Le Parfum by Elie Saab opens with a rich, sweet, fruity-floral blend mostly centered on vanilla, citrus/neroli, something smelling like tonka although I don’t see it listed, sandalwood, amber (not listed too but I get some of that “warm” resinous feel, I guess it may be honey...), thin green notes and then obviously the flowers: rose, jasmine (particularly clean) perhaps ylang. Woody-herbal-patchouli base, providing a subtle dry, aromatic and shady feel underneath the general “plushiness”. Shortly, a floral-fruity Oriental scent, more classic than classic: warm, “golden”, juicy and pleasant, soapy and resinous, refined and elegant for sure but with an overall mellow feel of effortless informality and liveliness (making it perfect for pretty much any age and circumstance). Ironically it’s one of the nicest works by Kurkdjian, far better than the stuff he did and does with its own brand. Less pretentious, more solid, perhaps more boring in its glossy and conventional “perfection”, but it’s well made, smells nice, and it’s decently priced. Nothing new for fans of “true” good floral scents (and there’s billions out there better than this), but decent and nice enough for undemanding fiancées or relatives – or, say, a nice easy “anywhere-safe” scent when you just want to smell nice but go unnoticed.
Try not to rate this one the first half hour you put it on or you won't like it. I found the beginning to be almost unbearably sharp and green, but then it mellowed out nicely to a edgy floral, and yes I can detect the honey in there. The cedarwood is very discreet, not overdosed like some fragrances that end up smelling like the stinky little guinea pigs we had as pets when we were children. This is a fragrance that isn't "me" but I would enjoy on somebody else.
This is probably one of the best designer fragrances out there at the moment, and as someone who spent years trawling the designer aisles for something interesting or beautiful (this was before I realized I could just order niche or classic perfumes on the Internet), finding this one was like finding gold in a trash heap. It is a simple creation, really, but it does a lot of things right where other designer perfumes go wrong. It is a fruit-chouli, to be sure, but it completely avoids the loud, synthetic shampoo effect of its peers by pairing the mandarin and orange blossoms with honey rather than with a cheap musk in the dry down. It is quite sweet, but the sweetness is almost of a natural source, like honey stirred through a cup of milk Oolang. It avoids being dragged down into heavy gourmand territory by way of a non-chocolatey patchouli and also by a complete lack of animalic heaviness to the honey. Even the jasmine is stripped of all its indoles, tamed, bridled, broken in, and strapped down, turning the note into a light jasmine tea accord. There is nothing syrupy or discordant or clunky to weigh down this pretty little bird - all it wants to do is to soar into the air, and it does.
The sillage is noteworthy, filling a room (politely) like no other, and casual bystanders, i.e., normal folk not interested in perfume, seem to really like it and comment favorably on it. That said, I am not crazy about it. I can recognize that it is beautiful, but as my signature in the forums says (well, ok, Mr, Edgar Allan Poe said it), “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” Here it is all beauty and no strangeness, and for that, it is slightly less interesting than I would like.
I like this a lot! There is an almost edible quality to the blend, even though the notes aren't especially "gourmand." The middle has a distinct spicy note of ylang-ylang, and the base has as much to do with amber as it does with honey or patchouli.
It's sensual and voluptuous while keeping a freshness as well, and it's sweet without being cloying. Someone (was it Coco Chanel?) once said a woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed. This is one to wear when she wants to be kissed all over.
03rd May, 2014 (last edited: 17th May, 2014)
Smells like a hybrid between Diva by Ungaro from the Eighties and Narciso Rodriguez for her EdP. Not half bad!