Category Archives: L’Artisan Parfumeur

More (Unsuccessful) London Shopping… Part 1

This post is going to be longgggggggggggggggggggggggg…….

Ok so back to London (to attend the L’Artisan launch for Seville A L’Aube with Bertrand Duchaufour and Denyse Beaulieu – but there’s enough posts about that), and to have a shop! So here I am, armed with my lame-ass note book, my nose, and a wad of cash!! After my great success’ last time – leaving with the gorgeous Lonestar Memories and the repulsively addictive Musc Maori, I had high hopes!

So on arrival, I had about an hour to kill before it was off to L’Artisan in Covent Garden, so I made my way to Oxford Street and figured I’d hit Liberty’s – there were a few things I wanted to try (and were on my “I know I want this but I haven’t tried it yet” list).

Passing Byredo, I couldn’t help but have another quick sniff of Pulp. I put a bit on my hand this time, and didn’t realise that it was actually a fig fragrance – I hadn’t got that at all the last time I tried it on paper. But still, there it was, paired with the plump fig the hideously synthetic scent of berries and shower gel. Not the summer fruity fragrance I would like :(

Seven Veils smelt very interesting out of the lid… on my hand, oh my god the horror – words cannot describe. Haha, ok so it wounds overdramatic, but Seven Veils is without a doubt the worse fragrance I have ever had on my skin (don’t take it personally, this is only my opinion). A floral, clove spiced vanilla (in the same sort of veil as Musc Ravageur only far more intense), but the vanilla just turned absolutely rancid on me – in the same way that Mona Di Orio’s Vanille turns to egg on me, it was a very similar but worse reaction. I mistook the vanilla for myrrh initially – that rancid breath quality that it so oftens morphs into. After I smelt this, I had very bad experiences with vanilla for the rest of the day. I worked my way through a pack of wet wipes getting this hell beast off my skin before it burnt through to the bone! Hahaha.

Over to Parfum D’Empire (just becuase they’re such good value and such great fragrances), I sniffed Azemour Les Oranges again, I do love the bitter green but mouthwateringly juicy opening – but I had tried it before, and the thought of purchasing it there and then just wasn’t exciting enough for me!

Iskander had a great sour start, but the dirtiness of the grapefruit paired with the pungent oakmoss, turned it into a sweaty-cologne scent that I really didn’t enjoy. I really need to fall in love with a masculine citrus – but it’s hard work!

Heading back to more my sort of thing, I picked up 3 Fleurs which I hadn’t sniffed but read mixed reviews about. It sounds right up my alley on paper as a classical floral, but unfortunately, the beautifully indolic jasmine and sweet creamy tuberose, just didn’t work with the classical rose that wedged awkwardly in between them. The fragrance felt completely unbalanced (and overhwelming) for me, with a dated style that wasn’t the powerhouse of a floral bouquet that I had hoped for! :(

I made my way over to the fragrances I really wanted to try: Ineke.

The idea of a lilac soliflore really appealed to me (for some reason) – I think it was after sniffing En Passant and really enjoying it’s delicate shade. Unfortunately, the beautifully named After My Own Heart was a very faint, very soapy lilac that had little personality unlike the dewy freshness and slight melancholy of En Passant. I felt extremely uncomfortable in it for the few moments that it lasted.

Insistant on owning one of the absolutely beautiful bottles, I picked up the gorgeous looking Field Notes From Paris.

An unusual take on an orange blossom – but an unpleasant one for me. The narcotics were turned down, and instead the bitter medicinal aspects of orange blossom were enhanced by deep (but somehow flat) notes of tobacco and patchouli, all sitting underneath a bright citrus and cologne like opening. For some reason, I really disliked it – it seemed to amplify the ugly aspects of all the notes I normally enjoy, it didn’t work in harmony for me :( I will give it another shot some time though… dear god I need that bottle! :|

Evening Edged In Gold is another fragrance I tried by Ineke, it was actually the one I enjoyed the most, but not memorable enough for me to even remember what it smelt like (I didn’t take notes of it). I was really disappointed as I was certain I was walking out with an Ineke for my collection!

Anyway – off to the L’Artisan launch to come back to Liberty’s later – I hadn’t finished here just yet!

