Genre: Woody Oriental
The two previous men’s scents from Divine, L’Homme Sage and L’Homme de Coeur, both elicited love at first sniff from me, but it’s taken me much longer to come to grips with L’Etre Aime Homme. I wrote a review of L’Etre Aime Homme last year, when it was first released, but since it had not yet been listed in the Basenotes Directory I set the review aside…and apparently misplaced it.
Wearing L’Etre Aime Homme again sparks no memory of that previous review, which suggests just how much less potent and immediate an impact it had on me than its two brothers. L’Etre Aime Homme strikes me as the most subdued and enigmatic of the trio, and that’s quite a feat, since it’s composed around immortelle, which is notorious as one of the most intractable and overbearing notes in perfumery. It seems to me that immortelle is difficult to dose. Use it in any quantity, and it tends to dominate a composition at the expense of all other ingredients. (Annick Goutal’s love-it-or-leave-it immortelle foghorn Sables is a case in point.) Without carefully chosen and proportioned savory accents immortelle can also become syrupy sweet and awkwardly “foody.” So much so at times as to suggest artificial “maple” food flavoring. Divine’s perfumer Yann Vasnier controls immortelle’s bullying tendencies by using it in moderation, and avoids the maple syrup trap by setting it in a decidedly inedible woody context.
Only the most fleeting of bergamot and aromatic top notes usher in L’Etre Ame Homme’s sweet woody heart, which sustains an unvaried pulse for several hours. The dark woods and immortelle are accompanied by sweet culinary spices and the barest hint of dry patchouli, which together lend the scent a deep, cozy warmth. Warmth enough that I’d find L’Etre Aime Homme oppressive in the summer heat, even though it’s not an overly potent scent. L’Etre Aime Homme is odd in offering sillage disproportionate to its modest potency, so while it never comes across as loud, it does linger in the air, such that you’ll catch hints of it if you retrace your steps within a room.
After all this, L’Etre Aime Homme’s drydown is a disappointment, consisting as it does mostly of a “sandalwood” that smells to me much more like a skimpy, hollow, dusty cedar of no particular character. This limp exit sends me right back to wondering exactly what to make of L’Etre Aime Homme. On the plus side, it is remarkably deft in its use of immortelle, and gracefully sidesteps both the hackneyed gourmand effects and the crude bombast into which that ingredient can so easily drift. The deficits are a certain perplexing want of character and that dull, flimsy drydown. The balance leaves me still ambivalent. L’Etre Aime Homme is a pleasant scent and for the most part an accomplished composition, but after the delightful L’Homme Sage and L’Homme de Coeur I wanted more.
Another excellent men's scent from Divine.
This one is a spicy herbal woody concoction that smells quite unique to my nose.
I love the zesty initial burst of lavender, ginger, basil and celery. The cardamom grounds it with the sweetness of the immortelle and the roundness of the amber anchoring it further.
The base of cistus, patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood sits warmly in the background, the sandalwood in particular combining with the dry celery, cardamom accord to bring it from an herbal/spice down to a wood/spice.
Again, quite sophisticated, unusual and a fine men's scent from this house.
For the record, I loved their L'Homme Sage, but did not care for the dry characterless iris that infused their L'Homme de Coeur."
L’être aimé homme is one of those jumbled, dried out herbal affairs that smell like grandma’s home remedy for a chest cold. It gives me the impression that I am meeting a distant ancestor of Interlude Man without the latter’s headbashing potency. Where Interlude Man goes overboard with oregano, here it’s a celery, ginger and basil combo bolstered with a salty immortelle and vetiver. Ultimately this is just a touch too savoury, and I was left wishing the rock rose that’s supposed to be in there had been perceptible.
Smells a great deal like a beef bullion cube/broth!
L'Etre Aime Homme by Divine - One is initially treated to a citrusy and fresh accord. The herb-like floral of lavender imparts its freshness. Bergamot contributes its bittersweetness. Ginger sprinkles its lively and fresh aspects, while basil adds its leafy greenness with a wisp of mint. A somewhat bitter celery seed intrudes from time to time. Transitioning to the heart, cardamon, with its sweetly spicy aroma, encases the opening melange. And, immortelle imparts its fengreek-like maple and curry facets. An undercurrent of vetiver, with its earthy and green character carries the grassy and spicy middle to the rather generic base. Here, a creamy sandalwood, a woodsy patchouli, as well as a balsamic and resinous cissus, with its accessions of ambergris, leather, smoke and sweetness, all commingle and lift a more caramel-like helichrysum. A comforting drydown ensues. This well-balanced and masculine composition is basically a skin scent with average longevity. Nothing exceptional, it is ho-hum.
Recently every scent with a cardamon note gets my thumb up. I like this l'etre aime. It's smoky, nice, masculine and stylish. But Divine should work on the staying power that is miserable.