Perfume Reviews

Latest Perfume Reviews

Total Reviews: 159914

Gold Woman by Amouage

First scenting was with an 80's sample.
First impression was "Madame Rochas in her evening gown bejeweled"
Civet,Ambergris and White Musk are blended in such a way as to support the heart's bouquet and provide a sly animalic. It is "weightier" than Contemporary formulations. More on that later.
Classic dance with Sandalwood and Rose which combined with Iris presents a Powdered Savon. Lovely!
Interesting is the topping of Muguet which offers a freshness and green nuance which in turn provides a gentle
backstop to the powder. Now the Diamonds and Pearls. This is provided by the Incense. Myrrh, for me, acts in the horizontal therefore a matte of earthy resin. The Frankincense, for me,acts in the vertical, therefore a mild Citric and ethereal airiness. The resins working together have my brain cells registering a tinkle-tinkle that brings me to a Magic Orgasmic.
A Robert masterpiece.
More later on the Contemporary Amouage formulation and a Generic oil
Contemporary still remains as a remarkable scent. There is the Robert finesse with updated ingredients. The Synth Musk is stronger and almost throws the balance.There is a slight Ambroxan rush. The original seems to have used a quality Ambergris. Most of us oldsters will miss the original animalic. The youngsters will appreciate the lighter presentation.

The Generic Oil is very good, however lacks the studied structure of the Vintage.

Madame Rochas is a beautiful scent and Vintage Gold offers an excellent build upon the MR beauty. All formulates are Genderless to my taste.
10th September, 2020 (last edited: 11th September, 2020)
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States

Dunhill Icon Elite by Dunhill

As a fan of the original Icon—and Dunhill fragrances in general—I was interested in the flankers of that very successful scent. Icon Elite is a very good scent and certainly takes the original Icon construct to a different place—a much woodier place. I do not get any citrus in the opening but I do get a strong turpentine note that I really love. Good, artist-quality turps, mind you—none of the DIY variety. I get that same note from Hermèssence Agar Ebène which is my favorite thing about that scent.
Icon Elite rapidly gets to the dry woods which are the centerpiece to this scent, underscored by sage and vetiver. Although not listed, I get a subtle musk in the base notes alongside the suede and even a hint of tonka. Elite is fresh, dry and very masculine and seems to be made of quality ingredients which is in line with the return to quality that the original Icon announced. As I write this (in Los Angeles), the sky is red with smoke, ashes are raining down, midday looks like twilight and the smell of smoke is everywhere; probably not the best environment in which to be reviewing a fragrance. That said, if Icon Elite can stand up to the smell of raging wildfires and still hold its own, that is saying something!
10th September, 2020

Lost by Miller Harris

My wife loves this on me so you know where this is going already.
Rhubarb rose petals blackcurrant amber fairly linear after the bergamot blast at the beginning. Great longevity. I can sense it wafting up to me for hours.
The tartness of the rhubarb just about pulls it from feminine to unisex and for me this is a very nice contrast to my politically incorrect masculine fragrances, a warm weather one to relax with and did I mention my wife loves it?
This could be my 3rd FBW from Miller Harris the other two being Feuilles de Tabac and Etui Noir.

Incidentally the ultra feminine version of this which has the BEST photorealistic florals is Tender.
10th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Bleu de Chanel Parfum by Chanel

In a time where one new fragrance release leads to another four or five flankers - first the EdT, then the EdP and now the Parfum - Bleu de Chanel is a welcome addition.

Having tried the previous two iterations and being completely underwhelmed, Bleu de Chanel Parfum enters as the crowd-pleaser that Chanel is so good at putting together.

Inoffensive and totally versatile as anything I have ever put my nose to, the top notes of BdC Parfum mesmerise even to this day. Some list mint, others geranium and others just call it Blue (it's not! it's Bleu!!!). Whatever the top notes comprise, I get some very good synthetics combining freshly-squeezed citrus-grade freshness with luscious woods that I can't stop smelling. Some of the citrus is clearly dihydromyrcenol (DHM), but it is so tamed here and used very sensibly so as not to offend (I'm looking at you Dior!!).

