This review is for the pure perfume, which I've sampled through the kindness of a fellow MUA-er, to whom I will always be grateful. I haven't as yet tried the EDP or EDT, but would like too. At first dab, L'Heure Bleu smells like a GUERLAIN. That is, the opening "note" is Guerlainade. At least on me. That, in itself, is nice enough, for Guerlainade in parfum form has a sexy--no, I mean SENSUAL-- glowing undertow that pulls you under. But, within 15 - 30 seconds, something different and magical happens. L'Heure Bleu becomes what it is: it completely transcends whatever notes it contains in order to BECOME the blue hour of twilight in a very special city, the sky tinged at the very edge by a few remaining bits of reflected peach-orange sunlight light (though the sun itself is gone). To be able to paint such a vivid picture using scent is nothing less than AMAZING. So many of us seem to see the same kinds of images when we wear this perfume. We even hear the sounds that would accompany such a scene. After a while, the picture fades, the perfume becomes perfume again, but it is the beautiful Guerlainade drydown, so it's wonderful, too. L'Heure Bleu is a rare and special scent.
I'm not sure I should review this. Maybe I should just keep the secret to myself! I had to give it a "4", butlet the record show that this product deserves 4.5 lippies. Molinard de Molinard is an understatedly elegant fragrance. It's ladylike and dignified, but in the most unpretentious and natural way possible, so that even though it works smashingly when you're dressed up, it is also super-sexy with casual clothes (or, I admit, nothing at all--I sometimes wear this to bed as my husband really likes it). This scent has great personality. It's intelligent, it's refined, it's comfortable in its own skin, it's charming, it's MAGNIFICENT. What are the notes? Hell if I know. It's a Molinard. These are the people who make Habanita--the Cuban tabacco perfume with no Cuban tobacco. All I can tell you is that it is a nice blend. It smells softly "green", not from any particular green note (such as grass, black currant leaves, pine, etc), just soft "green" -ness, muted and uplifted with a blending of various flowers. If you are a fan of green scents, you should by all means, check this out, but even if you DON'T like greens, you really should keep an open mind--you might like this anyway. It is a perfect "medium" in intensity as well as duration. You will smell lovely, people won't have to attach their noses in your skin just to catch a hint of it, nor will they run and hide from you in order to avoid a headache. I have the EDT and it is the exact potency I would like; most fragrances I require an EDP or better (because of my "cool" metabolism). It lasts just about all day, maybe coming up a bit short at the end. Perfect for almost any occasion: sexy, attractive, vivacious, but SO respectable, that's Molinard de Molinard. It comes to you from Grasse, France, where Molinard has been in business for over 150 years. But you can buy for next to nothing. I paid less than $15 for a small bottle from a popular e-tailer. SHHHHHHH! Let's just keep this our little secret!
I really love a good lavender, and let me tell you, this isn't it. It's pleasantly reminiscent of lavender at the top, for the first 5 seconds or so. After that, it's all cotton-candy fluff on me. It's easy to think of mean things to say about this fragrance, but it's just a poor, defenseless, inexpensive little Molinard. On first application, when one is expecting a true lavender scent, this product is dreadfully disappointing. It just smells so WRONG. But once you know it for what it really is, it's actually kind of pleasant for those times when you're in the mood for something simple, artificial, a bit powdery, and candy sweet. *I* do have those moods (though not often enough to inspire me to purchase this scent). It's very feminine and girlish, would have been perfect for junior high.
