The opening is a blend of maritime ozonic notes with a brief hesperidic hint, and soon develops an overarching layer of a green, fresh, slightly grassy components. In the drydown a floral heart gradually emerges, and I mainly get a pleasant magnolia together with some tuberose in the background; the latter is light and not of the waxy type.
Later, further into the base, a somewhat nondescript woodsy notes arises, but apart from that I do not get any significant development in the later stages. The performance is acceptable, with moderate sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.
In the whole this is a nice product, with the initial sea impression not too overtly synthetic, and otherwise the blending and structure are well executed, with only the base being somewhat uninspiring. A fresh late spring and summer creation and a very agreeable contribution by Duchafour to L'Artisan's stable. 3.25/5
24th November, 2015 (last edited: 09th December, 2015)
A banal melon-aquatic top note had me fearing the worst, but Bertrand Duchaufour’s design for Fleur de Liane turns out to be much more interesting than its stale opening gambit would suggest. With a half hour’s wear the melon falls into place beside a curiously milky floral and wood accord that’s spiked with indole and a sharp nutmeg note familiar from Duchaufour’s earlier Magnolia Romana. The contrast between cool, damp fruit and warm, powdery florals exerts a weird fascination that keeps me coming back for more.
The soft musky-woody drydown includes a peculiar steamed milk note Duchaufour has also used in his Amaranthine for Penhaligon’s. In both scents it adds an appetizing warmth to a tropical floral arrangement, but here it also serves to erase any lingering impression of routine aquatic ennui. This one ends up far better than I would have hoped.
I suppose it's almost a niche cliche by now: The melon/lily "aquatic" floral. Fleur de Liane is/was L'Artisan's try at the genre. Honestly, it's better than most, but I'm not sure that's high praise.
The big attraction is a juicy, realistic cantaloup on top, flanked with salt and pepper, lilies, some cucumber and maybe some aloe vera, and some of that green-smelling "aquatic" chemical that was so popular in the 90's. It loses the cantaloup and gains some soapiness over time.
At least for me personally, I lost the ability to take these scents seriously after Purell hand sanitizer became ubiquitous and the smell of that "aquatic" chemical mixed with fake cucumber fell from the realms of high perfumery and became the smell of cheap sanitary cleaning. As far as the genre goes, that clever cantaloup places Fleur de Liane close to the top of the heap, but I still prefer Hermes Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, which takes the same basic building blocks but drenches them in enough black pepper to keep it from smelling like hand cleaner.
There are elements of this that remind me of L'Eau D'Issey PH, if Issey was using better ingredients. It's very nice. If it lasted longer, I'd try to find more than a sample. Lasted about two hours on my skin.
Natural, Yet Disappointing
It's an interesting fragrance, I'll give it that. When you apply, you radiate a sort of seaside scent that is pleasant to the nose. Up close, you get a heavy floral scent that dominates the base. The floral scent is way too feminine for me but I do enjoy the scent it radiates from a distance. I was blown away by how natural it smells. Most of my niche collection smells synthetic when compared to this fragrance. L'Artisan is also quite affordable if you're looking for niche and has amazing bottle and box design.
The big downsides are the performance measures. I don't see the point in spending over $100 if it won't last for more than 3.5 hours. Projection could be a lot better too but I understand it is more of a spring/summer fragrance.
If you're comfortable with florals and don't mind performance issues, maybe you should try this. I give this a big pass though.
Pros: 1. One of the most natural smelling fragrances I've smelled 2. Affordable Niche 3. Bottle and box design are excellent
Cons: 1. Very poor longevity 2. Poor projection 3. Too feminine