Isabella of France

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Boudicca
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Isabella of France

Post by Boudicca »

Gloriously beautiful and known as "The She-Wolf of France", highly noble Isabella was married to Edward II of England at an early age. She had a rather unusual relationship as her husband was thought to have been the lover of one of his male companions, Piers Gaveston. None the less, she had 4 children by him (one was The Black Prince) and seemed to be at least content and able to get along well with Gaveston, so perhaps she was just very modern.

Gaveston died and was replaced by Hugh Despenser who was immensely unpopular with the people and with Isabella. At this point, Isabella had had it with Edward, and plotted with her lover, Roger Mortimer, to have Ed dead (it is said). The favorite tale about it is that Edward II died from having a red hot poker run up his nether parts BUT as titillating as that might sound, it's not considered the real cause of his death.

With Edward dead, Isabella and her lover Roger were free to do as they pleased. The next prince in line, Edward III, eventually had had enough and killed Mortimer to ascend the throne. Mortimer was given a trial but Edward III (a dutiful son) did not include his mother in the proceedings. After the death of Mortimer, Isabella was free to roam about, enjoy her lavish lifestyle and do as she pleased. Shortly before her death, Isabella decided to become a Poor Clare nun (an unexpected move for someone so lavish).

As Isabella was such a fashion icon, I thought I would make something for her which was utterly original and so in fashion. Lovely smokey seductive Oude from Arabia starts out, with a goodly shot of galbanum, at this point it's sharp aggressive and beautiful. An insertion of Sicilian lemon, a float of black Tellicherry peppercorn. Very classic but modern at the same time. Full of character and harmonious; but you can see a rebel wearing this one.

Musky, resinous.
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Apollonia
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by Apollonia »

I hesitated to apply this to my skin because popping the sample it smelled immediately like an ashtray. The smoke is incredibly overwhelming. The smokey smell kind of got stuck in my nose so much that I couldn't smell anything else during drydown and had to get some coffee beans to try and reset my olfactory bulb. I think the lemon and galbanum are struggling to peep through, but honestly, it's mostly just smoke. I will let this one rest to see if it settles down a bit.
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by Atropos »

Take heart my friend! It is SMOKE in the bottle, and right after you apply it, but that ends in less than a minute and the other notes smooth it out. At least on my skin. It's still smoke, but I adore as a note. I don't smell lemon or peppercorn, they aren't discernible as separate notes. Neither is the galbanum. But this becomes as sexy, sophisticated smokey note, that is totally Fem, totally glam. It becomes smooth and sultry, sexy.

I fear this one won't get the love it deserves and in the manner of many beautiful smokey perfumes created here, this one will not make the cut and I will be very sad. For those of us who love smoke, this is amazing. This is the kind of smoke perfume that I'd wear to remind myself I am an adult, a "big girl" perfume. It speaks of ferocious sophistication, much like the lady herself, I dare say. Good ol' Izzy, she must have been a pip. The perfume is much like the lady herself, deceptive and amazing. It's not just smoke now, no it's an incredible blend of all its parts. So those worried it will ASHTRAY, fear not. For those who might be made nervous by lemon, worried it will be Lemon Pledge wood cleaner, fear not. Don't let its brazen beginning through you off either. She is a she-wolf, but a sultry seductive one.

This perfume should make the permanents, it showcases Fabienne's growth and evolution as a perfumer.
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by bewareofduck »

