Francesca Bianchi Extrait de Parfum opens with a darker, dirtier patchouli that is joined with plush leather, dry woods, and cinnamon that later find themselves running over a musky, somewhat animalic note. There is also a powdery element that made the patchouli seem dusty at times. The drydown is less leathery but remained powdery with some floralcy and spiced, resinous, and a touch sweet.
It is described as a “sumptuous and elegant Patchouli” with a “sparkling spicy opening [that] then reveals leather and tobacco, all infused in iris butter.” The notes are listed as: coriander, cinnamon, iris butter, patchouli, sandalwood, heliotrope, musk, castoreum, leather, tobacco, and tonka bean.
The opening bouquet was spiced, dark and damp patchouli, but within a few minutes, it was dominated smooth leather that was drier, worn with drier woods. The cinnamon re-emerged after five minutes to billow over a more powdery leather, and then a musky, animalic note seemed to run underneath. It was a darker, heavier scent that leaned powdery, smoky, and leathery with notable muskiness over an earthy patchouli.
There was a spiced sweetness that lurked beneath everything after 15 minutes of development on my skin, but it remained a musky, powdery leather with hints of smoky tobacco and woodiness. After an hour, dry, almost dusty, patchouli started to become more dominant over powderiness, but the musk and leather lingered in the background.
It seemed almost ambery after a few hours on my skin, less leathery but powdery, lightly floral, and still on the more animalic side. It was lightly spiced and resinous, a little sweet, and somewhat powdery.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
It lasted for seven hours until it was a skin-scent and about 12 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were both lighter and closer to the body from the get-go.
The more powdery musk was stronger and persisted for too long over the stages to be a winner for me; the duo was better paired with the spices and dryness than when it is paired with heavier florals. For those who enjoy those notes, though, it seemed quite well-blended and nuanced.
- 30ml for $145
- 0.7ml sample for $7