There are perfumes that one should theoretically love but which, in reality, one simply cannot bear. Seville à L’Aube (Seville at Dawn) is one of those fragrances for me. A perfume that has sent the blogosphere into an utter tizzy, accompanied by a book of seemingly great sexiness, and a back-story of even greater romanticism, it is centered on one of my favorite notes: orange blossom. It is a perfume that would seem to be tailor-made for me. Ultimately, however, I couldn’t stand it. My personal perfume profile — and a particular note that I always struggle with — made Seville à L’Aube a very difficult experience for me.
Seville à L’Aube is a limited-edition eau de parfum released in 2012 and made for L’Artisan Parfumeur by the great Bertrand Duchaufour in conjunction with the writer and perfume blogger, Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc. According to a quote from Ms. Beaulieu on Now Smell This, the perfume is supposed to represent one night in Seville and the start of a passionate affair between Ms. Beaulieu and her Spanish lover:
[Séville à l’aube] was inspired by one of the most beautiful nights in my life, in Seville during the Holy Week under an orange tree in full blossom, wrapped in incense smoke and the arms of a Spanish boy…
Fragrantica provides even more details on Ms. Beaulieu’s encounter:
I am in Seville, standing under a bitter orange tree in full bloom in the arms of Román, the black-clad Spanish boy who is not yet my lover. Since sundown, we’ve been watching the religious brotherhoods in their pointed caps and habits thread their way across the old Moorish town in the wake of gilded wood floats bearing statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. […]
[The statue of the Madonna] is being carried into the golden whorls of a baroque chapel, smoothly manoeuvred in and out, in and out, in and out – they say the bearers get erections as they do this – while Román’s hand runs down my black lace shift and up my thigh to tangle with my garter-belt straps. […] I am in the pulsing, molten-gold heart of Seville, thrust into her fragrant flesh, and there is no need for Román to take me to bed at dawn: he’s already given me the night.
Bravo! If the story doesn’t leave one heated and intent on trying the perfumed encapsulation of that night, then I have no idea what will. I certainly was keen to test the perfume, and the blogosphere’s gushing, often poetic reviews only strengthening that determination.
Things seemed to have reached a crescendo this week with the U.S. release of Ms. Beaulieu’s book, The Perfume Lover: A Personal History of Scent, which describes, in part, the process of creating Seville à L’Aube with Mr. Duchaufour. (Apparently, the book also covers quite a bit of Ms. Beaulieu’s sex life, according to an article in The New York Times yesterday.)
I wasn’t aware that the book’s release was this exact week (and I hadn’t intended to cover the perfume until next week), but I have been feeling unwell lately, so I thought my beloved orange blossoms would be the perfect antidote and pick-me-up. It wasn’t until I read the perfume’s notes that a flicker of worry crossed my mind. The notes as compiled from Lucky Scent and Now Smell This include:
Orange blossom, lavender, pink pepper, petitgrain, lemon tree leaves, jasmine, magnolia, beeswax, incense, Benzoin Siam, Luiseiri lavender.
You see, I really do not like lavender very much. I really, really do not. And Seville à L’Aube opens on my skin with a veritable tidal wave of dry, pungent, concentrated lavender, followed by bitter petitgrain and overwrought orange blossoms. I can tolerate lavender in small doses, but this degree of super-concentrated, intense lavender was well-nigh unbearable for me. It was akin to the most concentrated lavender oil, but with a particularly bitter, pungent, dry character. When combined with the equally bitter petitgrain (the distillation of the twigs from an orange blossom tree) and some incredibly peppery notes, the overall result passes into forcefully unpleasant territory.
The orange blossoms weren’t my salvation, either. Sometimes, orange blossoms can impart a faintly soapy undertone but — though there was just a hint of that here in the opening moments — the real issue for me was the impact of the other notes. They turned the orange blossom into something extremely dry with a definitely pungent, woody, almost herbaceous, peppery twist. There is some relief from the sweet magnolia flower which adds a soft, velvety, plush floral note with some fruity nuances — but not much. At this stage, it is predominantly lavender, bitterness, dryness, more lavender, and orange blossom.
