Beyond the Pale

Fragrant Feature: Today I Am Wearing – Ten Nine by Atelier Flou
May 28, 2012, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Perfume | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Being as obsessed as with perfume as I am, you’d think I’d write about it more on my own blog, wouldn’t you? As I’m always working on some article or other – being lucky enough to be the UK correspondent for Fragrantica magazine – I tend not to write about it in my spare time. This is a very silly state of affairs, and something I intend to rectify immediately!

There isn’t enough time, ever, to write about all the fragrances I love, whether professionally or as part of his blog, but I’m thinking that occasionally checking in and writing about the perfume I happen to be wearing that day, or a forthcoming launch I’m really excited about and so forth, should be eminently do-able. She said while keeping another plate spinning in the air…

Anyway, Today I Am Wearing a fragrance I’ve had for a little while, but which I have only truly begun to appreciate properly this very day: Ten Nine by Atelier Flou.


It’s really quite unusual, this perfume, and not my normal sort of thing, which I suppose accounts for my hesitance in making it part of my current fragrance wardrobe. It’s also a little tricky to describe, but stay with me and I’ll give it a good ol’ try.

Ten Nine begins with a herbaceous, lively opening that has the slight bitterness of freshly brewed Green Tea and more than a little masculine edge – in fact, I’d say that perhaps some men would actually prefer wearing this perfume, certainly at his stage. There’s an underlying fuzzy note that relentlessly nuzzles its way to the surface like a mole burrowing through newly dug sun-warmed earth and grass clippings, and eventually becomes a carraway-seed tinged dark chocolate. Peculiar, no?




Some of the reviews and write-ups I’ve seen of this fragrance mention the fruits they get in this, but I don’t get any of them on my skin. I actually think this is a bonus, because chocolate and fruits can – if unbalanced – become reminiscent of a scratch and sniff scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory rather than a perfume a grown adult would like to wear.

I have come to the conclusion that Ten Nine is working of me now because I’m wearing it on a hot day. There are countless perfumes I’ve tried in differing weather and loved or loathed, depending on the time of year I have tried them. This is why I never fully give up on a perfume I’m not keen on. Sometimes you just need to try them in the right context – like hurriedly trying on a ball gown with your jeans and trainers still on underneath: it’s probably (hopefully) going to be better when you wear it at the right time!


By the way, when I say “the right time” I most certainly do NOT mean “You must wear heavier Oriental perfumes in the Winter and lighter, greener perfumes in the Summer” because this is poppycock and twaddle and any other Pickwick-ian sounding terms for nonsense that you care to think of. I have quite often fallen madly in love with supposedly ‘hot weather’ perfumes in the cooler months – Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, for example, which I wore in the snow – and tons of heady, musky perfumes in the heat of a Summer’s day. So there.

People who subscribe to that piffle are apt to say some perfumes are “too old/young” for them, too, which is a very sad state of affairs. I proudly wore Chanel’s Coco when I was 10 years old and would have stood on a step ladder and stared daggers at you had you dared suggest it was “too old” for me. Mind you, I was an odd child, so probably shouldn’t hold it up as an Example.


Wear whatever perfumes you like, whenever you want to, dear people, it’s entirely up to you! Just don’t give up on them for a long time… stash them away and try again another day – you never know, you may find a new brand new (old) love!

Atelier Flou perfumes are available from the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrods – I can’t wait to try some others from their range and see what else I may have been missing out on…


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