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L Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau de L’Artisan

28 Feb

The verbena/herbal elements in L’Eau de L’Artisan remind me of visiting an empty band shell in Central Park when everything is shrouded in mist. I don’t get the uplifting feeling from it that so many seem to experience. However, that doesn’t mean I dislike it.

L’Eau de L’Artisan smells like lemon basil melancholy. The opening is quite bright and fresh, but the basil hangs down in the background creating a kind of musty shade that doesn’t really compliment the herbal citrus bouquet.

I noted a similar composition in Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermes, only the mega blast of sour orange in Hermes’s top notes wins me over, while L’Eau de L’Artisan remains comparatively dull in the Spring green-yellow-pale green Crayola spectrum. It projects decently, and its longevity is average for a light citrus aromatic fragrance.

L’Eau de L’Artisan reminds me of Summer-specific ennui. It’s sitting on a wire chair under the green striped awning on my grandma’s brick and cement porch in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, staring at the empty school yard across the street, and trying to figure out what to do with myself.

Ride a bike? Nah… Watch T.V.? Nah… Keep looking at ants following their invisible pheromone trail across the bricks? Why not.

L Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons

27 Feb

La Chasse aux Papillons is a virgin bride in a bottle.

It’s Summer (of course) and I can almost see the yellow pollen floating in the air. Beyond the linden and orange blossoms, there is some other element in this composition that makes the whole thing seem a little faded-out, like one of those small, antique photographs. It’s like a half-imagined memory.

It’s definitely not stale but it’s also not exceptionally fresh in the way Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom is fresh. Maybe it’s too romantic to be fresh? Still not exactly sure what the deal is.

This fragrance is not too light, but it is definitely locket-sized. If something can smell romantic and innocent at the same time, this is definitely it.

The SA at the L’Artisan counter at Henri Bendel told me that La Chasse aux Papillons is a very popular fragrance among brides-to be. I can see why.

It’s a fragrance for real life Disney Princesses, but without all of the marshmallows, spun sugar, and CGI florals that one might normally associate with the word Disney. If you want to convey a celebratory life-loving personality, but still come off as lady-like and without the CGI fireworks overhead, this is your juice.

L Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

24 Feb

Passage d’Enfer begins with smoky floral incense. The incense seems lit to me, emitting a fine ribbon of smoke, but it also has a powdery quality as if it were still unlit and waiting within its long, fragrant cardboard box.

Passage d’Enfer excels at balance. It is difficult to separate and identify the individual elements. It smells like “itself,” which in my opinion, is the mark of a unique and well-blended fragrance.

It sometimes reminds me of the incense burned at road stops in Western China near the bathrooms as air freshener. Passage d’Enfer however, is more floral and fresh and soapy than those thin pungent sticks. In the dry down, the woods and powder become more prominent, but the incense continues to form a soft trail.

Projection is good, and longevity is some of the best I have known from

L Artisan.

I think this fragrance is perfect for cool overcast or rainy days in Spring, because the fresh wet gray of the weather is the perfect compliment to this smoky pink and balmy incense.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu

24 Feb

I have repeatedly attempted to review this fragrance, but have found that it is more challenging to describe than I expected. However, I have finally found enough time to spend with it to write about my experience. Sometimes really beautiful understated and complex fragrances take more time. Do NOT write this one off! Spend some time sampling it so you can see how wonderful it truly is. L Artisan is very understanding about the need to sample.

Timbuktu smells like an early Morning walk while camping, with smoky earthy incense notes which smell like a campfire that has gone out. There is leather, pepper, and wood, but despite the depth of the individual notes, Timbuktu is a dry, light and airy fragrance. Projection and longevity are pretty poor, but I enjoy that it wears close to the skin.

It is an intimate fragrance without being warm, seductive without being too spicy. It makes my skin smell as if I have just returned from somewhere very far away, where there is nothing familiar to cling to.

In its animalic earthiness, I get the feeling of clean dry mud, of drawings made from homemade charcoal on stone, tea made from bark and twigs, and the perfume of fine, parched earth. It is cool dry, exotic smoothness, and becomes subtly intoxicating.