Fifteen minutes later, the overpowering lavender has started to meld a little better with the orange blossom. The notes turn into one spicy-sweet accord with some pungent green notes, but it’s still an ordeal and I still struggle. As time passes, the lavender starts to recede a little, the orange blossom takes the lead and the perfume turns much sweeter.
Except now, it is too sweet. Revoltingly so. I’m having strong flashbacks to Tom Ford‘s Neroli Portofino which I found to be a similarly excessive, cloyingly sweet, orange blossom scent. It’s as though the flower has been put on steroids, in both perfumes. And, frankly, there is something very unnatural and artificial about the extremeness. I am strongly reminded of the thick, concentrated orange blossom syrup used in Middle Eastern desserts — but amped up with aromachemicals. Just as with Neroli Portofino, Seville à L’Aube makes me feel physically queasy. (Perhaps I can’t handle perfumes that are essentially orange blossom soliflores?)
My intense queasiness and nausea continue for quite a long time, leaving me wondering if I shouldn’t just save myself and scrub this off. To be honest, the first time I tried Seville à L’Aube, I completely gave up but, since I had an appointment I couldn’t miss at the vet, I simply sprayed another perfume over it to be free of it.
The second time, however, I persevered and, around the 2.5 hour benchmark, the perfume finally became less of an ordeal. That unnatural, extreme and painfully cloying sweetness starts to slowly dissipate. Somewhat. The lavender has — thank God — retreated for the most part, to be replaced by a quiet note of beeswax and vanilla benzoin. Soft touches of jasmine lurk behind the orange blossom and there is also the advent of a subtly smoky base, though the incense is never more than a faint shimmer in the background. From the start, the perfume has always been incredibly airy and lightweight in feel, though also surprisingly strong and powerful. Now, near the 3 hour mark, it finally drops in sillage and power. It is still, however, far too sweet for my liking.
For the next seven hours, the perfume is predominantly orange blossom with some light vanillic benzoin. It’s an incredibly persistent, long-lasting scent. It’s not completely terrible; there are times when I even think I may like it. Then I remember that brutal opening — and shiver. I could never go through that again, but I fully recognise that my reaction is due to my own personal discomfort with some notes. That said, I really do think that the perfume is overly sweet by more than just my standards. I made two people sniff my arm, and both thought the same thing with one actually recoiling in aversion.
We’re not alone in that conclusion, though we are in the minority. Bloggers may generally (with some exceptions) adore Seville à L’Aube, but the reaction from general commentators is distinctly more mixed. On Fragrantica, a number of people mention the “cloying” nature of the perfume or how it is “a little nauseating.” (See, it’s not just me!) On Luckyscent, some of the reviews are equally unenthused:
- urgh, not sure how I feel about this. Lots of orange blossom. Gives an impression of orange and green. It’s somehow too much, has a weird gourmand quality, like a big too-sweet meringue covered in candied flowers and orange leaves. Also a tiny trace of celery.
- I so eagerly awaited a decant, only to discover this smells uncannily like Fruity Pebbles. The opening (as much as I could ascertain with my sample) is smoky and sexy with the sweetness of orange blossom but the dry down is straight Fruity Pebbles. I was really hoping for smoky holy days and my garters getting tangled.
- I get a lot if benzoin in this one, and the same rooty, astringent carrot from Nuit de Tubereuse. The orange blossom note has a burned sugariness to it, so that it isn’t airy, but syrupy. Definitely a fall perfume.
- The opening is a lively orange blossom composition with some unusual notes. But that lasts only a few minutes. The drydown is a sweet, fairly generic orange blossom cologne. It’s gone completely in 45 minutes on my skin, according to my housemates. There is one note in common with Nuit de Tubereuse that actually sears my nose briefly. No idea what the aromachemical is, but it can be a bit painful.
Oddly, there are a number of comparisons on the Luckyscent reviews to Nuit de Tubereuse which is also from Bertrand Duchaufour and L’Artisan Parfumeur. I couldn’t stand that one, truth be told, but I can’t see the similarities unless it’s in the area of unpleasant aromachemicals. I think Seville à L’Aube is a much better scent, relatively speaking — though given my feelings about Nuit de Tubereuse, I’m not sure that’s saying much.
