Peaceful breeze, L’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna

This month French niche perfume house, L’Artisan Parfumeur will introduce us to their new fragrance. Caligna, which means “wooing” in Provençal is a scent that marks the beginning of a new collection – La Collection De Grasse. Also this is the first ever perfume from L’Artisan Parfumeur that will be fronted by someone. In this case promo includes images of Gudrun Ghesquière, a dancer.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna is a simple yet intriguing creation. Were I to determine its style, I would say that its scent really evokes the Mediterranean character. On me it smells really vegetal which makes me think of warm and sunny day spent somewhere in Provence between plantations of herbs and grapevine. You’re on holidays and the only think you need now is some relax.

After spraying it I immediately notice the fig note. I have to admit that I’m not fond of the note – I can’t stand Diptyque’s Philosykos while Ninfeo Mio from Annick Goutal is much better for me. I think I could rock it if I wanted to. In Caligna fig is a very green note, the fruit is unripe (giving a slightly creamy sensation) and is paired with greenery scent of sun warmed leaves. A quick look into the notes gives a hint these are tangerine leaves. After a while the aroma develops into something more dusty and herbal, few more minutes make me realize it’s a clary sage with its specific smell. So far Caligna is warm and sunny, with a feeling like you were sitting in the garden-plot.

An hour later when scents of green fig and foliage dissipate I slowly start to notice some delicate flowery tones. Caligna contains a rose accord which is very gentle, it’s not a flower itself, it’s light rose water. Trying to go deeper into the scent one can try to identify jasmine or violets. What I get is dewy and ethereal floral notes but I don’t get any particular aromas I associate with these flowers.

As the time flies and L’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna progresses more into the base notes it becomes even more Mediterranean than it was in the opening. Mastic derived from Pistacia lentiscus brings a slightly resinous vibe to the scent. It well matches the aroma of crushed pine needles (and the tree sap that I seem to smell). The opening has some woody quality of oak and everything is rounded by ambergris. Caligna has a good lasting power as for a perfume that is rather light, it’s sillage isn’t very big, probably few inches. Maybe it would perform better in the spring weather? Maybe not?

Please allow a personal digression here. Caligna didn’t make my heart skip a beat and I don’t like it much. It has some notes I like and some that I don’t but overally I don’t find it charming enough for me. I like that it smells so casually and informally but I just can’t see myself wearing it. Just as expected. L’Artisan Parfumeur is one widely loved brand but I learned that most of their offering don’t suit my style and my vision. I’m not sad about it because I know many of you would love Caligna.

Caligna is a new perfume from L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s due to launch in April, will be available only in 100 ml bottles, eau de parfum concentrated. Nose behind it is Dora Baghriche-Arnaud.

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54 thoughts on “Peaceful breeze, L’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna

  1. Jordan River says:

    Yes a dancer posing instead of dancing… sums it up really.

    • lucasai says:

      Well, I don’t really care much for the campaigns that accompany perfume launches. If perfume is good then it’s good, if it’s bad then it’s bad.

  2. poodle says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with L’Artisan. There are a handful that I really love but the rest just don’t move me. I have a problem with the lasting power of a lot of L’Artisan scents too. This one doesn’t really tempt me. I’m sure I’ll try it eventually but I’m in no rush to find a sample.

  3. I love the often simple, carefree approach L’Artisan take with their fragrances. I haven’t had the pleasure of smelling Caligna yet but I hope I will soon.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Eeek, I did not try this when I was at the L’AP bouitique inside Henri Bendel last week! Even though it is not to your liking, your description makes it a must try for me. I hope to score a sample this week so I can properly try it. (Oooh and I finally got a sample of HdP Veni – I will report back this weekend.

    Thanks for reviewing, Lucas.

  5. That was a wonderfully detailed post; thank you. I am thinking I want to try this now because I either love or hate fig.

  6. Lilybelle says:

    Summer must be on its way. We’re getting the Provencal offerings (I’m thinking of L’Occitane’s new trio, too). L’Artisan is rather hit or miss with me. When I like one, I looooove it (Fleur de Narcisse, for instance); otherwise they’re just pleasant, short lived, and fun to sample, but nothing I couldn’t live without. There are plenty I haven’t sampled. I suppose I’ll get to to them one day. 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Oh, those new L’Occitane’s sound good. I wonder when we’ll get them in store here, I want to give ’em a sniff. Hit or miss for you, mostly a miss for me.
      One day you’ll know them all and then you’ll forget 😉

  7. Tatiana says:

    Thanks for this concise review. I really want to try this one now. Need to make a drive into The City to try it. I know what you mean about a perfume line not working for you. Not every L’Artisan works for me. The ones that do, work wonderfully. Diptyque is one of those lines that just don’t work for me. I have not found one of their scents yet that I want to spend my money on. Tam Dao came close, but I found the current formulation thin and sharp, like wearing pencil shavings.

