SALAD ON A SATURDAY : BAIME by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier (2000)

The Black Narcissus

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One of the most singular (and in some ways, peculiar) perfumes available, Baïme, by Paris-based Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, is a fresh-cut basil salad; savoury, green and piquant. While basil is occasionally used as a top note in fragrance along with citrus, it is rarely the main story. Here, however, like Diptyque’s classic Virgilio, basil leaf is the defining feature, and if you are not a lover of this herb, then you can immediately forget Baïme.

As a cool and distinguished scent though (perfect for a formal white shirt and suit) this uncompromising, androgynous green perfume is worth trying. The accord at the heart extends the herb salad theme with thyme, marjoram, and mint; and dries down to a very elegant base accord of spiced jasmine, vetiver and anise.

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