Arquiste Boutonnière No. 7: Vetiver Gardenia

Carlos Huber. Source: Fragrantica

Carlos Huber. Source: Fragrantica

History in a bottle, and a trip back in time through scent are the specific goals of the American niche perfume house, Arquiste. Founded by the architect turned perfumer (and now, also, designer), Carlos Huber, Arquiste always attempts to bottle a specific moment in history, using fragrance as a symbolic time-machine. In the case of Boutonnière No. 7, the target date is 1899 in the lobby of the Paris Opera house.

Released in late 2012, Boutonnière No. 7 was created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux and is an eau de parfum. (I’ll refer to the fragrance from this point forth merely as “Boutonniere” for convenience and practical reasons.) Boutonniere is categorized as a “Floral” on the Fragrantica website but, interestingly, Carlos Huber calls it a “Floral Woody” on the Arquiste website.

Source: Arquiste.

Source: Arquiste.

There, Carlos Huber elaborates further on the precise historical scene that the perfume is meant to recreate:

May 1899, Foyer of the Opéra-Comique, Paris
During the Opera’s intermission, a group of seven young men gather at the Grand Foyer in search of new flirtations. Women of all sorts are lured in by the crisp, green scent of the men’s gardenia boutonnieres, enlivened with the bergamot and lavender colognes they wear. As they draw closer, the “Opera Flower” exudes its elegant masculinity, the last breath of a bloom sacrificed on a black-tie lapel.

Notes include:
Lavender, Bergamot, Italian Mandarin, Gardenia jasminoides/Gardenia citriodora duo, Genet absolute, Vetyvert, Oakmoss.

Rodrigo Flores-Roux (left) and Carlos Huber (right). Source: Fragrantica.

Rodrigo Flores-Roux (left) and Carlos Huber (right). Source: Fragrantica.

A brief word about the notes. First, “genet” is apparently some sort of Broom plant, not a relative of the civet mammal. (A big thank you to perfumer, Maggie Mahboubian, who clarified that point for me, and who also commented that it has a rich, honeyed, herbal aroma.) Second, you have to remember that the smell of a gardenia flower is often replicated through other floral notes. In this case, however, Arquiste seems to be saying that different varieties of actual gardenias were used. Regardless of source, the goal seems to have been a masculine, green floral. A Fragrantica profile on Boutonniere and Carlos Huber states, (or perhaps quotes Huber himself):

In taming and “sharpening” gardenia’s multifaceted nature towards a great masculine feel, it took a mix of lavender, bergamot, Italian mandarin, vetiver and oak moss. And the “gardenia” is a duo of Gardenia jasminoides and Gardenia citriodora. While citrus and bergamot combine with lavender to create the opening, the base of vetiver and oak moss in the final stages will always back up the straightforward courage into the subdued passion of the wearer.  

It all sounds terribly good on paper. How often do you have the lush, indolic, hyper-feminine gardenia flower treated almost like a traditional fougère with its lavender, moss and herbal elements? A masculine take on gardenia has infinite potential for originality, so I was really excited to try Boutonniere when I won a sample set of the Arquiste line in a giveaway on The Fragrant Man blog. If only the reality of Boutonniere were as complex or unique as the promise of its notes.

Boutonniere No. 7 presentation on the Arquiste website.

Boutonniere No. 7 presentation on the Arquiste website.

Boutonniere opens on my skin with a burst of fresh, very green gardenia. It is heavily infused with vetiver that has a brief nuance of something rather minty, and is also accompanied by a touch of bright, springy mossiness. The whole thing is a visual panoply of emerald greens with a bright, dewy, green-white gardenia at its center. Dainty whiffs of bergamot, orange, and a vaguely herbal, very abstract aromatic note dance around the edges, but they are mere specks in the picture. The final element is a subtle, synthetic tonality resembling ISO E Super that lurks deep down in Boutonniere’s base, though it is very muted at this point. [Update: Arquiste has clarified that the aroma-chemical in question is Ambermax, a synthetic which Givaudan describes as having “the power of dry amber” with “subtantive [sic] fusing [of] cedarwood facets.”] Initially, the whole thing wafts in an extremely airy cloud that blooms 2-3 inches above the skin. It is perfectly balanced between the bright, fresh, green elements and the sweet gardenia, and is initially strong when sniffed up close. From afar, however, Boutonniere smells merely like a translucent wisp of green gardenia with vetiver.