  8. sweetgrass79 says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this one because I like fig, and I was interested in the “jasmine marmelade” note I had read about, but it sounds like it’s not there so much. L’Artisan is a hit-or-miss house for me. I only really love a couple of them (Timbuktu and Safran Troublant), and the rest I either haven’t tried yet or they didn’t work for me.

    • lucasai says:

      I see there are more of us who have a love-hate relationship with L’Artisan. Safran Troublant is the one I like too, but it’s being discontinued.

      • Kafkaesque says:

        They’re discontinuing Safran Troublant? Seriously??! The *only* one of the line that I actually like? Bah. How bloody typical. *snort*

        • lucasai says:

          Yup, they’re discontinuing it, I’ve heard the news from the perfume boutique I shop at. They said they have it until stocks last, then it’s gone “forever”

      • hajusuuri says:

        Oh no, say it isn’t so! Safran Troublant being discontinued??? *snort* from me too! I do have about 60 mLs left so I won’t be running out any time soon unless I decide to use it everyday for the next 2 months.

      • Holy crap what?! Seriously?? I didn’t know that. I guess I need to buy a bottle before it’s too late. This is the one good thing, however, about the shop near me that carries L’Artisan being always a little behind the times: they’ll probably still have it for a while.

        • lucasai says:

          This is the information provided by the perfume boutique owners where I shop for my perfume. I guess Safran Troublant will be available everywhere until stocks last.

      • brie says:

        Really? It is being discontinued? I actually loved the way it smelled from the vial but once I applied all I wanted to do was take a bite out of my skinny arm…too “foody” for me and not in a gourmand sort of way (which I like) but more in an Indian food sort of way (and I love Indian food but I don’t want to smell like it).

  9. sweetgrass79 says:

    Also.. I tried the new L’Occitanes the other day.. mostly meh. They’re mostly really light, kind of Jo Malone-ish I guess. I tried on the Mure & Magnolia and Narcisse & Vanille. The Mure & Magnoila started out kind of ok but devolved into vagueness within about 30 minutes and was almost gone within an hour. Narcisse & Vanille was better. It had more presence and staying power, though it was a tad sweet for me. It seemed to me kind of like a lighter take on L’Artisan’s Havana Vanille (or whatever it’s called now.. I know it has a different name.. Vanille Absolument or something).

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks for your brief impressions. I’ll be sure to check them out when we have them, I want to see if they’re worth a broken penny or not.

  10. Kafkaesque says:

    I was SO looking forward to this review given your feelings about the L’Artisan line and how much I dislike it myself. 😉 I actually think you make Caligna sound much better than it probably is — but then I have a bias. LOL. I’ve seen a number of comments to the effect of Caligna being utterly boring and much ado about nothing, so I’m not surprised that you were not overwhelmed, even apart from how the line doesn’t do much for you in general.

    I’ll sniff Caligna if it ever falls into my lap, but there is no way I’m going to go out of my way to pay for any L’Artisan sample ever again.

    • lucasai says:

      So now you have it in front of you since you were SO looking forward to it, LOL 😉
      I guess you might be right that I make it sound better than it really is. It didn’t do much for me, as most of L’Artisan did not (apart the discontinued exceptions).
      People say it’s boring, too light, that they would like it as a home fragrance.
      Sure, why bother paying for something that is almost sure to disappoint you or leave you cold.

  11. I tried this at Barney’s a few weeks ago and found it very pleasant. The green fig and clary sage combo was a much better pairing than I had anticipated. But it just didn’t have the oomph or the drama that I like in a fragrance. That being said, if a bottle were to magically fall from the sky into my lap, I would not complain!

    And, dear Lucas, I think you can rock anything 🙂

  12. Too bad you’re not in love. It sounds perfect for the coming summer months. But like Kafkaesque I am typically underwhelmed by the L’Artisan line.

  13. brie says:

    I have only tried two L’Artisans so I really cannot say how I feel about this line…one of these days a trip to NYC exclusively for perfume sampling and then maybe I will have more to say 😀 !!

  14. Dear Lucas
    Now this one has me in something of a quandary… many of the notes contained I do like, but there seems to be so much going on and at the same time… does it perhaps lack an overall structure as well as sillage I wonder.

    One to try, with an open mind of course, but I am left a little bemused.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  15. hajusuuri says:

    Hello dear Lucas…I got a small decant of Caligna when The Perfumed Court had its Mother’s Day sale. I decided to wear it today because it was about time to do it or it will languish in my untried perfumes pile which keeps growing. Anyway, despite my enthusiasm for it (it was good on paper blotter), it is not for me for 2 reasons: 1) on my scent glue skin, the nice opening and pleasant parts lasted just under 2 hours and 2) it went from nice to a chemical vat. Yikes! It is going to the To Be Swapped or given away pile.

    • lucasai says:

      Good you got it on sale not for a normal price.
      See, this perfume is another proof of our similar tastes. Too bad the best part of the perfume lasted only 2 hours on you and that it turned chemical.
      Keep it for swapmania 😉

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