Flanker Round-Up: Armani Code Eau de Parfum and Yves St. Laurent Y Le Parfum

If there is a masculine counterpart to the ubiquitous spring rose it is lavender. I have noticed that more of the spring men’s releases rely on this floral recently. I received two flankers where its addition is a positive.

Armani Code Eau de Parfum

Ever since its release Armani Code has acted as a cash cow for the brand. They would pump out releases which were uninspired copies. Something changed a couple years ago as the last couple of Armani Code flankers have been much more interesting. Some of that might have something to do with Antoine Maisondieu being involved or maybe being given the ability to color outside the lines. The New Armani Code Eau de Parfum benefits from whatever the reason is.

What is nice is at every phase there is a substitute for the original. It starts as lemon replaces grapefruit. This is a very warm lemon instead of bright. The floral herbal piece of this Eau de Parfum version is lavender and rosemary. Each is a change from the original while still cutting close enough to feel like part of the family. The base accord has a higher concentration of tonka bean which adds in another warmer ingredient. Overall it confirms that warmth a parfum version would likely have. I also think this is a good choice for the spring and fall.

Armani Code Eau de Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Yves St. Laurent Y Le Parfum

I have been mostly disappointed in the last few years at YSL. The original release of Y Eau de Toilette is an example of fragrance by focus group. It works for people who don’t really like perfume. Just like Armani Code, YSL has cranked out multiple flankers all of which retained that lack of ingenuity. By featuring lavender among many other changes, perfumer Dominique Ropion has made the best version of Y yet.

The opening is a collision of tart fruit in grapefruit and green apple. The tartness is a nice opening for the lavender to walk through. The floral is kept more on its herbal side with a little sage making sure of that. It closes on a sweetly woody accord of cedar and tonka bean.

Y Le Parfum has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

Disclosure: this review was based on samples provided by the manufacturers.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Olfactive Studio Rose Shot and Iris Shot- Two From a Dynamic Duo

I have been waiting for years to have creative director Celine Verleure and perfumer Dominique Ropion work together again. The three latest releases for Mme Verleure’s brand Olfactive Studio is that reunion. Yesterday I reviewed Violet Shot. Today I am going to cover Rose Shot and Iris Shot.

Celine Verleure

As always, the perfumes are based on a photographic brief. This time by Roberto Greco. For Rose Shot in the photo below you see a dewy rose. M. Ropion delivers a perfume of depth around this classic floral subject.

Rose Shot (photo: Roberto Greco)

The core is a rich Turkish rose. In the beginning baie rose and elemi create that freshness the drops of dew in the photo portend. Things shift with a set of creamy lactones adding to things. There is a moment when this forms an accord of the finest French milled rose soap. That transitions to something slightly woody. The light woods have an unusual focal effect. As they come forward it seems to intensify the rose. A bit of velvety moss adds the foundation.

Rose Shot has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage in extrait strength.

Dominique Ropion

Iris Shot is my favorite of the three new Sepia Collection releases. I am always drawn into a great creative take on iris. This two deliver that creative synergy I expected for this one. What makes iris an interesting perfume ingredient is it is so malleable in relation to the other ingredients. A perfumer can push and pull to realize myriad subtle shadings. Iris Shot is full of them.

Iris Shot (photo: Roberto Greco)

It begins with the powdery iris being caught up in a whirlwind of aldehydes and cardamom. That might sound vintage-like but it is the opposite. This has a clean contemporary architecture which turns the powdery part into a livelier version of itself. As we move to the heart the doughy rooty part of iris is used to make a fantastic faux-gourmand accord. Using carrot seed and almond a floral croissant is cooked up. Over the final stages the dryness of Ambroxan is leavened with vetiver to create a less stentorian woody accord than if the Amboxan was on its own.

Iris Shot has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage and is also in extrait strength.

My wait was worth it. All three of these perfumes display the creativity I expected from this Dynamic Duo.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples supplied by Olfactive Studio.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Olfactive Studio Violet Shot- Creativity Renewed

If you look at almost any piece of writing on this site it should be obvious the esteem I hold creative directors in. I think the rare ones among them are as important as the perfumer. For some brands I would say it the predominant artistic vision. Once the names of the creative directors and perfumers began to become known I searched to find out what I could find out about my favorites. It took me a long time, but I figured out the creative team behind Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant. Celine Verleure and perfumer Dominique Ropion.

