I like this when first applied--I definitely get the vintage Chantilly vibe--but the dry down is a bit sour on my skin--could be perhaps the violet leaf or civet? A terrific rendition of a big,classic aldehydic floral, nonetheless, along the lines of original Arpege or Chanel N°5-- it just doesn't suit my tastes. Would make a great gift for a lipsticked dame who is inspired by 1950's fashions and retro trends. Big sillage, great body and presence. Not for the shy.
My bottle of extrait is 8-10 years old, and the civet dry-down is pronounced. This is more bitter than sweet, the white florals tempered by the petitgrain stem and bergamot top. It's dry, almost leathery, and quite pungent. It's reminiscent of sandalwood/wisteria incense and fine old Italian perfumed soap.
This is my favorite of the Envoyage line so far: a very nice chypresque bergamot and oakmoss, but also a leather/peach--but peach in the Mitsouko sense, not the current sherbety candy idea. I've smelled Rose/Leathers, Violet/Leathers, Neroli/Leathers, etc. but this is the first Peach/Leather I can recall. It has a nice lightly smoked appeal, as well, and is very dry. I think if you liked Cellier's Bandit or Jolie Madame, you'd go for this offering by Shelley Waddington. It's modern, but classic.
On first spray, this is very reminiscent of original Dior Poison, though much softer sillage, brighter on top, and not spicy or fruity as that classic 'fume: a nice strong musk and white floral combination. This has a gardenia/tiare heart, making it slightly tropical without being at all beachy. Packs a punch, is quite creamy on the dry down. I probably wouldn't wear it, but a gardenia lover would find it true-to-form. No bitter/synthetic/cheap notes on the drydown. Very smooth.
The orange is apparent first, then clean, sweet, Lily of the Valley, very prim and proper (no musk or skanky notes); I'm not so fond of Lily of Anywhere, and this one is like Cashmere Bouquet soap to my nose, albeit the vintage variety of Cashmere Bouquet, which admittedly is pretty good compared to most modern perfumes. The heart is white floral, but smooth and non-indolic, and I prefer my white florals to have a bit of "stank". The base is pure class, and the effect is long-lasting. I smell a bit of spicy carnation, although this is not listed in the notes. Perhaps lovers of Caron Bellodgia would find something to love in Carmel Boheme. It really doesn't suit my taste, though I can smell the appeal. Well-made, good bones and architecture.
A smoky-yet-fresh vetiver, perfect for the guy aiming for the odor of "distinguished gentleman," or "I'm rich, or at least smell like I should be," understatement. If this pops your cork, I'd recommend the large bottle, because although it's long-lasting, it seems to improve if you really pile it on. It seems to have a "pre-dried down" effect, not so much that it is linear, but reaches that comfortable melded-to-skin state quite quickly. It is seamless, quality, perhaps boring, with no surprises or rough edges. It would work equally as well for a woman aiming to avoid the bubblegum confections that pass as women's perfumes these days. Would be a safe gift for a guy who works in a conservative setting. The antithesis of Drakkar Noir.
Sparkling jasmine soliflore, and a very good jasmine at that--it smells like the real thing to me, or a clever blend of real + synthetic. I find the top citrus mood-lifting and bright, reminiscent of Fresh's Citron de Vigne or Sake, but anchored with a smooth cedarwood and slightly bitter oud & musk base, which more preserves the brightness than overpowers or darkens it. Again, the sample I have has a highly concentrated, oily quality on the skin--it is an EDP--and is incredibly long-lasting. I think it's like a sexier, niche Clinique Happy, or a less-expensive, less-indolic Lutens À la Nuit. A definite must-try for the jasmine lover.
Fruity, ambery, resinous, and long-lasting gourmand; quite concentrated and sweet. After an intial burst of citrus, it has an oily, almost head-shoppy quality that is slightly piercing & bitter (marigold? rhubarb?) and warm (heliotrope, mimosa). The dry down becomes more sensual, and accents both frankincense and slightly woody qualities, with a dessert touch. I imagine it would have delicious sillage if sprayed all over. Probably would be enjoyed by those who favor warm, strong, "statement" perfumes like Giorgio, Poison, Amarige, Angel and Opium, but with a more modern, fruity and playful twist. No musk or animalic notes: fruit, wood, amber, and dessert.
Beautiful opening, bright citrus and orange blossom, but an hour on my skin and the drydown is nauseatingly bad. I've sampled it twice, but something in the latter part disagrees horribly with my skin--a rancid odor, like sour milk almost, appears. Luckily, the whole experience fades quickly after that. This is why I never buy a perfume upon a love-at-first-spray!
I adore the leather base, but not the floral top, especially lily of the valley--it's very acrid and green initially. What it settles into about two hours after application is absolutely beautiful--the powder of iris tempers the sharpness of leather. The pink color is incongruous as there's nothing "pink" about the fragrance at all, and the name--despite the connotation of the Kelly bag, the Hermes brand and leather--has a stripper name quality to it when taken out of context. I think I'm put-off enough by the sharp opening to not wait for the lovely base.
As the parfum is vintage, it is difficult to find a bottle that has not gone off, at least in the top notes. Bergamot and lemon do not tend to sparkle much after 30 or more years on the shelf, and the floral heart seems to have become bitter and odd, too. First applied, there is the realization of "Wow, this is some old juice"; however, once it dries, the base notes of my old parfum bottle have melded into a warm, leathery, spicy/musky prune scent. The clove, orris, and oakmoss are particularly evident, making for a dry, powdery, but not-too-sweet finish on the skin. In its day, it must've been a stunner, but until someone steals the recipe and creates the original anew, classic Femme is shadow of what it must have been when fresh.