Timbuktu reminds me slightly of Emir by M. Micallef, but Timbuktu is more subdued, muted and airy, the blue/grey and raw umber color of smoke and earth. I feel like I could douse myself with it, and it still wouldn’t project any more than it does with three sprays. As it opens on the skin, the fresh earthiness of vetiver becomes more apparent.

Timbuktu smells magical because of what it contains, but especially because of what it DOESN’T. Each of its elements fit together perfectly, with nothing to distract or over-complicate.

I get the distinct feeling that it is intended as an ingredient in a solution made for self-protection. It is a whispered reminder of one’s own inner strength.

L Artisan Parfumeur The Pour Un Ete

23 Feb

This is what I wish The Vert from L’Occitane smelled like. It has a very similar lemon green tea opening, but the green tea note in The Vert contains a bitter, over-steeped quality and the lemon only muddles The Vert’s bitter, slightly dirty combination of notes.

In The Pour Un Ete, the lemon is alone in the opening, natural, pure, and sour, though it quickly makes room for a smooth green tea with just the slightest hint of natural sweetness. This tea-lemon combination is perfectly balanced and soft.  As it opens on the skin, the composition becomes  light green and dry. Those who are fond of this combination of notes will be in heaven.

I do detect a light jasmine and the faintest cedar behind the tea and citrus, but they are soft and do little more than round out the other notes,  emerging slightly more in the dry down. The dry down continues to be a smooth and slightly sweet tea note, turning into more of a jasmine green tea than a lemon one.

The projection is average, and longevity is typical for L’Artisan, which means longer than 10 minutes, but way less than 10 hours.  Very refreshing for Spring and hot, humid weather.

The Pour Un Ete is having lunch with iced tea and fresh lemons in a campground with your family.There are conifer trees surrounding you and it is near the ocean so there are no mosquitoes. It is smooth, green, sweet, satisfying, and complete.

L Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille (Vanille Absolument)

21 Feb

Though not entirely synthetic as with some of the other more popular and widely marketed vanillas, Havana Vanille is a not really a natural vanilla to me (which in itself is not necessarily a good or bad thing). It is a sweet and slightly dirty fragrance, which simultaneously reminds me of a rum-laced confection, and of an ice cold car window covered in condensation. In an attempt to peer through the glass onto a Wintery landscape, I press my nose to the window and smell this peculiar vanilla mixing with the Winter outside and the ambiance of the crowded stuffy car. Intimate but neither romantic nor particularly comforting… It just IS.

L Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier

21 Feb

Some people liken this fragrance to the experience of “being knocked out with a fig tree.” I think those people should do a comparison with Jo Malone’s Wild Fig and Cassis. It is a wonderful, realistically direct scent, a very green and wet tree full of ripe, dark juicy figs. Premier Figuier is slightly more delicate and impressionistic composition, though it is a much cooler, greener fragrance than the sweet, ethereal and linear Philosykos, which conjures pale pink and lavender hues..

All the pics From the Old Computer 4716

Fico Di Amalfi was my first fig fragrance experience, but after PF, Jo Malone, and Philosykos, I returned to this once beloved fragrance and realized the love had completely vanished.

Unlike the fig in Un Jardin en Mediterranee’ by Hermes (my new favorite fig), which is augmented by tomato plants, herbs, flowers, and compost, Fico Di Amalfi portrays a sharp fig which has been skewed and distorted by its surrounding environment, creating an over-ripe, pungent quality which is both strong and muddy (mud not in the sense of wet earth, but in confusion).


PF is a very nice middle ground. It features the fig and fig tree, it’s light and refreshing, but it also has an impressionistic composition, which accurately communicates the poetic aspect of the true to life experience. To do this is perhaps more of a feat than to create a true to life fig tree scent (JM), or to be able to distill the most pleasant, soft, and pure aspects of the fig fruit itself (Philosykos)… That is up to the wearer.

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