Celine Verleure

Since 2011 Mme Verleure has overseen her own brand of perfume Olfactive Studio. It has become one of my favorite lines of fragrance. Her creative direction using a photograph as brief has been shown through each successive release to be outstanding. From the first perfume I kept thinking she would collaborate with M. Ropion early on. Then it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. Mme Verleure came to visit our local perfumery and she brought with her the next three releases in her Sepia Collection. When she told me M. Ropion was the perfumer for all of them I finally got my wish.

Dominique Ropion

There is an ease of creativity between these two artists. It shows in all three of the new perfumes. I am going to spend today and tomorrow reviewing all three. I begin with Violet Shot.

Violet Shot (photo: Roberto Greco)

As I mentioned each perfume is accompanied by photograph. For these three Roberto Greco took still lifes of each of the florals featured. For violet there is the bloom, but the leaf is equally prominent in the frame. M. Ropion creates something green and then floral.

That green is the scent of fresh cut grass. Perfumers have the tools to create a photorealistic version. This the path M. Ropion takes to begin. Some baie rose is used in a small quantity to further deepen the grass through its herb-like nature. A swoosh of citrus also rides across the smell of the greensward. The violet comes next and it is tilted towards the greenness of the leaf. Over some time the floral peeks out as it seems as if it sits on a leather panel. This is an exceptionally light leather which gives way to patchouli and vanilla creating a sweet earthy foundation.

Violet Shot has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage because it is at extrait strength.

Violet Shot reminds me of those times you run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Yet when you find yourself together it is as if no time has passed. For Mme Verleure and M. Ropion Violet Shot seems like their creativity works on the same principle.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Olfactive Studio.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Armani Prive Jasmin Kusamono- Perfumed Kusamono

The Aramni Prive collection is so interestingly inconsistent I always look forward to trying what is new. It is because at its best it produces some of my favorite perfumes. Last summer was one of those high points with the release of Orangerie Venise. Perfumer Dominique Ropion provided a fascinating riff on a neroli soliflore. To begin 2020 M. Ropion returns to do the same with Armani Prive Jasmin Kusamono.

Dominique Ropion

Jasmin Kusamono is one of four new additions to the “Les Eaux” collection. Gardenia Antigua, Rose Milano, and The Yulong, are the others. This has been a series of perfumes highlighting a single ingredient with unique contrasting counterweights. The other part of the name, kusamono, gives an idea of what M. Ropion is attempting. Kusamono is a Japanese compound word of “grass” and “thing”. It is an artistic floral arrangement meant to capture a specific season. It tries to also evoke a specific kind of natural milieu. M. Ropion seems to be looking toward spring on the ocean.

One of the trends of 2019 I liked a lot was this idea of deep-water aquatics. None of the sea spray freshness but a deeper briny quality. It is that unique contrast to the jasmine that M. Ropion weaves into his composition.

The perfume starts with a mix of pear and pink pepper. This is a nice way to add some texture to a juicy pear. The saltiness of the ocean begins to leak into the scent as the jasmine seems to float upon it. This is fresh but not “fresh!”. What I mean is there is a cleanliness to the fruity floral atop the deep-sea swells without going into generic fresh territory. This is also a very light perfume. It has a feeling of delicacy to it in these early moments. As it evolves there is a stronger saltiness which begins to crystallize on the floral. It finds it’s footing on a base of cedar and sandalwood. Again, not in a heavy way.

Jasmin Kusamono has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

I have been looking for perfumes which are part of the popular transparency trend that I can embrace. Jasmin Kusamono is one which I can happily hug to me. M. Ropion has practiced his own form of kusamono via perfume.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Giorgio Armani.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Armani Prive Orangerie Venise- Not Your Typical Neroli

Ever since its beginning in 2004 the exclusive line for Giorgio Armani fragrance, Armani Prive, has been a love it or yawn at it proposition. I have some of my favorites in the distinct bottles with the faux-stone top on them. There are others I couldn’t remember their name unless I looked it up. It does make for an interesting time whenever I receive a new sample. Turns out the latest, Armani Prive Orangerie Venise, is a love it one.

