Saffron is an exotic spice in perfumery. You would be hard pressed to find more than ten perfumes that have employed its delicate scent in a formula. L’Artisan has once again shown their diversity by asking perfumer Olivia Giacobetti to animate this luxurious spice that is cherished by the Chinese, Romans and Greeks. Zeus is said to have used the spice to arouse his senses. Safran Troublant (2002) is described by L’Artisan as “an unsettling and potent portrait of a candied rose”. Directly translated as disturbing saffron I don’t know that it holds any of the tension that is promised in the title. But instead provides men with a novel way to wear rose. Combining saffron and rose, Giacobetti creates a cheerful scent that is great in winter.
Safran Troublant has the signature L’Artisan rose: fruity, green with violet undertones. It does not contain any of the spice or geranium notes found in other interpretations of what a rose could be. Ginger adds fizz to what could otherwise be a flat two-dimensional formula. Saffron is detectible throughout the entirety of the fragrance’s life. Once the rose settles a sandalwood and vanilla accord adds weight and is a sweet embellishment to the overall structure of the scent. A cleverly applied amount of cumin or another aromatic spice dirties up this sticky spice market scent. Perhaps overkill but if I had my way I can imagine an incense note taking this fragrance from great to amazing. Those that have Safran Troublant in their collection could try layering it with a small amount of L’Artisan’s Ambre Extreme to get this effect.
I admit Safran Troublant is not an easy fragrance for men to wear. It could appeal to men who like rose fragrances or those who are looking for something unusual. I imagine this wearer being interested in travel, particularly a lover of Southern Europe or the Middle East. It will appeal to them because it sparks an emotion or memory, not because they are looking for a scent that is accepted by most as ‘something that smells nice on a man’.
Perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti (Iskia)
Bottle designer: Frederico Restrepo
Release date: 2002
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Oriental