It is very hard for me not to be cruel when reviewing this fragrance. Is it the prohibitive price? Or is it the effect of all the ravingly positive reviews, glowing radioactive in my face until any sense of objectivity and fairness I have left simply melts away? For honestly, it is only the most supreme act of willpower on my part that is keeping me from sticking out my tongue and giving this product a "1" , even though in my heart I KNOW that it deserves a solid 2.5. I am the proud owner of 2 sample vials of FdTRB. It's a super-realistic bulgarian rose scent, really almost HYPER-realistic, a perfect rose at the perfect moment, exaggerated. I consider it rather a "novelty" scent, like a Demeter. You can try to tell me that FdTRB's scent comes from the costliest pure natural Bulgarian rose and flower essences, but I will not believe you. FdTRB smells and behaves like a lab-created scent. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Not at all. But when I apply it, I do not feel like I am wearing a fine perfume such as Angelique Encens or Tuberose Indiana. I feel like I am wearing a product that could just as easily be sold as room spray (like Demeter PMU's). Spray your skin, spray MY skin, or spray the air--it's the same either way, because this scent smells exactly the same everywhere and on everyone. It does not develop or meld with the skin, it has no heart notes or drydown, it smells exactly the very same on Aunt Sally as it does on me or you--all day long. All day long. That's the big difference between FdTRB and a well-executed Demeter (besides the price!). A Demeter PMU gives you 5 minutes of glorious hyper-realistic scent. Creed's FdTRB lasts ALL DAY and then some. It really does. I wonder, has anyone figured out how many dollars' worth of Demeter Bulgarian Rose (which I haven't sniffed btw) you would need to use to maintain an all-day-long rose buzz? Perhaps--just saying perhaps--oz for oz, the disparity is not so great. But for me, the duration of FdTRB is not a draw. When I am in the mood to smell crisp, "real" roses, I still hesitate to reach for my sample vials. I always have to ask myself if I'm prepared to live with this scent for the next 8 or more hours. It is so flat and one dimensional to wear for that long. It's like taking a very long airline flight: though it is really magnificent to be up in the sky, above the clouds, a place that humans only DREAMED of going to for so many centuries: After a few minutes it's a dull view. It's MUCH more exciting to be traveling by train or car, watching the terrain change before your eyes --whether spectacularly, as when you go through the mountains, or subtly, as when you go through the prairie. After a few hours with FdTRB, my nose always feels claustrophobic. It wants to be back on solid ground, it wants to get out and EXPLORE again. There are SO MANY really wonderful, delightful rose perfumes that I enjoy immensely. SOme of the ones I am thinking of (Stella, Or Et Noir, Caron Rose, Diptyque L'Ombre Dans l'Eau, etc etc) are QUITE "real" smelling. What's more, they have what I consider to be the mark of high quality perfume: they are masterfully blended and they interact with the skin in a lively, beautiful way. Each time I put them on, they take me on a different trip, and show me different views. For me, that's what perfume is all about.
This is a very appealing soliflore rose-- and since I am not a rose lover, that's quite a compliment. At some moments, it's velvety and just a LITTLE sweet, at other momemts it's more crisp (but never sharp). All in all, it is a very satisfying scent, nice enough that throughout its duration I find much pleasure in the hazy waves of Caron Rose that rise to meet me. Its waves gradually get softer and softer. Then towards the end (hours later), a quiet vanilla comes forward in the drydown. Though I'm usually not much for vanilla, it's really a lovely effect. Once the vanilla takes over, the fragrance makes no further claims to crispness. It yields completely to its soft side. It is reasonably long-lived for an EDP. The vanilla-rose drydown remains glowing softly--quiet, but definitely not mute--for another hour or two. As a soliflore rose, Caron Rose is comparable to Creed's FDTRB. I like Caron Rose much better. Not because it is softer (it IS, but that's not why I prefer it) but because I find FDTRB to be flat and unchanging on the skin. I enjoy the changes in Caron Rose. It is a very pretty scent. However, I can't give it 5 Lippies or call it the Fairest Rose In The Land as long as Or Et Noir still exists. Caron Rose is a pretty but less mature little sister to Or Et Noir, which is absolutely brilliant and STUNNING.
I often wonder that this scent --and really, Hermes in general--doesn't get talked about more in fragrance circles. Un Jardin En Mediterranee is my favorite fig fragrance, surpassing even Philosykos. Cedar and fig go together beautifully. The citrus notes don't stand out separately to me, but instead, add a bubbliness to the cedar and fig, so that the fragrance is very sparkling and refreshing. It's only very mildly sweet (it is marketed as unisex, afterall), less sweet than the Dyptique but MORE sweet than Marc Jacobs for men. I find it to be cooling and quenching--exactly the perfect thing for a ruthlessly hot summer day in the desert that I live in where a typical high temp is over 110 degrees.