Someone is going to have to explain to me why there have been so many good neroli perfumes over the last couple of years. I wonder if there has been a new source or just a general drift towards similar themes. Whatever the explanation I have greatly increased the neroli section of my perfume collection. One of my favorites was last year’s neroli and cumin combination in A Lab on Fire And The World Is Yours. Perfumer Dominique Ropion has made one of the most indelible neroli perfumes I own. When I discovered he was the perfumer for Orangerie Venise I suspected I would get the flip side of that earlier perfume, something more genteel. Orangerie Venise does fit that description but it does not mean it doesn’t contain its own compelling moments.

Dominique Ropion

M. Ropion uses bitter orange to focus the top accord with hints of other citrus, grapefruit and lemon mostly, to provide a rounder top accord. The neroli arises out of that with a gorgeous luminescence that M. Ropion amplifies with the remnants of the citrus. Then instead of using cumin M. Ropion contrasts the neroli with the sticky green of buchu leaves. Buchu has a deeply verdant scent profile which adheres to the green quality inherent in the neroli. It offers significant push against the floral beauty of the neroli. M. Ropion further tunes this green by using moss to add shadows to this accord. All together this is a vibrant neroli accord which is where Orangerie Venise spends most of its time. It eventually moves on to a base of cedar and ambrox.

Orangerie Venise has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.

The joy of this perfume is that M. Ropion has taken another difficult ingredient, buchu, and made it find a place with the neroli. It makes it not your typical neroli.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Neiman Marcus.

Mark Behnke

Flanker Round-Up: Givenchy Live Irresistible Rosy Crush and Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure Petale de Nectar

This is the time of year when I receive an overwhelming amount of rose perfumes. In the minds of the brands rose equals spring. It is seemingly such a lucrative market that if there isn’t something new to go that means finding a flanker to be ready. Most of what I receive are flankers. I could tell even if I didn’t know the original. When the name starts to get longer by a few words it almost inevitably is a flanker. For this month’s Round-Up these are the two rose flankers I liked the best out of this year’s crop.

Givenchy Live Irresistible Rosy Crush

Last year’s Givenchy Live Irresistible Blossom Crush was one of my top spring rose flankers. Perfumer Dominique Ropion follows a year later with Givenchy Live Irresistible Rosy Crush. This one is more in keeping with the other Live Irresistible releases as it goes back to being very sweet. M. Ropion hews more to the previous formula of opulent fruity floral. What set it apart was a very earthy base.

It opens with the classic fruity floral of berries and rose. It says it is goji berry in the ingredient list but that has always been  tarter in other fragrances I’ve encountered it. This is a full-on sweet berry accord poised to accentuate the rose in the heart. This is that dewy spring rose with the berries teasing out a bit of the jamminess which is buried deep in these types of rose fragrances. The base is a rich earthy patchouli which feels like it wants to be a chypre but is just darkness to tint the bright berries and rose. Based on the last two years maybe Givenchy has this spring rose flanker thing figured out.

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure Petale de Nectar

I’ve lost count of how many flankers the classic 1992 perfume L’Eau D’Issey has launched. I couldn’t bring myself to count. What does happen is when you make so many a few manage to stand out. That’s the case for Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure Petale de Nectar. The original defined the fresh aquatic floral. This current iteration honors that by finding a way of nodding back to the L’Eau D’Issey formula without being shackled to it.

Perfumer Dominique Ropion reprises the pear-honey-rose triad from last year’s L’Eau D’Issey Pure Nectar. This latest version has a much lighter overall effect which allows for synthetic woods and ambergris the opportunity to add in the “L’Eau” to the recipe. The use of the honey is what captured my attention as the way it is used as a thin film with the spring rose is really appealing on a spring day.

Disclosure: These reviews were based on samples provided by the manufacturers.

Mark Behnke

Dominique Ropion 201

One of my favorite columns to write during my first five years was Perfume 101. By looking at a brand while trying to pick five perfumes which represent it was most often illuminating. The only problem was there was a finite list which deserved that kind of scrutiny. After 41 editions of Perfume 101 I thought it was time to matriculate to a more advanced level. For the foreseeable future I am going to focus on the career of a perfumer in what I’m calling Perfumer 201.