Haitiian vetiver grass. Source:

Haitiian vetiver grass. Source:

Time is not kind to Boutonniere on my skin. Less than 15 minutes in, the perfume starts to devolve. Boutonniere becomes thinner in feel, and also loses its touches of citrus and mint. A bare 25 minutes in, the sillage drops further, and Boutonniere hovers an inch above the skin. Before the first hour is even up, the perfume lies right on the skin, and is close to becoming a skin scent. It accomplishes that disappointing feat a mere 75 minutes into its development. Around the same time, a subtle element of pepperiness pops up at the periphery, as the ISO E Super Ambermax starts to rise from the base.

Gardenia jasminoide. Source:, photographer unknown.

Gardenia jasminoide. Source:, photographer unknown.

The end of the first hour ushers in another change as well. Boutonniere feels creamier and warmer, as the more jasmine-based gardenia element becomes more prominent. The scent still retains its greenness, but the flower is less dewy and crisp. It parallels the evolution of a white flower that you pick and wear, moving from the dainty, fresh greenness to a warmer, more yellowed creaminess after a few hours. The minuscule citric curlicues vanish; and the vetiver begins to turn more dry. It eventually becomes more woody than green and bright, but, for now, Boutonniere is still primarily a gardenia scent with varying levels of fresh vetiver.

By the end of the third hour, Boutonniere lives up to its description on the Arquiste website as a woody floral, for the softened, velvety gardenia is now firmly entrenched in a woody, dry vetiver embrace. It has a lightly mineralized feel that is supplemented by the tiniest touch of oakmoss, but there really isn’t much more to the scent. It is light, simple, and airy, but it clings to the skin like translucent gauze. In fact, the perfume is so wispy and thin that I was sure it was going to die at any moment after a mere 2 hours, so you can imagine my surprise to see Boutonniere cling on tenaciously for quite a bit longer.

Vetiver roots, the primary source of the aroma. Photo:

Vetiver roots, the primary source of the aroma. Photo:

As the hours passed, Boutonniere fought for dear life as the most basic gardenia soliflore around, with fluctuating degrees of vetiver and a growing ISO E Super Ambermax peppered flourish. At times, the vetiver actually seemed like it had wiped out the gardenia altogether, but the flower is stalwart and makes a comeback. In its final moments, Boutonniere is the sheerest smear of a vaguely greenish gardenia. All in all, it lasted just under 7.5 hours on my skin.

On Fragrantica, the comments range all over the place:

  • Like Carnal Flower, but less skanky/interesting. WAY too feminine for unisex IMO.
  • On paper I thought that maybe a little bit of Carnal flower had somehow got mixed up in my sample, I was overpowered by crushed gardenia petals. However when put on skin the sweet floral edge almost disappears to give way to a sensual spicy skin scent that I can not stop sniffing! This is like carnal flowers darker sultry sister, still with a hint of sweet gardenia but mostly about spicy wood (vetiver) and balmy lavender, and dirty (in a good way) genet and a shimmer of petitgran. In the heart the creamy sparkly gardenia comes back a bit to soapy strong for my liking. This scent wears very close to the skin not much silage. But depending on how long the soapy gardenia lasts this could be a little gem that should be worn close to skin, a little secret that only those close to you can appreciate.
  • This smells like a balloon that was rubbed against someone’s head…. [¶] I honestly don’t know know what notes are clashing to create that sharp, dense rubber note (oakmoss and genet poop perhaps!?), but I cannot imagine forking out that kind of money to smell like this, it’s bizarre.

