I always feel a bit guilty about rating a fragrance. It's subjective and it is based on how much I like the smell of it and nothing more; I won't pretend to have any technical or academic insight into its structure--how would I know what separates dross from diamond? Unlike with cosmetic products, where I can easily relate performance, texture, appearance and hope that my comments are helpful and that my ratings are fair, I can only rank perfumes in the worst way possible--biased by personal taste.
Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles is a perfume where the preface is needed. I no longer wear incense fragrances and do not find them appealing on others. Yet I am going to step outside personal taste and give this one a four. In Fille en Aiguilles, Serge Lutens has created what at base level could have been part of the CDG Incense Series, a highly creative and evocative line of incense scents that has yet to be equaled for its breadth and imagination.
The base of Fille en Aiguilles smells like a mixture of CDG Zagorsk (pine) and Avignon (vanillic smoke); the weight of incense is about the same as in the two CDG frags. The sourness of woodsmoke and joss stick plays about the bottom of Fille en Aiguilles to the point that it transcends perfume and becomes experiential, just as it does in the CDG.
Opening, the acidic quality of pine surprises. So concentrated and clear is it that feels as if it will burn a hole through your wrist; for a similar effect, take small cuttings from a fresh blue spruce, put them in a tin can, and don't open it for a month. When you do open it, inhale deeply. What you get from the pine in FeA is not the scent of pine on a winter's draft, but the pine sap cooked down like a drug.
The affinity Lutens has for his stewed fruits (dates, apricots, plums) is much in evidence through the center section of FeA, without their playing a disjunctive role. They are there, minced and stewed to compote consistency, and they are quite lovely indeed with the pine, to create a montage of seasonal experience, part indoors and part out.
Both top and central themes vanish by the base. I don't know that this smoky, resinous base will necessarily please hardcore incense fans, simply because it has been done before (although not done better) and isn't revolutionary. I find so much similarity to the CDG series here that I would not elect to buy FeA simply because the drydown lasts longest and I have two from the series at hand already. However, were I to recommend an incense fragrance, it would be this one. Whereas the CDG scents are shadowy and gray, FeA hits you with a knockout pine punch right off the top, for better or worse. Serge is unambiguous here, making for an improvement over Chypre Rouge, another of his forest/food compositions. This is territory well staked, and on a grander scale as befits the house.
Unfortunate bottle and gender assignment aside, Pour un Homme is a five-star lavender fragrance. Opening with a very animated, very "green" lavender, Pour un Homme seems as if it is...pour un homme. Unlike my other lavender faves Gris Clair and Encens et Lavande, if there is something underlying the lavender (smoke, singed wood, tonka bean), it isn't initially apparent. Pour un Homme seems at first spritz like a big-ticket lavender.
Five minutes later, something strange and wondrous begins to happen: something that smells almost minty appears, as does a chic touch of camphor that is probably nothing more than the assertive lavender pitching itself into the Oriental base.
That base, composed of ultra-smooth vanilla, amber, and musk is perfect counterpart to the strongly aromatic lavender. Pour un Homme is a yin-yang fragrance, one whose top is male and whose base is female, and if we can use this as one definition of "unisex" than we should do so (or the reverse). The duality of nature is in perfect balance, because of the lack of seaming between the two components. At first, the sweeter, semi-gourmand base seems merely to warm the lavender, but half an hour later it's mostly base with what can only be called a shimmer of lavender hovering ever so subtly above. In this phase, lavender seems to rise off the base, which is more firmly affixed to the skin (and skin chemistry), and gives an idea of the porousness of the base.
Smoke is a big component in the Lutens lavenders (as is a bit of friction in Encens et Lavande), but it is not in the Caron. Pour un Homme is creamy and plush and inviting where the Lutenses are dry and sharp and crepuscular.
One might define the top, as could be expected, as "bracing," in the way traditional lavender fragrances are bracing. I appreciate that Lutens has made lavender hip, taking it away from a traditional role, but it is in the Caron that one can wear lavender without smelling as if one had been dabbling in creative whimsy or in grandfather's medicine chest. Pour un Homme might even be too sweet for certain men, even if the base comes close to a food/sex connection. The vanilla is a bit flat; this is not an issue for me and in any event plays secondary role to the amber.
I also have a nice sample of the alcohol-free "pour le peau" variation. The lavender is much less pronounced and the vanilla/musk is more apparent. I have read on a blog that there are bath oil beads (bath oil beads for men--how wonderful!) available that may be broken open to wear as parfum, and I think I will have to buy some of these in the near future.