I never cared for the EDT or EDP. THey just don't work with my chemistry. I get a strange "balsam" effect where the product starts smelling like very potent balsam shampoo. The parfum (which I have been able to try through the kindess of another MUA member) is another matter entirely. Two tiny drops are all it takes. It's magical stuff, designed to meld with the skin and send off intoxicating waves of alluring fragrance.It is a living substance: at some moments taking a more solid, buttery form, at other moments assuming a powdery nature, it changes forms as if by mood. To be perfectly honest, Shalimar is not my favorite "type" of perfume, being that it is a sweet, amber/vanilla sort of fragrance, with no distinguishing flowers, spices, etc. I normally go for love-it-or-hate-it scents that are a little Too Much of something: leather, smoke, spice, incense, flower, or what-have-you, just so long as it has something overwhelming about it. At best, vanilla (as a headliner in a perfume) bores me. At worst, it nauseates me. Shalimar is not about love-it-or-hate-it. There is nothing in it to hate. It is a soft, womanly fragrance that almost anyone would find attractive. Sexy, yet comforting (and non-threatening in its softness). The reason I love it (the parfum) is because it is so vivid and has a life of its own--I can almost hear it breathing on my skin! I can almost SEE it while it is busy hooking itself around my husband's nose and pulling him close to me. Shalimar is not a "chic" perfume, but it is incredibly attractive and sexy in a way that has never gone out of style.
I am very fond of several Hermes fragrances, so I was happy to get this spray sample amongst the other sample goodies a nice SA at NM gave me. It's very light and refreshing to apply--perfect for the oppressive desert heat where I live. Trouble is, the scent fades completely within 3 minutes. There isn't even time to identify the pleasant-smelling notes. Linden? I don't know! I think it was all just a dream!
True rating should be 4.5 Lippies. It's not sublime enough for a 5, but it has more excellence than a 4 must have. I have learned to embrace almost all of the perfume "types" or "fragrance families"-- greens, florals, citrus, animal or leather-based, incense, etc etc. and I can usually find a way to enjoy almost any note. So I never rule out trying something because it has a particular note that I don't usually care for. Believe me, life would be much easier for me if I could! But in fact, I just love it when a perfume gives me a note I thought I disliked and makes me beg for more. FOr example, the dirty way that Voleur de Roses makes me love patchouli (and frankly, the house of L'Artisan) against my will. Because of this perverse character trait, I am doomed with a will--nay, a savage HUNGER, a furious DRIVE-- to sample every perfume ever made. Though I've wanted to like them, I haven't done well with those Eastern notes (such as lotus or water lily). I enjoy them for a few moments for the change-of-pace they offer, but find myself quickly overwhelmed or even annoyed by them. What makes Vicolo Fiore different, or special, is the blending-- the unifying of East and West. It is more than just a pretty spring floral given an extra "snap" with the Eastern ingredients added as a gimmick. No. It's simply a beautiful bouquet, elegantly composed, the two "types" (East/West) of ingredients complementing and harmonizing with each other in a most natural way, as if they'd grown side-by-side in the same gardens all their lives. A lovely, refreshing Eurasian spring floral. Half a lippie taken off for lack of staying-power.
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Les Enfants du Soleil
Suzy_Queue 7/24/2004 9:55:00 AM
Too sweet 'n' candy-ish on me. The fruit--manderin orange, and I believe I smell mango in there--is like sorbet with added corn syrup. It annoys me no end, because I really like certain aspects of this fragrance. It's a nice young, beachy "throw-on-your-bikini-and-some-suntan oil-and-leave-your-brain-behind" kind of scent, the type of perfume to reach for when the only vacation you have the option of taking is the imaginary kind. However, the fruit notes annoy me and bust up the reverie. Like most perfumes that I don't love, lasting power is great. I really like the leftover drydown the next day, the vanilla is non-"kreme"y and has a rich rum flavor to it.
