Mon Numéro 10 by L’Artisan Parfumeur

l'artisan mon numero 10Notes: fennel, lime, aldehydes, pink pepper, cinnamon, cabrueva, cardamom, leather, incense, rose, heliotrope, musk, vanilla, benzoin, hyrax, and tonka bean.

The nose for L’Artisan’s exclusive Mon Numéro line is Bertrand Duchaufour. As is typical of Monsieur Duchaufour, Mon Numéro 10 is packed with different notes, and the list of notes copied above looks rather overwhelming. Even so, Mon Numéro 10 is not overwhelming as a scent. In fact, it’s quite simple. As many perfume reviewers have noted, Mon Numéro 10 bears a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola, cherry cola to be specific. What can I say, I like Cherry Coke, so it’s not a problem for me.

This is an incense-leather fragrance. As with all incense fragrances of late, it wears quietly on me. I wouldn’t say it’s quite skin scent territory. After initially applying it, the fragrance settles into my skin in a pleasant way, but with minimal projection. However, Mon Numéro 10 is spicy and warm, so I could see it projecting more strongly on other people.

Patchouli blooms on my skin fairly early on, along with a mix of cinnamon and I assume nutmeg, although I don’t see it listed in the notes. The aldehydes are to give some lift and ensure the fragrance doesn’t become too dense early on. There is also a soft rose note that peeks through, adding a floral aspect and some balance to the otherwise spicy composition.

I don’t wear a lot of leather fragrances, and I wonder if fans of more traditional leather fragrances dislike Mon Numéro 10. Because, there is no denying it, the drydown is leather and cherry cola. It’s as though all the spices swirl together to create a sweet syrup (in this case, Coke syrup). Despite the anchoring base of vanilla and tonka bean, there is something liquid about the composition at this stage, as though you’re pouring the fragrance onto the skin. The memory of the aldehydes lingers, adding an effervescent quality. This is the point at which you truly have cherry cola in perfume form. But, blended with the dark, cedar-infused leather, it makes for a nicely rich combination.

Bertrand Duchaufor initially created only one bottle of each fragrance in the Mon Numéro line, making it an outrageously exclusive collection. L’Artisan then opted to make Mon Numéro 10 part of the permanent line in 2014. There must be a reason that Powers That Be are fans, and I assume Mon Numéro 10 has some kind of mass appeal for it to be made permanent.

Understandably, some people don’t enjoy the soft drink association present here in Mon Numéro 10. But I have to say, I personally love this one – enough even to go for a full bottle! I found it festive enough to wear during the holidays, while the warmth and quiet smokey incense makes it perfect for the cold, dark days of January. This is a delicious warm and spicy perfume that resists the urge to pull sweet or gourmand until the very end, when it goes full-on leather laced with cherry cola. The combination of leather/cola is more appealing than you might initially think. It works well, and is even a little bit seductive.

I bought my bottle of Mon Numéro 10 at Barney’s New York. Samples are available from The Perfumed Court.

Image and info on notes is from Luckyscent.

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