The woods and indeed the classic Chanel tonka note in the base of BdC Parfum are what sets it apart from the EdT and EdP. Yes, there is amberwood here, but no harsh "incense" (if that's what you call it), just a classic men's scent - citrus/fresh top with a woody base. Admirers of classics like Chanel Pour Monsieur, YSL Pour Homme, Armani Eau Pour Homme should pay attention and sample this, as should anyone crazy enough to want to spend on Roja Dove's Elysium.

Rarely does a scent like BdC Parfum come to the market this side of the millennium. I bought a bottle the day it was released in 2018 and received a couple of compliments from work colleagues not long after from just 1-2 sprays. Given how versatile/easy to wear this is, I doubt I'll ever be without a bottle. If only I'd gone for the largest size bottle. Top marks, Chanel!
10th September, 2020

Moschino pour Homme by Moschino

It's hard to believe a brand like Moschino could create a fragrance like this. But of course that was 1990, when everything was unique and manly smelled, well, manly.

Despite some harshness in the top notes (probably due to the age of the bottle that my sample was drawn from), Moschino Pour Homme smells like the love child of Hermes Bel Ami and Caron 3rd Man. Why? Because Bel Ami gives it the leathery-woody dry down (very aromatic) and the Caron has the clove/carnation heart which the Moschino maintains right the way through the heart to the extreme dry down.

Sadly, scents are no longer made like this, but the scent is reminiscent of better times - no sugary/syrup-like sweetness. Just bitter, dry, earthy/leathery goodness.
10th September, 2020
DanHD Show all reviews
United States

Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I really enjoy this one. It feels like a modern patchouli and I wear it to the office, whereas other patches have to wait until the weekend. I like Bruno Jovanovic's sensibility on this one and also Almost Transparent Blue.
10th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Leather & Artemisia by Jo Malone London

When I applied the opening blast I got orris woods straight from the start. There was some artemisia is present too, adding a touch of spirit.

The next things I got was nagarmotha, here with characteristics of a bright and slightly tangy patchouli, and a restrained frankincense impression that is smooth but does not have much of a ceremonious feeling to it - unlike, for instance, Etro’s Messe à Minuit.

Whatever absinthe I got was very weak and perfunctory only, but the leather, a late developer on me, evolved after a couple of hours eventually. Smooth, new Nappa leather, without any harshness or gasoline character - like an antithesis to Knize Ten.

I get moderate sillage, good projection, and a an excellent ten hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a good scent for warmer autumn days. A bit linear at times, and with some disappointing notes, but overall not without an original touch and delivering a very good performance. 3.25/5.
10th September, 2020

Bulgari Man Glacial Essence by Bulgari

Feels like a typical, masculine blue freshie. Not much sweetness to it. The freshness is clean and citrusy sharp, which does remind me of the original Bulgari Man. Maybe some nice, clean white florals in the opening and early drydown. Later, it feels a lot like Bulgari Man, which is nice, a fresh, spicy, woody scent that’s more versatile than the Glacial opening.

Really good projection during the first hours. Calms down after that but still hangs around most of the day.
10th September, 2020

Lui by Mazzolari


I dont find this animalic. Its a dank patchouli. Its got some fruity background flavors, and a creamy somewhat pissy air about it. Its a patchouli in the way Givenchy Gentleman is, with 70s patch. Its got sweet amber woody chems fron 2006 as its base. Those aromachems are no longer so novel. Something in the base smeks cheap to me. There are better blends. Low neutral.
10th September, 2020

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

Playdough Vetiver

I get rooty vetiver, almost ashy, but not quite. Below that is a gross plasticy playdough vanilla. Its a poorly done note. There is some blended spices in the far back, id suppose thats the frankincense and myrh, but it just reads as a tiny bit of spice rack whispering. The balance is off, though there arent really any sharp edges, the vetiver and vanilla do not mesh, and are sort of like two rocks sitting together. Not well done in my opinion.
10th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ginger Biscuit by Jo Malone

What strikes me first is the caramel, the cinnamon and the hazelnut. A pleasant trio, with the hazelnut being dominant on me; a hazelnut that is crafted well indeed.

In the drydown I find the ginger, which is discreet and more in the background and more of an accompaniment than playing the solo fiddle. Whiffs of a faint oak note come and go.
There is a good tonka impression developing too, especially in the later stages, some vanilla also, and a restrained spiciness due to a nutmeg impression that adds additional depth to the whole.

