This is a review of the 2011 reformulation, Week-end.
Once upon a time I worked with a man with an enormous crush on our co-worker down the hall. Every day after lunch said man would go the restroom to brush his teeth, reapply deodorant and spritz a little fragrance. On his way back from the restroom, toiletries in hand, he would stop and nervously talk to his object of desire, reeking of tooth paste and cologne. This is the main effect that I get from Week-end—nervous sweaty guy wrapped in a cloud of tooth paste and deodorant. On the other hand, Week-end isn’t as bad as it sounds and the minty breath and salty musk settle down after 10 minutes.
A needy fragrance that forgets to laugh at itself 2.5/5
In the press for Weekend, Patricia de Nicolai writes that "...legislation limits still further the molecules that can be used to recreate [lily of the valley]. It’s goodbye to Lilial, Lyral, Hydroxy and sweet bell-flowers!" You know it's a bad sign when the perfumer goes so far as to apologize for her work. Despite this, I was hoping that Ms. de Nicolai was just being humble. Not so: the perfume is no good. It is a confused, half-worked out thing that tries at once to be a lily and a sour woody masculine. The result is a rough, mostly unpleasant, and above all cheap-smelling perfume. One of the worst in a mostly great line.
This scent seems to exist under two names, which may be directed towards different markets. “Week-end à Deauville” makes sense, as it references the Norman coast in a very specific way. However, I have also seen it referenced in Parfums de Nikolaï PR as simply “Week-end,” which is much less descriptive.
Anyway, it must be spring or early summer in Deauville: the initial effect is wonderfully green. A thin chilly scent of early spring blooms like narcissus and daffodils is accompanied by a fizzy burst of aldehydes. Then, herbal smells: coriander, marjoram, tarragon. A weird, brief note of green apple sort of flickers across the nose, disappears and then resurfaces.
This is all accompanied by marine notes, which I’m less crazy about. Trying to convey that briny tang, they come across too clean; they lack the hint of organic stank which is essential to the effect, the way fish sauce lends essential ostinato to Thai curry. These marine notes don’t really smell like the sea, unless by “sea” we mean an enormous sudsy washtub. But I can accept them as a stylized form of representation. They’re too strong here for my taste, but they do recede after a few minutes.
When they do, you’re left with a sense of something warm, dry and vegetal—like what you might smell if you were lying outside in the hot grass, or rummaging in a dark closed hayloft on a hot August afternoon, when the hay’s been toasting in its own aromas. There’s an earthy dimension as well, like grain or animal feed. These smells hum along in the understory of the fragrance, not calling attention to themselves but giving the scent bottom. As time goes on the sharp green smells of the opening recede and the experience mellows out considerably.
In the drydown phase, the scent reminds me a lot of Annick Goutal’s Eau de Sud. But Eau de Sud is much sharper and more straightforward, being basically a rosemary / cumin / citrus accord. With the delicate florals that open and the marine note that hangs around (for better or for worse) Week-End is a more ambitious proposition.
March 17, 2013
08th March, 2013 (last edited: 18th March, 2013)