A perfume so youthful and cheerful it would make Pippi Longstocking stamp her foot and storm off in a huff.
Bergamot, pear, green apple, blackcurrant, magnolia, freesia, marigold, cedar, vetiver, musk, lily of the valley.
Bon Parfumeur don’t make complicated scents, they don’t make scents that force deep introspection, nor do they make scents that you need a degree from perfume school, an encyclopaedia and a tame scent expert to understand. Instead they make scents which are relatively simple, well blended and, at times, cheerful beyond belief. These are the scents that you wear when you want a holiday from your own brain, the scents you wear to relax, unwind and return to normality after a hectic day doing busywork. They’re easy, pleasing, and have the option to layer them up if you want to increase the complexity factor or experiment with making your own blend. That’s what the Bon Parfumeur offering is all about!
201 opens with a sparkling and lively blend of pear, bergamot and green apple. Each of these notes is discernible and each appears to be held at a similar level so the resulting fragrance is overall fruity, energetic but not totally childlike at the same time. There’s an almost soap-suds quality about the opening few moments and it very much evokes clean things, like line-dried, freshly washed sheets, or an old table scrubbed down, or even freshly washed fruit ready to be turned into cider or pies.
We didn’t get much blackcurrant in the top of the scent at all, even when we went looking for it. That’s ok though, you can’t have everything and it’s possible that this was just due to our chemistry not magnifying those notes as much.
Now, it’s fair to say that our Editor isn’t the biggest fan of pear in scents, finding it too fizzy and annoyingly energetic on the nose, but even she found it appealing here. None of the individual facets are too much, so they are all allowed to shine rather than become overpowered. It would have been easy for the apple and the pear to be too childish together, a bit fruit-salady, but they are done well and work here nicely. The bergamot restrains them both further, to a level of cheerful optimism, and suddenly you find that you’re smiling as you inhale the scent.
The whole of 201 is basically a chord played on different instruments. If the top notes are the phrase played on fruit, in the heart we meet the same level of energy and harmony but played on good solid florals. The apple and pear morph into magnolia, freesia and marigold pretty seamlessly and suddenly those notes you thought you heard played on violin are actually on guitar instead.
It wouldn’t be totally accurate to say that 201 grows up in the heart, but it does mature and smooth out a little. It’s not possible to overstate how cheerful this scent is, and as a result it has a really charming, youthful energy about it which is lovely indeed.
There’s something about 201 that makes us think of the English countryside between the wars, all heavily-laden fruit orchards, flouncy floral dresses, and that sort of bucolic adolescence that we seem to have been trying to recapture ever since. It’s pretty, carefree and young and you should wear this scent if you want to feel any of those things.
The base of 201 smooths and mellows further as the woody notes peep through, along with vetiver and musk. The fruit has never really gone away, but its singing along nicely with the florals in the background by the time we get to the base, and it really feels like the whole scent is three parts held in perfect harmony. The vetiver provides some backbone and the cedar lays out the background on which it is all placed.
And gosh is this perfume is so easy to wear. It’s like chucking on your trainers when you’ve had on high heels all week, or maybe throwing on a silky robe instead of a structured office outfit. It’s cheerful, it’s affable and it will keep you smelling pretty all day.
The other stuff
In terms of the gender of who this scent would appeal to, we definitely felt that it would sit much more towards the feminine end of the spectrum. But as always, wear it whatever the gender you identify with, if you enjoy it.
We felt that 201 would wear best in the summer months when it’s sparkly, flirty energy would sit well on warm air.
The longevity of the scent was pleasing – it lasted well into the afternoon after a morning application and, quite frankly, it surprised us given the energy of the scent overall. It felt like something that would be gone by lunch at the very latest, but in fact it stays very well.
The sillage – or projection – of 201 was moderate, to around handshake distance or so, but we were pretty happy with that too.
We’d suggest buying this perfume for someone who is young (physically or mentally), someone who needs a bit of a pick-me-up during the day, or someone for whom you need to buy a scented gift and you’re not totally sure what to get them. This scent is so easy to like that you won’t go far wrong with it.
Incidentally, we found that 201 layered with the nutty 501 work beautifully together.
201 is available from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £45 for 30ml EdP.
Bon Parfumeur also have a web boutique which stocks their full range of scents and from which you can also buy this scent.
The Sniff was gifted a sample of this scent by the ever-excellent Bloom Perfumery London. You should check them out.