Jasmine. Source:

Kevin of Now Smell This had an infinitely better experience than either that last commentator or me, though Boutonniere did not seem to sweep him off his feet. In his review, he wrote:

Arquiste Boutonnière no. 7 opens with a burst of fleshy white flowers (not gardenia, but jasmine); the flowers are sweet, mildly indolic and have an undercurrent of woodiness. As the fragrance quickly develops, I detect a soft “orange peel” note, a gentle touch of “smoke” (the vetiver?) and oak moss. Arquiste Boutonnière no. 7 plays nicely on skin: after I sprayed the fragrance on, I detected indoles on my left hand, orange peel on my right hand, and vetiver and flowers on my wrists; this fragmentation makes for an interesting experience, and all the perfume’s notes work together to create a “happy,” sunny, summertime vibe. Boutonnière no. 7 dries down to a “fresh” (but creamy) white floral and smooth vetiver perfume.

Arquiste Boutonnière no. 7 can easily be worn by women, but how will men take to a jasmine/“gardenia” fragrance? (I’m betting, without any evidence, that women will buy this fragrance more than men.) Arquiste Boutonnière no. 7 contains excellent ingredients, has good lasting power, discreet sillage, and it does not smell old-fashioned[….] As for me…the gardenia perfume I’ve been waiting for has not yet arrived.

Victoria of Bois de Jasmin loved Boutonniere, though her experience was closer to mine with all the vetiver than to Kevin’s. In her review, she writes, in part:

My first impression of Boutonniere no.7 was that it was a gardenia at long last. […][¶] But as I wore Boutonniere longer, I realized that it’s really a vetiver fragrance with just a scattering of white petals. The earthy vetiver and cool moss are so rich in the drydon that you are no longer sure if you’re smelling the petals or the stems. The damp, nutty vetiver may seem a surprising companion to the lush gardenia, but their earthy facets are natural complements. A bright touch of bergamot keeps the composition sparkling and vivid, while lavender takes off the overripe, indolic edge. The result is a bright, crisp fragrance, the heady gardenia notes notwithstanding. […]

There are many elements of Boutonniere that draw me to it. I love its contrasts and smooth transitions from one accord to another. I love the salty, damp darkness of vetiver that is contrasted against the white petals. I also love its quality and polish.

I envy her experience. I wish I had “twists” with Boutonniere No. 7, let alone “transitions.” On my skin, the only significant changes pertained to the early, muted, tiny flickers of tertiary elements vanishing in less than 15 minutes.

I love big white florals, so I enjoyed the green gardenia in Boutonniere quite a bit, but my overall reaction is disappointment. The Arquiste signature style seems skew towards light, discreet scents as a whole, but the sillage on Boutonniere is far too weak in my opinion. 50 minutes for it to lie right on the skin, and a 75 minutes for a skin scent? It is extreme. If Boutonniere had more projection, body, or richness, then I wouldn’t mind that it was a completely basic, linear soliflore that primarily consisted of two elements.

I don’t believe in examining perfumes in a vacuum, and, in this case, all the factors combined together are very problematic in light of the perfume’s cost. Arquiste may currently sell the perfume for $175 for a small 55 ml bottle on its website, but most of the big U.S. retailers are charging $195. The same story applies in Canada, too. With tax, that makes the final price for a small bottle of Boutonniere just under $220. In my opinion, that’s bloody high for the fragrance and size in question.

I find it interesting that a handful of the biggest perfume sites in Europe seem to have dropped Arquiste. Perhaps it is merely a contract issue, but Arquiste fragrances are no longer available on Liberty London’s website, and Jovoy Paris has stopped carrying the line entirely. At the same time, First in Fragrance is massively slashing its prices on those few fragrances in the line that it still has, an action that I find to be quite telling. Others large retailers who continue to carry the Arquiste line (like Essenza Nobile, Osswald in Zurich, and First in Fragrance as well) don’t even bother with Boutonniere No. 7, suggesting that the perfume simply doesn’t sell at the high price point that Arquiste wants for it. 

