Portrait of a Lady (Frédéric Malle)

Forget the priggish, prickly Isabel Archer: this perfume is Madame Merle.

Believe me. It takes one to know one.

If you prefer (and who wouldn't?) someone more noble, more sympathetic, you could opt for Ellen Olenska, with her "vague pervading perfume... like the scent of some far–off bazaar, a smell made up of Turkish coffee and ambergris and dried roses". But that smacks of PdN Balkis, doesn't it? And anyway, Ellen's all wrong for the rôle... as are Isabel, May Welland, and sweet little Maggie Verver. None are sophisticated or cold-blooded enough to sit for this Portrait. To wear a crown of thornéd roses such as these, a woman would have to have nerves of steel.

And if Madame Merle's schedule won't permit, I'll gladly be her understudy.

Scent Elements: Raspberry, cassis, Turkish rose absolute, cinnamon, clove, benzoin, sandalwood, patchouli, frankincense, ambroxan, white musk