I should also add that I know others who do not have issues with lavender but who, nonetheless, struggled with Seville à L’Aube. Some found it painfully dry at the start. A few found it “sour,” like my friend and fellow perfume blogger, The Scented Hound, who also described the perfume as “a cross between floor cleaner and sour shampoo,” and called it “purgatory.” One blogger, Almost au Naturel, suffered entirely different notes, summing up the scent as “funky, sexed up baby powder.” Though she ended up appreciating Seville à L’Aube for what it was, she begged people not to fall for the hype.
I definitely agree with that last conclusion. Don’t let the hype lead you to unrealistic expectations. If you love lavender, orange blossom and very sweet perfumes, then Seville à L’Aube may be one for you to consider. (However, the perfume is limited-edition and, with the advent of the U.S. edition of the book, it is even hotter than it was before, so I suggest you test it out very soon if you want to try to obtain a bottle.) For those who are less than enamoured of those notes, however, it may be “purgatory” and you might want to stick with reading the book.
I’M WITH YOU and you know it well, right!? Seville a L’Aube was a bad perfume experience for me the past summer when I tried it.
Really? And you LOVE lavender!! You know, I actually looked up your review to link to it, but you were so diplomatic that it wasn’t clear to me if you suffered at the hands of the perfume. You talked more about how it was balmy and the incense notes weren’t very church-like, so I wasn’t sure if it was merely a question of disappointed expectations or something else. Relieved to know it was a bad experience for you, as a lavender lover, too. We are few and far between in the blogosphere since there is so much excess hype about this scent. Gah, that opening, that opening…… sheer and utter misery!
Really, really my dear. I didn’t notice any lavender in Seville a l’Aube, actually I didn’t know it contains some, I learned about it just reading your post. To me the smell was waxy, plastified with a lot of benzoin and olibanum and I don’t really like these two.
If I remember well, mr Hound didn’t like it either.
No, he hated it. I quoted him in my review. LOL. “Purgatory,” among other comments. 😀
ah, now I remember!
I applaud you for your honest! “the flower has been put on steroids”- goodness I love that! I, on the other hand, love lavender as I have seen the positive effects of lavender in distilled water has on the severely autistic students I work with when I spray it in my room. And I also adore orange blossom yet I could not see those notes paired. Great read!
Thank you, sweet Brie. I am always brutally blunt and honest about how I feel about a perfume. A lot of the times, I can put myself in the shoes of others and review a perfume that may not appeal to my personal tastes with comments about how it would be perfect for others who have a particular perfume taste. For example, gourmands with Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle, or irises with Ormonde Jayne’s Tsarina. This one though….. painful. And, obviously not just for those who dislike lavender. Others did not experience quite as much of that note as I seem to have done, but there are other issues with the perfume. Thinking about it….. *shiver* The funny thing is, I normally go nuts for anything with orange blossom in it! If you ever look up my first Questions Game post, you’ll see it listed in the category of things that I adore with a passion! One day, when you get the time, you may enjoy reading that post, especially because of everyone else’s comments and the wide range of ingredients that are covered. It’s interesting to see where people’s trigger points are. 🙂
When I get the time I am going to read your blog from top to bottom (which is what I normally do with all of my favorite bloggers 🙂 !!)
You’re a sweetheart, Brie. Thank you! I will look forward to hearing what are your troublesome notes, along with those that are your absolute favorites. 😀
In absolute agreement that this one was a total dud! I don’t remember smelling lavender, but just a weird, unpleasant dryness that was relentless. From beginning to end, it was just so unlikeable for me. I’m glad at least a few others haven’t liked it, because I thought I was losing my mind. I was sure I’d love this and was so very, very wrong!
I seem to have gotten SO much more lavender than everyone else! I wonder if it’s because I’m particularly sensitive to the note? Still, that wouldn’t account for quite how overwhelmingly strong it was here (on my skin).
A big LOL at “I thought I was losing my mind” in terms of how relentlessly unlikeable it was on you. Ha! I shouldn’t laugh at your misery, but I am so comforted to know that others shared my ordeal.
I think the haters are coming out of the woodwork now that there is a negative review. LOL. I think what made me most aghast was how certain I was that I’d love it, especially because I loved Azemour and a common comment seemed to be “If you thought Azemour was good, just wait until you try Seville!” I even considered a blind buy because I was so sure!
