My ratings don't properly reflect how much I like this scent just because I cannot leave aside all the other "real" fragrances I rated before. But this is also why I question myself now how much of a fragrance "snob" I am. Last weekend only I went out of Lutens' shop in Paris with - finally! - Iris Silver Mist (for the deadly price of Eur 130 of course) and since then during the week, I tried, again, to understand this fragrance that puzzles me since so long and which I love but find it hard to grasp and wear. But this weekend, I step in a pharmacy and waiting in line I sniff Fleurs de Figuier, just to pass the time. Result, instant addiction, 2 bottles snapped on spot and since then I am almost bathing myself in this scent, so easy, so beautiful, so light, so happy, so sunny vacation bliss without any mysterious dark side that my Lutens(es) and "Blacks" and all the other "serious stuff" are quitely "forgotten" on their shelf. This is pure bliss in a bottle, but yet not that simple, creamy figue leaves sprinkled with concentrated citrus caramel, one blackcurrant added on top and lightly dusted by a few grains of dark wood. Of course, the name of the famous father of this scent, if you know it before trying it, may lead you to say "yes, surely this makes sense", but my own conclusion is, famous father or not, you definitely dont always need to go in exclusive niche fragrances or old-world ones or ones with prices that ask for a savings plan: some are just there to be enjoyed and loved on spot, without reason, like a sunny day.
Wonderful fragrance! I discovered Treizieme Heure today by chance and I am delighted. What a pleasure to discover a smoked audacious fragrance in the wave of flowery sweet and unremarkable commercial fragrances of these last years. And by coincidence, I am wearing these days Bulgari Black, so it was like meeting somebody from the family. A more feminine sister, less abrupt, less urban and dark as Black but still with a very string personality. A very beautiful smoked tea juice with a frail whiff of citrus in the middle and a sweeter dry down. If it was not for the price (eur 225) I would have bought it on spot and wear it more in the evening or with a more elegant dress and leave Black for everyday wear.
Colosal !!! Black is just as much the masterpiece that I expected (hoped) it to be after all the reviews I read on it since years. What a surprise where on the bottom of a shelf in Munich airport my eyes suddenly set on....Black! After all the time I was looking for this perfume, not being able to find it where I live or around (for some reasons, I noticed that you can have in all the fragrance shops the entire Bulgari fragrance collection - except Black!). I love leather and smokey fragrances so the opening of Black is everything you can hope for on the smokey side. A deep leap in a teapot of a Lapsang Souchong and I can clearly see the references to the note of "burnt tires" but it is more smoked tea than tyres, without the chemical fumes. Then what surprised me even more it was how it settled, from that smokey, dry, dark grey, pretty masculine opening, into a radiating warm, amber (with a bit of vetiver maybe) note that lasts until its end, but where you still recognize in the background, very shy and diffused this time, the initial smoky note. If you think about it, you have two of the most opposite notes, blended together like by magic. If it were an image, to me it evokes a flash of black-grey, smokey cloud, through which when it clears out, you see glowing embers. But let's be clear, if you're not attracted by atypical, definitely not "nice and pretty" or polite fragrances, you should pass your way because either you will be disappointed or you will try to place this perfume in a category where it is not meant to be.
I did not really chose Chergui, somehow it chose me instead. When visiting the boutique Lutens in Paris (what a superb place!!) I hesitated a lot between Chergui and Arabie (....and most of the others perfumes from both collections....:))) but finally left with Arabie. Chergui attracted me a lot but it was somehow indescribable and although I remembered it as an intriguing perfume, I had a hard time placing it in my "perfume world". When leaving the boutique, the sales lady gave me the solid-perfume samples of all the Lutens collection (that's a must have when you go there, so do ask for it if you get a chance) and 3 other samples (Chergui, A La Nuit and Daim Blond). Back home I started to smell the entire collection in the solid form, one every evening (which amused my boyfriend quite a lot) and Chergui still did not make it through (I was actually totally blown away instead by Iris Silver Mist that I can't wait to have a chance to smell it otherwise that in the solid-perfume version). But last week I had to travel for the week and trying to lighten up my cabin liquids I decided to leave home my bottle of perfume and take the 3 Lutens samples instead. And that's when Chergui totally won me over, wearing it "without choice" for three days and in a heat pretty much like in summer. Result: this lunch-time I went out to the only perfumery that sells Lutens in my area and indulged in a bottle. I was submerged by its balance and complexity but I have to say that I still have a hard time describing and placing it. To me it seems golden, ripe, woody, smoky, sweet, balsamic, rhummy, spicies (but hard to say which ones), like a plum pie with a filling of smoked cedar in the middle. But if you ask me tomorrow, I may find something different, because it's roundness makes it hard for me to break it up in pieces.