Pour un Homme is something I would recommend to those looking to explore lavender as a fragrance note, as a jumping-off point. It's an ideal introduction to lavender and to how wonderfully lavender can combine with other notes.
Several Christmases ago, Sephora packed a sample of Ce Soir ou Jamais into my order. The sample was the eau de toilette formulation and I found it intoxicating and as close as one could come to a rose absolute.
Figuring richer is better, I bought eau de parfum and then rarely wore it. EdP was rose petals and leaves macerating in a good quality Bordeaux. So winey was the EdP that I found it difficult to wear; the wine and rose together seemed tannic, and when this was joined by the green notes the composition went sharp and never quite settled.
I recently picked up a bottle of eau de toilette and am happily reunited with the sensation that I had when I first smelled Ce Soir ou Jamais--carefully adulterated rose with a complex, spicy/musky undertone.
Although it was claimed that 160 essences went into its creation, Ce Soir seems more reductive than that number would indicate. In EdT, the rose is front and center, touched very minimally by the red wine note. A light fizziness lasts throughout the heart bouquet. The spiciness is mysterious. It seems closest to cinnamon's hot/dry qualities, but it is equally possible that it is nutmeg.
I do not normally care for fruity rose scents (Nahema a prime example), but the fruit notes in Ce Soir seem to be touched upon the scent's structure very carefully. Very little sweetness is involved (compare to Nahema, where on me the sweet passionfruit dominates) and, if anything, the pear note is an unripened d'Anjou, still with some sourness in place of ripened fleshiness. Cassis isn't noticeable.
Ambrette seed stands in for musk here, perhaps with addition of an Atlas cedar note. As Ce Soir dries, and quite remarkably, I do not lose anything of the whole. This doesn't mean that Ce Soir is linear, it is simply that as each component introduces itself, it stays attached through to the basenotes. Ce Soir is somewhat like Feminite du Bois as it approaches the base, although the comparison might seem far-fetched, and yet it places Ce Soir firmly into the "neo-chypre" category, which is one I like very much.
Unlike F. Malle's gloriously ripe Une Rose, Ce Soir's rose seems to be a rose with withering edges. A slight effect of decay reminds me of Patou 1000, although without the vase full of murky water that holds 1000's bouquet.
Although clearly marketed as romantic fragrance, Ce Soir is far from that notion. There is nothing winsome about it, and neither is it a lusty rose or even a sexy one. In fact, it seems to have a quirky remove to it, in the same way Feminite du Bois does--it's a rose not for lovers but a rose for the covert eccentric.
For all its repute as a leather par excellence, Tabac Blond is on me strictly carnation. Caron does carnation well, leaving it uncompromised by sugary facets. In Tabac Blond, the floral is treated in such a way that it approaches fermentation (yeastiness).
There is a distinct difference betwen the eau de parfum and the parfum. Parfum is where Tabac Blond's kerosene note fuels the composition. This note, as repugnantly enticing as can be, is missing in the EdP formulation. EdP is more Victorian in comparison, with a sweet/spicy carnation/clove being the most prominent aspect, although this might be said to be a "dark" carnation and not an overtly feminine one. Parfum plays down the floral with the blond tobacco note to the point that individual florals (iris? ylang-ylang?) are not ripe for the picking. Carnation dominates, and the deeper you go into the scent, the more the peculiar breadiness picks up; is it sourdough we smell here?
In order to get the full range of effect, I layer parfum over EdP. Used in this manner, the more industrial parfum obtains a layer of sweetness. Both formulations ride close to the skin and invite a closer inspection. Vanilic base notes are charmingly dirty.
The illusion of Tabac Blond is that it is somehow "butch" or implicitly, though its leather/tobacco, something to be confiscated by macho women. In light of modern niche perfumery, Tabac Blond seems as womanly as possible, and not very risque at all. It is historically fascinating, dating as it does from nearly the rose/violet "toilet water" era. There, it took a stand: One can imagine it in a lesbian boite in Jazz Age Paris, defining a moment as well as a sexual proclivity--and marvelously so!
Tabac Blond truly and originally defines the jolie laide in a scent, and should be referred to by modern noses looking to rough up their scents with oppositional elements.
Montaigne is classic haute-French parfumerie with a capital "C." Step back in time to an era where perfume smelled, well, perfumey, top-loaded with sizzling aldehydes and a bullet bra of white florals.