When first applied it's straight woodsmoke, but doesn't threaten to give me a headache. I can't really pick out that it's oude, but I've mostly worn smoother oudes before. It settles down quickly into a a very pleasant musky smoky scent that still manages to smell clean in an outdoorsy way (probably from the lemon). It makes me think about hiking through a forest trail in Maine with lots of evergreens (probably for the freshness) and smelling a campfire nearby. There isn't even a hint of added sweetness which is usually present even in the Possets under the 'masculine' heading. I find it very comforting and unisex but not at all overpowering.
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by Atropos »

bewareofduck wrote:When first applied it's straight woodsmoke, but doesn't threaten to give me a headache. I can't really pick out that it's oude, but I've mostly worn smoother oudes before. It settles down quickly into a a very pleasant musky smoky scent that still manages to smell clean in an outdoorsy way (probably from the lemon). It makes me think about hiking through a forest trail in Maine with lots of evergreens (probably for the freshness) and smelling a campfire nearby. There isn't even a hint of added sweetness which is usually present even in the Possets under the 'masculine' heading. I find it very comforting and unisex but not at all overpowering.

First I love your name! And yes, it's like walking through a forest with a campfire somewhere nearby. I love that description.
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by warriortwo »

The mention of smoke scared (and intrigued) me a little, because I've smelled smoky scents that were like having cigarette smoke blown in your face. Thankfully, that's not the impression I'm getting with this one. When I put it on, I didn't look at the notes first and had forgotten, so the two impressions I got at first were "VERY sophisticated" and "LEATHER". I didn't even like the smell of real leather before I came to Possets, but it is pretty much my favorite note in any of Fabienne's perfumes, and they're all SO different from each other. This leather is most definitely "Cat-o-Nine-Tails". :debbil: I realize this is probably a combination of the oude and galbanum.

Now that I've read the other reviews, I can say that campfire smoke is a close comparison, though when you're super close to the embers and it is almost overwhelming your nose. Actually, beach bonfire is more like it, as it also had a sharp and salty quality to it. You know the term "statement jewelry", and how that gives you a mental picture of kind of woman that would wear it? This is statement perfume. This woman is artsy, gutsy, innovative and formidable. (It could definitely be worn by a man, too.) Not for the faint of heart!
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by marisaviola »

In the vial, Isabella of France smells very "campfire-like" to me and is mostly smoke with maybe another element to it. I can see what Warriortwo meant by the beachy, almost salty aspect to it. Once on my skin, I begin to detect a leather note that underlies the smoke and gives it more depth and an animalic aspect. I will state that pure smoke fragrances are not my personal favorites or what I typically wear, but out of all the smoke fragrances I have tried, I think this one is the most complex and unusual. What I found with Isabella of France is that it layers wonderfully! I have a natural perfume with fir absolute in it, and Isabella of France is divine when combined with it! The two together form a synergy that makes the natural perfume last much longer, and gives it depth, and rounds out the smoke of Isabella of France for me so that it is beautifully wearable. So even if you are not a smoke fragrance lover, I would highly recommend layering with it to give depth and lasting power to other fragrances. I also feel that it would be a beautiful addition to the Possets perfume collection as I feel we need a smoke fragrance of this caliber.
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Re: Isabella of France

Post by Atropos »

marisaviola wrote:In the vial, Isabella of France smells very "campfire-like" to me and is mostly smoke with maybe another element to it. I can see what Warriortwo meant by the beachy, almost salty aspect to it. Once on my skin, I begin to detect a leather note that underlies the smoke and gives it more depth and an animalic aspect. I will state that pure smoke fragrances are not my personal favorites or what I typically wear, but out of all the smoke fragrances I have tried, I think this one is the most complex and unusual. What I found with Isabella of France is that it layers wonderfully! I have a natural perfume with fir absolute in it, and Isabella of France is divine when combined with it! The two together form a synergy that makes the natural perfume last much longer, and gives it depth, and rounds out the smoke of Isabella of France for me so that it is beautifully wearable. So even if you are not a smoke fragrance lover, I would highly recommend layering with it to give depth and lasting power to other fragrances. I also feel that it would be a beautiful addition to the Possets perfume collection as I feel we need a smoke fragrance of this caliber.

Very much, yes! I love Isabella's smoke and it's excellent for layering! I'd love it to be a permanent too, it is a smokey perfume like no other that Possets has.
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