Fleurs de Nuit launches on an accord of crisp, green, and slightly fruity jasmine, neroli, and orange blossom. The white flowers are indolic, but not overly so, and the crisp aldehydes employed at the start are enough to generate a mild tingle, but not so much as to smell “perfumey.” Vanilla appears after just a few minutes and steadily intensifies, yet never overwhelms or over-sweetens the composition.
Fleurs de Nuit possesses a peculiar economy and precision of construction, so that what could have been a heavy, heady, and overbearing floral scent is not. I attribute this appealing sense of clarity to the piercing green neroli that persists into the heart of the fragrance. The scent projects well, persists more than adequately, and leaves a well-judged remnant of sillage behind itself. What puzzles me about this stuff is the name. Is it just ineptly christened, or is “Fleurs de Nuit” meant to be ironic? This is certainly nothing if not a bright, sunny meadow of a floral scent. No stars or moonlight here – just wildflowers and soft summer breezes. Still very nice, even if misleadingly labeled.
Follow-ups to fist time successes are notoriously difficult and Badgley Mischka appear to have tried to recreate the win by following a similar strategy to the original Badgley Mischka. The original perfume was a syrupy fruitchouli released in 2006. While the genre may have been generic, the perfume was not. It dressed up a shady fruitchouli fragrance not with the intent to make it make it more acceptable, but to make it better than any others. It included layers of rot and booze that were more potent than any simple fruity sweetness. It smelled terrific and was a clever commentary on a genre that was considered hackneyed by the time of its release.
Badgley Mischka’s sophomore offering, Fleurs de Nuit, suggests jasmine and its sweet-sweaty atmosphere. Even more, it implies night-blooming jasmine, the vampire of fragrant plants, with a narcotic miasma of flowers and flesh. Unfortunately, having built expectation into its name, Fleurs de Nuit defeats itself. Without the requisite seamy side, and with the addition of a half can of cling peaches, FdN is both loud and vague, like someone who gestures madly to get your attention, and once she has it, forgets what she meant to say. It’s not that FdN isn’t pretty. It’s a simple, clean jasmine with no sharp edges and no distortion. It simply doesn’t stand out either on its own or in comparison to other fruity florals.
The original Badgely Mischka gave buyers a category they thought they knew and then pulled out the rug from under them. FdN takes the first part of the equation, using an easily recognizable category, here a sweet fruity floral, but neglects the other half---the twist, the subversion. Aiming for the center of the market, but with nothing new to add to it, FdN comes off as both generic and derivative. I’m not so much disappointed in the perfume itself as I am surprised and perplexed. Given the smarts and audacity of the first release, why follow up with a such a timid strategy? The answer, and the fun, really, lies in the next flaw in the strategy.
FdN apparently tries to win buyers with the dual strategy of the generic (larger potential market share) and the derivative (the herd instinct.) The herd instinct, perfected in men’s fragrance and marketing, relies on the principle of safe buying, which is to say that buyers will want to try something that they identify as different from what they have, yet the distinction is so slight as to be indistinguishable to most others. It’s the daring mocha caramel 3-shot decaf trenta latte with 1 % no foam drinker one day branching out and trying the same WITH foam.
Here’s the derivation: To my nose, FdN smells like an undisguised attempt to make the jasmine version of Juicy Couture’s tuberose. Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture stripped the tuberose note of its dark side and paired it with a sweet, plastic musk sheen. Where JC’s acetone muskiness shellacs the tuberose so that we see it through a prism, FdN coats its rinsed-clean flower with a sugary fruitiness and winds up like a large scale blur. In drydown, JC hangs together solidly. In FdN, although there is a slight reference to the original Badgely Mischka’s fruity ‘flavor’, it’s a superficial allusion. FdN skips anything like the original’s brandy/ammonia decay, and the drydown is a fairly quick jump from blurred to bland.
I don’t like to berate a perfume. In this case, though, the perfume is so formulaic, and the strategy of diving to the bottom of the middle of the pack is...what? Miscalculated? Cynical? A counterintuitive attempt to manage high expectations? For high-end frock makers to want to compete head-to-head a maker of garish track suits and diamante accessories, at least symbolically through their perfumes, is baffling. The follow-through from perfume to packaging is consistent, though. I’ve always thought that the original Badgely Mischka bottle was an example of unintended kitsch, but FdN tops it, making the Juicy Couture spangly bottle seem like a spectacle of good taste.
Fleurs de Nuit is a nice change from the rich fruity scents that this house is primarily known for.
This fragrance is a delicate and refreshing bouquet of jasmine, lily, orange blossom and magnolia. It's beautiful in the way that the florals have been complimented by a sugary hit of bergamot and quince.
The scent itself is very lush and crisp. There may even be aldehydes in this composition because I can detect a soft powderiness in the heart and top notes.
Fleurs de Nuit is not one of a kind, but it is truly breath-taking in a gorgeous, elegant and feminine way. In my books, Fleurs de Nuit is a sheer floral, not surprising that I see this fragrance on so many member's wishlists.
The sillage and longevity are great, wonderfully balanced and well worth the big bucks. I'm a little surprised that Badgley Mischka didn't make more of a fuss when this was released, however its increasing popularity just goes to show how many people enjoy this fragrance.
Fleurs de Nuit is mostly a scent for floral-lovers or people searching for a particularly soft and Spring-like scent. For that, I highly recommend.
I do not understand the complaints about the name of Badgley Mischka FLEURS DE NUIT. Seems pretty straightforward to me: this is essentially a night-blooming jasmine quasi-soliflore. The jasmine definitely dominates the composition and makes this a white flower lovers-only perfume. FLEURS DE NUIT offers a big, stern, and relatively dry dose of only mildly indolic jasmine. The sillage and longevity are both excellent, and a little goes a long, long way.
I generally prefer more buttery, lush presentations of white flowers, as in MARC JACOBS and MJ ESSENCE, but FLEURS DE NUIT is nice, for what it is. (There is zero tuberose in FLEURS DE NUIT, so there's no point in comparing/contrasting it to FRACAS or CARNAL FLOWER.) Perhaps I should be glad that my 100ml will suffice for the rest of my life, as I would find it very difficult to part with the gorgeous bottle, one of the nicest I've seen. I usually keep my perfumes hidden away in the dark, but this one is so beautiful that I'm tempted to endanger the juice by putting the bottle out on display.
13th August, 2011 (last edited: 14th August, 2011)
Normally I do not like the way flower fragrances smell on me, they tend to become sickly sweet & spoiled. Fleurs de Nuit is very nice on my skin.
It smells fresh & like the aroma of flowers in the air when you pass a beautiful flower garden.
This is a nice & easy fragrance for me to wear.
I love the bottle! Very well done & designed.