Was that era the Big Eighties? Caron launched Montaigne in 1986, which was the tail end of an era of overblown, ambery Orientals. Montaigne was out of step even then; it smells of the 1950s thanks to the crisp formality of the aldehydes. Like a crinoline, they stiffen and give body to the composition and seem old-fashioned today, but only in reference to what presently lines the shelves of Sephora.
Speaking of the shelves of Sephora, one notes the detergent citrus of Light Blue. Montaigne has citrus (orange) and plenty of it, so much so that it nearly borders being a solvent. It's fabulous stuff, slightly industrial and lasting through to drydown in its piquancy. Although comparisons have been drawn to Alpona, it is Acaciosa that the opening of Montaigne calls to mind. Acaciosa cooks pineapple over jasmine and the same jasmine appears in Montaigne, this time with the orange. Thanks to the native bitterness and fresh verisimilitude of the orange rind, the effect of fruit over jasmine is not so sweet or thick. Caron's jasmine always strikes me as gourmand and lacking in indoles; it has a powdered-sugar quality that borders on being too rich. In Montaigne, the orange cuts this sugariness markedly.
Significant mimosa calls to mind the doughiness of Farnesiana. Montaigne in its heart is part flower, part creative bakery. You get the sense of a gateau strewn with edible flower and orange rind---the effect might have been blowsy and probably would have been in less capable hands.
Frequently, the drydown of a fragrance does not dry down so much as let down, as a fragrance peters out to an uninspired base. Montaigne's base positively sings. Here is a wondrous amber/musk base that weaves the persistent orange note throughout; it is, to my mind, the ultimate achievement, for the orange note is what differentiates Montaigne from powdery (cosmetic) Carons.
Recommended, for various reasons, to those who like: First, Jardins de Bagatelle, and, surprisingly enough, de Nicolai Cococabana.
I have opaque lipsticks in this color that need to be applied with utmost delicacy and concern for my fellow humans. I dot and dab and then have to bother with gloss on the top to spread the stain around--it's an awful lot of work and if I don't get it right I might get mistaken for that unfortunate creature, the middle-aged Goth.
Enter Fast Ride, which Sephora describes as a "sheer mulberry." It looks terrible in the tube, almost a dried-blood color with a hint of Bordeaux, very vampirish. But since this is one of the Nars sheers, I knew it would look nothing like this on the lips and that I could test it at Sephora and leave without attracting the most pitying looks.
Fast Ride is, in a word, perfection. For those preferring a slightly darker YLBB look in the plum/wine category, this lipstick cannot be topped. As with my other Nars faves, Damage and Shrinagar (all in the same color family), Fast Ride has that balm-like texture with a long-lasting stain. It's easily buildable over the remnant stain.
At application, Fast Ride looks like a gloss due to a high-shine factor, but, unlike gloss, it doesn't wear off at the touch of the first Coke can. It's a great way to wear a darker lip without too much drama. I fuss around with Chanel Vamp trying to get this effect, but with Fast Ride all it takes is a single swipe.
Shrinagar is, like Damage, my go-to lipstick. Although it appears "goth" in the tube (darkish purple/red), it applies as a deep berry with an underlying silvery sheen. It's important to note that Shrinagar shares the Damage formula, meaning that it is akin to a balm with a stain in it.
The appearance of this formula is semi-sheer. It can easily be built up by letting the first application wear off to the base.
I use both Shrinagar and Damage with more matte lipsticks that need to be used in concert with a balm or a gloss.
As someone who tends to wear a more dramatic eye and yet who does not like nor look attractive in nude or beige lipsticks, the sheerness of Shrinagar lets me achieve an attractive YLBB berry that is a shade deeper than my natural lipcolor and does not compete with the eye application.
This is a gorgeous color that can take you from day to evening, and it also a great choice for people who cannot wear red.
Fragrances -Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Perfumes - Fraiche Passiflore
Mac789 12/18/2009 4:09:00 PM
Something about Fraiche Passiflore's deeply pulpy mango, peach and passionfruit makes it smell as if either or both of those fruits has a bleu cheese molecule that, frankly, I was unaware of. Since gardenia is not listed in the notes (jasmine is), the ripening smell of blue mold is unexpected, perverse, and possibly disturbing.
Contextually, Fraiche Passiflore is not one of the candy-sweet fruity scents churned out by Escada. It's more developed than that, although the overwhelming initial scent is mostly what one would get upon opening a can of mango pulp, along with some decorative greenery that may or may not be peach leaves.
