Twenty-four years later, the legend has been revived with the latest instalment in the XS saga – Pure XS. Billed as the return of eroticism, Pure XS is the aromatic invocation of the spirit of Paco Rabanne. The brief was to convey “the sensation of skin shivering with desire and burning with pleasure”.
This was brought to life through the combined talents of two perfumers at IFF, Anne Flipo, creator of the Lady Million fragrance, and rising star Caroline Dumur. “Our interpretation of that burn was that of a feeling of a dizziness induced by that feeling of sexiness.
“Our interpretation of that burn was that of a feeling of a dizziness induced by that feeling of sexiness. We tried to contrast the burning skin sensation with the shiver. It is like a battle of the two sensations, but at the same time, the two blocks echo each other” explains Dumur.
The shivering sensation is achieved through a dose of icy ginger (and Dumur assures me they use only fresh ginger) with the green creaminess of vegetal sap, along with thyme to strike the masculine note. The second “burn block” is a heady mix of piquant cinnamon, vanilla infused with leather-liquor-musk inflections. And finally, there’s myrrh brushed with sugar. The result is what co-designer Flipo describes as “a fresh-smouldering oriental”.
It’s sexy, it’s fun and oh so excessive! Verdict: I like it… I like it a lot!