I get moderate sillage, good projection, and a very good ten hours of longevity on my skin.

Quite a bright autumn scent for warmer days with a gourmand feeling towards the end. The ginger is maybe a bit too bland in me, and sone ingredients are not particularly vivid, but overall this a respectable composition. 3/5.
09th September, 2020

Into the Void by Juliette Has a Gun

The opening is dark and mature with plenty of whiskey, oily leather, and musk. Not getting a lot of licorice but the sweet tonka starts to come out in the drydown. Also getting some sweet, dried fruits. The late drydown is smokey and dry, but still tolerable.

This is serious, dark and sexy but just too darn mature for me. I don't know the occasion or mood I'd need to find for this but I'm sure others will love this because it is unique. It's very interesting and has enough to like to not be super-polarizing.

Strong projection and all-day longevity.
09th September, 2020

Thai Tabac by Ensar Oud

A dense, woodsy, dark floriental that probably best captures the feeling of wearing a sophisticated attar in EDP/Extrait spray form.

The fragrance opens with an absolutely narcotic, almost druggy jasmine, champaca and tobacco combo anchored in patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood. There are hints of toffee/vanilla, but this is far from a gourmand affair. Instead, the perfume radiates waves of what you might imagine opium smoke to smell like - trance inducing and hypnotic. This perfume is truly unisex and would find an excellent partner in a well-dressed woman or a man with a dark leather jacket on. I would wear this for a night out with close friends or a loved one, to a special occasion, or in my evening clothes, as a respite from the outside world.

In my view, this perfume is a masterpiece. Any lover of attars and oriental fragrances should give this a shot. It is also very very expensive, as with all of Ensar's perfumes.
08th September, 2020
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Myrrh & Tonka by Jo Malone London

The lavender in the opening is a fairly traditional version, except that it is lighter and brighter than expected. Still, it is rich enough to satisfy.

The drydown brings in the myrrh, Omumbiri myrrh apparently, and it dark-ishly herbal smooth with gently spicy underdone. A bit later on, I get some nice fresh sweet almonds in the background, together with the tonka that is a bit tardy in making its appearance as promised by the name of this creation.

The base continues the tonka, only that there is a gradual mixing in the the vanilla, so that both, as well as the almond, merge into a sweet fest towards the end, truly leading to a gourmand finish.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and an excellent ten hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely scent for warmer spring days, rich and soft and standing on it own feet without the need to be layered like so many Jo Malones. The development is a bit linear at times, but the quality of the ingredients is very good, as in their blending. 3.25/5.
08th September, 2020

Extract of West Indian Limes / Extract of Limes by Geo F Trumper

Sparkly, sugared lime. Sweet enough to start smelling a bit fake, but the uplifting lime jellybean aroma is fun and pleasant.

A few minutes later, the lime is overtaken by earthy, musky lavender and the whole thing gets a bit soapy. I can smell the remnants of the lime, but this is really a lavender scent for most of its life.

So, I think the topnotes are fun but kind of silly and short-lived, and the lavender is acceptable but unremarkable. I think I have to vote neutral.
08th September, 2020

Lime by Caswell-Massey

Eeeeww.... Soapy lemon & lime with undertones of bleach, ammonia, and poop. This smells like someone cleaning a stinky toilet with a lime-scented cleaner. Or maybe someone throwing a lemon into a hot washing machine full of stinky clothes.

I'm familiar with the concept of classic British musky civet citrus colognes (Trumper and Czech & Speake come to mind), and I can see that's what this was trying for, but this is a mess.
08th September, 2020

Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith

Yup, this smells a lot like L'Heure Bleue. That being said, L'Heure is really difficult to pick apart, thanks largely to the powder that cloaks it. Nessim, however, isn't very powdery, so it's less mysterious. That being said, it's still a hard smell to describe.

So what does it smell like? Sort of like yeasted bread dough with hints of pie spices, with touches of clove, suede, and iris. There's vanilla in there, and honeyed beeswax and sandalwood. It's also got that old-fashioned leather from Knize Ten. But really, it all melts together into rich, honeyed dough. It's too leathery and "perfumey" to be a gourmand, but it has the sweet richness of the genre.

