All Tomorrow’s Obsessions (4/8/11)

One of the random selections I made in my first batch of decants was Frapin 1697, chosen for no other reason than it sounded decadent. It had been sitting there quietly in the makeshift sample box I created whilst its louder and more popular companions had their moments in the sun.

As these things tend to happen, I read a review by Olfactoria’s Travels which led me to a further review by Marla over at  Perfume Smellin’ Things. Two references in these reviews had my heart skipping a beat; Wim Wenders “Wings of Desire/Angel over Berlin” and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

And, the perfumer is the amazing Bertrand Duchaufour. L’Artisan was one of the first houses I encountered in my discovery of niche, and I have a special place in my heart for them. I particularly like Monsieur Duchaufour’s Traversee du Bosphore from this house.

I am a reformed, obsessive Nick Cave fan, not to be confused with a reformed obsessive (one thing just takes precedence over another, quieting the prior). Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds created some of their best work during the Berlin Years. Nick Cave also wrote “And the Ass Saw the Angel” during this period, a southern gothic novel, written by an Australian, living in Berlin, whilst chasing the dragon. I read the influences of William Faulkner’s “Light in August” and Patrick White’s “The Tree of Man” in this novel, more Faulkner than White. Apologies for my little obsessive digression.


It is the conjuring of these things from the sacrament of my mind that drew my sample from its dark abode.

For its seventh scent, 1697, named after the year the Frapin family was ennobled by Louis XIV, the venerable cognac distiller drew on the talent of Bertrand Duchaufour to translate these aromas into fragrance for an exceptional limited edition of 1697 bottles. – From




In 1697 Louis XIV ennobled the Frapin family. A fitting coat of arms was created to match the glorious reign of the Sun King, a monarch who revered beauty, women and love… It was a time of drunken festivities, magical balls and parties filled with sensual pleasures, colors and smells. Moments filled with memories of lusts and desires. – From Olfactoria’s blog (excerpt from copy at First in Fragrance

Frapin 1697 opens with a hit of whisky or rum, my beloved thought it more like honey mead, but all I smell is whisky. This settles to a plummy rum and raisin truffle without the sweetness and is followed by soft florals balanced with leather and dark wood, and a subtle animalic muskiness.

Frapin 1697 is sipping cognac on an oak and leather Chesterfield in front of a crackling fire in a beautifully appointed, masculine room. There is a humidor of partially smoked cigars in a discreet nook. Playing softly in the background is Ute Lemper and not the Bad Seeds as I may have envisioned. That gentleman in the fine suit with the long lean frame, lounging opposite me, sipping his cognac, however, could be none other than the enigmatic Mr Cave, but alas he is my darling beloved. Frapin 1697 has no sense of urgency and is happy to stay in your company and while away the winter hours.

Olfactoria said “It is one of the most subtle and effective “come hither” perfumes I have ever tried, intriguing, subtly sensual and so very scrumptious. It must be great on a man, Devastating on the right one”.

Devastating on the right man, did I hear you say, Olfactoria? My beloved is now known as the devastator, we both adore this.


Cabreuva, Davana, Jamaican Rum, Cistus, Pink Pepper, Jasmine Sambac, Hawthorn, Ylang Ylang, Clove, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Rose, Ambergris, Tonka Bean, Myrrh, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Labdanum, White Musks, Vanilla


Bad Seeds keyring – free rights (souvenir from “No More Shall We Part” tour)

Frapin 1697 Bottle – from

Ute Lemper – by Paul Masey (please advise if not acceptable)

Sample was purchased by me

Thanks for reading



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