Reorchestrated in 2004 in a strictly limited edition batch of 1000 (extortionately expensive) worldwide bottles, I found myself one day in the Tokyo Marunouchi Hermès boutique panicking: racking my brains financially and deliberating whether there was any feasible way in which I could possibly buy one. Rarity. Preciousness. Utter exclusivity. Standing there on the shelf, before me: peerless and irreproachable, and one of the only bottles left in Japan; a mythical gazelle, about to disappear quietly, but forever, behind the leaves….
Though a modern reworking of a timelessly classic genre, as soon as I smelled this beauty by genius perfumer Guy Robert (Madame Rochas, Dioressence) I knew that it was one of the most superb aldehydic florals I had ever smelled. Victoria from Bois De Jasmin – and this woman certainly knows her perfume -cites this as her all time favourite scent. Now I understood why: it was like a dream. All the perfume’s notes were truly glass-like, crystallized, effulgent, clear – a moment in history brought to life. I had never smelled the original, but I could imagine that this formula had possibly even been improved upon by the perfumer’s son, Francois Robert: divinely eliding past and present with no budgetary restrictions , cutting out fust and extraneity and reviving the formula to the most sublime proportions within his artistic grasp: a grand, fresh cut-flower bouquet of green florist flowers; sparkling, delicious neo-classical aldehydes, and a gentle, soft-wood finish of tender, tactile calf-skin leather. I was stunned, moved even, desperate to have it, though I knew that it was impossible. Doblis was the perfume equivalent of the Venus De Milo, angelically dignified and love-inducting: as beautiful and stainless as Calèche, but played on celeste.