[UPDATE 1/30/14: Arquiste has responded in the comments to both the pricing differential and to the distribution issue, and it’s only fair to repeat the gist of their position up top in the text where everyone can see it. Arquiste clarifies that the $195 price is for a special numbered edition of the fragrance which comes with a steel stick-pin made by jewelers. The regular, retail price for the normal Boutonniere No. 7 fragrance is still $175. According to Arquiste, the “stores have chosen which one to carry based on what they liked.” As for the issue of distribution in Europe, Arquiste states that it is a matter of finding out which partnerships work and which don’t. You can read the full text of their response down in the comments.]

One can only wonder if perhaps Arquiste is over-pricing fragrances that are consistently sheer, wholly unobtrusive, quite simple, thin, and with only moderate longevity. I really love Arquiste’s Anima Dulcis, but it has similar flaws in projection, body, and longevity which renders its price too high for me. Same story with another Arquiste fragrance that I tested last week. As for l’Etrog, an Arquiste citrus scent I reviewed a while back, I found it to be a dull, overly simplistic, terribly boring, linear, ISO E Super-laden disappointment.

Boutonniere is a significantly better fragrance than that one, but a complex, nuanced masterpiece it is not. I think it would work best for women who are looking for an extremely intimate, green gardenia scent that few other people can detect. Boutonniere is most definitely suited for an office environment. I’m less certain as to whether men may fall hard for Boutonniere. It’s not as masculine as touted, and the amount of vetiver (let alone lavender) that you may experience will undoubtedly depend on skin chemistry. I think if you enjoy green interpretations on white florals (like, for example, Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower), but want something even sheerer, lighter and more unobtrusive, then Boutonniere No. 7 will be right up your alley. I’m still highly dubious about the value for the price, though. 

Cost & Availability: Boutonniere No. 7 is an eau de parfum that is available only in a 55 ml/1.85 oz size. It costs currently $175 on the Arquiste website, but many U.S. retailers carry the special, numbered edition which costs $195. The perfume’s non-US price is: CAD$195, £125, or €159 (I think). In the U.S.: You can buy Boutonniere for $175 from Avery Fine Perfumery, The Twisted Lily, and Babalu Miami. The following sites sell it for the higher $195 price with the numbered bottle and accompanying steel stick-pin: BarneysOsswald NYC, Beauty Habit, and Aedes. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, the Arquiste line is available at Holt Renfrew Bloor in Toronto (though I could not locate it on the overall Holt Renfrew website), or at Etiket in Montreal for CAD $195. Each store is the exclusive dealer for the Arquiste line in their city. In the UK, Boutonniere is available for £125.00 from Bloom Parfumery, along with a sample. In France, Jovoy no longer carries Arquiste, and First in Fragrance is discounting those few Arquiste fragrances that it still carries. In Australia, there are a few vendors which carry the Arquiste line, such as Peony Melbourne or Libertine which sells Boutonniere for AUD$199. Arquiste is also sold at numerous small retailers throughout France, Italy, and Germany, but also Mexico, New Zealand, Lithuania, Croatia, Ireland and more. You can use Arquiste’s “Stockists” page to find a retailer near you. Samples: Samples are available at Surrender to Chance where the price starts at $4.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. The site also sells all 7 perfumes from the Arquiste line in a sample pack for $33.99.

34 thoughts on “Arquiste Boutonnière No. 7: Vetiver Gardenia

  1. Well *that* let the wind out of my sails! I was so excited when I saw the title, and the notes sounded wonderful – love vetiver, love gardenia. What a shame it didn’t work so well for you. Perhaps I will keep a sample on my wish list though, in the hopes that my experiences will be similar to those who found it was a bit more complex and interesting. Disappointing to be sure – it had so much potential!

