Friday, April 1, 2016

Exquisite leather, part III: Doblis by Hermès



What could be more nightmary than "reformulation" to a perfume you deeply love by heart? Yes, discontinuing is rather frightening specially when you're highly tied to a perfume. Happened to 80's generation, like me, to love a classical and lose it as it joined infrequent perfumes; let's spear some respect and don't call them like sentenced to death with "discontinued", cause I believe what can be reproduced is not dead forever. And as a reviewer I do believe that every single blog post on extinct fragrances can motivate the houses to respond demands with relaunch.


Guy Robert 1926 - 2012

Doblis, the second perfume of the house, was composed in 1955 by Guy Robert whose luminous résumé contains two subsequent everlasting glamorous fragrances for the silk and leather masters of Hermès: Calèche 1961 and Equipage 1970. In her marvelous review, Victoria from Bois de Jasmine mentions that Doblis went extinct by the birth of Calèche. It's most probable idea according to user point of view but I'm interested to know the reasons from the house's perspective. Whatever it is, in 2005 in a collaboration with Guy Robert's son François Robert, the house has reissued the fragrance once again for small quantity to celebrate the 50th annual release of Doblis. The sample I'm writing upon is 2005 edition which is as rare as 1955.

Doblis is named after famous Veau velours Doblis cowhide suede of Hermes. A tactile, soft and skillfully processed suede to give tender touch like chamois leather. The bottle is designed to illustrate lanterns of horse-drawn carriages. The fragrance elaborately conjures up such sumptuous feeling with very smooth aldehydic and warm chamomile in opening and creaking leather and oakmoss base.

Famous suede bags of Hermès

Doblis opens with aldehydic vibes (those who tried the original version remark that 2004 edition lacks aldehyde in large percent yet the fragrance softly demonstrates it) and transforms to a lush chypre floral heart with rose, jasmine and chamomile; powdery and bitter buttery warm with sense of luxurious soap on feminine skin. Bearing in mind that it's an edition and not the original formula, it is still mind-blowing.
My journey in such family of classical compositions began a year ago with new EdP version of Mitsouko which I blind bought and in this journey I tested many classics from Chanel, Lanvin, Guerlain, Creed, etc. But honestly, such modest yet lustrous blend as Doblis is one in a million. In general scoop this may look like many semi-cuir-de-Russie or iris/leather blends but it's apparently not the same.

Doblis is aristocratic with slight hints of melancholic sheer buttery leather charged in a conventional chypre floral to evoke glamour of traditional saddle making the house has begun in 1837, that later in 1870's motivated the eulogized French painter, Edgar Degas, for his horse-riding passion pictured in his canvases.

Edgar Degas, Before the Stands, 1872

What in the perfume stands out is the volume of camouflaged phenolic leather in context of floral chypre that frequently delivers a seductive warm oriental and ornamented atmosphere to the overall woody mossy composition. Rather interesting is, unlike many heavy icons of past Doblis is ethereal and light leathery but it's not loose in character! And that means a lot.

Carpe Odor!

PS: I owe a great dept of reverence to a Fragrantican friend; Mirjana; who generously shared her perfume with me in a tiny sample that is more than enough to discover such compact olfactory universe.
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