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Mon Numéro 1 – They’ve got my number!

Photo-Wikipedia - European pears

Gwen arrived home from her Europe vacation with not one, but TWO of the Mon Numéro series from L’Artisan Parfumeur:  Mon Numéro 10 she chose for herself – see her recent post  – and Mon Numéro 1 she bought for me.
Kinda risky, don’t you think, buying a bottle of $$$ perfume, for someone else? Well, the two of us have been sniffin’ together for so long we just know what works for each other – we don’t even have to ask - so I joyfully and unconditionally took into my possession a big bottle of Mon Numéro 1, hearing as I did so “You’re gonna love this!”
The Mon Numéro collection is 8 fragrances created by Bertrand Duchaufour, for L'Artisan Parfumeur, and the launch strategy is that each fragrance will be assigned to a world-class city, and one retailer in that city will be the exclusive seller of that scent. The entire collection will be available only at the L’Artisan Paris store, and online. It’s sort of what Le Labo did – the rationale is that making scents exclusive and hard-to- get creates buzz, positions the brand, and builds demand. Numéro 10 is NYC, its box labelled ‘Barneys New York’ and from what I’ve learned by nosing around, Numéro 1 is assigned to Malaysia, but the city – Singapore? - and store aren’t identified - yet.

On youtube, M. Duchaufour describes  Mon Numéro 1 as an “homage to mimosa” built around a simple accord of mimosa and pear. Oh, oh – white floral, fruit....pear? – no thanks! But wait – this is different!
The note list I obtained from L’Artisan is quite short: pear, basil, bergamot, violet leaves, blackcurrent buds, mimosa, osmanthus, magnolia flower, hay, musk, vanilia. The first sniff is the mimosa/pear accord, very green and smelling like fresh-cut stems and leaves from the herbal-citrus, basil-bergamot back-up. As it warms on my skin, this unique accord sweetens very slightly (magnolia?), still fresh, turning slightly sharp (violet leaves?) and soapy....but soapy in a good way, because there is still none of the overbearing sweetness I expect from a fruity-floral .

The soapy effect quickly evolves into a silky smooth sensation from the osmanthus and vanilia, and as the dry-down develops, the musk base notes form a sensual veil around the whole fragrance, creating a soft delicate transparent haze. It’s a smell that calls up so many images – warm summer day, blue sky, fruit trees blooming, bees buzzing, breeze blowing, young, hopeful, and happy. Mon Numéro 1 floats on my skin for the rest of the day, and when I wake the next morning with my wrist by my nose, it’s still there, distinct but faint.

I love pears – pears with salad, pears with cheese, pears in tarts – but I’m fussy about their taste and texture. It has to be the RIGHT pear – not soft, not too hard, not too ripe, always peeled  - the Goldilocks pear. I like the unique aroma of pears – sweetish and sort of musty. But paired with mimosa? Even on their own, mimosa and pear are difficult notes in a perfume, as they can be sickly sweet, or smell chemical or artificial, but to choose to feature them as the main accord is moving into adventurous creative territory.
Not to worry! Bertrand's homage to mimosa is irresistible  to my nose, and it’s the pear what done it! The green pear transforms the mimosa into a barely-sweet cloud of pale white scent, superbly shaded in soft greens and silky musk. The pear note is there, but unobtrusively in the background, the mimosa is light and floating, and the soft musk keeps the two notes in perfect balance.

Mon Numéro 1 has a very distinct signature note that reminds me a little of Duchaufour’s Traversée du Bosphore, but this note is different  - this is green, this only hints at sweetness, this is sheer, light, more transparent, and therefore a little younger, and more seductive.

Gwen was right – I DO love this!  M. Duchaufour and L’Artisan have done it again – created another totally unique fragrance, so different from the current new-perfume-launch trend of heavy ouds and thick florals. I’m going to wear it all summer, because they’ve got my number – and it’s Mon Numéro 1.

Thank you, Gwen.

Mon Numéro 1 is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for  1 ml.