L’Aimée, or “The Beloved, ” is a famous 1794 oil portrait from French master Jacques-Louis David depicting his sister-in-law Madam Sérizat. Painted shortly after his release from Robespierre’s prisons following the French Revolution, this masterwork is renowned for its effortless depiction of the subject’s humanity, portraying Madam Sérizat holding a bouquet in one hand and her child’s hand in the other. Its use of soft, warm color, as well as subtle touches of exquisite detail on the subject’s hands and face, work together to evoke emotional depth and authenticity that transcend mere photorealism- beneath the surface, this painting truly breathes.
What a delight, therefore, that Parfums MDCI has taken its subject to heart, delivering a fragrance that also glows with abundant humanity and warmth. Despite a complex notes list of citrus, fine florals, and rich woods, resins, and musks, L’Aimée turns out to be a fragrance of exquisitely blended softness and light. In a sense, it feels classical in its romantic depth, but it surprisingly carries none of the room-filling ostentatiousness one might expect from the notes- there are no sharp edges, no operatic swells and transitions- instead, it’s the lush romance of a perfectly tuned chamber orchestra. Florals and woods all float on a cloud of pillow-soft musk and vanilla, aglow with the natural light of sweet fruit and the gentlest touch of castoreum. The result is a fragrance for romantics of all ages, youthful enough for a princess, elegant enough for a queen. Though for Monsieur David’s sake, we should point out one needn’t support the monarchy to enjoy it.