The name Cierge de Lune, lit. ‘moon’s candle’ is a calque on Latin Selenicereus, a genus of night-blooming cactus whose species include the spectacular grandiflorus. A vine-like climber native to Mexico, central America and the Antilles, this ‘Queen of the Night’ is famed as much for its brilliant white flowers that are rayed with golden petals as the warm, rich, moth-attracting scent it emits.
An analysis of the plant’s perfume was undertaken by Headspace guru Roman Kaiser, together with Lars Tollsten and the results published in an article entitled ‘An Introduction to the Scent of Cacti’ (Fragrance and Flavour Journal, 1995, vol.10 pp.153-164). According to the authors, the smell of Selenicereus grandiflorus is dominated by vanilla and cocoa notes, arising predominantly from vanillin (0.2%) and a series of isovalerates, in particular benzyl isovalerate (55%). Ionones (alpha=0.3%; beta=0.1%; dihydro-beta =0.4%), together with high amounts of farnesal (23%) and farnesol meanwhile, contribute important floral and fruity notes.
Needless to say, Fabrice Pellegrin’s composition is not intended to be a reconstruction of the Headspace, but a free interpretation. For this, he has integrated the vanillic theme into something approaching Grojsman’s accord of Hedione, Iso E Super, ionones and clean musks to produce a monolithic, powdery-sweet ‘hug me’ effect. The fruitiness detected in the plant’s odour is here perhaps interpreted through a cherry/heliotrope note while the woody notes are elaborated with Ambrox(an) etc.
It’s something different for Aedes’ line, but not as interesting as the others.
Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin
House: Aedes de Venustas
Release date: 2016
Notes (per Fragrantica): musk, powdery notes, madagascar vanilla, ylang-ylang, black and pink pepper, hedione, suede, incense, amber, ambroxan.