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  1. #1

    Default Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    I got Portrait and am smitten with it. To me it is the epitomy of unisex: rather than being sexless (technically flowers, woods, and the like don't have genitals as far as I know) it blends traditional masc and fem materials so that the overall impression is androgynous.

    Hence, I wonder why Malle would give this frag such a feminine name? You'd think that the marketing folks working for him would want as many people as possible to try and buy the fragrance. The name of this frag is going to prohibit some men from buying/trying it. Even though us Basenotes men tend to not be as put off by these feminine titles, I have noticed that a number of male Basenoters are hung up enough on masc/fem disctinctions to fret about it. Even I dislike telling folks that I am wearing POAL. I still got it and wear it, though.

    Anyway, the reviews are mixed on this one. For me, it wasnt love at first sniff. It was definitely like at first sniff. It reminded me of Amouage in a way. Sometimes, with Amouage, like turns to love. To me, POAL exquisitely blends 3 of my favorite scents (incense, rose, and patchouli) and stays pretty dry, almost austere. It is a scent that can easily be worn to the office yet still be interesting and complex. Often I don't wear my rose/incense/patch frags to work because I worry someone will be offended. I don't have the same prob with Poal.

    Anyone out there have a frag that they love but find that they don't wear it out often for this same fear? Or, did anyone else experience this like-turn-to-love thing with Portrait of a Lady?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    I gave it a quick snort in store...didn't grab me. I know a lot of guys like it. But yeesh. I'm an open minded fellow, and can roll with much of the teasing I get about being into perfume, but I don't want to tell anyone I'm wearing Portrait of a Lady.

  3. #3
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    petruccijc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    Quote Originally Posted by indyupstairs View Post
    The name of this frag is going to prohibit some men from buying/trying it.
    Oh well, their loss. Kinda sad to me if that is how someone chooses their fragrances.

    Quote Originally Posted by indyupstairs View Post
    Anyone out there have a frag that they love but find that they don't wear it out often for this same fear?
    No.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    I have a sample, I need to wear it again since the last time I smelled it at Aedes in NY, I doused my right hand with it and then proceeded to go to dinner and the entire time all I could smell was the fragrance mixed with my food. Blech.

    I felt like it was a very Middle-Eastern approach to rose, patchouli and incense - at least that's what I think the olfactory associations were for me.

    From my experience here on BN, many men love and wear rose /patch / incense scents.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  5. #5

    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    Quote Originally Posted by indyupstairs View Post
    (technically flowers, woods, and the like don't have genitals as far as I know)
    Well, technically, they do - that's how they reproduce.
    I remember one summer growing up, my friend's sister learned what fruit was (the swollen ovaries of a flower) and gave up eating it for months! Anyway, I digress...

    I suspect that anyone who would dismiss the perfume based solely upon its name would also avoid reading Henry James' novel 'The Portrait of a Lady' for the same reason. Their loss, on both accounts.

    But really, we're talking about a very, very pricey bottle of juice here from a niche house, not the latest offering from Lacoste/Chloe/whatever. I think the name, with its (somewhat pretentious) literary reference is more likely to attract than repel.

    I like it and congrats on your purchase

  6. #6

    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    Well, I made the opposite turn to not liking it eventually. It's dusty, cold ashes... yes, a portrait in a forgotten room. NOT my style!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Portrait of a Lady...too bad for the name

    Portrait of a lady is a masterpiece. More masculine than feminine.

    Feminine version of Portrait of a lady is By Kilian Rose Oud - it has more berries and is not so dry as Portarit of a lady.
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

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