I'm a huge L'Heure Bleue fan, and I can't see needing a bottle of this when I have my Bleue extrait close at hand, but there's no way I can give this anything other than a thumbs up. Nicely done.
08th September, 2020

Pour Un Homme L'Eau by Caron

An improved, modernized version of the original but there is still plenty of soft, powdery lavender. Nice citrus in the opening that quickly gives way to the overwhelming Pour un Homme smell that serves as a reference lavender. Not sure why but it feels kinda cheap at this stage. Later, the lavender fades and it’s just a pleasant, light scent that is actually way better than the middle. Actually feels nice and refined in the deep drydown.

I actually feel like the projection is impressive during the first few hours. I could really smell it jumping off my skin. When it settles, it’s not nearly as powerful but you can still easily smell it when leaning in for a sniff. Lasts most of the day.
08th September, 2020

Light Blue Italian Zest pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

Nice and citrusy but reminds me too much of the original Light Blue pH. To me, it would be redundant to own both and I prefer the Intense and Love is Love flankers out of this line. Stromboli’s not bad either. But this is on par with Sun and the Original.

Below average projection but decent longevity, about 6 hours.
08th September, 2020

Figaro Lanvin by Lanvin

The shortest lived of the three initial Monsieur Lanvin (1964) flankers is Figaro Lanvin (1964), a fragrance that is actually only called "Figaro Lanvin" colloquially by collectors, since unlike Lavande Lanvin (1964) or Vetyver Lanvin (1964), this one remained a Monsieur Lanvin flanker and never saw spin-off into it's own release, having a much truncated lifespan in comparison to the rest as a result. The debut production run in the octagonal column bottles is the only way Figaro Lanvin exists, with the label "Monsieur Lanvin Figaro" throughout the cap and sometimes on the side, since bottling was done locally for various markets from imported oils made back in France and not standardized globally like with most houses. I'm guessing this premature death was because unlike the rest, Figaro Lanvin is a true flanker of the original release, sharing a lot of DNA with it from tip to tale, and had limited appeal from the onset. Also, when everything switched over to the filigreed spray column bottles, Figaro Lanvin did not make the leap, meaning it was the first discontinued of the bunch, which is why it's the rarest and most expensive to find in the aftermarket. A true unicorn to the hardest of the hardcore vintage masculine fragrance collector, Figaro Lanvin is a trophy for "boomers" looking to relive their golden years by way of scent, talked about discreetly in hushed tones only by a few people clutching the remaining bottles. In practical application, Figaro Lanvin feels like a kinder and gentler Monsieur Lanvin, replacing some of the dandy floral facets with aromatics. My biggest problem with Figaro Lanvin is it marries the common lavender and geranium barbershop pairing with a French chypre base, being one foot in the blue collar drugstore realm of the 1950's, and one foot in mod-era Paris, which is a contrived diaspora of elements made to work far beyond their points of origin in order to be a "Malcolm in the middle" between the rest of the Monsieur Lanvin line options. The results of this olfactive schism are less strange or exciting than I make that sound, I promise.

The main thing to me that sets Figaro Lanvin apart from the main pillar is lavender and geranium replacing all the fussier florals in the heart. The opening is otherwise much the same, with sharp bergamot and clary sage mixing with a juicy lemon note. The lavender mixing in with the geranium in the heart is not like that of Lavande Lanvin, being not a medicinal English lavender type but rather more of your brighter fresh barbershop lavender mixing with a golden green rosy geranium note much like classic mid-century men's chypres like Moustache Rochas (1949) or Revlon That Man (1958). This lavender and geranium accord mixes well with the clary sage up top and a bit of vetiver into the base which is very much identical to Vetyver Lanvin, smelling very much "dapper groomed man" in that Don Draper sort of way. Otherwise, the sandalwood, cedar, oakmoss, and labdanum from the exceedingly-French and raucous Monsieur Lanvin are all there. Civet isn't the only thing toned down, as the vanilla is also a bit lower in volume here, with something leathery entering the picture in the late stages of the wear. Figaro Lanvin feels a bit like it's all the other three mixed into one bottle conceptually, but with the largest share of the composition being from the pillar, wearing bright, aromatic, masculine, but with a touch of that urinous dandy kick. Wear time is eight hours and sillage is persistent even if this does not project like a modern "hype beast". Best use is spring and fall for formal wear in modern times, although even then you'll be a fish out of water compared to all the woody ambers or rich luxury orientals you're likely to see in this context in the 21st century. Once upon a time, a man with a sharp smelling conservative floral chypre with a hint of animal growl was classy, but now he'd just seem unwashed since smells like this don't exist in the modern olfactive lexicon of most. In a nutshell, you'll be wearing Figaro Lanvin pretty much only for yourself regardless of what time of year or context you chose for it.

