Official notes according to Lalique:
Top Note: Bulgarian Rose, Orris
Heart Note: Bourbon Pepper, Patchouli
Dry Down Note: Cashmere Woods
My experience with this scent tends to be like Way Off Scenter's. I get a very transparent scent, most of the time. The initial blast smells like cedar and rose. It is apparently heavy on Iso E Super. It then settles into a slightly powdery but sweet, fruity rose. I have noticed that weather affects this scent more than any others I have. On a rare occasion when something drastically different is going on with the weather I will smell more wood or a spicier rose which is more my normal taste, but I like this scent overall.
The descriptions I’ve read don’t quite do justice to the experience of wearing Perles de Lalique. Yes, it’s an incense-seasoned woody rose scent, and yes, it has a pleasantly prickly black pepper top note. But Perles de Lalique doesn’t really fall in with the style of other peppery incense-and-rose scents like Parfum Sacré, Lyric, and Paestum Rose. Where each of those are to some degree dark, mysterious, and exotic, Perles de Lalique feels comparatively light, sunny, and cheerful. Part of this is due to the quality of its rose, which is more bright and fruity, in the manner of Une Zeste de Rose or Drôle de Rose, than languorous and heady. The rest stems from a very cool melony aquatic top note, borrowed directly from masculine fruity fougères and “sport” fragrances, and a much lighter hand on the woods and incense.
The fruity aquatic-tinged opening is as surprising in a feminine scent as it is banal in a masculine, and the rose steps up too quickly for the modest shock to get old. The pepper, woods, and fruity rose accord is very subtle and transparent, so that Perles de Lalique works primarily as a close-wearing skin scent. Its understated nature renders it more gender-neutral than its description might imply, and as a man I’d find it very comfortable to wear, especially in warmer weather. I smell nothing of the earthy, mossy classic chypre accord here, nor even much of the modern patchouli-fruit-and-iris chypre alternative that surfaces in scents like Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon.
Perles de Lalique’s greatest liability is its drydown, which leans heavily on a abrasively chemical cedar-like base note that ironically parallels the opening in its suggestion of a commonplace masculine. Luckily, this bare drydown is much less potent or obtrusive than most of its masculine counterparts, and hence doesn’t ruin the entire fragrance. I confess to being baffled by all the references to chypre style in conjunction with this scent.
This is for the perfume strength
This is a beautiful, rather transparent, modern chypre. It opens up with a peppery rose, softens slightly with the inclusion of Iris and settles into a soft warm woody accord with Cashmeran and patchouli.
If I have one complaint, it is that there is more than a pinch too much pepper, which makes it a little too sharp. The overall effect is however a warm, somewhat masculine scent.
The EdP is similar and much more affordable, so if you are not into gorgeous Lalique crystal bottles, you should go for that.
02nd June, 2014 (last edited: 04th June, 2014)
Initially, I get lots of (too much, really) patchouli with a much lesser blushing rose and violet-ee orris butter. The overall effect reminds me a lot of Diane by Diane von Furstenberg. It's fine, I guess. I don't know. There's just so much out there like it employing the patchouli-rose accord (e.g., see Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle, Coco Noir, and Chance, Dior's Midnight Poison, Yves Saint Laurent's Elle, etc. ad nauseum).
PERLES DE LALIQUE – Lalique – 2006 [floral chypre]
I have only been able to learn three of this scent’s ingredients and indeed it may be that simple. This is a chypre that makes a statement, but never overpowers. The blend of Bulgarian rose and patchouli creates a dry, earthy rose scent, richer than Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet, sharper, but owing a good deal to this nineteenth century staple. Bold and masculine, self-assured. One of my favorite chypres.
Top Notes: ?
Middle Notes: Bulgarian rose
Base Notes: Bourbon Pepper, Patchouli