Perfumes featuring ‘princess’ in the name cause side eye in The Sniff offices, but here’s one which is actually worth investigating which doesn’t smell like some twee old gourmand.
Salty sea spray, juniper, bergamot, citrus, sweet spices, lotus, jasmine, hawthorn, orchid, magnolia, marshmallow, white musk, sandalwood, vanilla.
Swan Princess opens with a flurry of really crisp, ozonic seaside-type notes. It’s bracing, cool and fresh, even a little seaweedy at first. There’s a clarity about this scent which is as focussing as a sea breeze on a warm day and you can smell the tang of the sea salt and almost feel the droplets of sea spray on your face as you inhale.
Brocard often like to work with master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and this scent is another of his masterful creations. Mind you, you’d be hard pressed to swing a cat in a perfume shop and not hit several of his fragrances, prolific is an understatement of his output.
As the scent warms and settles, pretty florals come out to play and the effect is almost as if a breeze is blowing backwards: from the land out to sea, rather than the other way around, so it brings with it the flower notes it has picked up along the way.
The floral notes themselves are delicate, white, pretty. The magnolia and jasmine feel familiar and feminine. The scent feels like a silk nightie gliding across pale limbs. As it wears, the scent becomes warmer but there are hints of greenery here and there in the mix but a zestiness from the bergamot keeps it fresh and rousing.
When the scent reaches full maturation, it has a rough, minerally texture which feels to the nose as sand does between the toes. This is undercut by the marshmallow and vanilla sweetness which is pleasant and light rather than being yet another yawn-fest gourmand designed to appeal to little girls buying their first bottle of scent.
The lingering presence of Swan Princess is a clean white musk which smells crisp, starched even, almost crunchy. This gives the scent another take on fresh and bright and makes it pop right through to the end of a wear. A great scent if you’re wanting to freshen up on a warm day.
The other stuff
You have to look past the presentation and the blurb around this perfume. Swan Princess does have all the hallmarks of a fairy tale fragrance but thankfully, pleasingly, there is a reminder that not all life is magnolia petals and marshmallows. There’s a roughness in the scent, a darker, keener quality which makes it way more interesting than it might sound from the notes alone. If this is a princess then a wolf lurks in the shadows at the edge of the forest, but it’s the princess who is armed and should be feared most.
Swan Princess is undoubtedly marketed at the more feminine side of the market, from the jewel encrusted bottle through to the notes that Brocard have chosen to pick out. There is a crispness and a freshness to the scent though which we could see working rather nicely on bold people at the more masculine end of the spectrum. If they could overlook the packaging, that is.
The sillage, or projection, of the scent is moderate. We felt that it got to somewhere between hug and handshake distance but probably no further than that.
The longevity of the scent is decent, 4-6 hours, but given the price point of this fragrance it probably isn’t a problem to reapply it a couple of times a day.
We could really imagine Swan Princess working well on a warm Summer’s day when one might be glowing a little. A quick spritz of this and you’ll feel fresh and invigorated, and you’ll smell it too!
Brocard are a Russian brand who produce very interesting and budget friendly scents. As mentioned, they often collaborate with big name perfumers so you can find interesting compositions amongst their extensive catalogue. And, given that their scent line is SO wide, there’s bound to be something amongst all that which you can fall for.
Swan Princess is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £27.00 for 50ml EdP.
Brocard don’t currently appear to have their own web boutique, but you can read a little more about them on the Perfume Projects blog.
We received a sample of this fragrance with no strings attached from Bloom Perfumery London, for which we are very grateful.