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Dupont Circle - The story is in the perfume (April 30, 2012 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo: Lucie Asselin

At the bottom of the perfumeniche order form, there is a section for comments and occasionally when people order decants they share some of their perfume finds with us. Here’s a recommendation we recently received:

I would like to suggest the mon sillage perfumes for your sampling program. I have dupont circle and it is great.

That is how we discovered Monsillage, the Montréal-based niche line started by perfumer Isabelle Michaud in 2009. It didn’t take long to get samples of her five fragrances – all of them well-crafted and beautiful to wear.

Haven’t heard of Monsillage? Well, Mlle. Michaud has been flying under the radar. Aviation Club is the only one of her fragrances to be mentioned on a blog.

Aviation Club is a stunner, but I take recommendations from our customers seriously, so it was Dupont Circle that I focused on. I could have ordered the frag from her web site, but as I was traveling to Montréal, I thought it might be a good idea to meet up with Isabelle face-to-face. That’s how we ended up having brunch together on a Sunday morning.

Isabelle is bright, warm and engaging. She loves perfume and she loves talking about it – we had a great time, and were soon chatting together like old friends.

She told me that each of her fragrances is inspired by travel and are really stories in and of themselves – each one revealing more of its story as it unfolds on your skin.

The story behind Dupont Circle for example, is about how she got a job in Washington DC as a translator for the International Monetary Fund during the Clinton administration. It involves her brother, a Russian and an opera - you can read more about the story here.

Over time, she realised that her passion wasn’t for translating but for perfume, so she made the life changing decision to quit her job and move to Versailles to study at ISIPCA. She was the first Quebecer to be admitted to the school. After graduation, she returned to Montréal and started making perfume.

Her story is a good one, but it’s the way Dupont Circle smells that made me buy a bottle.

It opens with fresh, citrusy bergamot and lemon along with a note of cool, herbal mint. As it evolves, a beautiful rose accord with an apple/pear facet appears, leading to the soft, lush Turkish rose that lives at the heart. The floral aspect of the rose is heightened by lilac, jasmine and heliotrope. Turkish rose also has a spicy aspect, which has been enhanced with the addition of cinnamon. Fresh, floral and uplifting, it all rests on a base of woody cedar, oakmoss, patchouli  and rooty vetiver and musk.

Dupont Circle has poise. It is an elegant, well-crafted and perfectly balanced fragrance that smells like nothing else I own. It hovers just above the skin and makes me smile every time I catch a whiff of it.

I agree with our reader’s comment - I now have Dupont Circle too and it is great.

I feel like I’ve just discovered a new land – that’s my story.

Isabelle Michaud, you have a new fan!

Today, we’re adding Dupont Circle to our decant listing. Decants are $4.00.