14 November 2012

Fall top 10 - Niche / Limited Distribution

Today is devoted to my fall top 10 for niche/limited ditribution perfumes. I don't strictly separate the niche "niche" from exclusives lines from historical brands like Christian Dior or Chanel which usually belong to mainstream. I included the Lutens in this top because of the limited availability of quite a few of the brand offerings.

And yes, there are five Serge Lutens releases in this top 10. What can I say? I love Lutens perfumes. And off we go!

Chêne (Serge Lutens) - what better season than fall to wear this strange and beautiful mix of dry dry woods, boozy sweet sap and inky oakmoss ? The whole tree is in the bottle ! Endearing. 

Chypre Rouge (Serge Lutens) - it is one of the least liked of the Lutens range (not by me mind you) but I don't understand why. This is probably one of the most Serge of the Lutens, with dry fruits, woods, strange smelling flower (jasmine), spices and aromatic herbs (the chypre part I think), and a patchouli/musk frame like no other. I tend to think of it as a younger brother of Féminité Du Bois. Try it and let the scent wrap you like you've never been. 

Féminité Du Bois (Serge Lutens) - any other of the four variations would do really, my favorite being Bois De Violette, but Féminité Du Bois is the mother of them all and redefined the woody genre. A masterpiece, paying tribute to both glorious cedar and the plummy chypre of Femme de Rochas, gorgeous in autumn, and wearable by everybody. 

Santal De Mysore (Serge Lutens) - besides Féminité Du Bois (which was branded Shiseido at its release time), this is my first encounter (1998) with a proper Serge Lutens perfume. I'm still deeply fond of to it to this day. I remember keeping the wax sample for weeks and sniffing it endlessly. What you will get is the entire range of spices and balsams available in the Lutens kingdom, a garden worth of roses on a creamy/milky/slightly smoky background of woods and of course sandalwood. Bottom line : this is almost my holy Grail. 

Portrait Of A Lady (Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle) - Frédéric Malle and Dominique Ropion revisited the classic rose-patchouli combo to great success. Slightly pugent at time, this is obviously meant to be worn during fall and winter. It ended in the fall section thanks to the patchouli, with its woody-musty-foresty undertones. 

APOM Pour Homme (Maison Francis Kurkdjian) - orange blossom for fall doesn't seem to be an obvious choice, but the creaminess of the flower mingles delightfully with cedar, a (fat) dollop of honey and incense. One of the rarest scent that works both as a personnal perfume and room scent, the candle is startingly good. 

La Myrrhe (Serge Lutens) - Aldehydes, a truckload of spices; a few creamy woods undertones and rubbery medicinal myhhr. Sounds strange but is actually the crown jewel of Lutens bell jars collection. As Gaia from The Non Blonde noted, the result is very different whether you dab or spray the perfume (aldehyde galore!). I go spraying, but just once. 

Tea For Two (L'Artisan Parfumeur) - spicy honeyed gingerbread enjoyed with black smoky tea (with a dash of low fat milk) and decidely very flowery tobacco note. Simple and comfortable. Sadly discontinued but still easy to find. 

Dzing (L'Artisan Parfumeur) - Dzing is Olivia Giacobetti attempt (it turns out to be a success, mind you) at an animalic perfume. Pile some hay, fur, a modernized idea of a barnyard and some leather, you'll get the idea. Once it settles on the skin it reveals very soft facets of suede and coumarin. I know some people who got addicted instantly to this juice. 

Eau Noire (Christian Dior) - This one has Francis Kurkdjian handwritting all over, bold and spiky, and sensuality has not been put aside. Very simple accord of the driest lavender ever known and the most gloriously syrupy spicy curried helichrysum. Whatever happens around (cedar & vanilla if you must know) is mere whispers to the duet sang by the two main material.

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