La Belle Hélene is created for the high end niche house Parfums MDCI by the famous and almost too productive nose Bertrand Duchaufour. Seems like he is creating almost every fragrance at the moment. Inspired by Offenbachs operetto La Belle Hélene and the french ninteenth century dessert Poire La Belle-Hélène. The dessert consists of pears in syrup, chocolade syrup, vanilla icecream and candided violets.
The pear is most evident in the topnotes but it is there, fleeting in and out during the developement of LBH. LBH is sweet but not overly sweet. There is a powdery, putty, green floral accord that I could recognize from Parfums de Nicolaïs Le Temps d'une Fête although those two fragrances almost not have any notes in common. As the topnotes in LBH subsides a strange note accours: I can feel some incense treated in the Andy Tauer way. It's as Duchaufour had taken an Andy accord, tuned it down and then put it in LBH. This phase of LBH puzzles me as incense is not among the ingredienses of the fragrance. After that LBH continue in it's pear dessert developement, but with this putty, powdery accord that resist to much sweetness.
Unfortunately, the longivity of my skin is not so good. In the evening there is only fragments of LBH left. Maybe LBH require a higher dose and it may do better if sprayed than tested from a small splash vial. But given that the LBH is so expensive, I think one can demand more longivity.
Glad to have tasted LBH but this perfume is nothing that I need. Mr. Parfumista thinks that LBH is an "old lady scent" on me. He also thinks that LBH is one of those "complicated" scents that requires a person with exactly the right skin chemistry to wear the composition.
Many reviewers of LBH find similarities with one of this winters real hypes, Traversée du Bosphore as Duchaufour created for L'Artisan.There are some, but in my opinion, few similarities. TDB:s fruity note is apple instead of pear, both fragrances are sweet but not too sweet light gourmands and they are in some way vauge and fleeting with lack of durability. Furthermore, the TDB has a gunpowder contrast quite early in the development, in the same stage as the mystical incense-note reveals in LBH.
In summary: LBH is a wellblended, high quality fragrance that suits well for officewear. But it's a complicated fragrance that has to find the right wearer. And the longivity asks for more.
Notes: Pear, aldehydes, tangerine, lime, rose, osmanthus, ylang-ylang, orris butter, plum, hawthorn, myrrh, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, oak moss, white musk, sandalwood, licoricewood