Now, I don’t think they are similar in the least, so the comparison confuses me. But I’m so glad I didn’t blind buy this one!
We seem to be a growing minority! I probably would have been tenfold disapppointed if i have read the book before smelling the perfume.
Hi Julie! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂 I was glad to read your review and know I wasn’t alone in my feelings about the scent, though it doesn’t seem to have been quite as miserable an ordeal on you. As for the book, I was disappointed enough reading the story of her night in Seville — the book would definitely have increased it tenfold! I hope to order the book at some point but the perfume is one I plan to stay very, very far away from. LOL. 🙂
Geez, I remember how much I disliked this, but forgot that the word “purgatory” crept into my review. LOL. Look at it this way, it keeps us from spending more money on perfume. Lovely critical review my dear 🙂
“Purgatory” seemed particularly apt for my experience with this…. *shiver* It may not have been sour on me but, instead, bitter and dry, then cloyingly sweet, but it was definitely misery all around. Your review was particularly hilarious to read, though, I must say! 😀
Sour is not a note that I want to experience again along with it’s close relatives, mildewy and damp.
Ha, well I am onto my second bottle purchased two days ago. However I did not like this at first either. 4 rounds is what it took before I was indeed smitten. I am also a Perfume Stylist for power women. Here is what a university lecturer emailed to me after our last shopping session – “I think that Seville will do very nicely for a day in the office because it’s simultaneously refreshing and sensuous. Now, why am I being so peelywally with my words? It’s more than sensuous, it’s sensual. It will keep help me keep my focus strong while reminding me that outside my four white walls, the world moves on in love and hate and joy and sorrow.”
I think it is Perfume Prozac, sunny and happy. I also do not expect to change your mind or your commentators. Only your nose knows what it knows! And we are talking with some very celebrated noses in this discussion! By the way I have no idea what peelywally means. When I find out I will be saving it as a scent descriptor!
It’s good to hear from those who love the scent, even if it took a 4 rounds for you to get to that point. Believe me, the fans of the fragrance are in the majority. 🙂 Enjoy your 2nd bottle! Was it hard to get a hold of in New Zealand?
I like the word “peelywally”! It sounds like she means “measly with praise” or that she’s skirting around the real issue which is its sensuality (in her mind). I’m glad your perfume assistance was met with success in terms of client satisfaction. That’s fabulous!
I get the lavender but I also like lavender so it’s a good thing. This scent grew on me. I thought it was too sweet at first but after a few tries I didn’t think it was that bad. I think one reason I like it is the lasting power. I love that I can smell it hours later. There are very few scents I can say that about.
It was of incredibly long duration, I agree. Quite surprising on my skin and, from what I know, for yours as well! I’m glad to hear that someone else picked up on the lavender since not a lot of people seem to have felt it. I’m also glad to hear that the scent grew on you. 🙂
So glad I am not alone! It wasn’t the lavender but the base notes I didn’t like, but I did enjoy immensely reading about the whole process of how the perfume came about.
GinzaintheRain, welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. 🙂 I’m becoming surprised by just *how* many of us this perfume did not work for! My word, I must say, I didn’t expect that at all! What were the basenotes or drydown like on you?
LOL. I’m laughing so hard at this simple, one-word answer. So honest, so accurate.
I didn’t care much for it either. I mean the story is lovely how it came to be but when I tried it I only smelled Tortillas! I don’t know where that came from but it was not for me. There are others by this house that are much better and for the price, well I will have a taco and an Orangina instead.
Tortillas???? Good God, people’s experiences with this perfume are getting worse by the minute! That sounds terrible, Lanier. I must say, I’m starting to wonder just how many people kept silent in the face of the enormous hype and buzz over the perfume….
I was not quite about it at all! I blurted it out to the sales associate’s at Barney’s and she laughed …smelled it and agreed with me! LOL.
Now I am REALLY laughing!!
I adore you, sweet Lanier. Tortillas! Hahaha!
What a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels as you do, Kafka. I have been trying and trying to like it. I detect a chemical, sour smell. So many people raved about how wonderful it is so I stupidly bought a bottle without first sniffing a sample. Every few days I try it again. No luck.