The cheese note is troublesome. It's very apparent to me on both paper and skin, and yet I don't see it mentioned elsewhere. Things get a bit dicey when cheese collides with musk, which it does fairly early on in the development. This is a heady experience and perhaps one enjoyed best in reference to certain niche scents that possess similarly frayed nerve endings. For instance, the collisions in the Etat Libre d'Orange line can be considered daring--so why not the near-accident in Fraiche Passiflore?
The given notes tell nothing of the story, beyond the fruit. Even the roster of fruit, which includes raspberry, and the floral (jasmine) is not perceptible. Fraiche Passiflore can be outlined with a Venn diagram: Fruit, cheese, musk are the finite sets. Where and how they interlock probably depends much upon personal skin chemistry. An announced woody note is indecipherable.
There isn't a lot of sillage for me. Instead, I get small and alarming gusts when I least expect it, and when I hope no one receives it unexpectedly. Some hours into the wear, a trace fruitness remains on the skin; this smells like honeyed nectar and is enjoyable, or shall I say it smells like sweet relief.
Ume is a misunderstood incense scent that features a light note of hinoki wood under a salty plum. You may know these Japanese treats from an Asian supermarket; they are addictive and strange to Western tastes. Thanks to a persimmon note that is coupled with the plum, Ume gets pegged as a fruity scent, but to my nose the woods are much more in evidence.
A strange and "perfumey" mid-note almost sends Ume into the danger zone for me; it doesn't seem to belong with the sparseness of the developing base. This treatment of jasmine and osmanthus seems conceptually off when the opening strikes such a decent fruit/wood chord. A petite green note (given as "peach tree leaves") subtly enhances the fruits, although the effect is less fruit on the vine (or tree) and more picked fruit arranged on similarly freshly picked leaves; there is a sensation of a leaf releasing its scent in the way a leaf does when plucked.
Mahogany, which always strikes me as a bitter wood, is more present than the hinoki in the base. Also given as a note is a "Mousse Poivree," which I fear is something meant to be edible. A minor pepperiness kicks in towards the end, adding some lift without an actual pepper note being present. Such an effect works well with fruits and also with rose and is seen in a number of other fragrances.
Ume is not a juicy fruit/floral scent. On me it is dry and aromatic more than it is pulpy and sweet. Both persimmon and plum notes remain to the last, but one must press one's nose against the skin to notice them. I find it quite unusual and appealing in its distinction, but it feels more like a "character" scent to me, one destined to be worn in certain moods or at certain times of the year. Received wisdom that fruity/florals are not serious perfumery or worthy of serious consideration should be rethought here, and yet I suppose that incense fans won't find enough of a smoky statement to appeal. Mecheri gets points for that salted plum note and the way it is worked into the woody foundation. Minus the digression into the floral heart, the rest of the structure feels correctly spare.
A number of years ago, a friend sent me a decant of some very vintage Cuir de Russie. One drop instantaneously called to mind what the interior of a brand-new, Jazz Age Bugatti must have smelled like. This was one high-performance leather!
Violet firmly whispered over the revving of the tannins and a motor-oil castoreum. Bovine animalic notes were a thrill, and not the malignancies they often appear to be in certain modern leather/animalic scents. The experience was both enthralling and limiting; I wasn't sure I wanted to go out of the house wearing it. Something was amiss and I am sure it was my own perception of perfume, which stopped squarely at appreciation and not daring.
Present-day Cuir de Russie might be said to be marginalized, if we take into account the way the vintage provoked the edge of near-rawness. Today's version has toned that leather down considerably, away from the automotive, to the point where I would no longer make that association. Opening with notes of citrus, Cuir de Russie quickly makes the jump into the violet bouquet. Leather is very light here; in fact it appears to me that the leather in Lancome's Cuir de Lancome is more apparent. An important distinction should be drawn between these two leather scents: CdL is powdery/cosmetic, and as many have noted the smell of a handbag's interior, should said handbag also contain pressed face powder, peppermints, and violet pastilles. CdR is more "outdoorsy," in that it is more aromatic, and by aromatic I mean "aroma." Although not as markedly as in the vintage, whiffs of cow and stall float around the composition. They aren't noisome, but if one is sensitive to these aromas, one will be sure to notice them.