I purposely didn’t try Seville A L’Aube after reading the book until the launch as I wanted to sniff it for the first time when I was there – just to spice things up a little for myself :’)

Seville A L’Aube opens with a wonderful, sharp resinous lavender and the rich orange blossom, threaded through the top with a lighter touch than I expected. I enjoyed this part, it’s bright, sunshine filled with the tang of lavender adding an unexpected, very slightly masculine edge. I was sure there was a touch of rose in there too, the tiniest soapy edge (but from another floral other than the orange blossom) seemed to peep up.
Unfortunately (unliked other attendees who tried the fragrance on skin), the beeswax/incense combination came out on my skin too quickly, pushing aside the lovely orange blossom all to quick to reveal a quiet, waxy almost myrrh like scent on my skin. Unusual, enjoyable, but not for me :)

So, after a mingle and a chat with the lovely Denyse and brief, awkward, star-struck talk with Bertrand (oh and I introduced myself to the smiley Katie Puckrik – which whether she was freaked out by my big stretched ears or not, turned out to be even more short awkward than the chat with Bertrand… but there we go)…

Back to the sanity of Liberty’s where the sales staff always assist other customers assuming I won’t spend a penny –

I walk past the Frederic Malle stand – where the handsome French sales assistant greeted me wearily at first – I do look clueless – until I said “Mmmmm heliotrope” when he handed me a card with L’eau d’Hiver on it. It was the first time I’d tried, or even heard about this fragrance (I’m new to the full Malle line up). Although it was a lovely heliotrope with a powdery almond and slight anis spice – definitely my sort of thing – it was farrrr to delicate for me.

I told him what I had tried, and he started throwing more cards under my nose:

Geranium Pour Monsieur had a surprisingly good peppermint note and the geranium was unlike the watery green rose note that I am familiar with, instead it was green, slightly citric and peppery – really good, but not my sort of fragrance. I’ll be sure to revisit it though.

Angeliques Sous La Pluie was a peppery watery thing that was completely forgettable.

I also sniffed some things that I am already familiar with (yet again) Portrait Of A Lady, Bigarade Concentree, Une Fleur De Cassie etc etc. All lovely (and unaffordable at this moment in time) :’) None out do my love of Dans Tes Bras however.

I had another little wander round, sniffing Odeur 71 again amongst other Comme Des Garcons’. I decided that there was nothing else I really wanted to sniff here, and after my disappointment with the fragrances I hoped to love, I was sick of Liberty!

On to Ormonde Jayne…

Part 2…

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Voleur De Roses – L’Artisan Parfumeur

Voleur De Roses opens with a sharp hit of metallic, camphorous patchouli in the style of the recent Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille. The metallic edge takes it away from the plush, cosy quality of Lutens’ camphorous opening in Borneo, and whilst the high pitch could be considered uncomfortable, the other leading notes help to take it down a level.

The rose is fresh and wet. Paired with the patchouli the freshness is pulled from the earth, adding a slightly dirty edge, whilst the “wet” I describe – is a literal translucent veil of water. There is a fresh rainwater note, gathering in a shallow puddle above the entire composition – it is not aquatic, salty, ozonic or marine, instead it is more reminiscent of the slightly soiled water in a vase of flowers.

A dusting a bright pollen, scatters across the now quieter patchouli, whilst the metallic edge dilutes under the rainwater. At this point, both the rose and patchouli are balanced enough for a purple, fruit note of plum to come into focus. The fruit appears as a facet of the rose, and that’s what I thought it was all along, until I read that the plum note is individual. Once I read this, I now see it almost as the centre point of the heart of Voleur De Roses. I smell it as though it is wedged in between the patchouli and the rose – three standalone notes, almost gothic when combined. They are brooding and intense, with the still present metallic note acting like the chains tying them together, but with a light-handed touch reminiscent of cold incense.

It remains translucent, the initial bracing dew of the fresh-out-the-earth rose drips from the top into the heart, it almost makes my mouth water! This water and pollen nectar create the naturalistic sweetness needed to calm the down the ugly aspects of the soil-filled rose and the mineral twang of metal running through the patchouli.

The simplistic but beautifully balanced composition becomes quiet on the skin, staying close but with an almost shadowed presence – it’s dark and mysterious, but with the fresh rainfall quality keeping it on the more summery side of seasonal wear. I do see Voleur De Roses as ideal for summer – it has a damp, crispness soaking your skin from the wet rose petals, the sodden patchouli and cool metallic edge, and the juiciness of a bright plum, all atmospherically composed to feel open and ethereal. An uncomplicated but elegant fragrance.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur De Roses 100ml EDT – £78

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Traversee Du Bosphore – L’Artisan Parfumeur

I don’t know why I haven’t reviewed this yet. It was a calculated blind buy for my partner at Christmas. It however, was completely different from what I expected… but that didn’t really matter. At least he enjoyed it – thankfully!

The reason this fragrance was so different, is how complicated and bizarre it was. I was expected something really easy to like – a sweet apple pie like opening, some smokiness, a true to life rose and nut turkish delight accord and some suede underneath. But it’s so much more confusing than that.


Traversee Du Bosphore opens with a really bizarre dried apple accord. It has that sweaty, breathy feel that dried apples too, slightly soggy still, overripe maybe? It’s a cross between really gross and absolutely delicious.
Underneath this apple, there’s this unusual nutiness, like a green pistachio, although it’s extremely subtle and something I really wish was much more pronounced.