First, welcome to the blog, Njlinda! Second, oh dear. Days and days of a chemical, sour smell? You poor thing. 🙁 I know exactly what you’ve been going through (minus the sourness, but then I had the whole other hell of sweetness going to nauseating extremes)!
The good news is, this perfume is so damn hot right now (especially if you’re in the US) that you could easily sell this on eBay without incurring much loss. Really, the thing is sold out EVERYWHERE that I looked in terms of American retailers! So, stop torturing yourself with repeated applications and sell the bloody thing. LOL! Did you buy it just recently? And, I’m curious, did you buy it in part because of the book?
I bought the book from Amazon UK last Fall because I didn’t want to wait for the US edition. I was so taken with the story that I just had to preorder a bottle. I got caught up in the hype. Doesn’t it seem like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Maybe there are others who don’t like it but don’t want to admit it!
Well, if it makes you feel better, Njlinda, if ANY story could sell both a perfume and a book, it would probably be this one! *grin* I definitely want to read it myself at some point. It does sound like there may a number of others who don’t dare admit they didn’t love the fragrance, so maybe they can all come here and out themselves in safety. 😉 BTW, I’m so glad you finally posted! I hope you will feel free to do so more often and that you’ll join our little gaggle of chatterers. Perfume is always more fun with others! 🙂
I have been lurking for a long time. I love your blog! You are so honest. I feel like I know you all from this and other perfume blogs.. I love Lanier, the perfumed Dandy, NST, the Posse ( I recently posted at the Posse. So I am becoming less shy!), and Victoria on her blog. You perfumistas are like rock stars! I have been learning so much!
Awwww, I’m so incredibly touched by your truly kind, sweet words. But, honestly, I’m happiest that you have started to come out lurkdom! I truly think perfume is an art or passion that is BEST when shared. It’s really just like food; it becomes tastier when other people are enjoying bites of it too. So, I hope you will never hesitate to offer your thoughts and opinions — here or elsewhere. And, as you may have noticed, I thoroughly enjoy it when people become friends and chat about non-perfume stuff, whether TV, one’s furry children or something else. So, pull up a chair and let’s get this party started! 😉 And again, a huge massive YAYYYYYYYYY for coming out of lurkdom! 😀
Oops, I forgot I’m njlinda here, not just Linda!
I was never even tempted to read the book (I wouldn’t mind it as a fiction book but feel uneasy with its autobiographical aspect) so I didn’t expect to like this perfume and it took me by surprise how much I did like it.
I don’t think it’ll ever be a full bottle in my collection or will produce a story for my blog (it has more than enough of its own stories so I won’t do Shahrazad’s spin on them) but I’m waiting for summer to wear it from the decant I have.
I can clearly see how Seville à L’Aube can be a polarizing perfume: it’s not “blah” enough to get a polite “it’s nice”; some people will love it, some will loathe.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Undina! 🙂
I love lavendar, but as a room scent or lavendar water. This sounds like it punches you in the throat!
Well, it certainly did to me, but judging by other people’s reactions, it wasn’t as strong a note on them. Perhaps I am just very acutely sensitive to it? Still, given how extreme the reactions to this perfume and how they range encompass very polar opposites, this is definitely a perfume to test out and not buy blindly!
LOL: it just goes to show how different people are. I absolutely love this perfume (though not Denyse’s book…). I got given a bottle by Artisan and went straight out and bought a second one, as I fear to ever be without it. I don’t have your problem with lavender (my DH does, though – it gives him a bad head), but then I hardly get any lavender at all with Séville. What I get is a very green orange blossom, followed by a delicious beeswax/benzoin drydown. Not much incense either, but some friends said: ‘spicy’ instantly. Different friends had really very different reactions and very curiously absolutely nobody wanted a decant of this fragrance. A lot of people just loathed the way it hung around after I sprayed it on them. But more for me, so tant mieux. You can read my review of it on my blog at Second Cherry here:
And, btw, I had a reaction similar to yours, to Artisan’s Caligna. I just can’t get on with this at all – there is something in the citrus top note that makes me feel really ill, more so when I encounter someone’s sillage than on myself. I’m gutted – it sounded so wonderful from the notes….