One of the perfumers who has most benefited from the niche perfume expansion is Dominique Ropion. M. Ropion was there at the beginning of it; allying him to Editions de Parfum Frederic Malle right at the start. If I wanted to be lazy, I could just list the perfumes he has done for that brand; modern masterpieces like Carnal Flower or Portrait of a Lady among them. As you’ll see I chose something different. M. Ropion excels within the Oriental genre of perfumery. Many of his best fragrances fall within that category. He isn’t a one-trick pony especially more recently as my choices will reflect. Here are five perfumes by Dominique Ropion which are worth seeking out.

Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant (1996)- M. Ropion collaborated with perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac and creative director Celine Verleure at the cusp of niche perfumery. This is where M. Ropion would develop a style of soft Oriental which would show up time and again over the next twenty-plus years. He would take some of the most difficult to tame ingredients and find a nonabrasive application. It shows in the opening of L’Elephant where cumin and cardamom set the stage for clove, licorice, ylang-ylang, and mango to set up a vanilla amber base. This is still one of the very best vanilla and spice perfumes I own.

Editions de Parfum Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire (2002)- One of the innovations of niche perfumery was to encourage overdose of ingredients. This was done to find something unique in that kind of concentration. Creative director Frederic Malle encouraged M. Ropion to do that with one of the stalwart ingredients of modern perfumery, vetiver. Choosing to make it 25% of the composition. M. Ropion would frame it in woods and smoke. This is the best modern vetiver perfume ever. It is why this was the choice from M. Ropion’s incredible portfolio for this brand.

Costume National Homme (2009)- Lots of brands wanted to stake out the space of “avant-garde”. Costume National creative director Ennio Capasa was one of them. When he asked M. Ropion to make a masculine perfume he got the twist he was looking for. What this means is M. Ropion’s by-now signature sandalwood, spices, and resins become coated in a synthetic oily accord which is a slightly sweet oleaginous effect. It smells much better than it sounds.

Starck Paris Peau de Soie (2016)- There is a point in every perfumer’s career where I want them to speak to me with a whisper. Working with Philippe Starck, M. Ropion has made a perfume which feels like a bubble which should pop at any moment. Instead Peau de Soie takes iris which encloses synthetic musks and woods. They expand the iris to a powdery translucent globe which enthralls with its fragility.

A Lab on Fire And The World Is Yours (2018)- If there is an abiding theme of the five perfumes I’ve chosen it is creative directors who know how to give a perfumer space to be creative. Creative director Carlos Kusubayashi is another who has found this leeway is a recipe for success. And The World Is Yours brings this list full circle as cumin plays an important role in the top accord. This time there is no softening instead it is used as divider between orange blossom and neroli. As the florals shift to rose and hyacinth the pungent cumin persists until splashdown in a balsamic pool of vanilla and sandalwood. Over the past year I have come to see And The World Is Yours as the spiritual flip side to Kenzo Jengle L’Elephant. Which makes it the right place to end this list.

Disclosure: I purchased bottles of each perfume mentioned.

Mark Behnke

Colognoisseur Best of 2018: Part 2- Perfume, Perfumer, Creative Director, and Brand of the Year

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Part 1, yesterday, was my look back at the year in broad terms. Today in Part 2 I get specific naming the best of the year in four categories.

Perfume of the Year: Arquiste Esencia de El Palacio GuayabosArquiste Creative Director Carlos Huber and perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux began their exclusive collection for luxury Mexican department store El Palacio de El Hierro in 2016. As of the end of 2018 they have released eight perfumes exploring the botany of Mexico in a set of “tree stories”. Both creative minds behind this collection have always put a little bit of their homeland of Mexico in every Arquiste release they have collaborated on. Saying that, this collection feels like there is heart and soul, along with the country, within each of these excellent perfumes.

Rodrigo Flores-Roux (l.) and Carlos Huber

During the summer I received Guayabos which immediately connected with me. I have worn this weekly since I received it. I’ve sprayed my bed with it. The poodles have inadvertently ended up smelling like it. It is one of the very best perfumes ever made by Sr. Flores-Roux.

