I've posted my comment on the Male thread, and here is a copy.
F&A is an exercise in patience and speedy reflexes. The initial pine notes are so quick, so ephemeral, so fleeting. On my skin they are done in about 3 seconds. For the next hour or so, there is the typical Lutens foody-spice chord. It is OK, not cloying. I get cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg... a Christmas sort of vibe, along with some candied peel. Just when I'm beginning to despair, and around the 2 hour mark, the spiced sweetness abates and some woody and pine notes shyly emerge. The scent winds up as a near neighbour of Fou D'Absinthe. F&A is a bit sweeter, and not as woody.
I wish the frankincense was more prominent, and given a green, resinous profile.
And I definitely wish the pine had more oomph and presence.
Those seeking a distinctive pine scent are hard-pressed to find it here, in my opinion.
Oddly, my experience is quite the opposite of yours. The pine on my skin is resilient through the top and heart notes, but after a few hours it turns to Arabie Light and the drydown is all ambery dessert.
I really love this, but agree that it's not a pine-lovers pine at all. I remember a certain reviewer saying they loved rose, but only when rose "guest starred" among other, more obvious notes. I feel somewhat similarly about pine, and so while something like Zagorsk just sears my nostrils, FeA has just enough pine that I can enjoy it without it wearing me out.
I think if you boiled everything Christmas down to a caramel syrup, it would smell like Fille en Aiguilles.
This is my first post to the group. I've enjoyed reading about so many coniferous fragrances and now I look forward to trying them.
My experience with Fille en Aiguilles is comparable to Sugandaraja's. The scent of pine sticks with me through the life of this fragrance. The sappy/resinous pine notes take me back to my childhood in northern Minnesota, climbing pine trees and having the smell of pine tar and sap all over my hands. I also like the mild, pleasant pine smoke that develops after an hour or so.
One aspect of this fragrance that others may find challenging is what some BN reviewers describe as the 'burnt sugar' accord. It shows up not long after application and is sort of a resinous, burned caramel aroma. What I've found is that if I apply FeA with a bit more distance from the skin this potentially off-putting aspect is tamed a bit without losing it's heart. However, the burnt sugar accord appears early on and ends up sublimated into the rest of the fragrance after a short time. It may account for the smokiness that I mentioned previously.
One other note about Fille en Aiguilles. It is a fragrance with a strong personality. I don't wear it often but when I do, I find it is very environmentally dependent. Whether it's the time of year, temperature, sunniness, cloud cover, rainy weather... whatever. I just need to feel as though it's helping me blend into the natural temperament of the day.
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