The base of CdR surprised me by being as spicy as it is. By the time the scent had dried down, the leather note had become fidgety. It was replaced by a powdered amber/spice mix that, while smooth and consonant to the rest of the fragrance, left me with the impression that the leather had been a bit victimized; this is, after all, one of the big-gun leather fragrances. And yet it is not any longer: What we are left with is an eminently wearable, polite, and polished leather scent that has lost much of its earlier raciness.
Lipstick -LORAC - Breakthrough Performance Lipstick
Mac789 12/14/2009 9:57:00 PM
I will confess that I bought LORAC's latest lipstick--Breakthrough Performance--for the color (Deep Plum). LORAC markets this lipstick as a groundbreaking product and makes multiple claims about its benefits ("multitalented"). At least they held back on an exclamation point:
Breakthrough Performance Lipstick features sun protection (SPF 15) and anti-aging and collagen-boosting properties. The first claim is easy enough to substantiate, but the latter two, the ones that would make a visible difference if true, are not so apparent. Cell turnover is mentioned, and that's where I step in. I've been wearing this lipstick for a month, on a daily basis, and it performs quite the same as most of my other lipsticks; namely, it slides on, has a smooth and creamy texture, provides true and decent pigment...and then wears down to a dry and matte finish that sits in the creases in my lips. At this stage, it needs a gloss or a balm to stop it from looking puckery.
I've given this lipstick four lippies because the color holds longer and truer than my other lipsticks. I don't mean to suggest that the initial texture remains, because that would be a miracle as yet achieved by any lipstick in current, past, and probably future production.
In a rush of excited hyperbole, LORAC's copywriter claims that "Your lips just got a whole lot sexier...!" I can attest that mine are no sexier using this product than they are using any other of my numerous lipsticks; it is the color that matters, not the long-wearing finish or the initial glossiness. Long-range, I have had zero difference in appearance, but this is not why I purchased this product. I'm game for almost any lipstick in this color range and have spent many hours experimenting across a wide range of companies. Deep Plum is especially attractive on me, with its mix of blue/red tones. Since it wears off evenly, I find it preferable to a similar lipstick made by Shiseido that wore off in patches.
Breakthrough Performance is a full-coverage product.
After the lyrical waxings are over, what remains at the base of 31, Rue Cambon is a clever reinterpretation of the chypre, minus oakmoss. This base is primarily vetiver and patchouli, with the latter being of the same soft type used in Coromandel.
I do not miss the oakmoss force field, since I am in no way a chypre purist, but for those times I might slide in that direction, I have vintage Mitsouko. The lack of the possibly bitter mossiness means for me that 31, Rue Cambon is more wearable on a daily basis.
31, Rue Cambon is a leveling exercise in chypre moderne. While bitterness might have been sacrificed at the altar of restriction or of personal taste (the nose stated bitterness was the reason for exclusion), earthiness has not been. The basenotes define Rue Cambon for me, more so than the interplay of citrus and politely swelling jasmine. This is because the top two tiers of Rue Cambon do not survive past half an hour's time; one is left with a skin scent that retains only a mere presence of the powdery iris and sweet jasmine that bloomed so freely and opulently in the heart that it seemed headed towards a prolonged event. In fact, once the citrus notes wear off, there is an impression that 31, Rue Cambon is meant to be an effusive floral over a mild woody/ambery/earthy base.
This is an adroitly composed fragrance with signature retro-Chanel elegance. The use of aldehydes (very mild here) always signifies something formal to me, and indeed at the beginning I had the impression that 31, Rue Cambon was going to be another treatise in formal perfume dress. The scent strikes me as more economical through the heart, where the jasmine seems somewhat underblended (but still marvelous) with narcissus and iris, and more rustic in the base, less lady-like or "refined" than one might expect. This is not a drawback; it makes 31, Rue Cambon wearable even in the most informal of occasions. Patchouli and vetiver are, to my nose, perfect here, with each supporting the other with neither being too strong, too rooty, or too medicinal/herbal.
Rue Cambon is a fairly short-lived fragrance, although what I might call a "dusting" remains on the skin for hours. Iris floats in and out and is, in and of itself, surprisingly tenacious considering its usual fragility. The most interesting aspect of Rue Cambon to me is its successful bridging of classicism and modernity. It is both tailored and rustic, floral-sweet and herbal-resinous, quietist (in the base) and passionate (in the heart) . These shifting perspectives contain a good deal of intrigue, even if purists might find the lack of oakmoss not as game-changing as I do.