I scheduled a call with him at Givaudan to find out how this came together. The concept was to create a guava perfume which captured the ripe guava in his house as child. As an adult the perfumer had to undertake headspace analysis of green guava, ripe guava, and guava blossom. This would lead to a layered effect which captured the esencia of guava. Jasmine and osmanthus provide the perfect floral companions over a clean woody base accord.

Guayabos is my perfume of the year because it was an obra de amor (labor of love) for Srs. Flores-Roux and Huber.

Charna Ethier

Perfumer of the Year: Charna Ethier– 2018 is going to be memorable for the excellent independent perfumer releases. The independent perfumer who had the strongest year was Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co. She has been one of the most consistently innovative perfumers I encounter. 2018 is the year where that quality overflowed in three spectacular releases. The first was Vientiane a study in sandalwood which was elevated by a jasmine rice tincture. Next came Lemon Liada an abstraction of lemon eau de cologne with no lemon used as an ingredient. Sedona Sweetgrass captures the scent of the American desert southwest in a photorealistic manner.

The breadth of these three perfumes is not only testament to why the indies rocked 2018 but more specifically why Charna Ethier is my Perfumer of the Year.  

Runner-Ups: Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Maria McElroy, Cecile Zarokian, and Sarah McCartney

Rania Naim

Creative Director of the Year: Rania Naim– How about this for a to-do list for 2018? Take on the reformulation of one of the great historic perfumes. While doing that create four new contemporary perfumes honoring that history. That would sink most creative directors. That Rania Naim succeeded makes her the easy choice as Creative Director of the Year.

The first part of the year was given over to completing the new formulation of Jacques Fath Iris Gris. Mme Naim oversaw a painstaking effort to achieve something amazing in L’Iris de Fath. She would end up trusting a young creative team to accomplish this; which succeeded spectacularly. The decision to trust in young creative perfumers extends to the Fath’s Essentials releases where perfumers Cecile Zarokian and Luca Maffei produced two perfumes each under Mme Naim’s direction. All four exemplify the creativity still able to be found in the niche sector.

Capturing the past while living in the present means the future is all that is left to Rania Naim; my choice for Creative Director of the Year.

Runner-Ups: Carlos Huber (Arquiste), Victor Wong (Zoologist Perfumes), and Celine Roux (Jo Malone)

Brand of the Year: A Lab on Fire– If other brands weren’t going to show me something different Carlos Kusubayashi allowed perfumer Dominique Ropion to capture “The Morning After” winning an Academy award in And The World Is Yours. A long night into day encapsulated by neroli and cumin. This was followed up by perfumer Emilie Coppermann combining violet along with the De Laire base of Iriseine in a gorgeous purple flower melody called Hallucinogenic Pearl. Mr. Kusubayashi has never been afraid to release what comes of giving perfumers the space to create freely. In 2018 it makes A Lab on Fire my Brand of the Year.

Runner-Ups: DSH Perfumes, 4160 Tuesdays, Arquiste, Jacques Fath, and Jo Malone

Part 1 was my broad overview of 2018

Part 3 is my Top 25 New Perfumes of 2018.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Maison Margiela Mutiny- The Hand of a Creative Director

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As the ideas of niche perfumery took hold in the first years of the 2000’s the designer houses were determined not to be left behind. What that meant were the imaginative creative directors of the designer houses took an active hand in the perfumes which bore the logo. In hindsight we look back and see that was a time where some of the best designer perfumes were produced.

John Galliano

I’ve never understood entirely why the brands seemed to step away from this after five or six years of making it an extension of the brand aesthetic. This turned into a concentration of safe trend following fragrance which felt engineered to elicit a response rather than inspired by emotion. In the last couple of years, the pendulum seems to be swinging back with the creative directors taking the reins of the fragrance side again. For Maison Margiela creative director John Galliano has stepped into the perfume game again with Mutiny.

Dominique Ropion

To show how this becomes more intricately entwined with the brand aesthetic Mutiny was debuted along with the Spring/Summer 2019 clothing collection at Paris Fashion Week at the end of September. Mr. Galliano spoke in an interview with Vogue about how he designed Mutiny in the same way he designs his clothing collections with distinct layers. Working with perfumer Dominique Ropion the idea was to make a transparent version of tuberose and leather to form the core.

