I found the review of zazie33 below very informative.
I think this fragrance is dependent on skin chemistry. The first time I put in on my skin, I knew it was my desert island fragrance, rich lush, sensual, pollinated, complex, perfectly crafted. It just worked on me. My skin chemistry doesn't register issues that plague some of the reviewers who don't feel that they can wear it: cuminous, urinous or cardboard, overly animalic, body odor, powder, etc etc. I didn't experience any of those negatives at all.
Une fleur de cassie is indescribably wonderful on my skin in all weather. I have a bottle from when it was released in 2000 and numerous, numerous 10ml travel flasks. My only quibble is sometimes I prefer to dab it rather than spray it. So I decant some.
Sometimes I read a review and try to figure out if the reviewer's skin chemistry and aesthetic are similar to mine. So it may be helpful to explain general types of fragrance that work and ones that fail on me. Some people cannot wear grapefruit fragrance due to sulfuric issues; I wear grapefruit scents like Guerlain Pamplemousse without any problem. But I have a hard time with certain indoles, i.e., vintage caron Narcisse Noire extrait (orange blossom white floral indolic) that turn urinous on me. Some lemon or bergamot top notes become a cross between sickly sweet lemon cough drop and functional cleaner. I keep trying tauer's fragrances (une rose chypre, incense rose etc) but the citric amber tones become too sweet in hot summer weather. I also have issues with some phenolic leathery chypres, like Bandit, and azuree, though I keep trying.
There is no getting around this. It smells of sex, or at least fresh female pudenda. You almost cannot help blushing when this accord hits your nose. Mixed with mimosa and woods, it becomes a sensual and elegant hybrid. The tenacity is amazing -- you must spritz lightly. It blooms on your skin, and everyone around you will ask about it. Most will love it. It takes a perfumer who loves women, who understands that there is no Madonna/Whore divisiveness among real women, as we encompass parts of both --and the sum is better than the parts. Truly symphonic. A great work of perfume art. One of my top five.
Une Fleur de Cassie is a beautiful fragrance but it is a bit of an acquired taste I feel. You must adore mimosa and dusty yellow mimosa flowers at that.
Firstly the bottle I have is the newer with the shiny new cap with EdP on the top of it. The color of the scent is a deep golden yellow - my favorite color for scents ! ( Not pink or blue etc... )
A lot of people have said they perceive a urinous note with Une Fleur and that it smells a bit dirty / animalistic. I have never been able to get that. Une Fleur opens pure dusty sweet mimosa and violet flowers on me and more or less remains that way . It's kind of hazy and foggy , a little vintage smelling , slightly green too but never anything rremotely bad or urine- like. I have the 100 ml bottle which will probably last me my whole life because as much as I love this scent, it is not really me though I do wear it when the mood strikes.
Iím a mimosa lover and whenever I smell some - well, cassie - in a fragrance, I run to my stash and smell this.
If Iím lucky, a perfume will have a colour association for me, Une Fleur de Cassie paints whole pictures, scenes in front of my eyes, one after another. It starts with a darkish, full-bodied, almost fuming carnation and maybe some glue or rubber, a tigress looking at me in the eye. Iím almost dizzy and high, and transported to a mysterious Latin country surely. There is a party, a fire, dresses, high heels, music, drums, tempo and my tigress has turned into a woman enjoying the heat of her own body. There are many reviews here that say that it smells like dung, urine, baby diapers and I believe them. Still, I never get these from Une Fleur de Cassie myself. I canít even call it skank. Itís just intense and passionate, soon to move on to its sweeter and spicy mid-notes. Now I sense a laziness, a bit of powder, maybe the combination of peach and aldehydes with a bit of rose and violet showing their little faces from time to time. I donít think I could perceive these separately if I hadnít read about the notes, but here they are. The drydown is a woman taking an afternoon nap in a hot climate. My tigress is now breathing deeply in her sleep, muscles of her body move in apprehension but she is unexpectedly calm. This is surprising after what I have witnessed. Une Fleur de Cassie is now some warm skin that has eaten up a lot of heat. I also get some sweet, balmy sandalwood. This isnít some transcendental perfection of femininity deprived of all imperfections and humaneness. Itís a real human body that isnít trying to erase its wrinkles or get rid of its curves and whatnot. Itís one of the most complex perfumes Iíve tried in my life and very melancholy at times. Itís still very wearable. Thank you Ropion, for creating this.
Cassie loves me and behaves beautifully for me. I get a lot of jasmine and sandalwood. The opening is fleshy, but in a voluptuous way. It quickly becomes a skin scent on me, but a very distinctive one. It's like the scent of warm skin that's lightly oiled--almost buttery.
I think I have weird chemistry. Many perfumes that work for other people smell nasty and screechy on me. This smells divine. It has a bit of a body odor note for the first few minutes, but then it leaves and I'm left with a creamy, gorgeous scent.
Beautiful, yes, but also shockingly animalic. Really does smell like a baby's feces along with the delicious and complex and shimmering peppery florals. Take the 'diaper' note (I don't know what this is exactly) in Chanel No 5 Parfum and magnify it several times over. I should say that the first time I tested this at Barneys I somehow didn't catch the animalic note, but upon wearing it the next day it was obvious and now I smell it immediately when I take the cap off the bottle. An interesting, complex and uniquely beautiful perfume for sure, I can't stop smelling my arm when I've worn this because it is fascinating. But after a couple hours I feel like I need a shower because it's just so animalistic. No wonder the Frederic Malle website calls this 'almost bestial' and likens it to perfumes of the 1930's which smelled 'disturbing'.
Oh My!!!! I swoon when I smell this. I don't wear this to work as I deal with the public and it just won't do to have me standing there smelling my wrist all the time with an unsettled look on my face. This scent has a real presence. I think of it as keeping me company. It is strong and sexy and in your face in an almost uncomfortable way. And I think it's absolutely divine.
A very crude and inarticulate portrait of Une Fleur de Cassie: Opens like a Chanel. i.e. lots of aldehydes. But wait a minute...no, now it has morphed into Apres L'Ondee! Five minutes more and it is something altogether different, soft mimosa breaks through. This is a very complex and well-done perfume. It reminds me of a fourth of July fireworks finale, where there are constant new surprises. I'm not sure I would repurchase, as aldehydic fragrances are not my thing, but an absolute must try for lovers of the classics and quality, well orchestrated perfumes.
I'm not one to break apart a fragrance into its elements but to focus on what it evokes. This is for when you have to behave but you don't want to.