Yes, it´s green, light and a little minty, exposed to all risks of smelling cheap and chewinggum-like, but it doesn´t. It even has somethingt a little noble over it, and is really more special than it sounds. My favorite Aqua allegoria by far.
Having spent my early twenties almost exclusively in a white floral (read Chloé), the smell of perfumes basically centered around tuberose, jasmine or orange flowers, often evokes an abstract memory of normality and everyday life. Still, I crave this cathegory of fragrances, but more so I love the smell of the living jasmine flower. Á la nuit, in my opinion, is a jasmine scent that stands out. Though delicate, it is also in it´s own way potent: the bottle appears crammed with full blooming jasmines of highest quality. It is not the adorable prettyness of fragrant white flower buds that is accentuated here, as for instance in L´Artisans "La Chasse...". Á la Nuit instead plays upon the intensity of a multitude in full bloom. There is a threatening shadow of indole and harshness, but only enough to underline tensions, like the ones between night and day, innocence and temptation. On me it stays purely floral throughout the whole time, and much unlike the other S. Lutens I have tried it is quite linear. Obviously, this is not the most challenging creation of C.Sheldrake, but it smells expensive, in the right sense: skillfully crafted of prescious raw material.
It took me a while to embrace what I first thought was a clash between some very contrasting notes: patchouli and chocolate, for example. Or bergamotte and caramel. Different notes seemed to fleet around, isolated from each other, in some kind of weird, sweetended patchouli-space. OK, I'm going to cut the introvert crap, because believe me, I hear how ridiculous it sounds (lol, it's still true though), and just say that I love Angel now! Sometimes I suddenly miss it. Despite the fact that there are several cheap copies, there is nothing like it. I also find it far superior to all the later variations – the garden of stars and Innocent - even if some of these are also nice. Personally I prefer to dab a few drops of EdP to pulse points, instead of spraying on larger areas. Angel is so noticable, just a tiny bit is needed
Lusicious Ambre Sultan changed my feelings about amber in a whiplash turn. To be honest, I have a hard time picking up individual notes here. Oregano, bay leaf, coreander, patchouli, amber, vanilla and benzoin are some I´ve seen listed, ans yes it has both a herbal piquancy and some lush creamyness. But above all, it´s a distinct and beautiful fusion of a scent, if also with amber as main theme. It´s very rich; You need just a few drops for it to make presence, and if you go to bed in it you will still smell it when you wake up. Another thing: it changes caracter with the weather: while cosy and comforting in the winter, summer and sun warm skin brings out its sensuality.
It´s hard for me to do either thumbs up or down for this one; it´s definitley one of the most fascinating scents I know. I keep adding a litte drop on the spot between the thumb and the other fingers, just to sniff and sniff and sniff. It has a loaded, almost vulgar kind of beauty. That mastic gum note sure is a prominent one, and together with leather, smoke, sweet fruits and fragrant flowers, it makes up a thick, narcotic brew. Habanita is as opaque as the bottle it comes in. I´m a great admirer, but I can´t wear it. Maybe I will be brave enough one day, but not now. It doesn´t matter how little I apply, I always feel like it´s wearing me instead.
Loukhoum is strangely two-faced, managing to be both excentric and familiar at the same time. It has unmistakable presence, surrounding you with sweet, rich and foody fumes of almond, vanilla and cherry; as if you had stepped into a cigar shop, but minus the tobacco. But before giving you a headache, it´s caracter is softened by a shy rose and the hint of clean, un-animalic musk in the background. It has great staying power which is a good thing considering the price of a bottle. The powdery and comforting side of Loukhoum makes it a lovely and addictive companion when you are home doing nothing, or in bed reading a book, with the compulsary wrist-sniff-movement on repeat. On the other hand, the bolder side of it puts you in a great mood stepping out the door. It blends delisciously with the chilly air, especially when the leaves have started to fall. First time I wore this outdoors on a day like that, is one of the few times I actually remember thinking “I really don´t care what people think of my perfume”
This may possibly sound banal but I can´t find a better way to express it: In all its simplicity, Stella really means something to my nose. For me this is the essence of dewy roses on the first chilly mornings of autumn when the air brings the sourish smells of yellowing leaves, blushing rose-hips and wild apples. The grass is muddy and damp, on the verge of crispy. Flawed rose petals are floating in a pond, the sky is clear blue with high air and promises of one more sunny week before the rain. It´s the scent of fragile beauty as it smells when darker days are emerging slowly but securely. It´s no secret that he rose is Stellas main theme. The mandarie topnotes work refreshing, and add a high-pich tone to the rose accord. The amber is noticable, but far from obvious. It rather melts into the rose with darker undertones. In this case the amber does not bring on powderyness: this rose remains more watery than thick. This is delicate and well done, but this is also the the risky part of Stella. Overapplied, it can sometimes, just for an instant, remind me of a rose scented toilet cleaner (an even more alarming fact is that I am thinking of a specific one often used in public toilets). So, modest application is better in my opinion. I´d also stay clear of the lotion and the deo – I think they lack some important nuances of the composition – and stick to the EdP.
I picture this day of celebration as held in honour of a cabinet makers daughter, with almond cake and champagne served in the workshop, and fresh wood shavings on the floor. Like many others of the L´Artisans, JdF combines elegancy with an undisguised and natural appearance, and like many of Giacobettis creations it is beautifully centered around a few playful elements. I confess to being inclined towards the minimalistic, and to loving almonds in most interpretations. I know this is something of a love-or-hate ingredient, but I can´t help to think that JdF could hit home even with an almond-disliker. Despite the faint sweetness added by vanilla, this almond has green and a little dry quality, almost as if the shell was still left on. I figure this is partially caused by the wheat note, which rounds this composition off beautifully. I have found it to be quite longlasting, on my skin definitely still noticable after 10 hours, and effective all through the workday. It also leaves lovely scent trails on clothes worn with it.
Hiris was playing a little hard to get with me. On first trial, I was only moderately enthusiastic with it, realizing I had expected that darker and sweeter, aromatic, violet-like iris note I know from other scents. The iris here instead has a dry, cool quality, which strikes a cord and remains the theme through the composition, from opening to drydown. This is a scent in which the development truly amazes me. It opens with resistance; the iris, and the flowers (neroli and rose) are bright and vivid right from the start, but they are muted by another component, which could be the coriander. The result is a hard-to-define, slightly metallic and paper dry edge to the scent, that later fades, or rather melts in to the iris-floral heart. The floral notes then grow sparkling and almost melodic, and they are balanced by warm, balsamic woods and a touch of powder. The vanilla never becomes obvious, but just adds some discrete creamyness. No leather notes mentioned here, but for some reason it often makes me think of soft suede. Did I mention I love this scent now?