Fragrances -Estee Lauder - Tom Ford Amber Absolute
Mac789 12/13/2009 9:58:00 PM
I was delighted to happen upon a Tom Ford trunk show at Saks in Orlando, since this line is not carried anywhere I can access easily. Amber Absolute made an enormous impact straight out of the bottle, with a thick, deep, and luxurious amber that proved a natural attractant to leather and golden tobacco notes. These secondary notes nourished and intensified the honey-ish amber to the point that I nearly felt compelled to further malign my Saks store card...
But like a date with a dark and handsome stranger who turns out to be impotent, Amber Absolute wimped out at the most pivotal moment; where the amber should have crystallized into the most succulent richness, it became flaccid and submissive. There are enough zygotic ambers lurking around that one doesn't need another. Amber Absolute had a pleasurable vanilla sweetness that offset the brawnier Marlboro Man notes. For a moment I thought Amber Absolute might be the ultimate in promiscuous ambers, warranting an immediate purchase, but I can't buy into such a lack of stamina.
Such promise, such disappointment, such is life. The ur-amber is still the Sultan.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Regina Harris Amber Vanilla
Mac789 12/12/2009 10:43:00 PM
Don't expect that "Amber Vanilla" will strike you as either amber or vanilla. In much the same way that Regina Harris's original scent is dominated by myrrh and not rose maroc, Amber Vanilla is dominated by a hot herb.
This perfume oil is potent and primarily linear, and is mostly interesting for being misleading. The name suggests a sweet scent, or a syrupy scent, but Amber Vanilla is a far cry from this assumption. Vanilla note is a latent balance to the aggressive herbal top; after an hour or so a flat, doughy vanilla appears through the thick and perfumey herbaceousness of the opening. Amber is likewise buried underneath the indecipherable top and is recognized only by deep and intense searching.
In order to fully experience or appreciate either of the Regina Harris scents, a good deal of time is required. Both do develop over time, but what a lengthy time it is! Amber Vanilla especially takes time to age or mellow, introducing more of the vanillic while reducing the brushy herbal/spice notes.
In for a penny, in for an unconditional pound with this one, for once you've applied it you are more or less living with it for a day. I like it and own a full bottle of it, but a drop is enough. For an oil, this has intense sillage, unlike the other RH that does not.
On the plus side, neither RH scent suffers from the wretched cult-chic of Monyette, Kai, or Child. Also on the plus side, this is a fairly perverse treatment of vanilla/amber that has no relatable cognate. It does sweeten in time, but likely not soon enough for vanilla lovers.
In general, I've not sought out an iris note in fragrances, so consider this review as coming from someone who has no higher standard measure.
Iris is fascinating for its many permutations and treatments. Cool, rooty, buttery, warm (generally in conjunction with rose), metallic, cosmetic/powdery, gourmand. I cannot fault the iris in 28, La Pausa since the note never truly appeals to me and to deride it in comparison to something else is unfair. However, my lack of full appreciation for the note does allow me to attempt some greater objectivity than I would apply to, for instance, patchouli,
The most interesting aspect of La Pausa is its cologne-like nature. By this, I mean not only the weight of it but also the structure. Beneath a rooty, somewhat vegetal and apparently freeze-dried top appears to be a traditional eau de cologne; what others are reading as "green" notes smell nearly citric to me. Iris in La Pausa is very fragile indeed, although the top does give a good enough representation of it that persons looking to experience the note might want to give it a sniff alongside Hiris (part lipstick, part cookie), Iris Silver Mist (rhizome mist of March), Apres L'Ondee (a watercolor study), and Iris Ganache (patisserie iris).
Since there is nothing in La Pausa to anchor or "hold" the note or allow it further bouquet, the iris fades into the cologne-like midnotes and La Pausa then becomes an exercise in "fraicheur," meaning a pleasant, clean, and unremarkable fragrance with indistinct identity. Here, there is a resemblance to linen (note references to Lauder fragrances below) achieved by generic subtle floralcy. Moving into the base, La Pausa smells as something one might scent a handkerchief with. In other words, an extremely mild and perfect non-offensive office scent. Basenotes seem to be tenderly musky and gently soapy. It is something with which one might scent stationery.
Worn as one would wear a cologne, La Pausa is not an insult to iris. We should perhaps consider it as an iris cologne, next to the Eau de Cologne and not in relation to 31, Rue Cambon or to Coromandel. For me, La Pausa is not the weakest link in the Exclusifs collection (Gardenia is), but seen in light of its structure it only fails as a "destination" or statement scent and not as an exercise in delicacy.