The new Luxe Series from Comme des Garcons has gotten it's fair share of negative comments here on BN - mostly due to the fact that CdG [which in the past, represented cutting edge irony, minimalism and a strong hip quotient] seems to have backpedaled by introducing a 'luxury' line of fragrances right after they a) decided to discontinue a total of 13 scents, some that many BN member love and b) raised the prices and/or modified the bottles on the non-discontinued fragrances. If I remember correctly, scentemental decided to rename them the Greed Series.
I, like most of the 'CdG Fan Club members' here on BN, tend to overlook these things - after all CdG is a line that has been at the forefront of my introduction to BN. The first time I smelled the Incense Series I actually had a dream about them that night. No lie. They haunted me. They still do.
New fragrances from this line will always continue to fascinate me, regardless of packaging (the logo for their last scent Play was kindergarten-ish), wacko bottles (I am not the only one that hates the bottles that must lie flat) and prices (the Luxe Series are $265 and $285 for 45 ml!).
The top notes of Patchouli are herbal, pungent and grainy in texture. Wonderfully earthy and very much like the smell of patchouli absolute oil which will either intrigue you (it did me) or bore you. No wacky perverted rubber 'Clockwork Orange' notes here...just patchouli. How very Santa Maria Novella of CdG, no?
The linear opening was followed by a dark cloud of softness - I must repeat what some of the reviews I've read said...this stuff has no sharp edges. It's masterfully blended. The seamless transitions feature oppoonax (I think?) and sandalwood but both of these are in the background and the patchouli is much more prominent. I got none of the oak or white pepper and honestly, I don't know how lovage smells. Do you? I didn't think so.
The dry down. Here's where I got the deja vu. Maybe it's just me (or and a strong coincidence ) but immortelle / maple syrup / curry notea seems to be popping up more and more in fragrances that I'm trying. Last week's testing of Fougere Bengale by Parfum d'Empire has it. Eau Noire by Dior of course has it. It's also at work in Arabie by Serge Lutens, Sables by Annick Goutal and here it is once again in Patchouli. It was even more strange that CdG doesn't list immortelle as a note. Is this an effect from the fenugreek note? Unlike the FB, the dry down is not chicken soup-y but is maple syrup / celery seed-ish. It's not as sweet as Sables (as Ruggles thread mentioned) but here's the thing: this note turns Patchouli into a very NON luxurious scent IMO.
As much as I let go of the patchouli stereotypical connotations that naturally pop up (health food stores, tofu, hippies, blah, blah, blah) it's even harder when you've got a curry-ish drydown like this does. It's like trying to wear a tuxedo and wearing Birkenstock sandals.
Note: I like immortelle notes. Eau Noire and it's celery seed on steroids fascinate me (when I first smelled EN at Neimans I was on my way to dinner and I sniffed my hand during the entire first course). Additionally, Fougere Bengale's immortelle note is much more complex: its cuddliness and drydown which went like this: green, sweet, herb, green, sweet, herb is utterly fascinating! CdG's Patchouli doesn't.
Sadly, I can't imagine purchasing a bottle of this. I could buy two bottles of Tom Ford for Men Extreme for the price of one of these!!. Honestly, I can't even imagine splitting a bottle of this. Let's do the math: $285 divided by 4 people = $70 for a little over 10 ml. WTF? As it is, my samples (the little itsy bitsy sample vials, 1/2 ml I think) cost $5 ea from Luckyscent. I bought two so I could really experience the scent - so I spent $10 on a SAMPLE of this stuff. A little ridiculous.
I'm glad to have experienced the opportunity to try this (supposedly it's the first patchouli fragrance that utilizes more Sumatran patchouli than any other). Owning it, however, seems not only unjustified, but silly.
Last edited by mikeperez23; 7th November 2007 at 02:10 AM.
"All problems are illusions of the mind."
-- Eckhart Tolle
i woudn't describe it as luxurious generally, but for a patcholi fan... i don't know, that was some awesome patchouli.
current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors
and which are those 13 scents discontinued by CdG?
So my beloved Jaisalmer will stick around for awhile after all? (fingers crossed)
Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 7th November 2007 at 05:52 PM.
I think the Luxe series is just pandering to conspicuous consumption. It's certainly not that expensive because the ingredients are expensive. But at least they're honest about calling it the Luxe Series... it's obviously intended for prestige only.
"All problems are illusions of the mind."
-- Eckhart Tolle
Wow, three cheers for using the search function. I was just about to start a new thread, asking the very questions mikeperez23 asks here... I'm glad I searched I was curious what that herbal impression at the opening was and if it was tied into the slight curry feel (almost like immortelle in impression and weight to me) or if it's a separate entity. I also was curious how much you all believe that heavy herbal impression has to do with the patchouli in this as well.
The other question was, with fenugreek, are we dealing with the seeds or the leaves here, and/or most often in fragrances? I want to understaaand This could be desert island material for me folks, this LUXE Patchouli. I have had the sample for a while and have loved it for a while but I really haven't given it a huge go yet until today. I stuck my nose RIGHT UP TO IT the second I applied it and smelled herbs and leaves that smelled like some combo of black tea and tobacco but that quickly got whisked away in the more curried, rich, anise/patchouli moments. I guess I want to know which ingredients are responsible for these different impressions.
p.s. mike, I'm loving this review of yours. I mean, tuxedo and birkenstocks, exactly. The luxuriousness comes from the richness here for me... it's like, a rich dessert as opposed to a glass of champagne. Both are luxurious, in different ways.
I'm definitely learning that I am very attracted to this herbal vs. rich, almost syrupy curry impression... i mean, look at my favorites list... i need to go add dior eau noire, another big fav.
Last edited by nthny; 13th November 2008 at 01:46 AM.
Profumum Ambra Aurea (a patchouli amber) seems to have that maple syrup note also, at least on first spray. Profumum is definitely luxe all the way from top to bottom, and they never had any intentions otherwise
Thanks Asha... I saw the picture of that a while ago on the Luckyscent sight and that deep red color is so beautiful and makes me imagine its a deeply rich fragrance. I can't wait to try it! Thanks.
Last edited by nthny; 13th November 2008 at 03:25 PM.
thanks Mike. i've had my eye on it! .. so which is it? where is the herbal leafy element coming from, and where is the curry coming from?
Last edited by nthny; 13th November 2008 at 03:54 PM.
My only problem with the LUXE Patchouli (excluding the price) is the lack of ooomph in the patchouli note itself... I would have thought that some rich patchouli would have singed my nasal passages, but instead it's a mix of patchouli, herbal, and woody notes. On the upside, for the price you get a very strong, long lasting fragrance. I found that I got almost two wears out of a 1ml sample.
not to belabor this point, and I'm sorry for offending anyone to whom this point may be redundant but I was not familiar with some of the notes in this soon to be favorite scent of mine... lovage, fenugreek, etc... so I have done some research and found that fenugreek gives a maple/curry effect. Just thought I'd put it out there for those who didn't know
One more bit of info: fenugreek comes from the latin for Greek hay... which is interesting because I was sure I smelled a sweet hay note not unlike dried alfalfa in this.
Last edited by nthny; 13th November 2008 at 11:39 PM.
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