Carine Roitfeld Parfums George : Perfume Review


In a memorable scene in Joris-Karl Huysman’s novel Against Nature, his character Des Esseintes is so inspired by reading Dickens that he decides to visit London. Yet, having traveled only as far as grey and rainy Paris, he feels that he has experienced London’s atmosphere enough in his imagination and abandons the whole idea. No doubt, Des Esseintes would have been sympathetic to the efforts of perfumers who attempt to satisfy the wanderlust of armchair travelers. One such venture is Carine Roitfeld Parfums, created by the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. The line includes seven unisex fragrances, Aurélien, George, Kar-Wai, Lawrence, Orson, Sebastian and Vladimir, inspired by travel and by fictional lovers.

My ideal lover is George. He is elegant, suave, and soft-spoken, yet whatever he says keeps my interest piqued. (He has certainly read Huysmans, although decadence is not his favorite art current; he is more into realism.) I travel to Tokyo with George, where we stroll through autumnal temple gardens, take baths with iris petals and visit painting exhibits in those typically Japanese galleries filled with silence, soft light and a whiff of wood polish. With George on my arm, everything smells of violet leaves, moss and crushed green leaves. He doesn’t smoke, but the leather jacket that he wears so well is redolent of ashes and fine tobacco.

The fragrance was created by Yann Vasnier, who has a particular talent for green compositions that nevertheless feel soft and velvety. George’s elegance, which instantly made me fall in love with him, is given by a traditional chypre combination of moss, woods, green notes and jasmine. Vasnier renders the mossy-woody effect modern, however, by making it radiant, but if you are anything like me and enjoy classics, you’ll appreciate the limpid glow of this perfume.

My love affair with George is easy, because his comportment reminds me of my other flame, namely Chanel Cristalle. He also offers me plenty of champagne shimmer, lightness and rejuvenation, even if underneath his bright facade, there is a touch of darkness and moodiness. This lover won’t leave you bored, despite his initial straight-laced image.

George also won’t depart suddenly leaving no trace of his whereabouts. His presence is not encumbering, but it’s noticeable and pleasing. I predict a brilliant future for us.

Carine Roitfeld Parfums George includes notes of violet leaves, jasmine, rose, galbanum, chypre, iris, leather. Available at Net-A-Porter.

Image: Katsushika Hokusai, Grasshopper and Iris, late 1820s. The Metropolitan Museum collection, NYC.



  • Jenji: I want a date with George too! Your review was so visual and easy to imagine. I’d like to know how your dates went with Orson, Lawrence, Sebastian… November 15, 2019 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you!
      I have another double date with Orson and Lawrence coming up. The first one was a brief encounter and I need more time to make up my mind. November 15, 2019 at 12:20pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Say no more – I love Cristalle (even if I only know the edt)…. Maybe I will even take him with me to keep me refreshed when I travel to Japan next summer. November 15, 2019 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: George has a bit of Cristalle EDT in him, but the finish is smokier, warmer. November 18, 2019 at 6:19am Reply

  • Daisy Bow: I am so in love with all of these! George reminded me of a Bandit or a Rien, but rolled through slept-in satin sheets. Orson is probably my favorite of the three, followed by Sebastian. So looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the other ones! November 15, 2019 at 2:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, that’s a great comparison. Orson was also very good. In fact, picking just one of these is hard. November 18, 2019 at 6:20am Reply

  • Satsukibare: My apologies for interrupting the thread with a technical question! I used to be able to save articles from Bois de Jasmin to my “Perfumes to try” Pinterest board, but in recent months all I get is an error message like this: Parameter ‘source_url’ with the value ‘’ is not a valid URL format.
    Victoria, could you possibly let me know what I’m doing wrong here? November 15, 2019 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: That indeed looks like a wrong format. I will find out from my website developer why this might be the case. November 18, 2019 at 6:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Please check now! It should be functioning properly. November 20, 2019 at 6:57am Reply

      • Satsukibare: Wonderful! The “Pin” button is working perfectly now. Am also looking forward to trying your recipe for Pumpkin Rice Pudding…. November 20, 2019 at 4:30pm Reply

        • Victoria: I hope that you like it. It’s my favorite fall breakfast, although it can also be a dessert, if made sweeter. November 21, 2019 at 4:22am Reply

  • Purple: Oh my, what a line! The first one I happened to read about was the Wong Kar-Wai, which I couldn’t imagine none of the others could top (reading about them, that is). But one by one the all seem so very fine. Kar-Wai has now stiff competition from Orson, which, if would have composed it (I wish!), I would have called Marcel.

    Did you get a sniff of Kar-Wai? Any impressions you’d like to share? 🙂 November 15, 2019 at 6:29pm Reply

    • Purple: (Well now, the life of online editing on the go – it should say any, not none, of course. Sorry about that.) November 15, 2019 at 6:32pm Reply

      • Victoria: Don’t worry about it! 🙂 November 18, 2019 at 6:22am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a very nice green tea scent. I wish that it were more assertive, but it’s quite good. November 18, 2019 at 6:22am Reply

  • Klaas: George seems like a decent chap, though his company does not come cheap……is he really worth it? Cristalle is pretty tough competition… November 15, 2019 at 6:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: Tough, I agree. As for the price, yes, not cheap, but these are really well-made perfumes. And they last well. November 18, 2019 at 6:23am Reply

  • Sandra: I would like to smell George but only if he is paying.

    Those prices..mama mia! November 17, 2019 at 10:48am Reply

  • Rakasa: Very intriguing! Is the leather/smoke progression of George more or less pronounced than the one in Chanel Cristalle? George sounds very much like a ‘must date’ … if only I hadn’t recently developed an unusual sensitivity to strong leather notes in fragrances. November 19, 2019 at 10:54am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s more pronounced. The opening is similar, but the drydown is completely different. George is more smouldering. 🙂 November 20, 2019 at 5:24am Reply

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