Monday Quick Sniffs, part 12

Today, a first spring edition of Monday Quick Sniffs with some latest novelties I tried.

Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle begins a new perfume foray of collaboration between Frederic Malle and other personas like designers etc. This line is said to be built of 30 fragrances! Right from the start I was welcomed by a generous dose of sweet vanilla that few minutes later was followed by sandalwood note. Combination of these two make Dries Van Noten quite a gourmand scent, to me it smells like a vanilla pudding. And then musk intruduces even more foody vibe with its smell that I recognize as almonds. It’s almost dripping with sweetness. After some time more spicy tones appear – what we have here is aromatic saffron, velvety tonka beans but they never let Dries Van Noten to leave a gourmand teritory. 3-4 hours later vanilla makes a comeback and this time it is more powdery. Other notes that I couldn’t pick are guaiac wood, patchouli, lemon, bergamot, jasmine and nutmeg. Definitely not for me.

The newest baby from Serge Lutens holds a name of La Fille de Berlin, a girl from Berlin translated from French. I had mixed feeling about this perfume from the moment I sprayed it on. First few seconds make me think of a hairspray then the right composition starts. I get a lot of spicy and metalized pepper which kind of makes me feel insecure. The feeling I get is neither warm from pepper nor cold from a metallic vibe. It’s somewhere in between like La Fille de Berlin couldn’t make up her mind who she wants to be. Then, after 15 minutes I start to smell rose. It’s big, scarlet red and ultra feminine. To me it has some green foliage element to it and I get a cumin-like impression underneath the petals. After a while I managed to notice that rose in La Fille de Berlin has quite powerful tea quality which smells good to me – it breaks this metallic and wobbly character of this new Serge Lutens. As I mentioned I can’t make up my mind if I like it or not. I think I’d rather answer “no” than “yes”, it’s very feminine, too feminine for me and I think some women will also find it to feminine or too vamp.

From the American house, Arquiste here comes Boutonniere No 7 which is a unisex fragrance released in late 2012. When I saw its notes and found lavender, petitgrain and oakmoss there I thought it might be an ideal scent for me. But the first spray toned down my hopes. The opening is a huge, beefy and kind of animalic (almost skanky on me) gardenia which is quickly followed by floral lavender. The aromatic lavender rescued Boutonniere No 7 from being washed off my skin as gardenia was hard to go through. Lavender is ok here, but I wish it was more herbal. Later the scent turns into woody vetiver with spicy undertones. Vetiver doesn’t put me off here (my anti-vetiver radar didn’t turn red). As the time flies this Arquiste transforms into an earthy because of the oakmoss with some crispier green elements of petitgrain. Its drydown is animalic and unpleasant because of genet (it’s secretion must be similar to civet, they belong to the same species)

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20 thoughts on “Monday Quick Sniffs, part 12

  1. shellyw says:

    I smelled the Malle recently myself. You are good at putting names to things that I could not. It is ok in my book, but not enough to use more than a sample or two. Thanks for the reviews.

    • lucasai says:

      Nice you got a try on that. By putting names you mean me calling it a “vanilla pudding”?
      It smells good in theory, not especially good on me :/

  2. shellyw says:

    I meant you can pick out each note and name it. I get as far as sweet then am not able to separate much more then that usually. when I hear others describe it then I can pick up the thread better.

    • lucasai says:

      I see! I would not be able to pick out the notes if I didn’t help myself to intensive sniffing and checking what Fragrantica has to say.

  3. Dear Lucas

    I am totally with you on the Malle: it’s not even a tasty desert!
    I’m willing to give La Fille de Berlin another chance, but my first encounter with it wasn’t a particularly exciting one… it just couldn’t stand up to the then cold weather, maybe better now that spring is here.
    Not having your aversion to animalics and vetiver, I’m actually a lot keener to try Arquiste as a result of your wonderfully visceral review.

    Thank you as always.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • lucasai says:

      So we agree on the Malle and on Lutens. I might give it a try in the warmer weather too, following your steps.
      Glad my rather not positive review of Boutonniere seemed encouraging to you.