Figaro Lanvin had some interesting posters that were similar in tone to the posters for the original Monsieur Lanvin, but showing a towel-drying man just after shower, a "clean smelling man" theme that Dior would auspiciously imitate with adverts for its launch of Eau Sauvage (1966) two years later. I'm guessing the attitude here was to make a fragrance that was bracing and spry enough to pitch towards the ever-present mens grooming market (especially with the accompanying accessories), but also chic enough in style to appeal with younger trend-conscious jet setters or white collar fellows, while something more functional like the Lavande Lanvin or Vetyver Lanvin would appeal with more-numerous conservative types in the day. Unfortunately, compromises of style and substance seldom work in markets based on face value, so the shocking and memorable Monsieur Lanvin stuck around for a few decades, while it's unrelated but solid flankers got new leases on life as relaunched separate scents, but Figaro Lanvin ended up the slightly more-plain and redundant alternative to the original that only people who really loved it reached for again after that first bottle, which is seldom enough to keep something in production unless you're a small-scale niche brand. Rose tinted glasses make this seem greater now than it probably was then, especially since anything with civet is automatically taboo devil's water for the musk fetishists in the online fragrance community, the people who scrounge over old civet, castoreum and hyraceum perfumes or artisanal baryard ouds the same way "FragBros" comb over batches of Creed Aventus (2010). For someone really interested in smells like this, too many examples more-easily obtained like the aforementioned Moustache or Monsieur de Givenchy (1959) still exist, making Figaro a very scarce and expensive alternative. Still, it's a nice-smelling piece of Lanvin's rollercoaster history. Thumbs up.
07th September, 2020 (last edited: 09th September, 2020)

No. 19 Poudré by Chanel

I've been obsessed with all things Chanel since I was a teenager, when my best friend and I would obsessively save our pennies from our weekend mall-jobs to skip over to the Broadway department store to buy a bottle of perfume. We eventually accumulated No. 5, 19, 22, and Cristalle, each of which came housed in distinctive cylindrical plastic bottles—black for No. 5, silver for 19, white for No. 22, clear for Cristalle.

To us teens of the '80s, Chanel wasn't old-fashioned. It was luxury and quality incarnate. Nothing smelled as beautiful, nothing lasted as long on our skin, nothing wafted its sillage as seductively.

I've smelled just about every Chanel in existence, and even the ones I haven't liked I've at least admired. If nothing else, you get major bang for your buck. The Chanel that I spritz in the morning is still making its presence known before bedtime.

Which is why No. 19 Poudre is such a disappointment—and puzzle. It's a quality formulation for sure, a study in contrasts, green yet powdery, thanks to citrus and galbanum bolstering the famous Chanel jasmine and iris—not so much an updating or reinterpretation of the original No. 19, but a modern homage to its spirit. It's truly lovely, but I can't give it more than a neutral rating because it lasts maybe 2 minutes on my skin.

I even soaked myself with it on a 90-degree day and . . . nothing. All I can hope for is that maybe I'm temporarily anosmic to it.

07th September, 2020

Dark Purple / Black Purple by Montale

In the pantheon of Montale's rose/saffron/patchouli/oud/violet perfumes, Dark Purple is their goth fruitchouli.

It's clearly inspired by the Feminite Du Bois genre, featuring that dark, jammy, beautiful sludge that happens when rose, violet, and plum meet patchouli. But instead of Feminite's aldehydes, Dark Purple uses sharp saffron and lightly fecal oud for sharpness on top. As such, it's darker and decidedly more goth than it's sisters.