What seems to have occurred is M. Ropion put together a tuberose accord from a number of modern sources. What it allows for is the chance to pick out the parts of tuberose you want to enhance while removing those you don’t. What M. Ropion chooses is an indole-free and menthol-free tuberose accord. If you are not fond of those aspects but really enjoy the fruity floralcy along with the creamy oleaginous quality, then M. Ropion chose the right ones.

Mutiny opens with a very wispy version of tuberose supported by citrus and orange blossom. M. Ropion is teasing out the fruit chewing gum character of tuberose. As it deepens with more layers of tuberose added it skips the things are missing to get to the fatty creamy nature also characteristic of this white flower. Also coming together is a fine leather accord using saffron, oud, and vanilla. This is also stripped of the more animalic aspects of a leather accord in favor of something refined. No rough edges here. Once both accords are in place that is where Mutiny lingers.

Mutiny has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

Mutiny is done in the transparent style which seemingly is what younger perfume lovers desire. Under that qualification Mutiny is a complete success. I also like it more than others trying similar techniques because there is much more of a spine here instead of wisps of fragrance on the breeze. I also believe this isn’t a perfume that is trying to straddle the middle. They chose to go transparent and they succeeded. If you’re a fan of full spectrum white flower perfumes I suspect Mutiny is not for you. If you want a cleaner version of tuberose and leather Mutiny is a great version of that. As a beginning I see the hand of more creative direction from Mr. Galliano. I am hopeful for more because I think it is where something amazing might come.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Maison Margiela.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Givenchy L’Interdit- Forget the Name

Someday I’m going to be able to sit down with a fragrance marketing person and get an explanation to a burning question. Why do big perfume brands use the name of a classic perfume for something that smells nothing like it? On one hand it is their own brand they are cannibalizing. At least they aren’t buying some other company and stealing a name form them. On the other they want to keep the name because they believe there is some recognition to it but when the perfume doesn’t match the memory isn’t that an issue? Clearly there isn’t an issue because it keeps happening. These are the times I wish I didn’t have knowledge of the vintage version because it is difficult to divorce the past from the present. It is also irritating when I think the new version is good but nothing like the old version. The 2018 version of Givenchy L’Interdit checks off everything I’ve just mentioned.

Fanny Bal

The original version of L’Interdit was released in 1957 in celebration of the relationship between fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy and actress Audrey Hepburn. Ms. Hepburn wore Givenchy clothing with most of her most iconic looks coming while wearing those designs. Perfumer Francis Fabron designed a stylish aldehydic floral. It was as elegant as its muse. For some bizarre reason in 2002 they released a version in celebration of the Givenchy 50th anniversary which smelled nothing like the original. No aldehydes. Different floral. No sandalwood in the base. This would be followed five years later with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of L’Interdit. This was better as perfumer Olivier Gillotin did a creditable effort with the thankless job replacing materials which were no longer allowed to be used.

Anne Flipo

We now come to 2018 and the creative forces at Givenchy think its time for another L’Interdit. They’ve assembled three perfumers to co-produce, Fanny Bal, Anne Flipo, and Dominique Ropion. They’ve again decided to make an entirely different perfume. Out of the five listed ingredients only one was in the original. If you’re looking for Audrey Hepburn or a floral aldehydic retro nouveau version; look away. Nothing to see here. What is here is a stripped down straightforward white flower perfume which is one of the better versions of this style.

Dominique Ropion

The perfumers open with orange blossom trailing a lightly indolic core along with it. Jasmine and tuberose join in for the rest of the white flower chorus. There is a nice balance here especially where the intersection of the florals forms a kind of fruity accord running underneath. Makes it a floral fruity kind of perfume without using any fruit. A lighter version of patchouli provides an earthy piece of the base accord while vetiver stands in as an alternative to the woods.

L’interdit has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

As I said above if the name has you hearkening back to a perfume you remember from your past; keep on walking. This will probably just annoy you at how different it is. If you never heard anything about the history and this is the first version of L’Interdit you’ve encountered, you will find a very good mainstream white floral. When I can forget the name, I focus on that.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Givenchy.

Mark Behnke