  4. Kafkaesque says:

    The Snickerdoodles in the Malle ruled it out for me (I wish you could taste Snickerdoodles, Lucas!), the Lutens I thought was boring (and I will never understand all the rape/murder implications of his video/press story for La Fille de Berlin), but I did have hopes for the Arquiste. Mostly because I thought it was a gardenia perfume and didn’t know it had *lavender* in it.

    Lavender…. *shiver* It’s only the fact that you say it wasn’t good or herbal enough lavender for you that makes me think the Arquiste isn’t an entirely lost cause. But still, lavender….. Urgh, I just got goosebumps on my skin and not in a good way.

    • lucasai says:

      I wish I could taste Snickerdoodles, maybe one day! So our thougts on Lutens are quite matching.
      Boutonniere No. 7 is a beefy gardenia, lavender is not strong. I didn’t like it but I think you could rock it! You’d survive the eventual lavender phase, it dissipates shortly and you’d be left with everything else.

  5. Isn’t it funny how different fragrances are for and on different people? All three of these were a hit for me. I loved Dries and actually didn’t really have the lack of longevity/sillage problem that I was reading about. and I loved La Fille de Berlin so much I am now the proud owner of a full bottle. And Boutonnière no. 7 is such a different take on gardenia, that I loved it too even if it’s not for me.

    In any case, I do enjoy hearing about how these fragrances strike other people. That’s all part of the fun, no?

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Hello Lucas – another one of my favorites – Monday Quick Sniffs!

    FM Dries Van Notten – I’ve worn this twice, lightly, and I did not enjoy it. When I read Kafka’s review, I thought it was made just for me. Who doesn’t like Snickerdoodles? It’s one of my favorite pastries/cookies. I cannot understand the internet love for this but hey, our different preferences make perfumistahood all that much more interesting. I’ll stick to eating Snickerdoodles than wearing its olfactory equivalent.

    SL La Fille de Berlin- I got this in a swap. I just opened the package and I couldn’t tell yet if I like it or not.

    Arquiste Boutenniere No. 7 – I liked it the first time at Barneys and now that I have a small decant, I still like it. I do prefer Anima Dulcis.

    • lucasai says:

      MQS are a treat for you 🙂
      So you’re with me on the Malle! I have never tries Snickerdoodles, I didn’t know what it is until I read Kafka’s review. We don’t have such cookies in Poland.
      Tastes are different, so yes, some love it.
      And I see we have the same reaction for La Fille de Berlin.
      As for Arquiste, Anima Dulcis is one I need to try later.

  7. I haven’t tried the new Malle yet, but I am curious about it. I can’t quite tell from the reviews if I’ll like it or not. Gourmands can be a little hit or miss for me.

    I have a couple of samples of La Fille de Berlin, and while I like it, I don’t love it. Fortunately for me I don’t get the metallic or peppery aspects as strongly as you do, apparently, and it is a nice rose scent. But the initial reviews I read suggested suggested that there might be some traits in common with MKK, so I was hoping for something dirtier than what I actually got. The drydown left me a bit cold.

    I tried Boutonniere no.7 a few weeks ago, and I really liked it. I like my florals dirty, so that gardenia was pretty satisfying to me. I know I can’t afford a bottle, but I might want to get a sample so I can try it again.

    • lucasai says:

      The Malle is either love or hate, I personally can’t see someone having problems telling straight if one likes it or not.
      Good that the Lutens didn’t give you peper and metal, they were quite disturbing.
      You liked Boutonniere? Good for you!

  8. Undina says:

    Lucas, the more I read your impressions about perfumes you test (here on your blog and from your comments on other blogs), the more it seems that our tastes are very similar. It’s not a 100% match but more and more often I catch myself nodding to your comments.

    I haven’t tried new Malle’s perfume yet but I competely agree with you on the other two.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Undina, haven’t seen you for a while? Been busy?
      I like that our tastes are so similar, that gives a good basis for an inspiring perfume talk, right?
      As you could read the new Malle is very gourmand, cookie like (mind Kafka’s Snickerdoodles!)
      You also got the metal from the new SL? And Boutonniere is not for us either.

      • Undina says:

        I had some back problems that prevented me from doing my usual computer read/write routine. I’m better now – so I’m back.
        I do get metal from SL (and other mixed feelings) but I’ll test it a couple of times more: it is interesting at least for testing, not sure about wearing.

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