Yes, it has been reformulated and it is only a shadow of what it used to be. Shame on YSL and on the perfume industry that keeps doing this regularly to some of the masterpieces of perfumery! But so much has been written on this that I will not also add my own indignation to all this; most of us could writte pages and pages against this ridiculous trend. However, even a shadow of something great still remains way better than most of the endless flowery-sweet-desert anonimous fragrances that small or big houses pour on the market every few months. This is why I still give it 5 stars, although it is mostly for what it was. I would so much prefer to see only one significant fragrance coming up every 2-3 years rather than tons of them every 3 months that do not last more than the few minutes taken to sample them and leave the unmemorable strip in the shop. But then, (and fortunately for them) I am not in charge of the profit making machine that big perfume houses have become.... Nice work on the bottle design though! It brings the bottle in line with the fragrance (as it was!).
I smelled the fragrance in a magazine this May and although those magazine strips are quite a low quality sampling, I loved it immediately. To the point that I had to order it on internet immediately since I could not find it yet where I live. (It's still not in all the main stores in Europe (I guess because it was launched only one month before and first in the US). It's what I could put in the "cashmere fragrance" category, only this one is to me a "happy sparkling cashmere fragrance". Good mood and elegance in a bottle. I gave it 4 ratings and not 5 only because I don't find it a masterpiece (since in that case I would need to put it at same box to my other 5 stars which are not really from the same family - Habanita, Angel, L'Heure Bleue, Histoire d'Eau or Youth Dew). But if I would have to rate it amongst the "happy frangrances", definitely a 5. It has a marvelous staying power and although it may seem powdery, it has a sparkling oriental and flowery heart which makes it stand out and be distinctive from most powdery fragrances and also the pure flowery ones. I would not usually put together "sparkling" and "oriental" in the same fragrance definition but this one seems to do just that.
I already reviewed SDV (and I still love it as much!) but something that happened 2 weeks ago intrigued me and made me want to go back to it and give it a 5 rating again :). I wore SDV last winter, so I must have worn it on almost all my winter pullovers. Some of them I left them at the vacation place, unworn since. During the holidays this year we went back so I pulled out my winter clothes that I left there. All the pullovers and scarfs were still wonderfully keeping traces of SDV. First I was intrigued as I put on a pullover and a scarf that kept smelling of some notes that were not coming from the fragrance I am wearing now (Habanita) and only then I realised that there were the traces of SDV of last year. And funny enough, one aspect that made me not continue to wear it this year again was that I did not find it had enough long-lasting power on my skin. Visibly, it has a much more interesting staying-power on natural fibers. All this should not be extraordinary at all since this is what a good perfume should be like, but when seeing the endless new perfumes without personality, staying power or character or the reformulations that keep diluting the beautiful "old" perfumes (even Habanita and Opium ! wear off these days much faster than they did before after being reformulated), I cannot not be a little bit enthusiastic when I see a perfume that keeps up with what it is supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating for only "strong notes perfumes" that cling on forever but I do advocate for original and non-diluted formulas that keep their character and original list of ingredients more than their marketing image.
I alredy reviewed Habanita a while ago and nothing changed in what I think or feel about this perfume which to me remains my favourite. Time and time again I keep coming back to it and it still surprises me with its mix of coziness hidden in dark smoke. It is like cashmere, but of a deep black colour. But today I rather write to share my disapointment towards the new 2012 Habanita. Superb design of the new bottle but it seems to me that the perfume was totally stripped down of what makes it great in the first place, the dark, smokey, medicinal opening and middle notes that attract us all as fans of Habanita. I clearly see the commercial direction as the new juice is more palatable to a larger public perheaps but what a waste. Or I hope it was just my nose today which was out of order I wonder...... I really hope it was my nose not working well today.........
I have long coloured (dry) hair that requires a lot of moisturising and care and so far I tried a huge number of products on which I basically lost my money. But if there is one product that really makes a difference, it's definitely this one. It makes my hair soft, shining and healthy looking. From time to time I was trying something else but after more money wasting results I stopped buying hair treatments other than this one and the Kerastase Age Recharge hair mask (for alternating from time to time).
Finally the long-lasting nailpolish I was looking for (after spending quite a deal on disappointing Chanel, YSL and other similar). Great spring color, nice change after the dark winter colours that I usually wear. I would buy it again but there are so many other OPI colours I did not try yet !
I rate Angel 4 because although if its is high on my list, it misses that little touch of magic that makes L'Heure Bleue, Habanita and Coco maximum ratings. Wonderful scent, but you need to be patient with it and spraying it in quantity is not an option with this one. Maybe a hint for all those reacting negatively to its heaviness - try the body cream or body lotion instead. They are strong enough to wear them alone and bring forward the medium and last notes of the perfume rather than the first more aggressive ones.