Very interesting about your friends’ reactions to Seville à L’Aube vs. your own. It sounds like even those who had varying, diff. reactions didn’t want much more to do with it, though. But, as you say, much more for you then! As for Caligna, your comments fill me with dread. I may have to bypass testing that one since, as a whole, I haven’t had much luck with the L’Artisan line at all. They’re definitely a house that I struggle with — which is quite odd given the enormous range of perfumes that they have.
The most intriguing thing in your comment was your little aside about the book. What didn’t you love about it, if I may ask? 🙂
Hi Kafkaesque. 🙂 I found all the garter-snapping, thrusting-flesh stuff just cringey, like bad porn. (But then, being British, I think it’s rather low rent to talk about your sexual past anyway.) I felt it was trying way too hard to be glamorous and sexy and ooh la la because that would make it sell, and was therefore disingenuous. The perfume information was very good, and I also like Denyse’s blog – she really knows her stuff – and I’ve dealt with her and found her friendly and helpful, but I really wish she had just stuck to the perfume…
It may be a cultural thing. If you log onto Amazon.co.uk, you’ll find a lot of British reviewers thought the supposedly sexy bits were either tedious or unintentionally hilarious.
As for Caligna, I was SO looking forward to it – accords of jasmine marmalade and whatnot – but on myself, it faded so fast that I couldn’t smell it after a few minutes and on my husband, the smell of his sillage made me so ill I had to ask him to scrub it. You can see my review here on Cosmetopica: http://www.cosmetopica.com/2013/02/fragrance-review-caligna-by-artisan-parfumeur/
Thanks for your take on the book. It does all sound a bit steamy. Based on what the New York Times’ article said, she seems to have a background in writing erotica and even translated the 50 Shades of Grey book, so perhaps it’s more natural for her.
As for Caligna, it sounds like quite an ordeal. BTW, as a side note, though most people don’t think it’s “comme il faut” or proper etiquette to plug one’s own site on other blogs, in this particular instance, I’m sure there will be a few readers who will appreciate the links to your perspective on both Caligna and Seville à L’Aube.
Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to offend, and feel free to delete the links.
No offense taken. 🙂 As I said, I’m sure some people will appreciate links to additional reviews of these two very hot fragrances. 🙂
agree with your evaluation of the book, for sure. and the thing is, I would hardly say i’m a prude, but the erotica in the Perfume Lover was so over-the-top, purple and melodramatic … I feel this way about a lot of popular erotica, though – found 50 shades of grey borderline-vomit-inducing, and that’s not even considering the questionable consent issues – so we are probably in the minority…
@Kafkaesque, I only recently discovered your blog and this is my first comment – I enjoy your reviews very much although we disagree on many perfumes. this one, however, is a scrubber for me too … i like sweet-ish perfumes, but this was almost painfully cloying.
Septimus, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. As for difference in perfumes, well, it would be a very boring world if we all agreed. 🙂 It sounds like I’m your Evil Scent Twin and that can always be fun.
Oh! I fall into the love-camp and own a full bottle. Years ago, I was in Seville when the orange trees were over-laden with fruit. The smell of smashed oranges on rain-glazed cobblestones, churches, and . . . um . . . air-dried ham (which probably isn’t in Denyse’s book) is embedded in my memory and Seville à l’aube brings it back handily. Of course, without the ham note 😉
Actually am running now to see if I can catch her at her book signing! What a timely post to read!
I’m in the Seville a l’Aube love camp, too! When news of this came out last year, the U.S. distribution was not mentioned. Since our intern was going to the Paris office for her summer assignment, I considered asking her to be my scent mule. I ultimately did not go through with this scheme as I did not want the intern to go all over Paris searching for this perfume AND I did not want to buy this unsniffed.
I received a sample through LuckyScent and it was LOVE at first sniff. It was an agonizing 10 week wait before my bottle arrived but arrived it did! On me, the perfume smelled the same from first spritz to dry down – a perfectly-blended balance of orange blossom, lavender, incense and beeswax. Even though it was a summer scent, I used it in the Fall. To prepare for my comments, I wore it today (a cold crisp day) and it was just right! I’ve had it on for over 12 hours and it had barely faded
Now as to the book, I have the U.K. edition. It took me 3 months to finish as I was reading it between books and when I have snatches of 10-15 minutes. It was very disjointed and as such I did not feel that I missed anything by using this method of reading. The account of the perfume’s development and the accompanying discourse with BD were interesting and I liked the references to other perfumes, but the naughty bits were, well, forgettable and unnecessary, in my opinion.
