Ophelie by Christian Provenzano (2021)


Ophelie by Christian Provenzano (2021) doesn’t completely suck, but does nothing much for its price point besides offer a slightly more-generic but more cost-effective alternative to À la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2014). In a similar trick to what Patchouli Noir by Christian Provenzano (2018) does for Delina by Parfums de Marly (2017), Ophelie gets you in the door for roughly the same price point but with 20-25ml extra juice in the bottle, and isn’t a shameless rip-off. Although let’s be honest to ourselves here: People who buy in this market segment of perfume are often wealthy enough that comparison value shopping is completely unnecessary, and frankly undermining of their perceived social standing if caught doing it by their haute-bourgeois peers. Concordantly, people saving up and scrimping for “hot” niche releases like many of us collectors in the online space are not going to pick a brand like Christian Provenzano over an MFK or PDM anyway, especially when the man on the bottle known for his work with CPL brands like Boadicea the Victorious or Agent Provacateur is using his own “vanity label” house to ham-fistedly dole out reshuffled pseudo-clones. What a waste.

As for the smell of Ophelie, we get a similar juicy rose and fruit opening that eventually distills down to rose water over white musks, ambroxan, and oakmoss materials. So, this means a fresh burst of bergamot and blackcurrant, sichuan pepper and mandarin orange, nothing particularly unexpected. So far, the extra fruits make Ophelie feel more like a rip on L’eau À la rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2019) than À la rose proper, but ah well. Only the bit of spice and blackcurrant really make this much -different- from the MFK rose treatments, until the jasmine hedione and neroli come into the picture via the heart notes and tug Ophelie more towards Petit Matin by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2016) instead. In this realm is where Ophelie ultimately stays, with cedarwood via Iso E Super, an ambroxan rush in the base, plus just the lightest touches of tonka to inspire callbacks to yet another MFK release, this time the male-market Amyris Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (2012). If you sprayed on all of these at once into the air and walked through them, you’ve recreated Ophelie almost perfectly. Performance is good, but of course it is at these prices. Best use is in spring time.

If Patchouli Noir was the rose for Vanessa Carlton fans, Ophelie is definitely more like a Jamie Lynn Spears by comparison; forever bubbly even when severely faked, with girlish charms that fool no one, and living in the shadow of a much more-iconic older sister that has had to put up with fair-weather support, mild neglect, and downright abuse for years while she lives care-free. The “Do you know who I am?” of modern rose niche fragrances is this, and as you may expect, the answer will either always be wrong (but she’ll take it) or an insulting “no”, which leads to super-sonic entitled screeching that breaks more glass than Mariah Carey’s whistle notes on Christmas Eve. If you like these watery and fruity niche rose scents and won’t settle for a much more-sensible bottle of Agent Provocateur (2000), composed by Provenzano in a superior style two decades prior, then just suck up the loss of 30ml and get the MFK, because it smells more focused to what it is: a proper rose water vase fragrance with a girlish gait. I mean, Ophelie can’t even tell its own story straight, intermittently using an accent in the name like “Ophélie” in the market copy but not the bottle. Be a proper Britney, not a Jamie Lynn. Neutral

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