Now Sampling: Sylvaine Delacourte

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I’ve been wanting to smell Sylvaine Delacourte’s creations for some time now. I debated ordering the sample discovery boxes offered directly on the house’s website over the holidays, but restrained myself. Ms. Delacourte has created two collections: the Vanilla Collection and the Musk Collection. There are five individual scents in each collection, with each of the five scents exploring a different facet of the two raw materials.

While browsing Indigo Perfumery one day, I noticed that they carry the brand, so I chose one each from the Vanilla and Musk collections to sample!

Vahina (Vanilla Collection)

This is a vanilla scent that I would describe as yummy, without being a gourmand. In addition to vanilla, Vahina features notes of tonka, orange blossom, and osmanthus. The osmanthus in particular adds a full-bodied texture to the composition. It’s almost as though I can reach out and touch this fragrance. And yet, it’s not heavy. It’s a light and pretty composition, and it’s effortless to wear. I could easily imagine almost anyone pulling this off. I’m not considering a full bottle of Vahina (I’m supposed to be on a full bottle low-buy!) but it’s a lovely fragrance to sample and sniff.

Dovana (Musk Collection)

With Dovana, I can tell these have been composed by the same perfumer. There is a similar delicate touch to both of these scents, with Dovana being the most delicate, almost fragile. Sylvaine Delacourte says she composed this to smell like a childhood soap that she loved. Indeed, Dovana is a fresh musk. There’s also a lovely iris note, which adds just a powder puff of texture to the composition. There is supposed to be some mandarin orange and neroli as well, but I don’t get much beyond a fresh musk and powdered iris. Dovana is breathtakingly pretty in its delicate nature. However, I find it too linear. Just to try something fun, I layered it over my Narciso For Her EDT today, and the result was perfect! This might be how I use up the rest of my sample.

Overall, I’m glad to have sampled these two from the house, and I can’t wait to sniff more! I’m particularly intrigued by the sound of Helicriss from the Musk Collection. What have you all sniffed and tested from Sylvaine Delacourte?

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I ordered my samples from Indigo Perfumery. The Sylvaine Delacourte Paris website offers discovery boxes of both collections.

I took the photo of my two samples.

 

Now Sampling: Serge Lutens

I’ve been sampling a couple of recent Serge Lutens releases and I thought it would make sense to group them together for a write-up. So here we are!

Le Participe Passé

Notes: artemisia, bergamot, pepper, fruity notes, Egyptian balsam, resins, caramel, cumin, leather, and patchouli.

This one opens green and bitter from the artemisia. It almost smells like celery to my nose. It’s green and vegetal. It’s an odd opening, even by Serge Lutens standards, and yet I keep applying it just to smell that strange, bitter artemisia.

The composition quickly settles into a more typical Lutens dried fruit note and a beautiful resin note. I’ve never smelled this particular Egyptian balsam before, but it’s very smooth and a little bit aromatic. It blends with the vegetal artemisia, creating a harmonious green, balsamic scent.

This scent is named after my least favorite tense to conjugate in French and it seems that Christopher Sheldrake and Serge Lutens purposely composed this one to recall some older Lutens releases. Perfume aficionados will know that Uncle Serge has had some, shall we say, eccentric releases in recent times. (I couldn’t get on with Dent de Lait at all.) Le Participe Passé is more similar to some older Lutens orientals, like Ambre Sultan. But there is the unique artemisia opening here, making Le Participe Passé its own scent and not just a copy of previous classics.

Baptême du Feu

Notes: gingerbread, powdery notes, tangerine, castoreum, osmanthus, woody notes.

This one is right in the Serge Lutens wheelhouse of warm, wintery, festive scents that just call out to be worn around the holidays. It has some similarities to two of my Serge Lutens staples: Five O’Clock au Gingembre and Fille en Aiguilles.

Baptême du Feu opens with a zingy orange citrus note and a warm gingerbread note that draws you in. The osmanthus functions as an undercurrent holding everything up until the castoreum comes in. And we must talk about the castoreum here because it is of course, an animalic, and it’s not subtle. To me, castoreum smells like a rich, black leather with a dank and oily undercurrent, which is really where the animalic nature comes out. If you don’t like animalic notes, steer clear of Baptême du Feu. The castoreum heart lasts for a good three hours on me before fading to a more approachable woody base note.

Baptême du Feu is rich with a lot of depth. It has foody gourmand notes sprinkled throughout the composition without ever turning into a gourmand like Jeux de Peau. It’s very grown-up and contemplative, but also some sensuality. I think this is the type of scent that a lot of people are looking for from Serge Lutens.

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Both Baptême du Feu and Le Participe Passé are available from Serge Lutens. I got my samples from Luckyscent.

The info on notes is from Fragrantica.

Photo taken by me.

Now Sampling: February 2017

Like most perfumistas, I collect fragrance samples. (I have a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them.) It would be impossible to write about every single one. And, let’s be honest, not every single scent merits an entire write-up either. But, I did a Luckyscent haul at the beginning of the year and I’d like to do a short bit about a few scents that were interesting. Hopefully, I’ll do these posts periodically throughout the year to keep track of what I’m currently testing.

Blackpepper by Comme des Garçons

I’m in a black pepper mood, what with Poivre Electrique from Atelier Cologne and now this from CdG. Luckily they are two very different takes on the same theme, and this one is perfect for the dreary winter weather we’ve been having lately. Blackpepper is a warm and rich take on a cool spice, with heavy doses of patchouli and cedar. For such deep notes, it wears very close to the skin. I really enjoy it, but this is not a huge one for sillage or longevity.

Intense Café by Montale

I will try almost anything that relates to coffee or has coffee/cafe in the name. Similar to Café Rose from Tom Ford, Intense Café is a gourmand rose scent to me. The coffee note here is mixed with vanilla, and is more like a rich vanilla latte from Starbucks than the bitter coffee note I’m looking for. Intense Café is very pretty, and very long-lasting, too. But my search for my ideal coffee fragrance continues.

Gold Leaves by Regime des Fleurs

Sometimes there just has to be a scrubber in the mix. The description and the notes for Gold Leaves sound gorgeous, including: iris, oakmoss, and cardamom essential oil — sounds interesting! On my skin, it’s a strange lily note and absolutely nothing else. It’s a scratchy, eye-watering, allergy-inducing, chemical lily. I’m sure Gold Leaves works better with other people’s skin chemistry. It’s just not for me.

Vetiver de Java by Il Profumo

This is the kind of masculine scent I love and wear for myself. The vetiver is very green, mixed with a strong cedar note. However, on my skin, this isn’t a deep smoky woody scent. It leans more green/soapy in that traditional English after-shave type of scent (all that’s missing here is the lavender note). It strikes the perfect balance for me between clean and woody, and this is going to be my transition scent as we head into spring weather.

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As stated, I purchased all of these samples from Luckyscent.

Photo taken by me.