Photo of Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait by Olya Bar©
As a disciple and close friend of the legendary Edmond Roudnitska, Jean-Claude says that a perfume must be like “a soft caress; nothing must shock, nothing must shout”. ~ via Frederic Malle official website.
Jean-Claude Ellena via Editions Parfums Frederic Malle
Master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena recently composed Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait. If heaven can indeed wait, then it behooves us each to uncover our small measure of divinity here on earth. To this end, this latest Malle release resembles nothing less than a Yeats-ian hunger for the object of longing – and it burns the inamorato to his very core.
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. ~ W.B.Yeats, He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven
Arthur Rackham Iris There, With Humid Bow 1922, illustration from John Milton’s Comus via MeisterDrücke and wikipedia
If only wishes reflected reality – much as one confronts their image before a looking-glass. The impoverished lover acknowledges the futile, absurd nature of his desire – and implores his beloved to treat him tenderly, as heaven is not his to bestow – only his dreams. Jean-Claude Ellena’s angels have flown too close to the sun, and scorched their delicate wings; this is how Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait appears to my nose – an angelic iris fragrance edged with cinders which has retained its underlying watercolor delicacy. There are other existing iris perfumes which leave smoky trails in their wake; the concept is not new. This one differs by virtue of its lambent character: the bonfire’s embers are tenderly insinuated in Heaven Can Wait, and never obscure the gentility provided by fruit, flower, and musk.
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait bottle and box via the brand
I frequently echo the sentiments of French poet Alfred de Musset; in that I believe that one must love many things in order to discern that which they love the best. Heaven Can Wait is chock-a-block with such materials – which is why, when given the opportunity to sample/review it – I was most eager. The pairing of iris with carrot seed never fails to make me smile; it conjures images of the fae – more than a touch silvery, summoning both mystery and mischief. If one adds the equally rooty, balsamic vetiver with its earthy smolder, and ambrette’s precious changeling botanical/herbal musk, I’m besotted. Plum and peach possess a fleshy ripeness and complement one another while imparting varying hues of fruited aroma; magnolia’s irresistible floralcy whispers of champagne topnotes, peachiness, citrus, tea, and milky aspects. You can feel where the perfumer is leading us; a judicious scintilla of vanilla melts into the formula seamlessly. So, where’s the fire, you might well inquire? Perhaps not where you might expect it. The eugenols which dominate clove and pimento seed (better known to many who bake as allspice) provide hot spice’s sweet ferocity (think Caron’s Poivre); as intimated above, vetiver adds smoke to their flame. The only element which supplies a genial rasp of discord as counterpoint may be the perfumer’s choice of musks (other than ambrette) – and this furnishes Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Heaven Can Wait Heaven Can Wait with a measure of masked glamour. Jean-Claude Ellena’s angel bears hidden claws, although she may not reveal more than a glimpse of them.
Notes: clove, carrot seed, pimento seed (allspice), ambrette, plum; iris, magnolia, vetiver; musk, peach, vanilla
Samples kindly provided by Editor, Olya Bar – many thanks! My nose is my own…
~ Ida Meister, Deputy and Natural Perfumery Editor
Available on Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle website, in department stores and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle boutiques worldwide.
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver is a ÇaFleureBon Modern Masterpiece and was released in 2000
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