Dans tes Bras is a Maurice Roucel creation that is hardly ever mentioned by perfume lovers. Nobody boasts about wearing it as their SOTD, SOTN, SOTB or SOTADW or scent of whatever (abbreviations mean Scent Of The Day, Scent Of The Night, Scent Of The Birthday and Scent Of The Afternoon Dog Walking: just on the off chance a poor lost neophyte might be reading this). It never gained the cult status of Musc Ravageur from the same brand or Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, two iconic works of the same perfumer. Well, I now own all three and I can partially understand why. Dans tes Bras is somewhat bizarre, definitely mysterious, a little bit vague, certainly abstract, for sure cerebral, achingly emotional, frighteningly unique and at the same time a puzzling game of contrasts. Enough to make one’s brain spin and bring about a sense of being overwhelmed. It is also a lurker, one of those scents that permeate the consciousness subtly and slowly, almost without you noticing, or more simply put you’ve got to give it time to grow on you. There’s also a very strong possibility that this perfume will never get to that stage for most people. I think Dans tes Bras is a fragrance that will appeal to the introverted, introspective and intuitive type, with a personality centred around feelings, moods and emotions. My kind of people. The amorphous shape of Dans tes Bras from which delicate puffs of various interesting notes emerge in a hypnotic slow motion will enchant their complicated, over analysing natures, keeping them interested and engaged with the neverending subtleties and associations one can make out within the body of this fragrance.
It is also quite a cerebral piece of work, more deliberately intellectual than many, and that is noticeable in the way it straddles both a classical inspiration and a very modern, almost futuristic interpretation. You’ll notice the ghosts of Guerlain’s Après l’Ondée and L’heure bleue in the beautiful sweet-sour-powdery- wet accord of violet flower, vanillic heliotrope and green-salty violet leaf. The modernity lies in the steamy, warm musks utilised which somehow in conjunction with the minty-medicinal sheen of salicylates and cloves, camphorous patchouli, overdose of Cashmeran and wood notes manage to smell both dirty-cozy and clean-aloof, almost metallic and sci-fi like. There’s also this soapy, laundry musks vibe that is hiding a stunning recreation of hot, lived in skin, not quite ripe but not straight out of the shower either. I’m telling you, there are a ton of things going on, and all are captivating and it is amazing how a handful of mostly synthetic ingredients can conjure an image that is ultimately very humane and tender: that of intimacy. Dans tes Bras means “In your Arms”, and it definitely reminded me of how that feels. It doesn’t have the sexual directness of Musc Ravageur, nor its boastful, smiling, good-natured vulgarity but it is definitely on the sensual side, just in a quieter, more spiritual manner.
It’s that feeling of recognition and reconnecting one can experience while in the the tight embrace of a lover at the end of a day spent in a whirlwind of mundane activities. A moment of slowing down and taking in the secret world that only the two lovers can share. I kept seeing this dark room, in a house at the edge of a forest, under a star studded sky, vast spaces around but with borders which give a sense of security: trees, the gentle outline of mountains. Limitless spaces, although majestic, they can also be scary. And this fragrance is about feeling safe. The windows are thrown open, and a cool breeze carries inside the scent of rained upon violets, moist earth and pine needles: the small yet sacred world of two contained within the big world: a circle within a circle. And it’s exactly how the fragrance is constructed: in a concentrical not a pyramidal manner and this is the reason for which it feels enigmatic, hypnotic and meditative. It’s like a slow, repetitive dance or chant, as it smells linear, but with different modulations of the same base line: a musky violet accord. I love it. It reminds me of specific, personal moments: the way my fingers were reaching through the layers of freshly laundered clothes to get at the warm skin underneath, the taste of his kisses after the evening brushing of teeth, my face on his bare chest taking in the intoxicating smell of much loved flesh and the muffled sound of his heartbeat, reality receding further and further away, just me and him perfectly in the moment, mind finally released from the rat race of continuous thinking and body freed from drudgery. One caress and I forget I was a slave. It’s time to taste my freedom.
NOTES: Bergamot, Cloves, Salicylates, Violet, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Frankincense, Cashmeran, Heliotrope, White Musks