Actually I'd like to give this fragrance 4.5 Lippies instead of 4. Bois Et Fruits--it is what it is: soft woods and candied fruit. Or maybe not candied fruit but DRIED fruit. I haven't seen the official list of notes, but to me, the fruits smell especially like prunes (which are plums), dates, and dried peaches or pears. These fruits are sweetened naturally, no added sugar, so it's not an "overkill" of sweetness here. The wood smells predominantly of cedar, a lovely, soft cedar, and alongside the fruits it suggests a nuttiness to me. This perfume also has a slight powderiness to it. It reminds me of the powdery texture of chopped dates. My, it does sound edible, doesn't it? And I--one who dislikes foody scents--love it. This is the only candied fruit scent that I truly love, perhaps because it is not very sweet or rich. It has a refreshing lightness to it. It's delightful on a hot summer day, though its ingredients suggest a winter scent.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Slatkin Black Fig and Absinthe
Suzy_Queue 7/22/2004 1:19:00 PM
2 Lippies. This fragrance was hugely disappointing to me, and I am not willing to give all the blame to my personal chemistry. I give them this: Black Fig and Absinthe was a truly excellent idea, but after numerous tests on my skin under varying circumstances (such as season and weather), and testing it on my daughters and my best friend, I have come to believe that Slatkin executed it poorly. The fig is almost non-existent, and can only be detected in the very opening seconds after application--but only under the best of circumstances. The absinthe accord is quite nice, though a bit candy-ish at times (the Good 'n' Plenty comparisons are spot-on) and blends well with the wood tones in the fragrance. It is here that I should tell you that I wanted to give this product 2.5 lippies, right in the middle, instead of only 2. Two lippies is too harsh for what IS a pleasant-smelling fragrance--but three is too generous. Update Oct 2005: It is here that I should tell you that I have come to believe that I am a complete fucking moron. What a pompous-sounding ninny! This 'fume is actually fabulous, especially on a cold day. Rich, golden, it is a sophisticated smoky liqour that you smell instead of drink. Makes the air around you GLOW. Love it.
I had to rate this fragrance highly as it is not only a high quality product, but it smells JUST like Loukhoum, very much more so than SL's. However, I find the SL to be vastly more wearable. This is a matter of my personal taste, though, and I would not want to discourage others from trying the Keiko Mecheri. I find SL's version to be more of an INTERPRETATION of loukhoum, or a scent that is inspired by the candy, wheras Keiko Mecheri's IS the candy. When I wore it, I found myself constantly looking at my wrists--I fully expected to find powdered sugar on them! This is way too foody and sweet for me. I found it annoying (good sillage, btw!). But this IS a candied scent, so what else should have I expected? Therefore I give it good marks.
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Leaves Series- Calamus
Suzy_Queue 7/19/2004 9:28:00 AM
First off: If you are not one of those fragrance lovers who are always seeking greener pastures, this product is not for you! However, I AM a green devotee, and I am always on the lookout for a more verdant verde. Calamus' opening notes showed great promise! The notes make for a somewhat different shade of green than found in other green scents. It's not sharp, but crisp; it's an earthy sort of green, even somewhat edible-smelling (perhaps due to the celery), a quality it shares with Diptyque's Virgilio (which is yet ANOTHER shade of green, but still has that edible quality). Whether it's your cup of tea or not, you have to admit it's very intriguing. I LIKE it, and find it refreshing, but it never develops into anything. It is ALL OVER in NO TIME. In five minutes there is nary a trace of Calamus on my skin.
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Incense Series Avignon
Suzy_Queue 7/18/2004 11:50:00 PM
I generally like fragrances with incense notes, and have been tremendously enjoying trying the CdG Incense Series. Avignon is emerging as my favorite of the series so far, mostly because it has the best staying power. This scent stays true to its purpose. There is no added vanilla, musk, etc for sex appeal. It is not "Incense Lite". It's not a sexy perfume blend that uses incense for a kick. (Not that there's anything wrong with that! Many of my all-time favorites fall under that description!). Avignon is straightforward incense. The result: once ignited with Avignon, my skin emits purity and holiness. *I* become the incense. I give off a radiant, cleansing fragrance that has a hint of earthiness to keep it grounded. Is it sexy? How dare you ask such a question! Get your mind out of the gutter, you! (Actually, it probably is sexy to some). When my sample vial is empty, I will despair until I have a bottle (or at least a decant) of this uniquely transforming fragrance.