There’s an unusual, powdery earthiness to it that I think comes from some rooty iris, it has a toned down Iris Silver Mist vibe going on with the florals. Traversee Du Bosphore becomes pretty powdery quickly, and the nuttiness gives an almond like texture, delicate and light. However, TBD isn’t a light fragrance, whilst up close it is relatively translucent, there’s something quite dense about it and the throw of this thing is insane.

Along with the iris, the only other floral that seems to show up is a very faint rose, it isn’t dominant at all and instead seems to be scatter into the powder. This accord is supposed to make a “turkish delight” scent, but for me, it doesn’t at all. Nope, I don’t get turkish delight out of this at all. Well, yes there’s pistachio or almond, there’s some rose and lots of powder, but it doesn’t merge together and become one, they are all individual – which is why I was a bit let down when I first smelt this. I bought it for my partner as a lokum perfume, and he gets the association much more than me. I didn’t expect the complicated smoky apple notes (apple tobacco) to be so intense and significant in the Traversee Du Bosphore, but to be honest, it is one fantastic opening so I can’t complain.

Into the heart, the nuttiness and rose remain faint over the powder, and the stain of apple still peeps up every now and again. There’s a faint smokiness throughout, and the iris provides an earthy, carrot type aroma.
The leather in this is transparent, delicate, and powdery. It’s practically undetectable to me, and I don’t consider this a leather fragrance as many others do, everything else is far too overpowering for me to even pay attention to it.

All in all, it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t want to wear it myself however, but I thoroughly enjoy it on my partner :)
I will however mention, as I feel it necessary, that every time I smell this fragrance – the public toilet at my local train station… smells EXACTLY like Traversee Du Bosphore. I have NO idea why… But ever since I realised it (and my partner 100% agrees unfortunately), there is a slight urinous note in TDB, and you may unfortunately find that it smells like a toilet. I’m not one to make these associations usually – come on I drench myself in Miel De Bois and feel squeaky clean, but I thought I’d mention this anyway.

Away from these personal downfalls with this, Traversee Du Bosphore is a translucent but highly projecting powdery apple and iris fragrance with a floral/nuttiness providing the majority of the substance – one of a kind.

Traversee Du Bosphore L’Artisan Parfumeur 50ml EDP – £65

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Batucada – L’Artisan Parfumeur

Batucada opens with a hit of sour limes that pretty instantly falls on top of an underlying sweetness and a creamy almost coconut type of note. This doesn’t smell like coconut though so don’t hold onto that point. It’s a mere hint.
There’s some mint in this too, but only a small leaf of it.

The whole feel is really sweet, it smells exactly like a cocktail. It has that cool, liquid feel to it with a boatload of brown sugar, chopped limes and sprigs of mint. But Batucada just lacks the alcohol. That’s exactly what Batucada needs, not alcohol, just a hit of something to make it a little bit more interesting…

Some florals have come in now 5 minutes on, yet again, just a gentle wisp of tropical petals. I’m guessing it’s something like ylang-ylang as it has that slight fresh banana smell to it, maybe that’s what’s also providing the more solid creaminess under all the translucent leading notes.

Batucada is quite aquatic, there’s that fresh ocean note running through it which to be honest, is actually pretty good! I like that. It’s quite beachy without the suntan lotion, extremely fresh and uplifting.
I like this fragrance the more I sniff it and write about it, but that’s only because I’m breaking it down – one quick sniff of this and it’s just another citrus/aquatic. Batucada smells like it came fresh out of a designer house and to be honest, there is absolutely nothing interesting in this at all. It is just blended nicely, and it is what it is – a simple, fresh summer scent.

Batucada doesn’t change much. The limes decrease in their strength, whilst the sugar and pale florals take over. The mint has also began to vanish 15 minutes later and the coconut has become more present. The aquatic notes still hover in the background and the lack of lime and mint has created a little bit more warmth to the fragrance.

I’ve just realised I’m really trying my best to write about this as a serious fragrance. I could imagine spraying this out a Lynx bottle and wouldn’t give it a second thought.
Pleasant, but nothing you haven’t already sniffed before…

L’Artisan Parfumeur Batucada EDT 50ml – £55

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L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme – L’Artisan Parfumeur

I realised a while ago that I haven’t reviewed L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme… This fragrance was my first niche bottle. Actually, I bought Dzing! first but my bottle broke, I managed to get a refund and pretty spontaneously decided to exchange it for this instead.
When I sprayed Ambre Extreme on my hand for the first time before I bought it, I had never smelt an amber soliflore before. I was blown away by it, it was warm, creamy and skin like. But before I get onto my review and get ahead of myself with descriptive words, let me just say why this is the only fragrance in my collection I haven’t reviewed.

