Frederic Malle French lover is an interesting fresh and woodsy fragrance that while it has some familiar fresh elements, it has also his own unique character that makes it kind of different. personally I wouldn't call this a vetiver based fragrance. vetiver has his own role in this fragrance just as other main players. nothing more.
This fragrance starts off with a fresh and zesty lemony blast along with a green and herbal kind of scent and small amount of sweetness in the background.
The opening remind me of two other fragrances. first that juicy lemon blast remind me of that sweet and sour lemoncello note in "Byredo Oud Immortel" but here it's fresher, less sweet and a little more sour.
Second fragrance that comes in my mind is because of green angelica note that reminds me of "Amouage Opus VII". no no! don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that these two smell the same. not at all. but "Amouage Opus VII" also has a huge blast of angelica note specially at the start that they both are similar only from this point of view. I can say that "Amouage Opus VII" is dark and mysterious side of angelica note while "French Lover" is exactly at the opposite and bright side.
Anyway, this angelica note definitely has a unique smell into it. it's green, a little powdery and a little floral. finally there is a faint sweet smell in the background that stays there almost through the whole performance.
Now in the mid that angelica note settles down and I can smell a mellow spicy aura that gives the fragrance a little warmth. I know that they mentioned spicy notes in general but what I'm getting here is pure nutmeg with it's bitter, spicy, kind of woody and warm aura. I love nutmeg and I usually add a pinch of it in many of my foods and I'm sure what I'm smelling here is nutmeg. this nutmeg note as I said before adds a soft bitter and spicy aura to the scent but it lasts for about 5 minutes or so and then gets kicked out by cedar wood and vetiver. when these two notes joining in, scent starts to change into a dry, woody, peppery, soft smoky and soft earthy aura with faint green and powdery feeling from angelica and very mellow sweet juicy lemon in the background. it's a woody and spicy scent but it's also fresh and inoffensive!
In the base those woody, earthy and spicy notes get weaker quite a bit and again that juicy lemony scent comes back but now it's mostly tart and very watery.
Projection is good and above average and longevity is a good 8 hours on the skin. nice scent.
At long last, a perfume with sharp and edgy herbal quality without added sugar. How rare a beast that is becoming these days, where the obligatory touch of sweetness is added to almost everything to cater to what is perceived as mainstream taste. Message to the brands: Perfume isn’t medicine (even though it can be deeply therapeutic) and doesn’t really need that spoonful of sugar to go down.
For me French Lover is an accomplished poisonous green woody. The angelica note makes me sit up and give praise, intensely herbal, peppery, and bracing, like plant sap that could burn skin on contact, and pairing it with the bitter green of galbanum is inspired. The backing is muted – a touch of something musty coupled with clean woods. The whole thing is lifted effortlessly with unobtrusive musks, giving it a light and nimble aura. A perfume of classical proportions with no joins showing.
Goes a bit barbershop in the end, but I forgive it.
I love this one. It strongly reminds me of Acqua di Gio Essenza, which I also like.
French Lover is an interesting composition. It is a damp, green, woody fragrance with a rugged, earthy vetiver note as the key central piece. I do not get much of incense. Rather I mostly sniff wet woods. I also find something in the beginning that smells vaguely of oranges. It is almost as if I'm sitting in a deep forest after a shower and peeling unripe oranges. The fragrance clears up a bit as it transitions into the base: the damp feeling subsides as a musky note develops.
While it is certainly interesting, I cannot call it engaging. Some might not find it very wearable. Average projection and longevity on my skin.
Well this scent combines ingredients that would actually make their co-existense seem like "the clash of the titans". Incense, pepper, galbanum, vetiver all in one borderline green composition that resembles the odour of green grass and dirt while you have placed your nose a few inches from the ground. The incense is present throughout and there is also a muskiness and smoky "cigarness" to it. A personal favorite form the Malle line composed by the great Pierre Bourdon.
20th February, 2015 (last edited: 21st February, 2015)