Thursday 24 June 2021


If there’s one thing that the past twelve months have taught me it’s that I really do need to reach into the back of my cupboards a little more often. We all have a tendency to focus on what’s right in front of our noses, quite literally with perfume, and so often miss the treasures that are hiding in the shadows. New purchases are placed at the front and old favourites get forgotten. This became clear when I was having a rummage recently and came across a 2014 bottle of pure delight. So, after seven years of waiting patiently, it’s time to rediscover the exquisite magic of Divine L’éternel Féminin by Richard Ibanez.

Back in April 2014 I went to Paris to celebrate my birthday and, even though I work in the perfume industry, couldn’t resist treating myself to some fragrances. One of the brands that I came across was Divine, and the selection of scents were truly beautiful. I limited myself to one and opted for L’éternel Féminin, which had been their debut fragrance back in 1986. Back to the UK I came and, by accident, my bottle was pushed to the back of a shelf and remained patiently waiting to be rediscovered. It would take a pandemic for me to find it, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Divine was founded in Dinard by Yvon Mouchel, who originally ran a very successful perfume store. His love of fragrance was obvious, but he also had a desire to launch his own company. Now it’s worth remembering that this was back in 1986, before the Internet, and so Yvon’s company had to gain a loyal following based on word of mouth and quality alone. He would end up trading solely on his debut fragrance for fourteen years before expanding the collection, and the reason for that is because it’s as near perfection as you could hope to achieve.

The fragrance was named Divine L’éternel Féminin, although it’s now simply called Divine, and the task of creating it fell to Richard Ibanez. He was part of the Robertet stable of perfumers and would go on to create for the likes of Lalique, Maison Crivelli, and even Michael Bublé. Described as “a timeless Chypré for a woman who fully accepts her femininity and her beauty,” this decadently rich celebration of heady florals and earthy oakmoss transcends gender and, in my opinion, is almost unparalleled in its beauty. The version I have is the extrait, and I’ve never been more excited about rediscovering a Parisienne encounter.

Divine opens with a crisp peach note, alongside a tangy green tinge, and it’s refreshing that bergamot is used as a subtle support rather than an opening burst. A soapiness from the vanilla and sandalwood then appears quite quickly before a glorious floral heart comes into view. The blend of orange blossom, rose de mai, jasmine and tuberose creates an intoxicating wash that almost circles around you, teasing you with different aspects, and truly is perfection. The animalic quality of the jasmine lingers and links down to an earthy oakmoss, which cries out that this is a classic chypré, before a touch of cedarwood and patchouli add to the decadent effect. As the fragrance develops, a resinous musk comes into view that increases the feeling that Divine is from another time... and it's one that I'm very happy to return to.

Divine (L’éternel Féminin) is available from the Divine website at in various concentrations including €139 for 15ml extrait and £119 for 100ml Eau de Parfum. It’s also available as part of the 6x 1.7ml Discovery Set priced at €15 which is redeemable against your next order. [Bottle was purchased]

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