SLM, Sous Le Manteau is a new French perfume house that recently came out with five fragrances. They are called ‘les philters d’amour’ – love potions, or elixirs. The idea was to create fragrances that are inspired by aphrodisiac potions, whose recipes were recorded in old spell-books. ‘Sous Le Manteau’ is an idiom that means ‘Under the Cloak’. This expression comes from the 18th century, when people carried forbidden books under the cloak.
This is what Olivia Bransbourg , the founder of the house told in an interview by Sergey Borisov on Fragrantica: “We loved how indeed there have been hundreds of recipes since ancient times designed to enhance desire but we loved even more the way the ingredients themselves were carefully kept all throughout the Middle Ages in cloisters and monasteries until the recipes were later transcribed in official medical books.”
You can take a test on their website to see which of these five “love potions” corresponds you best.
Nathalie Feisthauer is the perfumer who has created these fragrances. Her creations include : Havana Aramis, L’Eau des Merveilles Hermès, L’Eau Belle Azzaro, Must Pour Homme Cartier, Boss Element Hugo, Honour Man Amouage, Putain des Palace Etat Libre d`Orange, Tar Comme des Garçons, Champaca Luxe Comme des Garçons.
The Royal Fountain
Top note: bergamot;
Heart notes: jasmine, rose, orris and geranium;
Base notes are sandalwood, cedar, musk, ambrette (musk mallow), styrax, labdanum and vanilla.
According to the test, this is the love potion that corresponds to my personality. Fontaine Royale actually ended up being one of my favorites, but not ‘the favorite’.
Fontaine Royale has a fresh citrusy opening. It settles into a floral scent, over a suave, somewhat powdery base that has sweet nuances. It is classified as an oriental perfume. I personally find that Fontaine Royale is very far from the bold and smoldering oriental genre of fragrances. I perceive it as a lady-like, and a pillowy-soft perfume. So, to me it is actually a « stylized » oriental perfume. Its powdery undertone made me think of cosmetic powder and an expensive body lotion. However, Fontaine Royale is not devoid of sensuality. It’s the type of sensuality that can be associated with lace lingerie in pastel colors, or a transparent flowing negligé, with an overall well-groomed appearance. I find that Fontaine Royale has a vintage appeal. It evokes a boudoir setting and brought to mind the image of Marie Antoinette from Sophia Coppola’s movie. Musically, I associate Fontaine Royale with the flower duet from Lakmé opera by Léo Delibes.
Since this is not a heavy oriental perfume, I personally find that it can be fitting for the spring season. In fact, the rose and orris root notes give Fontaine Royale a slightly cool edge. Its floral heart made me think of spring in general. I truly enjoyed wearing Fontaine Royale, especially since I tend to like powdery fragrances.
Top notes: bergamot, elemi, cardamom, black pepper and pink pepper;
Heart notes: lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, incense and heliotrope;
Base notes: benzoin, tonka bean, cedar, musk and vanilla.
Poudre Impériale and Fontaine Royale are both powdery perfumes with flower notes in the heart of the composition. Like Fontaine Royale, it is also quite feminine and reminiscent of vintage perfumes. In the dry down of Poudre Impériale there is a prominent vanilla scent, although at the start it is peppery fresh and aromatic. Poudre Impériale has a lovely, sweet woody base.
Poudre Impériale made me think of Lady Chatterley, who’s heart is gradually taken over by Oliver Mellors. The top of this fragrance is more intellectual to me. The sensuality appears in its evolution and the dry down. I really enjoyed the transformation of Poudre Impériale on the skin.
Top notes: bergamot, yellow mandarin and coriander;
Heart notes are clove, bay leaf, incense and geranium;
Base notes: cedar, patchouli, haitian vetiver, musk, vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, opoponax, styrax, labdanum, castoreum and animal notes.
Diablotin means the “little devil” in French. Sometimes, when the kids misbehave, they can be called “diablotin”, so this word actually has a cute and playful connatation.
Compared to some of the calmer perfumes from the SLM line, Vapeurs Diablotines strikes my imagination as a true love potion, because I imagine a vixen wearing this one. It is a spicy aromatic perfume, which is absolutely unisex. I think that if a woman is wearing Vapeurs Diablotines she is possibly making a statement. She might have a devilish charm, and she probably knows it. Just like George Bizet’s Carmen she seems to be saying:
“Si tu ne m’aimes pas je t’aime; Et si je t’aime prends garde à toi ! “
If you love me not, then I love you; and if I love you, you better watch out !
It immediately smells spicy when you first spray it. In the top of Vapeurs Diablotines there is a scent of coriander. The citruses bring brightness to the opening. As Vapeurs Diablotines settles on the skin, you realize that these spices are surrounded by smoke. In the heart there is a prominent scent of cloves and geranium, which kind of reminded me of a carnation flower as well. As the perfume evolves, the sizzling spiciness mixes with the warm balsamic notes of the base. The animal notes, notably the castorium create a lasting impression. A touch of vanilla sweetness in the dry down of Vapeurs Diablotines made me think of a cat that looks at you and purrs, but she might bite you if you try to caress her.
I didn’t think that I was going to like this perfume as much as I did, just from reading the notes. It grew on me, and eventually won me over. I see it as dynamic and fun. I could wear it in the fall, winter, and even spring. It is one of the more “challenging” perfumes from the SLM line.
I sometimes wonder where my tastes are situated. If White by Puredistance is a total “angel”, this “devilish” fragrance is its complete opposite. I guess I am one who likes to have an olfactory wardrobe, not unlike like having various types of clothes – from feminine dresses to leather jackets.
Top note: bergamot;
Heart notes: orris, heliotrope and suede;
Base notes are patchouli, vanilla, ambrette (musk mallow), benzoin, opoponax and musk.
I really enjoyed wearing this love potion, and I know why it appealed to me. I am partial to a leather note, and I particularly love a “mild” leather scent like suede. I also like my vanillic perfumes, and a heliotrope note. Cuir d’Orient can be called a crowd pleasing fragrance. The leather here feels like velvet, and the fragrance has gourmand nuances. It almost reminded me of French patisseries. This cozy fragrance can charm anyone. Cuir d’Orient inspires a relaxed atmosphere – candlelight and soft pillows. I associate this fragrance with the color beige. It would be perfect for the fall-winter season.
Essence du Sérail
Essence of the Harem
Top notes : bergamot and ylang-ylang;
Heart Notes : jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, rose, plum, heliotrope and peach;
Base notes : sandalwood, ambrette (musk mallow) and vanilla.
Do you want to be one of the happy few ? This is what the expression “Faire partie du sérail” means in French. I guess this perfume is for the happy few, because you have to be bold enough to wear this heady floral perfume. This love potion is opulent and carnal.
It actually made me think of tuberose, although the floral notes listed are : ylang-ylang, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, orange blossom, rose, and heliotrope. Essence du Sérail is a mix of intoxicating floral notes and the sweetness of overripe fruits. This unabashedly animalic fragrance will get you noticed, and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.