Monday, May 27, 2024

Danse Sauvage from Chris Collins: A Wild Performance

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Last year, I wrote an article discussing Chris Collins’ fragrance house and promised to review some of his lineup at a later date. Well, today is one such date and we’re going to be looking at Danse Sauvage.

Launched in 2017, the nose behind Danse Sauvage is Marie Patricia Hurel. However, before I jump into the notes, let’s briefly discuss the inspiration behind this fragrance. To do so, we have to jump back to the Années Folles, Paris in the 1920s.

This decade saw a wealth of social, artistic, and cultural collaborations originating from one of France’s cultural capitols. Art nouveau saw its transformation to art deco, Dadaists and their influence rose to prominence the previous decade and could be felt permeating its glittery younger sibling. Silent film gained in popularity, surrealism became a dominant movement, and dance took off (particularly with jazz and ragtime influences).

It’s through this dance that our titular fragrance came to be. One such dancer who headlined dance halls throughout Paris was the Black Venus, aka Josephine Baker. Born in St. Louis, Baker immigrated to France and opened in La Revue Nègre on 2 October 1925 at the age of 19. She would later renounce her US citizenship and become a naturalized French citizen, be the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, serve as a French Resistance agent in World War II, and as a civil rights activist before her death in 1975.

But we need to focus on the dancing. Josephine Baker, oh, could she dance. Baker was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris, and one of her most renowned performances was “the Savage Dance”. Baker performed the “Danse Sauvage” typically wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas (and she had a pet cheetah too!).

And like its namesake, Danse Sauvage, the fragrance aims to be bold and sensual. Lets look at the notes.

Danse Sauvage Notes

Top: Cognac, plum, saffron

Heart: Pepper, nutmeg, chili pepper, rose

Base: Cedar, amber, patchouli, agarwood (oud), vanilla

That’s certainly an ambitious combination of notes! So how does it actually perform?

Verdict

This is woodsy with a big cedar presence on application. Out of the gate for me, I get a big woody presence, though it’s not overwhelming. Below that you can pick up on the plum notes, along with some pepper notes, as well as the patchouli. The saffron on the opening is very faint, and I don’t really get much in the way of the cognac.

The oud in this fragrance is more for smoothness, and it’s not there to stand out as a skanky note. This is not a linear dry down, so keep that in mind. One minute you’ll suddenly have a big nutmeg hit and then later it’s off to the rose starting to bloom.

My main complaint here is that I got my decant of this because of what was supposedly a strong boozy presence, but I never really pick that up when wearing this. It’s a bit disappointing, but if you take that quibble away you’re still left with a very nice, complex scent overall.

As far as performance goes, I’ve had this average around the six-hour mark which is perfectly acceptable to me for an EdP concentration. The sillage is assertive, but not overpowering.

That said, let’s talk pricing. Chris Collins fragrances are not the cheapest. Now, remember, you’re also paying for an extrait concentration in some of his offerings (such as Sweet Taboo), so those will run even higher. Danse Sauvage clocks in at $175 for a 50 mL, though you can order a sample for $4.

The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.

Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!

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