Liquides Imaginaires Desert Suave

For a long time, I had paid no attention to the brand Liquides Imaginaires. There are so many new houses and they don’t all catch my eye. But one day a friendly sales assistant pointed them out in response to my looking at “masculine” scents. I told her I was not impressed by the bottles: I found their pillar likeness oddly off-putting. She was quick to explain that the perfumer was an architect,  the shape of the bottles was representative of fundamental principles of … I’m not really sure what. I have tried to research this architect angle but came up empty-handed. Though I felt zero attraction to the brand, I went home with a handful of samples; and now I own two bottles of Liquides Imaginaires because, damn, they were all varying degrees of excellent. But let me continue with my carping…

The name Desert Suave is so terrible to me I wince at the thought of someone asking what I’m wearing. It reads like google translate had its way with an excellent name in another language. If this had been a bottle covered in graffiti and maybe an animal paste-up (that’s a graffiti term for all you cool cats), then the name would have been ironic. But no, the pillars of serious architectural posturing are not being ironic. Let me assure you though that Desert Suave does smell like the fantasy oasis of the ad copy, perhaps the one Camel cigarettes wanted you to imagine, and it IS very suave. I’m pretty sure Lawrence of Arabia’s corner shop smells exactly like this. Desert Suave is overwhelmingly dates and dried fruit soaked in syrups and orange blossom water. It’s not particularly sweet because this is a not a dessert, it’s the raw ingredients of a dessert and perhaps some truly excellent naan. Cardamom is wonderfully present, as well as wafts of saffron. Apparently, Desert Suave has a toasted sesame seed note that I almost imagine I can smell.

Liquides Imaginaires Desert Suave

This is a very rich scent. Rich is such a beautiful perfume word, don’t you think? It’s different then “dense” or “luxurious” or “multi-layered”. There is not a lot of progression in Desert Suave, but 12 hours later I’m left with a sweet balsam that is most pleasing. I enjoy how literal this scent is, though it is going for a souk vibe, it is highly focused and never becomes just another oriental. There’s no oud or patchouli, just luminous warm resins, dates and dried fruit. If they had upped the cumin, it would have been skank heaven, but I found the cumin almost undetectable. Perhaps they could release a cumin soaked flanker, Desert Siren, so I could again be traumatized by the name but love everything inside the bottle.

I’ve been very happy with this house, and I’m going to continue exploring it, bottle dorkiness be damned!

Liquides Imaginaires Desert Suave (Quentin Bisch and Nisrine Grillie, 2018)

Top Notes: Indian cardamom, Italian mandarin, clove, cumin, black pepper, saffron
Middle Notes: African orange blossom, rose, geranium, date
Base Notes: Spanish cistus, toasted sesame seed, atlas cedarwood, musk

Image: my own

16 thoughts on “Liquides Imaginaires Desert Suave

  1. That sounds really nice. This brand has never been one I’ve sent off for samples; same reaction as you. But now I’m curious. What is your other bottle?

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    • I’ve honestly liked all of their fragrances, though there is some repetition. My other bottle is Buveur de Vent, which is nicely ashtray.

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  2. I didn’t care for Desert Suave, it was rather animalic on my skin, but I do have Sancti and Dom Rosa. The bottles are just okay to me, I feel kind of indifferent to the brand as a whole.

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  3. WANT!
    I love the brand Narth and also have two bottles. Peau de Bete and Sancti. Am hoping to add Desert Suave and Fleuve tender at some point in the near future.

    Love the way you write fragrance AND that photo. Is it from a book?

    SO…….. what is your second bottle? I feel like I should know, or remember, this but can’t for the life of me.
    Portia xx

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    • I really need to retry Peau de Bete, I think I only did a brief spray. The other one is Buveur de Vent. Got Fleur de Sable as a sample recently but haven’t given it a run yet. All the wine-y ones are good, sometimes amazing! Though a little effervescent. Fortis was popular for a while and I think I need to revisit it.

      As to the pic, it’s from a book on carpets I had. Pre-Covid I would have taken my bottle to a market and posed it near dried fruits, or bought a medly of things and posed it in a bowl. Now I have stack of art books and I am using those!

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  4. Great post Narth. I don’t think I’ve ever come across this brand but am intrigued by your description of Desert Suave. I’m with you on being put off by the name. I love desert soukh kind of fragrances but they do cover a range. I was in love with the idea of Zoologist’s Camel after reading many descriptions of it’s Desert Soukishness and happily got me a sample to smell. I could totally agree with the descriptions but it reminded me a lot of Ambre Arguile. I should wear the Hermes more but there is something in the balance that is too sickish sweet for me to enjoy and it seems to last for e verrrrrrrrrr. I found the same thing happening in Camel.
    So I seem to be on Andy Taur’s LDDM or Serge’s Ambre Sultan side of the spectrum in wanting my desert souk spices and such to be a bit on the drier side. Where would Suave fit on that spectrum do you think?

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    • Camel was one of my favourites of Zoologist, though I have yet to full bottle it. I have not tried Ambre Arguile though I think I have a sample somewhere. I think Suave would be much closer to Ambre Sultan, though without as much going on. There’s no big amber note, rather the saffron dominates. But I say this as a person for whom LDDM had too much amber.

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  5. When I read “Desert Suave” I think of Oded Fehr as Ardeth Bay in Mummy ;)

    I think I like this brand (and bottles as well), but it’s extremely hard to justify 100 ml of any perfume (and especially at their price). So, had they released 15-30 ml travel bottles, I would have gotten at least a couple of their perfumes. Until then the only one that I have is Bello Rabelo (see the linked above related post On Cloud Nine).

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    • I’m not sure if I’ve tried Bello Rabelo, I think it may be one that’s not in Aus. And yes to the 100ml, even a nicely done 60ml would be a better choice. I mean I have litres of perfume. LITRES. And I do not need this volume!

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