Lunar hug, Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli

I’m not an owl type of person. I never spend long hours at night doing some productive things. I would pick a good night sleep over any other night-time activity. But at the same time I find evenings or nights to be a fascinating time. It feels magical when you can observe the stars but most of all I always liked looking at the moon. I like comparing it to a pearl of the night sky. Its glow is soft, soothing. It’s also such a gracious motif for a perfume. I’m a big fan of at least 3 fragrances with moon in their name. Lately I’ve been lusting over new Van Cleef & Arpels release.

Moonlight Patchouli begins in one of the softest and most delicate ways I experienced. Once I spray the perfume on my skin, it immediately melts into it and slowly starts to effuse a gentle fragrant aura. First I am welcomed by a magnificent suede accord. It warms up on the skin to a very pleasant temperature. It’s unbelievably soft and delicate. This suede note is so fluffy that the only good comparison for it is a huge teddy bear. Its plush fur is so cuddly and embracing that you could spend the whole day just hugging it. And I have the same feeling with new Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s this kind of softness that makes me feel cosy & safe. I can really feel its embrace.

Within 15-20 minutes this soft leathery aroma starts to enrich with a precious essence of Bulgarian rose. Its floral nuances are sheer and they entwine with suede, so that rose itself doesn’t make a large manifest of its presence. It’s subdued but actually it’s a big plus of Moonlight Patchouli. It would feel wrong if this perfume had any loud notes. Moving on from leathery rose – the perfume starts to sweeten. Cocoa notes gives it a lovely portion of sweetness that is not as obvious as it sounds. For it doesn’t smell like chocolate. Cocoa in this fragrances is a combination of powdery, gourmand-ish and oily facets that beautifully highlight the elegance of this creation.


When I noticed this cocoa note I was even reminded a little bit of hot chocolate with a pinch of chilli, because this new addition to Collection Extraordinaire feels so warm. Afterwards a perfume develops a delicate fruity note. These are mostly dried fruit without a hint of smoke. In my opinion a handful of to me it would include dried apricots mostly. The longer I wear Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli the more I notice how it develops a lovely powdery vibe that after some time crystallizes into an iris. It’s a slow process during which this initially blurry note becomes more defined. Afterwards iris becomes more velvety thanks to its gorgeous purple petals.

Few hours later the drydown starts to come in a lazy manner. The base is pleasantly woody, even official notes structure doesn’t mention more. And as it says, woodiness of Moonlight Patchouli is hard to define because it doesn’t simply smell of sandalwood, cedar or other species of wood. At some point also a bit of patchouli appears to provide more structure to the composition and give it more dimension. Actually I think it’s thanks to patchouli that drydown has a nicely highlighted iris – this time more silky and suede – which is just as cuddly as before. Even though the final stage of development arrives within 4-5 hours I wasn’t bored because even the drydown undergoes some changes instead of being monotonous. This perfume put a spell on me. And I let it do it.

I had a chance to try Moonlight Patchouli thanks to a sample that came from Germany together with a perfume I bought to self to celebrate my birthday. It was a love at first sight, love at first sniff. I followed with a full bottle purchase within a week after I tried it. Van Cleef & Arpels together with perfumer Sonia Constant did an amazing job with this new release. I especially love the warmth and embrace this perfume offers to anyone who wears it. It might sound a bit funny to say but overall character of it matches the style of La La Land musical in my opinion. Sensuality of Moonlight Patchouli is addictive and seductive in its innocence. I’m sure you’ll love it too.

[note] photo – my own; all rights reserved

Tagged , , , ,

26 thoughts on “Lunar hug, Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli

  1. rprichpot says:

    I love it. One day I went shopping and tried so many scents. That night at work I was haunted by the most beautiful, ethereal rose/Iris scent which I could not figure, as I had not stayed anything on skin. At the end of my shift I discovered a paper strip of Midnight Patchouli in my shirt pocket. The scent haunted me for weeks until I returned to Saks for a full bottle. It is as lovely as the image its name implies. Lovely review, Lucas.

    • lucasai says:

      Great to see more fans of Moonlight Patchouli. That’s a nice story how this single strip hidden in shirt pocket was haunting you with its scent

  2. Undina says:

    That’s a powerful review! Now I’ll just have to try perfume that impresed you that much 🙂
    Unlike you, I’m a night person (she wrote looking at 1:56 AM time stamp on the phone), so the name adds even more appeal.

  3. pats133 says:

    oh wow Lucas – what a beautiful review for a beautiful perfume. From the first moment i smelled Moonlight Patchouli i adored it. It is all that you say and more and has been the perfume that has gained me the most compliments everywhere i have worn it. I have saved up for a bottle (and a backup) as i don’t want to be without this perfume for a long time. 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Yay, yay! Another person who quickly fell under a spell of new VC&A. I especially like it because it doesn’t scream, it’s more subtle and yet people notice it when you wear it.
      Enjoy it a lot!

  4. Holly says:

    Beautifully written and incredibly enticing. I’ll definitely seek this one out!

  5. rickyrebarco says:

    I love all the VC&A Extraordinaire’s I have tried, but I had not sampled this one because many patchouli fragrances do not work for me. This one, however, sounds amazing. Powder, iris, wow! And rose? This is right in my comfort zone and I will definitely sample it and most likely will buy it, too. Very surprising since I am not a big patchouli person at all. This would be like me buying a fragrance with oud in the name! Thanks for reviewing this lovely fragrance!

    • lucasai says:

      I love this line too, I have 4 bottles + 1 big decant from these.
      Name of Moonlight Patchouli is misleading because it’s not a primary patchouli creation, patchouli is only a supporting note here. Suede and iris are most prominent.

      • rickyrebarco says:

        Yes, I own bottlles of Vanilla Orchidee, Rose Velours, California Reverie and a deca
        nt of Bois d’iris. Still have not tried the Muguet scent but I will sample it along with the Moonlight Patchouli

  6. Jillie says:

    Lucas is in love!!

    This must be a remarkable fragrance – you have described it beautifully. It really does sound quite special.

  7. cynthia3403 says:

    I remember liking this when I tried it. I enjoyed your review, and may have to go back for another looksee. I think this whole line is very well done.

    • lucasai says:

      Good to hear that Cynthia. Hope your second try of it will only confirm first impression.
      I agree, Collection Extraordinaire is pretty solid

  8. floragal says:

    I’m really enjoying this scent and so very helpful to get your take on it.
    I wouldn’t mind just a smidgen more of the cocoa note but overall it’s delightful. Another wonderful review!

  9. […] perfume. For example Puredistance Sheiduna had a hidden sound of Sting – Shape of my Heart or Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli had a vibe of La La Land to me. It’s hard to describe but I think it’s a specific mood […]

  10. […] Masque L’Attesa, Puredistance Sheiduna, Serge Lutens Fourreau Noir, Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli, Huitieme Art Shermine – to name just a few. Cuddlefluffs seem like ideal perfumes to wear in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: