Pamplemousse Rhubarbe sounds much better than “Grapefruit and Rhubarb”, doesn’t it? The French version makes me think of a delicious dessert with clouds of light meringue and some kind of tart, brightly-coloured sauce drizzled over the top. Or an amazingly light and fluffy cake, rather like a lemon drizzle cake, but using Pamplemousse instead, shot through with impossibly pink Rhubarbe jam. “Grapefruit and Rhubarb” just sounds like part of a shopping list.
Anyway, Pamplemousse Rhubarbe is one of the fragrances in the latest collection from l’Occitane; created with – oh! How weird is this? I just read the press release to find that Pierre Hermé, co-creator of the collection, is a master pastry chef – the “Picasso of Pastry”, if you will. How bizarre that I thought of puddings and cakes before I’d even read the blurb? That’s a job well done, if ever I saw one – everything about this fragrance, from the packaging to the name, screams patisserie.
The fragrance itself starts off fruity and slightly sharp, as I suppose you’d expect, but with woody little undertones that creep out and overtake after a few minutes of wear. It’s initially rather like a cologne, but with the added spice and warmth from the clove, the nutmeg and the cedar, it becomes something altogether more interesting. If you like your citrus scents – fresh and fruity – then you’ll enjoy this twist.
And the box – there’s something very pleasing about this type of cardboard packaging. It reminds me of expensive truffles, or of those old-fashioned talcum powder containers. Either way, associations that are lovely and decadent – it feels like the kind of present that you’d pick up for yourself in a tiny shop down a rickety little one-way street. Very pretty, and priced quite nicely for Christmas presents (if you’re already thinking along those lines!) at £46 for 75ml.
Pierre Hermé’s Pamplemousse Rhubarbe is at l’Occitane here.