Personally, in these sorts of perfumes, I find the counterbalance between sparkling lightness and dark to be the most interesting part, and Dark Purple lacks that - it's painted in all dark tones. That being said, for fans of Tom Ford's Purple Patchouli or Noir De Noir, this could be a good fit.
07th September, 2020

Roses Elixir by Montale

Roses Elixir seems to be Montale's fruity floral version of their signature rose combo.

It's very difficult to make a fruity rose perfume that doesn't smell cheap, and Roses Elixir does a decent job incorporating blackberries and jasmine into its usual rose/violet mix to give fruity sweetness without smelling dumbed-down. Meanwhile, their signature saffron and patchouli are used in measured doses, adding depth without pulling too much focus.

It's interesting - of the Montale rose perfumes I've tried, this is probably the most well orchestrated, but also the most pedestrian. Frankly, this is what Florabotanica wishes it was. There's something to be said for being a well-made crowdpleaser, so thumbs up.
07th September, 2020

Rose Night by Montale

Montale's signature rose note, supported by metallic saffron and a pinch of patchouli for jammy richness, but mostly just the rose. This smells fantastic in its sillage, but a bit muddled up close, though unfortunately it dries down to a cheap aquatic "woody amber" base.

I think Montale's house-specialty rose note is fantastic, but I just don't have the patience to wade through 100 of their rose perfumes looking for the one I like best, so they're really frustrating to get to know. But, as far as Rose Night is concerns, thumbs up for the pretty rose + thumbs down for the cheap base adds up to a neutral.
07th September, 2020

Crystal Flowers by Montale

Montale's near-endless exploration of the slight variants possible using rose/saffron/oud/patchouli/violets continues. Crystal Flowers is a bit more violet-heavy, so it's brighter than their usual, which probably accounts for the good reviews.

Personally, I have two issues. First, there's a chemical here that's blocking my nose and making it hard for me to smell anything. Second, I think saffron has to be used very judiciously in florals. When used carefully, it can add leathery depth, but when overused, it adds a synthetic sharpness that I just don't like, and that's happening in Crystal Flowers.

In all, this is passable but troubled, so I'm voting neutral.
07th September, 2020

Pure Gold by Montale

I have really enjoyed getting to know Pure Gold - it's become a fast favorite in the weeks I've gotten to know it, as it's one of those rare perfumes that just makes me smile happily when I smell it.

It's got gourmand elements, but equally balanced with bright florals, so it doesn't doesn't just smell like a dessert. On me, it smells like slightly burnt caramel and butter played against a honeyed, pollen-laden floral (I'm assuming mimosa) and Tang orange-flavored drink mix. It kind of smells like popcorn, but in a good way. Honestly, this should be a horrific mess (seriously, that fake orange ruins almost everything it touches but shines here), but somehow gets the balance just right and ends up gorgeous. Thumbs way up!
07th September, 2020

Crime & Punishment by Ensar Oud

Despite the early bad press attributed to the perfumer's perceived hostility to another release, this perfume has outlived the good and bad hype and is one of Ensar's finest spray blends. An absolutely smooth, black leather, dipped in narcotic florals on a bed of musk and ambergris. This scent creates the feeling that something like Puredistance M can only aspire to: of sitting in the leather bucket seat of a brand new (vintage) Corvette or Porsche, driving gloves on, one hand on the wheel, the other on the gear shifter. Oud leathers don't get better than this, and for the price, I expect the same.
07th September, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Geranium & Verbena by Jo Malone

It opens up with a fresh bergamot/verbena dyad, but despondent a herbal impression takes over, with basil and whiffs of sage moving into the foreground. Interesting and a bit unexpected.

Without further ado the promised geranium eventuates. A simple bit nice geranium, with some vanilla undertone die to a coumarin that adds further depth.

