Wednesday, June 11, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d'Oranger

The first time I tried the 2005 limited edition fragrance, I thought the dry down felt much warmer and muskier than I'd expected. When I mentioned this impression on a forum, I don't think anyone else shared my experience because no one else said anything of the sort. However, upon testing L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d'Oranger again, although I'm finding the dry down less ambery warm than I initially thought it was (edited: I believe have the 2007 version sample here, not the 2005 heavier version I tested first), it's still musky to me. Tonight, I believe I've found the culprit: honey! It's a listed note on Neiman Marcus' website. I'd written about the animalic character of honey, its traditional use in leather fragrances, legendary aphrodisiac effects and--not for the faint of heart but true--how it can even resemble in chemical structure a urine-like smell (of course, not exactly like urine--if you go and take a deep whiff of honey, you might understand my point). In L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d'Oranger, the honey doesn't smell urinous to me at all, but it definitely leaves on my skin an animalic trace. I also find this sample a bit astringent and herbaceous compared to the 2005 version, and also compared to my current holy grail favorite, Le Labo Fleur d'Oranger (which, I would presume would be too sweet for people who like the L'Artisan Parfumeur offering). In L'Artisan's version, I seem to smell more pronounced petit grain and neroli, adding a green, spicy, more citric and transparent quality and thereby cutting the heavy, rich, complex sweetness of orange blossom.

I also find in this an interesting, smooth, not very sweet but almost fruity (coconutty, banana-like or like pikake) creamy white floral note, very reminiscent to me of vintage Christian Dior Diorama or Lanvin Arpège of all things. I think it's a fantastic scent, definitely one of the best orange blossoms out there. Elegant and romantic, it's a limited edition that's sure to be remembered as one of L'Artisan Parfumeur's classics.

(Image: www.neimanmarcus.com)