Flou is a sort of "European" Slumberhouse's olfactory performance in which the creators seem to set temporarily aside the traditional agrestic unisex viscerality in order to explore a more subtle, almost classic and uncompromisingly feminine "area" in the middle between a contemporary Acampora's compelling floral musk and a classic Victorian-like (honeyed/aldehydic) english old floral chypre. Yes, tons of honey, aldehydes joined with balsamic absinthic patterns, may be ginger (all arousing a cool, vibrating almost icy atmosphere), realistic grapes and white flowers, all over a chypre musky base with hints of vanilla, this is Flou. Several floral new V&A's and fragrances like Ysatis, LouLou, Elie Saab, La Perla, Jul et Mad Terrasse a St Germain and further jump random on mind each one for a bunch of diverse facets. I detect humid fruitiness and narcotic floral patterns (probably orchid, gardenia and jasmine) really intense and "persecuting" while the honey tends towards a sheer waxy soapiness. The musk, initially notable (as well as the aldehydes) tends along the trip to be "submerged" by streams of florals and wax. The aroma is white, spacious and optimistic and elicits a sense of cosmetic cleanliness you can finally catch inside a biological boutique selling oils, herbs, candels and soaps. Pleasant but not further.
My review is based on the EDP version of this, which as other reviewers remarked, should be different from the oil version – more light and with a different formula. The texture here is based on a sort of deconstructed, simpler, darker chypre, basically a green-floral aldehydated scent with a bold balsamic/coniferous feel and light fruity notes on a dry, almost leathery base (I guess it's guaiac wood). Although this did not "wow" me that much, what I like here the most is a linear, super sharp, vertical metallic feel, rarified but powerful, like a cut in a Fontana painting, with a really thin and narrow vein of absinthe-ish, balsamic green. The aldehydes (or however, that accord which smells like aldehydes to me) together with the green notes create an interesting accord, dry and bitter, which brings to my imagination a classic chypre – say, a Cellier, a Guerlain – being dissected and re-composed by a mad scientist on a freezy steel surgical table. Visa by Piguet also came to my mind, this smells like a more pale and more green version of that. After a while that green-sour accord becomes bolder and clearer, and also a pleasant ambery-woody-balsamic base with just a vanillin hint emerges better. The drydown is delicate and pleasant, but a bit generic – Visa comes to mind again. Great quality as usual, but overall I am afraid that it's just a "half-success"... quite many references come to my mind, it has its own personality but smells more like Slumberhouse's "version of" something – in this case, a quite traditional feminine floral-fruity-aldehydated scent. Not bad, just less interesting than most of other scents by this house.
This one took several wearings to figure out, as have all the Slumberhouses I tried. Flou resolved itself on me as a dense indolic floral fruit. Thankfully the fruit is more grape flower than grape, with the honey and Dossinia orchid removing any grape jam associations. The foody tones were submerged in what became on me a pool of indolic syrup. Being in this pool is slightly mesmerizing, but this is the type of fragrance I struggle with in the battle of who is wearing whom. I'm glad it's syrupy indoles rather than syrupy jam I'm wrestling with - jam would have been unbearable. I wondered if there were Davanna in this formulation. Though I don't pick up its distinct smell, the strangely indolic, syrupy quality of it is there.
I like this fragrance, the smell of it in the air around me, but it's fairly dense and intense and I wouldn't buy a bottle at this point, as I don't see me wearing it in many situations. And ultimately, I keep wanting to mix Flou with more skin - lots of it. Then those occasional submerged notes coming off the skin under a leather coat or layered clothing would be intriguing, perhaps even beautiful.
04th January, 2014 (last edited: 08th January, 2014)
Flou is all about a tremendously realistic grape and honey. It's a sweet, multicoloured concoction that brings Slumberhouse to a more feminine territory. The fragrance is light-hearted, kinda spring/summery and to the usual artisanship quality, it shows a slightly bizarre, sort of chemical vibe that brings to mind of some of the funniest compositions by Lush or Demeter. Somewhere between a bubblegum and potpourri. Personally, I'm not very fond of this type of fragrances but if you're in the mood for a fruity-feminine, Flou could definitely be a nice option.
The vial of Flou I'm reviewing is an oil but, appearantly, Slumberhouse have been asked for an alchool based version (due to be released in spring 2012). The new Flou has been slightly modified. The grape have been toned down while a consistent dose of florals should enhance the overall summery vibe.