Francesca Bianchi Extrait de Parfum has a greener side to it that really came through for the first few hours, which was initially paired with a bouquet of sweet florals and earthy patchouli. The bouquet turned powdery, almost buttery, and floral, before aromatic and spiced woods emerged with hints of honey. A few hours in, dark, resinous amber and vanilla came out to play, which stayed through the drydown, though I found the woods to feel creamier and smoother in the end.
It is described as being “inspired by the Moroccan city of Marrakesh and the rich and mesmerizing effusion of its markets and streets.” The notes are listed as: honey, spices, iris, violet, sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, amber, styrax, incense, patchouli, and vanilla.
It opened with a fragrant bouquet of sweet florals and leafy, woody stalks. The Dark Side warmed up and shifted from the florals to smoky, spiced incense with honey with a more powdery, floral undertone after five minutes. The spices intensified with more aromatic woody notes joining the composition after 15 minutes of development, which toned down the floral quality but left most of the powderiness intact–more of a buttery powdery element, though.
Surprisingly, a greenness returned, met with soft, buttery powder and subtle, smoky incense a few minutes later. It felt cool, almost crisp, and leafy with only a suggestion of sweet, powdery florals. Over the next three hours, The Dark Side shifted from cool and crisp, slightly green with powdery florals to whispers of powdery florals with aromatic cedar and spiced woods with a hint of honey.
Darker, spiced amber and vanilla emerged between the fourth and fifth hour of wear and florals and powderiness vanished. There were subtle changes where the notes seemed to weave in and out, changing which ones were more noticeable from one hour to the next. The drydown–about eight hours in–seemed comprised of smooth, creamy spiced woods with rich vanilla.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
It lasted for six hours until it was a skin-scent and about 10 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster than the projection within the first hour of wear.
Though Bianchi’s compositions are beautifully done, I have found that the buttery/powdery element that seems signature to the ones I’ve tried isn’t my cup of tea. It’s not offensive or off-putting so much as not something that brings me in.
- 30ml for $145
- 0.7ml sample for $7