I leave the English translation out of this one, as I am sure you are able to figure it out and connect the dots between the name and the perfume. I would rather stick to the more elegant sounding French name as the perfume evokes a fantasy of powder puffs, rouge, and a coquettish figure wearing them.
Putain des Palaces (Etat Libre d’Orange, 2007), at its core, is a classical cosmetic rose. It is dominated by the familiar notes of violet and rose. It starts out with the cold sugar crystals of violets and warms up to the honeyed sweetness of rose. The lambent rice powder provides the vanity table experience.
But if it were just a well-executed cosmetic rose, Putain des Palaces would not be nearly as interesting—after all, cosmetic roses are a dime a dozen. Drôle de Rose (L’Artisan Parfumeur, 1996) and Lipstick Rose (Frédéric Malle, 2000), as examples, easily come to mind. Instead, its creator, perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, opts for a twist that sets the story apart. The hint of soft leather is almost as if to suggest that this is the inside of a cosmetic bag, storing down powder puffs, lipsticks, and scented talcum. Then, cumin adds a subtly risqué element to it. The sweaty, animalic note of this spice is the perfect foil for the sweetness of the violet and the rose; it insinuates a delicate pleasure of the flesh.
The dry down of rosy powder puffs juxtaposed to an animalic spice is elegant yet sultry. Its powdery aspect is airy and dry, unlike many powdery accords that tend to be opaque with dense, musky finish. Putain des Palaces is classically feminine at first, but the dusky animalic vibe of cumin keeps the sweet flowers grounded enough to feel unisex, and I can imagine layering it with dark incense and woods, especially with its comparable tenacity.