faced angel, feeding exclusively on nectar and pollen. An intimate and meek scent of grey iris, the honeyed, tart, leathery spirit of mimosa absolute, and the fruity sweetness of lush Indian jasmine.
Chypre Azural Les Indemodables, 2016 by Florence Fauje Dubois
Sicilian Orange 10%, Indonesian Patchouli Grand Cru 5%, Amber 2%, Centifolia Rose Grand Cru 1%, Alpine Tarragon.
Chypre Azural from Les Indemodables is akin to a drive in a Bugatti - a thrilling adventure with an air of effortless elegance. This fragrance stands as an impeccable example of the precision with which the structure of chypre can be crafted, given our time's resources. It teases the senses with lively and juicy citrus notes, artfully extending this green streak from sunlit summits down into a mossy, dank depth swirling with mystery. Like studying an anatomy class skeleton, one can dissect the very structure of a chypre fragrance through Chypre Azural - its spine, the elastic ligaments, and the intricate bones of the hands and feet. It's a must-have, particularly if you find your scent collection lacking in chypre (although, I must confess, mine is well-stocked).
Patchouli Noisette Les Indémodables, 2023
Patchoulis Aceh & Sri Lanka essential oils: 35 % Hazelnut Piémont Italy ultrasound extract: 8%
The 2023 novelty from Les Indemodables, Patchouli Noisette, strikes an impressive balance between earthy and sweet. It's a dance that begins with a captivating sweetness, gradually maturing into a rich, earthy hue that's reminiscent of suede and damp soil. This evolution doesn't rob it of its spicy, woody core. Instead, it enriches the tapestry, creating a fragrance with an enviable texture and undeniable quality. What sets Patchouli Noisette apart, however, is the game-changing addition of Piedmont Hazelnut extract. This innovative blend results in a fragrance that's audaciously modern, unisex, and teases the senses with the rich allure of Hazelnut playing off against the robust depth of Patchouli.
In conclusion, the Les Indemodables collection is akin to rereading a classic book, but in an entirely new edition. With superb ingredients and well-structured compositions, it provides an enchanting olfactory experience. If you're still unsure where to begin exploring this collection, I strongly recommend starting with the Les Indemodables discovery sample set. This set will give you an excellent introduction to the range of fragrances this brand has to offer.