YS-UZAC Sacre du Printemps Perfume Review

Standard

Legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska once said, “A beautiful perfume is one that gives us a shock”.  That was my initial impression when I happened upon the bottle of YS-UZAC’s Sacre du Printemps I found at the November Perfume Lovers London event.

Photo courtesy of YS-UZAC

Photo courtesy of YS-UZAC

The flacon immediately caught my eye.  It was very dark, almost austere in its simplicity, but quite weighty and felt very cold to the touch.  I felt as if I had come upon an archaic, Hermetic relic.

Nicholas Roerich's set design for Part One: Adoration of the Earth

Nicholas Roerich’s set design for Part One: Adoration of the Earth

Le Sacre du Printemps was inspired the Igor Stravinsky masterpiece of the same name, which translates to The Rite of Spring.  The onset of spring usually calls to mind images of daffodils and little birds twittering around newly budding trees. Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, with its ancient Russian setting and ominous allusion to intangible ritual, would prove to be something entirely different, wholly sinister in its execution.  In 1910, when Stravinsky began his work on Le Sacre he recalls, “…there arose a picture of a sacred pagan ritual: the wise elders are seated in a circle and are observing the dance before death of the girl whom they are offering as a sacrifice to the god of Spring in order to gain his benevolence.  This became the subject of The Rite of Spring.

5d3cdf373c7700f1ef202aeeaf1ceb5c

Roerich’s depiction of The Elders

Le Sacre du Printemps which plays out over two acts: Adoration of the Earth and The Exalted Sacrifice, was the third work Stravinsky had composed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.  Diaghilev appointed Vaslav Nijinsky as choreographer, and Nicholas Roerich was selected to design the sets and costumes.  During the rehearsal process for the ballet Nijinsky wrote to Stravinsky, “Now I know what Le Sacre du Printemps will be when everything is as we both want it: new, beautiful, and utterly different – but for the ordinary viewer a jolting and emotional experience.”  It certainly lived up to expectations, causing a huge scandal when it was first staged in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in 1913; however, Le Sacre du Printemps has gone on to be regarded as one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.

Photo lifted from craquette.blogspot.com

Photo lifted from craquette.blogspot.com

The fragrance opens with a brisk, eye-opening malachite blast like a cool breeze rushing over stone.  Sacre du Printemps feels emerald crisp, saturated with mineral strength.  As the green winds subside, a resinous aspect begins to slither to the forefront of the fragrance.  Vetiver slowly churns beneath the surface, before it erupts, seeping over the olfactory palette of Sacre du Printemps.  The vetiver accord deepens in strength as its makes it triumphant march over the fragrance.  It takes on a palpably earthy aspect, almost three dimensional in its intensity.

Sacre du Printemps then turns quite dry, with a raw, primordial ferocity.  I can feel the power of its dusty roots forcing their way through arid soil with such a momentum a torrid trail is left in their wake.

Photo courtesy of pina-bausch.de

Photo courtesy of pina-bausch.de

As Sacre du Printemps continues its development, I can detect something sweet mingling into the terroir of the perfume.  A moisture, a quiet whisper of fertility, that lends the fragrance a maple-esque, woody quality that hums with a hidden heat.

A darkness befalls Sacre du Printemps as it slowly descends into its drydown phase. Silent shadows swirl around its earthy heart, pulling you in close with its smoky incantations.

Photo courtesy of susanferrara.com

Photo courtesy of susanferrara.com

I feel that it is quite easy to get caught up in Sacre du Printemps’ opening alone.  The perfume opens with such a green gust that I feel if I had sprayed it on my neck, I would feel it rustling through my hair.  It totally grabs my attention on the first spray. However, taking it in as it unfolds is a rapturous ride that beautifully expresses the ancient ideas of air and earth in such a visceral fashion that at times I could feel it in the back of my teeth.  Sacre du Printemps is a perfume that magically translates so very much with really quite little.  A fragrance elegant in its simplicity, yet robust in its interpretation.

640px-Sacrificialdance

Released in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps.

Perfumer: Vincent Micotti

Notes: Galbanum, Black Currant, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, Angelica

YS-UZAC’s Sacre du Printemps is available to purchase in London at the Haute Parfumerie in Harrods Salon de Parfums.  Other stockists can be found here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “YS-UZAC Sacre du Printemps Perfume Review

  1. It pains me to admit, but I haven’t listened to the Rite of Spring for many years. I know Stravinsky’s work shocked concert-goers when it was first performed and opened up new possibilities in music composition. It’s intriguing to learn too of the perfumer who believes a beautiful perfume is one that has the capacity to shock. I guess it’s making a powerful statement about the person, every bit as much as the clothes she wears and the way she wears them.

    In the same way that Stravinsky’s music marked a brave new world for composers to follow, are there any perfumes that you think shocked the industry into a new direction that others could follow?

    Like

    • Not to sound like an utter philistine, but I heard the Rite of Spring for my very first time while working on this piece. Even I found it somewhat startling so I cannot imagine what the audience of 1913 thought of it. I really want to see it performed live now.

      In terms of perfume innovations, I would imagine the most notable to be Aimé Guerlain’s 1889 Jicky, which utilized three of the earliest synthetic compounds: Linalool, Vanillin, and Coumarin (Coumarin is the one I most associate with it).

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s