I love a perfume with a good story line, and the powdery, illicit backdrop of Poudre De Riz is a good one. It is a tawdry tale with a double dose of sensorial voyeurism, inspired by the French novel Inferno (1908) by Henri Barbusse: a man spying on a frantic adulterous couple in the boarding room next door through a crack in the wall; witnessing, and smelling their aromas; her bath, the splashes of heavy, sweet perfumes to cover up the scent of heat-coupled flesh; and, then, her last-minute attempts to make up her face with lipstick and powders, a disgruntled varnish to mask her true feelings before the arrival of her husband….

But he does of course notice:

“The air in the room was filled with heavy scents….soap, face powder, and the pungent smell of an eau de cologne…..” and the perfume, proficiently blended by Pierre Guillaume, is thus an attempt to capture this coagulation of emotion: of sex, concealment, passion (guilt?) and of the perfected and more preened face that we must present to the world..

Though I sometimes bore myself to tears with my own predictability (tiare monoï oil; coconut; vanilla, benzoin…..surely I am bound to like this perfume?) I really do: it is quite gorgeous and I just can’t help myself, the ‘rice powder’ of the name a pearlescent dust of sheen wavering over a sensual, but controlled and delicate, effluvium of aphrodisia that has none of the stinginess or bitter, ‘avant-garde’ snarl of some niche scents.

Poudre De Riz in fact immediately reminded me of a number of sweet, oriental perfumes that I have worn over the years, while remaining individual enough to merit a full bottle. The beautiful note of Damascena roses shining through slews of animalic, almonded musks comes straight from Louve; the soft, linty, vellutinous white powder Teint De Neige; and the ambered, cinnamony goodness a throw-back to my beloved Obsession For Men before it got spayed by reformulation; (the tolu over cedar and sandalwood note in the base also strangely took me back to that ribald old tropico-classic, Nuits Indiennes by Louis Scherrer…)

Still, the perfume works on its own terms, and all the notes are blended in such a way that despite the story and gourmand overdose, the perfume is never claustrophobic: my own skin always brings out the heavier, vanillic angle of a scent, but I can imagine on certain women that this could smell almost angelic….





Filed under Orientals, Perfume Reviews, Powder, Rice, Rose, Voyeur

29 responses to “POUDRE DE RIZ by HUITIEME ART (2012)

  1. Wonderful review! I need to go back and give this more attention. Right now, whenever I think of rice and perfume, my mind drifts to ELdO Fils de Dieu, which I love.

    But there is always room for one more 🙂

  2. Olivia

    Hi Neil! I’ve been skulking around the borders of your blog for a little while (I love it! You write so beautifully and accessorise your pieces with such gorgeous pictures, clearly chosen with an artist’s eye.) Like you, I am snoringly predictable. I discovered this a couple of months ago and it had my name all over it! I absolutely get the long, almondy shadow of Louve that you mention, the transparently unctuous monoi (that thankfully stays clear of that overripe denseness coconut can have in overdose) – but shining through it, like the light from inside a pink paper lantern – that rose! It is gorgeous. And I love the clandestine back story. A touch of naughty never hurts, and this dark thread of guilt is what saves this fragrance from being stuffed with butterfly cuteness. Voyeurism is such an interesting idea for a perfume, don’t you think? And the concept of eroticism, deceit, of the ways we revert to our public selves after giving into our base desires (post coital make-up, aftershave) are interesting enough in the abstract. But when applied and worn on the skin, the idea comes alive and the heat of your own body really animates the story. Yum.

    • ginzaintherain

      Thank god you have finally surfaced! And thankyou so much for the compliments….please join us. I have been waiting for the moment when people actually starting commenting for so long, and am so DELIGHTED when it happens, especially when what they say is as beautiful as your reply….post-coital lanterns, bring it on!

  3. alabasterwrists

    you caught my attention from the first word “poudre” and the notes!!!!…this one sounds right up my alley! Too little money,,,too many perfumes that I must try…..

    • ginzaintherain

      No seriously, never mind leather-bound, mentally ill kiwi fruits, this is just a perfume that smells really lovely. You DO need it.

      • Olivia

        Yep, step away from that dysfunctional leathery old kiwi! Personally, I am quite chaotic enough as it is without needing an artistic portrayal of it broadcasting olfactorially from me 🙂 (besides all the other ‘stuff’ in the Amouage, coffee and immortelle are two of my least favourite notes in fragrance. It was doomed for me.)
        Do have a go with the Poudre de Riz, alabasterwrists. Generally anything by Pierre Guillaume is at least worth a sniff.

    • ninakane1

      I know what you mean Alabaster!

  4. Dubaiscents

    I got a sample of this with another purchase I made and once I tired it on that evening I knew I would have to go back and get a bottle because it was love at first sniff! I thought it would be too much like Loukhoum when I first read about it but, besides the basic powderiness they really are very different. Plus, i love the matte white bottles 🙂 Amazing review!

    • ginzaintherain

      Thanks a lot: I agree that the perfume, at the core, is quite different to anything else, not as pretty or innocent as some rose almond powders.

      As for me though, the bottle is problematic somehow: I want the scent but can’t imagine having that white thing except hidden away in the cupboard. It looks like a lotion to me..what do you like about it?

  5. “And I’ll dance with you in Vienna,
    I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise.
    The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
    my mouth on the dew of your thighs.
    And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
    with the photographs there and the moss.
    And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty,
    my cheap violin and my cross.”

    From ‘Take this Waltz’ by Leonard Cohen

  6. GScraper is fastest and most powerful scraper on this planet, and GScraper support any anonymous posting platform. If you have never used this, you simply cannot imagine scrape and POST can crazy to what extent ! We are very confident of that we are willing to let you try basic version for free. The features will blow your mind! google22222222222 http://www.google.com

  7. Enjoyed reading via this, much saintly substance, blesss .

  8. Dearest Ginza
    Wonderful images and one adores the memories of other scents invoked. So pleased that my reminiscences of old Obsession fro Men weren’t too off-key. I always vastly preferred it to the femme.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  9. Sounds absolutely divine. I must find and try this one.

  10. veritas

    and I will second baconandbiscuits recommendation on FdD…have you tried it yet?

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