The base expands the vanilla further, with a slightly green note - think summer grass that is given a twist by a patchouli of a limitedly crisp character.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasantly fresh scent for cooler summer days with a herbal turn, not without some originality and composed of good-quality ingredients. Nothing overly exciting but crafted well. 3/5
07th September, 2020

Lavande Lanvin by Lanvin

The history of Lavande Lanvin (1964) is pretty topsy-turvy, and it gets probably the least talk of any Lanvin masculine from the period, but it is also perhaps the most cut and dry of them all, with the least complexity or surprises up its sleeve. This scent began life as one of 3 alternate flankers to Monsieur Lanvin (1964), all released simultaneously as a launch for an exclusive men's line, since the 1960's saw a boom of interest in fragrances marketed exclusively to men. Like the others of the line, this was at first labelled "Monsieur Lanvin Lavande", but after an undetermined amount of time, was shortened to Lavande Landin and sold in a uniform column sprayer that was shared by other releases from the house until disappearing from the market some time in the 80's as Lanvin was cast away by Charles of the Ritz back into family hands due to lack of profitability. Ironically, the least is known about Lavande Lanvin even though history proves that a direct lavender fragrance should have found success among guys at the time, so maybe the fact that this was originally a flanker that had little to do with the Monsieur Lanvin pillar (a practice common now) before being spun off to drift aimlessly without much advertising push had to do with its relative obscurity by comparison. House Lanvin was organizationally a mess anyway, so who really knows what the method behind their madness was with this anyway?

The opening is pretty much directly lavender, of the spiky English kind, which is funny because this is a French fragrance, but gets the point across well. There's some bergamot of the "Earl Grey" variety in here too, reminding me of eau de colognes like Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale (1853), the lavender and the bergamot do their thing for the first fifteen minutes or so then clary sage comes into the mix. There are zero traces of the original Monsieur Lanvin in the fragrance at this point, and from what I can tell, there will continue to be zero connective tissue between them as the dry down continues. There is an appreciable amount of oakmoss and a bit of tonka into the base, making this as basic of a fougère as it gets, with little sweetness like current fougères would have, and no vanilla to round out the lavender/tonka/moss finish. Lavande Lanvin is rather academic after it settles, nothing special, but quality. You'd be a little hard-pressed to tell the difference between this and Yardley's English Lavender (1873) after this dry down arrives, but maybe that was the point of Lavande Lanvin upon original arrival as "Monsieur Lanvin Lavande": to offer an "officially masculine" take on the English lavender style safe for the man not wanting gender ambiguity to use. We are talking the early 60's here, just shy of the flower power explosion and summer of love, with The Beatles just showing up on Ed Sullivan. Wear time is an acceptable 6 hours, and performance overall is mild, making this an understated all-occasion fragrance. Granted, direct lavender fougères like this can get pretty boring too, but I don't think this was made to excite anyone either.

The more I think of the context surrounding Lavande Lanvin, the more it makes sense to me. Monsieur Lanvin was full-tilt floral and civet musk French fussiness, likely to turn off most slicked-hair Buick-driving American guys that still thought writing with your left hand meant the devil's path. Vetyver Lanvin and Figaro Lanvin (also part of the 1964 "Monsieur" launch) were more resolutely masculine than the pillar but still bold enough that the cigarettes-in-shirt-pocket types might receive them poorly, so a by-the-book fougère that recalled comfortable lavender-forward classics like Yardley's seemed to be the catch-all. Men who didn't want chances taken, but wanted something that spoke of higher quality, could turn to Lavande Lanvin in an age where stuff like Brut by Fabergé (1964) was just starting to reintroduce the fougère to the mainstream. Guys in the 50's had to endure bone-dry chypres full of sandalwood, leather, urinous musks, and sour soapy citrus accords since the late 40's, and Lanvin Lavande was a safe option that was still upmarket, much like some modern niche selections today. Once men started embracing really complex or challenging fragrances into the 80's, Lavande Lanvin's days were numbered. It's nothing special, but there's nothing wrong with it either, although beyond the ostensible collector, I see no reason to add a rare vintage and discontinued variant of something extremely common to your wardrobe. Thumbs up.
07th September, 2020

Private Label by Jovoy

Niche GGA

Hoo hoo boy. I like this one. Its a leather patchouli wood. Its got vetiver, dry and stark. The labdanum gives this a bit of a booze aspect. In the heart, I don't see the note, but I feel some tobacco, or something interacting to give me that impression. Birch gives her a little smoke. Its good. Good strength, nice bottle. I'm impressed. My first Jovoy I've tried, and its a winner. Thumbs up.
07th September, 2020