Sonoma Scent Studio FEMME JOLIE is certainly a pleasant surprise. From the description on the manufacturer's card (plum, peach, “soft florals”...), I was expecting a nondescript fruity floral. Instead, I am treated to a smooth and scrumptiously cardamom-laced oriental in the same general neighborhood as some of my favorite perfumes: Kenzo L'ELEPHANT, and Bond no 9 LEXINGTON AVENUE and CHINATOWN. A real winner, this scrumptious smooth, seductive and addictive composition is indeed! This composition is a bit woodier than the Bond no 9 analogues and a bit less hard-hitting than the Kenzo, so happily I can add it to my collection in good conscience and without redundancy... On my wish list!
Whoops: I just saw that it's been discontinued! Sigh...
As others have mentioned, Femme Jolie is in the same 'family' of perfume as the epic Feminite du Bois as well as its progeny like Bois Oriental and Dolce Vita. Although in the same family, I find Femme Jolie to be the superior composition among its family members and the most enjoyable to wear. FJ's topnotes are really what sets it apart, a cinnamon/spice note on top of a fruity plum/peach with a hint of ginger for sharpness. The balance is absolutely perfect and my wrist is firmly planted to my nose when I wear/sample it. The drydown is where the similarities with the above mentioned perfumes comes into focus - a plummy violet blended with a creamy vanillic cedar/sandalwood. While the sillage is substantial, the composition isn't nearly as loud as say, Dolce Vita and I find it smoother, slightly sweeter, and more pleasing then Bois Oriental or even FdB.
After wearing Femme Jolie last night I was very pleasantly surprised to still smell it on myself this morning. FJ is currently available as a limited re-release, and it's very obvious to me that I'm going to have to buy a backup before it disappears because I don't anticipate this first bottle lasting very long!
I approached this scent with hesitation because there are three notes here that are usually treated very harshly" Ginger, cedar and musk. (Think too biting, too masculine, and too synthetic)
How refreshing to see these notes done with a soft touch. I ordered ten samples from this line, did a quick sniff of all of them, and htis one popped up as one of my favorites. I second all three of the previous reviewers' comments, they've captured this perfectly (my staying power is also around 3-4 hours)
To me this is like snuggling up in your favorite fluffy blanket to watch your favorite TV program with your favorite warm beverage in hand. It's very soothing, soft, and just the right balance of spices and florals.
I too have tried Luten's Feminite du Bois, which I panned for being too spicy and discordant (again, it's hard for me to wear spicy scents in general)
This is my one exception to a genre I tend to dislike. A big thumbs up!
'FEMME JOLIE' is the name, not 'Femme Joilie'. *Typo error alert*
On my skin this is mostly warm cedar-tinged cinnamon with faintly fruity undertones over light musk and mildly creamy sandalwood. Indeed, everything about it seems soft-focused - not a single jarring or discordant note to be found here. Silky smooth.
Unisexually wearable by today's standards even if the name favors the feminine, Femme Jolie appears in my mind like a pastel amalgamation of Serge Lutens' Rousse and Chypre Rouge, while another reviewer compares it to Feminite du Bois and Bois et Fruits. In other words, we both agree Femme Jolie is an excellent composition that will hardly look out of place in a Lutens line-up. But as a fan of Rousse, I'm willing to stick my neck out further and rate it a superior scent. I'd even urge every Lutens fan to give this and the rest of this artisanal line a fair sniffing - you won't be disappointed, I assure you.
ginger, cinnamon, clove, plum, peach, orange blossom, violet, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, musk.
This one has taken some getting used to for me. I have both body lotion and the perfume. On my skin, smells like flowers being burned in a fireplace in the winter. Definitely long lasting.