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Van Cleef & Arpels ORIENS is a big sillage sweet patchouli perfume. I'd say that the single word that best describes this composition is: voluptuous. A little goes a long way, and my distinct impression is that this perfume (edp) is much louder than the wearer may appreciate. When I wore this to bed the other night I was floating on a big billowy cloud of sweet and chewy patchouli leaves and ended up having--perhaps not coincidentally--truly fantastical dreams!
This sort of composition, ushered in by ANGEL, and aesthetically similar to Bond no 9 NUITS DE NOHO and Tom Ford BLACK ORCHID VOILE DE FLEUR, to name but two examples familiar to me, may be the twenty-first century analogue to some of the larger volume "comfort scents" of the past century, including TRESOR, AMARIGE, and CASHMIR. The sweet patchouli fad may eventually pass to the point where people chuckle when they recall these newer compositions, but for now they serve very much the same purpose as those earlier sweet perfumes, it seems to me.
ORIENS creates a blanket-like layer all around the body. I cannot really imagine wearing this perfume in public, but at home it feels like a piece of self-indulgence, like a rich, sweet truffle--something that one would not eat every day but is a nice treat now and then. My 100ml edp will definitely never need to be replaced--not because I don't like it, but because it is incredibly strong and appropriate only to intimate settings.
The ORIENS bottle is a case study in excess. First off, this one--to my amazement--has roundly defeated the SJP COVET bottle in the "best suited as an implement of self-defense" category. This one is shaped like a palm-sized crystal ball, and it must weigh more than a pound. While the COVET bottle could be use to fend off a nocturnal intruder by knocking him out, the ORIENS bottle might actually crush his skull.
I really find this bottle attractive except for the silver-painted plastic leaves appended to the otherwise beautiful cap atop the crystal ball. Someone should have said "Stop!" because the leaves are simply over the top, like a bad hat with not only flowers but stuffed birds attached. I wish that I could remove the kitschy leaves, because they really degrade the overall presentation. Maybe I'll hide the cap in a drawer, since the bottle itself needs to rest on my bedside table--just in case.
06 August, 2011