MDCI Parfums’ La Belle Helene (2011)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

Last week sent me an email telling me there would be a Toronto “Scent Society” gathering at a recently-opened niche perfume shop in mid-town. I had no clue how found out I love perfumes, and I had never heard of “Scent Society”, but anyway, I went. Only three people showed up, which wasn’t so bad because the shop wasn’t the most spacious. It also gave me ample time to learn more about each other, and not to mention I also used the opportunity to give them some samples of my own perfumes.

The shop was a delight to visit because it carried perfume brands that I had been dying to explore. They have Rance, MDCI, Amouage, and a few other high-end brands. Did you know that says on their website, when you buy a bottle, they let you choose a free sample? (Something like that, check their website.) Well, I had asked for a free sample of MDCI with my last purchase, but they didn’t send me one, I guess it’s too expensive to be “free”. So when I found out that my local shop carried MDCI, I was ecstatic.

After sniffing MDCI’s line-up, I immediately knew which one I wanted to get. The others joined in; one woman really liked Peche Cardinal (a peach fruity scent). The owner recommended Invasion Barbare, which really didn’t need any introduction for I had read about it many times – a perfume that Luca Turin had given a 5-star review. The store owner sprayed some on the back of my hand, and said it smelled wonderful on me. (It’s an oriental leather perfume.) She sprayed some on her neck, and said it didn’t smell as good on her. I also sprayed some La Belle Helene on my other hand, but she wasn’t crazy about it. Another female member from the group approached and smelled my hand sprayed with Invasion Barbare, and agreed it smelled great on me. The implication I got from them was, if you want a perfume that women like, get Invasion Barbare. Guess what, at the end I bought a bottle of La Belle Helene (for women). I decided to get a perfume that pleases me, not others… (but it definitely is a bonus when the person I have a crush on also likes it.)

La Belle Helene is a soft pear floral perfume. The pear aroma, combined with soft aldehyde, soft rose, soft osmanthus, soft ylang, soft plum is so soft, and so beautiful it’s like a little dream. But it turns out it’s a chypre perfume with some attitude; it won’t let you have a soft dream for too long and wake you up with gentle-slaps-in-your-face cedar, oak moss, and licorice wood. It’s ok, I don’t mind this gentle abuse.



Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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