One of my two Holy Grail Scents (along with de Nicolaï's New York), Chêne smells unambiguously of oak, at least to my nose - as it should since its name is the French word for oak. But there is so much more in there than simple oak. Imagine a mixture of fresh oak sawdust and the fine, powdery organic matter on the bottom of the litter layer of some primeval forest and you're getting the idea.
I have not come close to wearing this as much as I want because it is obscenely expensive in the U.S. Curses on the head of Mr. Lutens for limiting Chêne to the non-export line.
My favorite citrus. I have plenty of other citrus fragrances, but now that I have Balle de Match I hardly ever wear them. Even when I exhausted my decant of Penhaligon's venerable Blenheim Bouquet which I used to adore I did not bother to replace it. Balle de Match even has decent longevity (for a citrus), at least on my skin.
I never imagined I would ever crave a fragrance with grapefruit in it. By itself, I don't much like grapefruit, but in combination with lime and a little wood and something herbal (pink bay?) it's delightful. Notes listed for this stuff also include pepper, incense, and musk, but they must have been added with sufficient subtlety that my nose cannot resolve them.
Le Roy Soleil must be one of those scents that develops in strikingly dissimilar ways on different people's skin. One me, it offers no hint of flowers or non-citrus fruit (Thank God!). Instead, after the initial loud blast of citrus, it begins to radiate a kind of marvelous olfactory bitterness along with the residual citrus.
Although for most of the summer I much prefer de Nicolaï's Balle de Match, when the temperature reaches the mid-nineties (~35 °C) even the de Nicolai can begin to cloy. Under these conditions Le Roy Soleil shines, and honestly is about the only frag I can stand to wear.
Magnificent! In the 1994 edition of his perfume guide, Luca Turin awarded a "heart" (his highest mark of approval) to New York, so I tried it. I agree with the parallel that Isabelle noticed with Jicky. Both have fairly sweet Oriental bases beautifully disguised behind bergamot and herbs and (in New York) a bit of something woody. I do not find the citrus notes to be either dominant or long lasting. New York persists well; traces remain the next day. Turin was right in one other regard: You donít easily grow tired of this fragrance. In cool weather, I use more of this scent than any other.
I find that this juice requires careful handling. If partial evaporation has occurred (e.g., in the nozzle of a long-unused sprayer or in a cheap plastic vial), New York can become unrecognizably cloying. So, waste a squirt or two before application, or you may hate it. Handled right, it is hard not to love.
Strange but interesting stuff - quite different from anything else I’ve tried. De Nicolai’s site says there are also warm ingredients in it, but it smells cool and oddly melancholic to me. There’s mint in it, but not a candy-cane or Tic-Tac mint: maybe some wild herb in the mint family. I like it well enough to use it in warm weather for variety when I’m desperate for a change from citrus smells, but it really does not make me smile at every whiff like de Nicolai’s New York does. Certainly, no woman will be driven wild by the raw sexuality you exude (since you won’t) while wearing it.