To me this is a fantasy fragrance. A futuristic incense, with bright raspy wood, uplifting spice and i also get some kind of candy i can't put my finger on... A bit licouricy, but with a boozy tang.
A densely mixed synthetic cocktail which is much more interesting than the sum of it's parts, i find it completely delicious.
The sillage leaves some to be desired, but on the other hand i kind of like keeping it like a secret on my wrist which can entertain my imagination every now and then.
Super smooth aqueous-translucent (and finally slightly resinous) frankincense/cedarwood/sandalwood accord in typical Comme des Garcons (or Andrea Maack and yes Nu_be)'s style. Sharply stiff, vaguely aldehydic and minimalistic in a sort of "introvert/meditative" way. Straight to the point and elegant. There is a "secret" synthetic aromachemical centered (vaguely conceptual) approach providing for a while a sort of "icy" vibe (slightly a la Andrea Maack Craft with its cold metal/ice "presence" for instance). LesNez Let me play the Lyon has not a "laborious" evolution but is a solid and refined piece of sharpness for sure. You can detect well calibrated soft balsams/resins coexisting with dry-fluidy woods and "dustiness". Light fresh spices (and aromatic green elements) provide a sort of "liquid-dusty" undertone (I suppose cardamom, pepper, lavender and may be ginger). I detect points in common with the renowned Gucci Pour Homme (and partially Heeley Cardinal) which is anyway finally more floral and less minimalistic. A touch of forest resins and amber provide a light final "spongy" basic sense of smoothness. Really a great take on the dry woods/frankincense (pencil shaving-like) theme.
Got an unexpected sample of this and forgot about it, then I grabbed it to throw it in my "to sample" box, but I noticed the name of Isabelle Doyen on it and said "well, it can't be bad", as I am a huge fan of her work with Annick Goutal. So I gave it a try, and... surprise! I like this. Quite a lot. It is something miles away from what I was used to associate to her name, this is a minimal synthetic scent – basically Iso E, cedarwood, aldehydes and ambroxan, some CdG or nu_be kind of fragrance. As alfarom suggests below, it has quite the smell of pencils being sharpened. And it's really super nice, well-executed (as you may notice from my "surprise", I am usually not that fan of this type of scents). I would have never thought Doyen had such a talent for this. It has the same exact incense note you can smell it at least two Goutal scents – Encens Flamboyant and Ambre Fetiche. But here it's obviously different – it's linear, geometrical, "harshly" simple, ascetical, meditative. And it has an unexplicable, really fascinating slight but palpable "vibe", which is not even a proper accord or smell, it's just a kind of a dense "cloud" feel, a sensation to be wrapped in a incense, vapourish, transparent but still materic foggy cloud – which paradoxically, you feel more clearly once you move your wrist away (or wherever you applied this). It's like if the concept and the heart of the scent lies in its sillage - in its absence. And that's why I named the aldehyde, notably the C12 - it gives the same feeling to me; you smell a "feeling" you get exactly moving you nose away from it, not towards it. Increasing balsamic vibe all over with a slight anise aroma, and it also gets darker and sharper as minutes pass. At some point, and just for a while, it gets unexplicably quite close to L'homme sage by Divine, which has quite nothing to do with this as regards of composition but still, quite the same overal smell (this may due to a temporary coincidence of the evolution stages of cedar, balsam, perhaps some kind of "fruity coffee beans" aroma together... or whatever, it's similar!). The drydown is pleasantly more "normal", balsamic, woody, ambery still with an incense vibe. Cool and distinctive!
28th April, 2014 (last edited: 29th April, 2014)
This one gets a weak thumbs up from me. Let Me Play the Lion smells primarily of a very light and subtle minimalist composition of cedar and incense at its heart, with a slightly more authoritative sandalwood and ambergris dry-down. The scent nearly disappears immediately after initial application, and then reappears thirty minutes later. That said, even when it *does* reappear, the appearance is so quiet and subtle that you barely know you are wearing a scent at all until the dry-down stage where it shows its metal just a hair... Doyen is an extremely talented nose, and Let Me Play the Lion does smell innovative and quite good for what it is worth, but her talents are being somewhat wasted here. Projection is non-existent and longevity is average. Nice scent that is worth a sniff, but not nice enough to warrant a full bottle purchase, IMO. 3 stars out of 5.
12th March, 2012 (last edited: 21st December, 2012)
I LOVE this fragrance! I've been tempted to write Demeter and ask them to make a "Warm Kitty Fur" or "Cat in the Windowsill" fragrance or something because I love the musky smell my kitties have after they've been sitting in the hot sun. Well, this is it! I must have found this one through one of the basenotes threads about cat fur...who knows? But I like minimalist woodsy fragrances on my husband, and he likes them, too (is it weird that I want him to smell like a dusty warm cat? hah!). He's not a fan of heavy spice on himself (but he loves it on me!), and he's been trying to find more woodsy colognes that he can tolerate, but I often steal this one to wear for myself, too (yay for true unisex fragrances). This one is just strong enough without being overpowering, and the longevity is decent on the skin - although very close to the skin after a few hours. It does have a dustiness to it, but I don't find it as musky or animalic as most labeled as such (I'm thinking of the strong civet in Jicky). This and Atelier Cologne's "Bois Blonds" are two favorites of his now, and they have similar dusty-woodsy attributes that we both find attractive.