Terre de Sarment by Frapin

frapin terre de sarmentNotes: grapefruit, neroli, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange blossom, incense, benzoin, tobacco, vanilla.

Terre de Sarment conjures up the idea of staying at a chateau. There’s the luxury of it all, of course. And there are the secret hidden spaces to be found therein, contrasted with the expanse of vineyards out in the open. ‘Sarment’ literally means vine shoot, so this is a composition built around the land and the vocation of wine-making.

This fragrance opens on a sharp citric note with the grapefruit and the neroli coming across strongly. I was slightly wary because neroli can sometimes give me a headache. However, any sharpness here is quickly balanced out with a creaminess from the orange blossom. This lends a soap-like feel to the opening, but, don’t worry, this isn’t an overly done laundry detergent type of clean smell. It’s pleasant and luxurious, like the type of soap you might come across at a hotel, or, indeed, a chateau.

The cinnamon and nutmeg seep in slowly, gradually warming the composition up. Maybe I’m being influenced by the holiday season, but this middle stage puts me in mind of a clove-studded orange pomander. I feel like I’ve accidentally stumbled onto a Christmas-appropriate perfume! At this stage, Terre de Sarment has a wonderfully familiar and cozy feel. It doesn’t exactly project opulence or grandeur, but rather the quiet luxury of being able to relax with a few close friends or family.

After a few hours of wear, Terre de Sarment begins to weave in and out on my skin. At certain points it’s a quiet skin scent, with that creamy orange blossom being anchored by vanilla. Other times, the composition turns quite aromatic with the seemingly odd combination of sweet fruit and tendrils of incense (I think there is a grape note here, although Luckyscent doesn’t list it). It all gives way to a deep woody, resinous feel that puts me in mind of the oak barrels used to age wine. It works because it’s all blended together so well. The transition from skin scent to aromatic feels natural rather than jarring. It also feels a little flirtatious in a fun way.

I wouldn’t say Terre de Sarment is truly dirty or raunchy despite the cumin (which I don’t detect at all?) and the deep woody notes. The composition is blended too smoothly for that. It’s lightly sexy, but also a little bit of a comfort scent. It has a slightly clean aspect from the soapy opening, but there’s also that deep resin. This is a really perfume-y perfume, in that there are so many notes to discover here, and they’re all meant to be appreciated or reacted to. This is no clean, cold anti-perfume scent. It’s meant to be enjoyed and luxuriated in, and I’m happy to have Terre de Sarment as my December perfume.

full bottles and samples of Terre de Sarment are available from Luckyscent, which is where I obtained my sample.

Image and info on notes are from Luckyscent.

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