P.S. I hope you are feeling better.
I’m feeling much better, thank you, my sweet Hajusuuri. The perfume, though, did not help. 😉 Perhaps if it had been on me the way it was on you, it would have been a different matter. But I’m happy you love it so much. Perhaps you should consider getting a 2nd bottle when you can?
Good to know about the book. It seems a lot of people are finding the naughty parts to be “unnecessary.” I’m trying to imagine how bits about an affair with a UPS man can fit into a book about the development of Seville à L’Aube but can’t see it thus far. I may wait for it to come out in paperback. Speaking of books, I hope you’ll let me know what you think when you get around to Suskind’s Perfume! 🙂 xoxox
Perfume will be one of my vacation books (the other one being The Secret History by Donna Tartt). I have heard nothing but great things about these books and while I will also have my Nook with me, I don’t trust it to behave 100% and I must have a back up to the back up!
Couldn’t resist butting in to say you’ve got a treat in store on both counts!
I really like Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. Now there is a scent that’s orange blossom on steroids. Now, I’m curious about Seville a Laube since I don’t care for lavender.
Little Red, the lavender seems to have been MUCH stronger on me than on others, many of whom don’t seem to have detected it at all. So, I’d definitely say it is worth giving Seville à L’Aube a try if you love orange blossoms and Neroli Portofino! 🙂
I really don’t like lavender, but it doesn’t bother me unduly in this one, and I too am in the love camp – a minority on this post, I realise…: – ) I find Seville a l’aube refreshing and sensuous as Jordan says (indeed I’ll go further and say “sensual”), and it is not too sweet at any point – it could be sweeter for me. In fact the press samples were of an earlier mod that *was* sweeter, and I might even have preferred that, if I could remember it more clearly. What else? Seville a l’aube is beautiful as an after-whisper on scarves and works equally in winter and summer. Oh, and I also had a hot solo holiday in Seville, but the only ‘on skin action’ involved a grass allergy, requiring an emergency trip to the pharmacy..
I’ve just discovered this blog – another to add to my growing collection of all things perfume-related online! Excellent review – even though (sorry) I love Seville A L’aube, I like the fact you’ve given your reasons for disliking it so eloquently.
The problem I usually have with orange blossom perfumes, is that they add tuberose (the note I have trouble with at times!) or turn it too soapy. For me the lavender gave Seville a l’aube an expansive air, as if sniffed in the outdoors – I got the sense of orange groves, and the dry-down though sweet, was for me much, much richer than Tom Ford’s Neroli. I’m not sure I find it erotic, as in the described story that inspired the perfume, I’ve tested it twice and have now ordered a decant, then if I absolutely love it I’ll splash out on an FB.
Hi Rosestrang, welcome and thank you for stopping by to share your experiences with Seville à L’Aube. 🙂 I’m so glad that the orange blossoms didn’t turn soapy on your skin! It sounds like it works perfectly on you and, you know, that’s all that counts! As for the review, thank you for your kind words. I tend to stray into a little TOO much detail, so I’ll never be one to NOT to explain why something works or doesn’t work for me. *grin* I appreciate your thoughts on Seville à L’Aube so much, and I hope you’ll stop by again to discuss any other perfumes you may really enjoy.
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Sorry for my late comment but I was curious about how you liked Seville after having read your thoughts on Dzing! and Dzonkha. 😉
Once again, I agree with you: Seville started with too much lavender that turned into a sour, biting smell on my skin. I tried to like it (pushed by the hype) but it just wouldn’t work and I found a similar but more likeable orange blossom in By Kilian Sweet Redemption. How did you like that one?
Hahaha, have I found a scent twin??!! Seville à L’Aube…. boy. Not my cup of tea. I don’t think I’ve tried Kilian’s Sweet Redemption, because Kilian is actually a brand up there with L’Artisan for me. Almost nothing wows me or works on me. (I’m actually drafting a review for the latest one right now, and it’s the same old story.) It’s very hard for me to get motivated to try Kilian stuff because I know that, inevitably, it’s going to be a disappointment. It’s simply not my thing. L’Artisan, Armani Privé, the new Guerlains, Kilian…. not my houses. For orange blossom, have you tried Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger?
