Monday, July 11, 2011

Xerjoff XJ 17/17 Elle

Back in February, I had nerve snubbing this gorgeous perfume as a "big, sweet floral like Gianfranco Ferre", as if that wasn't a sign I was already in love. I have since started wearing it in the warm temps we've been having, thinking I could get very used to this slightly ostentatious but still enviously ultraglamorous vibe (not too different from Bouquet Ideale, just patchier, fruitier, less spicy). I thoroughly loved my hand-decanted sample, but ours is a relationship that will never be. At Clive Christian (and oftentimes Creed) prices, Xerjoff XJ Elle will remain a fantasy for me, but at least I was able to get a taste, even if I will pine away forever for what I could never have again. Actually, it's not that dramatic. I'd say XJ Elle is my favorite among the fruitchouli bunch - more specifically, the frou frou Fruity Floralchouli featuring girly powdery accords a la Guerlain My Insolence - a powdery (musky) soft patchouli gourmand with fruits, which, in essence, is a nouveau Fruity Chypre, decadent in the vein of Cartier So Pretty, only with dirty chocolate patch notes and a zingy taste explosion of Red No.40 berries instead of the broodingly darker-toned mossy-pineapply apricot. XJ Elle is still closer in style to Betsey Johnson than Cartier, and as for quality, this perfume is richly fragrant and devoid of obvious musks and ozonics, aces in my book.

I do love this dramatic, sexy scent which I could group with Kylie Minogue Darling just as well as My Insolence (I compared it to Versace Versus before - it's not rose-violet based like that, but it has that "womanly" characteristic of fruits and flowers on a wooded base). The raspberry syrup note is dazzling, like the bejeweled Van Cleef & Arpels Van Cleef yet more modern with a mainstream sensibility like Bond No.9 Bryant Park. I couldn't wear the more gourmand, musky berry-based Woody Orientals of the recent past like Trish McEvoy No.9, Givenchy Hot Couture or Anna Sui, but here's one I could wear more effortlessly than the complicated and challenging perfume extraordinaire, my best strawberry incense, Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu! However, the dry down of XJ Elle is surprisingly reminiscent to me of one of my past signatures, an iconic patchouli-based Aldehydic-Fruity-Floral-Chypre-Oriental named Giorgio Beverly Hills Red. The dry down is a pleasant aromatic accord - flowery, a little spicy, a little cool and a little warm, not too floral, not too woody, boozy-fruity, vanillic, leathery...just perfectly well-rounded and balanced as an Aromatic should be. Maybe the perfect Elle is a Fougere at heart - the center of the fragrance wheel that is a fusion of all that is fragrant in the world - the most all-encompassing, open, worldly and wholesome - beginning, middle and the end.

Images: XJ 17/17 Elle - Stone Label, Xerjoff Elle 1.7 oz. (50 ml) Parfum in Gold Murano bottle, Parfumsraffy,