I think I’m kind of embarrassed to like this… Well, actually that’s not true. I really, really like Ambre Extreme. Maybe it’s because I’m attached to it after all this time, maybe I was just completely captivated by the pure smell of amber and I am hooked on that. No one else seems to really enjoy this fragrance. Someone recently put a post on Basenotes entitled “The Must Try Ambers” with a list including: Ambre Sultan, Ambre Russe, Ambre Precieux, Ambre 114, Blue Amber… this list goes on. My L’Artisan was not in sight…

Luca Turin gives this 2 stars in the Perfumes The A-Z Guide, not that this bothers me, but it is described as “just amber”. I’ll further quote: “…Why anyone would want to buy plain Ambre Extreme instead beats me.”.
Well, I bought it! And I thoroughly enjoy it. This is why:

L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme opens with a tickly pinch of pepper, some other exotic spices and a boatload of creamy amber. When I first sniffed amber, I described it as “breathy”, and that’s what I get from it, but not in the uncomfortable way that I get with myrrh so often. It is breathy and familiar, instantly comfortable.

The spice in Ambre Extreme is extremely subtle compared to that in other strong ambers such as Ambre Sultan (bitter herbal greenery and spice), Ambre Russe (boozy topnotes and complex smoky accords throughout), instead they are a delicate enhancement and the amber takes centre stage. This is the exact reason I love it. It is so simple, so easy to wear, a huge compliment getter, and it is the perfect fragrance to pick up when you have no idea what to wear.

Normally, this type of fragrance is the complete opposite to what I want, I want complexity and challenging fragrances, I want something that doesn’t smell so human and simple, but this, it’s just nice. What a boring word to use but it’s true, Ambre Extreme is reallllyyyy “nice”.
Sometimes a natural scent can have such a presence it works perfectly on its own, from time to time of course – amber is one of them. No one moans when there is a strong oud on it’s own, or a tuberose, but with amber people seem to always expect so much more of it. Maybe it’s because it has been done before, maybe we’re tired of these plain scents, but my point is, if you’re going to have one, then at least make it something you are going to wear lots and really enjoy. For me, this is Ambre Extreme. It is my “plain Jane” scent and there surely shouldn’t be any reason to ignore it because of that. In fact, it is the most used fragrance in my collection.

It is breathy, warm, skin like, slightly honeyed and musty. At times there is the slightest waft of soap, but then it becomes dusty again. Sometimes it will have facets of gentle florals, at other times spice.
A beautiful sweet, creamy amber from top to bottom, and to be honest, not much else. But you know, when amber smells this good on its own, who cares :) Enjoy it for what it is.

L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme EDP 100ml – £88

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Dzongkha – L’Artisan Parfumeur

I’ve never really understood Dzongkha, or it’s appeal. I have recently started appreciating this moment of Duchaufour creations, so thought I’d give it a full review (and a proper sniffing).

Dzongkha opens with a bizarre semi/savoury fruit note that after reading the notes list, completely makes sense – lychee. I should have picked it up really but, it’s not particularly a fruit I’m very familiar with. Underneath this I get almost a parchment paper type smell that I’m guessing is a super rooty iris. It almost smells bready/doughy. I like this phase of Dzongkha much more than I used to.

If I hunt real hard, finally after a minute or two some green cardamon shows up and provides a lovely bit of sweetness and spice. The feeling is doughy, yet still light and airy. Not long after I’ve wrapped my head around the lychee, which shortly disappears, and the vegetal iris, a light smoke of incense hovers in front of everything but isn’t particularly strong. It almost has more of a presence than a scent.

Underneath the iris and the incense is the vetiver, there’s probably some wood there too but it’s not letting me know it’s there just yet. The vetiver is slightly earthy and works well with the iris and incense to create a fragrance – dare I say it – so bland, that it is actually really pleasant.

So I just used the word “bland” to describe Dzongkha, I don’t want that to come across as a kick at it, I do quite like it. I almost consider this the Duchaufour reference and describe others such as those I reviewed recently (Paestum Rose and Sienne L’Hiver) to all have a kind of “Dzongkha feel” to them. It is a very nice and unusual fragrance and I understand it when people say it is meditative – although my meditative fragrances are much more literally (Cardinal for me).

Whilst I wouldn’t want to wear Dzongkha – I do find it just a tiny bit fascinating. It smells to me more the scent of a place, than a personal fragrance. It has a great atmosphere to it and is just a touch less melancholy than Sienne L’Hiver’s literal landscape feel. Whilst I prefer the latter, I have come to understand Dzongkha a little bit more.
I have yet to find a Duchaufour scent that I really really love…

L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha 50ml EDT – £55

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