LOL at the scent twin, there actually are quite a few of my favorite scents that you mention on your blog (Tolu, Chergui, …) 😀
I’m with you regarding the Armani Privé, “high end” Guerlain line and most By Kilian scents. Considering their prices, I expect something truly exceptional but most of their releases have left me disappointed. However, I liked Beyond Love and Sweet Redemption enough to consider the 7.5ml travel refill sprays. (Though SR has a strange rubbery note in the drydown which is probably the reason that I have not ordered that travel set yet.)
Re Fleurs d’Oranger: it’s been a while that I tried that one but I think the tuberose was quite strong, starting a sweaty fight with the orange blossom. Maybe I should give it another try – thanks for the reminder! 😉
I’m spaniard and visited Seville on Semana Santa, really Seville doesnt smell like the perfume, How Fortune!!! but is a good imaginary of the travel. First Where ?orange blossoms saying localitation “Seville”, second When happends ” wax” on Seville, “procesiones” candles.. and Who? “lavander” as usual man cologne, from spaniard torero hem, and at last a lot of olibanum very usual to procesiones and well known to “costaleros” the copy of mixed incensed “El Costalero” …
How my friends form the city sayd the story there are tipical topics to turist, torero, some a big cigar on the Maestranza Plaza, but is not too bad in the copy of the incense. Really on Seville there are a lot of kinds of incense, mixed or not with vanille, orange blossoms, benjui, …. and smells better and people from this city are not happy with the vision of the city on the story and on the perfume, but I Think is curious
Sorry I mistaken the name of incense very usual on costaleros is a popular mixture “El cofrade” (buying it in a lot of webs on line and is cheap and could be nice to enjoy at home)
Thank you for letting me know, sweet Alicia. I’ll look into it, and into the link that you sent me. 🙂
How funny that the people of Seville are not happy with the vision, the story, and the perfume. Well, I think it’s a story, and one woman’s experience, so it is a very subjective, personal thing more than a story that represents Seville as a whole. 🙂
Like rosestrang up there, I often have issues with orange blossom turning soapy on me. This one didn’t. I almost love it. Almost.
I have dreadful issues with lavender causing me migraines, even in the flower, and almost never like it (exception? Alahine. Where it is barely noticeable, and even then I struggle with the first five minutes of darling Alahine), but it didn’t bother me here.
What I did love about Seville was the orange peel-and-blossom-and-tree thing, and the incense and beeswax was rather nice with the benzoin. It didn’t… woo… me. It was all “Here I am, take me or leave me.” I don’t get on well with Duchaufour as a general rule, anyway, so I wasn’t terribly disappointed. I used up my press sample 3ml (really, I used it up. surprise!) but have not felt compelled to buy more.
Now, I DID get the relationship with Nuit de Tubereuse, in terms of both scents being slightly off-kilter takes on luscious white blossoms. But NdT was sour and mildewy on me until the drydown, and who needs a frag where you only like half of it?
Nuit de Tubereuse was mildewy on me as well! An extremely painful, difficult experience. Urrgh. Sounds like our SEVENTH common reaction! What a surprise this is turning out to be, Mals. 🙂
As for Seville à L’Aube, I’m glad it generally works well on you. Interesting about the lavender causing you migraines. I’m lavender phobic for the most part, though there have been some lavender scents I like and one lavender-centered perfume that I actually own now. (Only Serge Lutens could make me change my mind on lavender!) But my lavender phobia has to do with childhood issues, not migraines. It must be tough. I commiserate because white musk and some aldehydes can do the same thing to me.
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I did not love this fragrance instantly either. I recently purchased a bottle because I came to adore how dry and simultaneously sweet it is. I also really appreciated Denyse’s book. I respect how honest she was about her entire sensous journey, perfume and otherwise!
I just received this today. I adore it. The opening, the drydown and the longevity. It makes me feel optimistic and feels like a warm summer evening. I truly don’t get much lavender, it’s very nondescript on me in fact. Had I not known the notes I would never have picked any lavender. This perfume makes me feel like I have found an amazing treasure. I’m wondering if you’ve tried it again since your review? I’d be interested to see hear 🙂