    • LOL, a masculine gardenia with aromatic and fougère like qualities does sound exciting indeed. Given your love for the two notes, I think you should try it. Your skin may bring out something more interesting or complex. However, given that the one problem you consistently face is your skin destroying sillage, even on fragrances that others routinely find to have good/great projection, then I fear this one may be an issue for you. Let me know what happens.

  2. I enjoy the opening which I find compelling. I can ‘taste’ the jasmine / gardenia in my throat which makes it all very realistic. This is what I wear to the opera so I like the skin scent drydown aspect so that I do not overpower a room full of people like those Angel wearing opera goers. Great to read these other opinions which I had not come across before. All very interesting Kafka. Did you see that the IFRA banned ISO E Super last night? Apparently it has been causing severe reactions especially for reviewers. Lol, and least I lead your readers, especially the newbies, astray; those last two sentences are joust and jest.

    • I know you enjoy Boutonniere, and I can see it being a dashing thing for the opera. As for IFRA and ISO E Supercrappy, HA! Don’t jest about such serious matters, lest I get my hopes up. 😉 🙂

    • Jordan, to your jest I say ha, indeed. If there is one thing that IFRA will never banish, it’s a cheap synthetic with protection and longevity, made by a corporation with major clout. Only natural essences with long use histories that are made by small independent producers will be designated dangerous. Not that I am bitter or anything.

  3. A minor point, I’m not entirely sure genet absolute has to do with the civet relative, at least I’ve never come across that particular note/extraction. More likely it is Spanish Broom, a staple of most perfume organs. It displays “a rich, sweet, honey, fruity-floral bouquet with a delicate coumarinic (hay- like)/herbaceous undertone” (organoleptic description from White Lotus website) and is often used to create herbal floral bouquets. Probably why you don’t get civet in the base!

    I really enjoy your reviews and the effort you take to really delve into each fragrance. A critical stance is so much more than just liking or disliking. It involves putting things into perspective.

    • Thank you so much. I appreciate it enormously, and will make the correction immediately. I was wondering why there was nothing animalic, but just chalked it up to my skin since someone on Fragrantica found Boutonniere very animalic indeed.

      And thank you for the kind words on my reviewing approach. I try my best, though the details are often too much for most. 🙂

  4. Just one more thought . . . by accident I recently bid on and won a contemporary version of Amazone, thinking I was getting the vintage, of which I only had a small sample. This was my first fragrance, at 14, so I’m quite familiar with the oakmoss accord. I almost cancelled my order after I realized my mistake, but I’m glad I didn’t because I discovered that the oakmoss has been almost entirely replaced with vetiver. The two versions are like day and night, but the contemporary iteration does have a nice freshness that compliments the other notes.

    Such a shame about IFRA and ISO E (wink, wink)!

    • Some people dream about Tahitian vacations, some about taking exams. I dream about IFRA outlawing ISO E Super. *grin* LOL.

      The Amazone eBay win sounds like a mixed blessing. Intellectually interesting regarding the vetiver switcheroo, but undoubtedly disappointing for one who adored the fragrance from a young age. (I love the idea of Amazone being one’s first fragrance!) Speaking of oakmoss, have you tried vintage Yvresse/Champagne? I cannot recommend it enough for a truly glorious, almost majestic, genuine oakmoss base at an affordable price. And, for modern scents, Oriza L. Legrand’s Chypre Mousse manages to recreate a truly massive vision of green through oakmoss, humus, mint, herbs and other unexpected notes. I hope you get to try it one day, as it’s generally unusual and I think serious perfumers like yourself might find it fascinating. 🙂

  5. Interesting to hear the Arquistes are disappearing from the shelves at the moment. Come to think of it, I think they’ve disappeared from my local 10 Corso Como too, though perhaps it was just the new layout that confused me! I rather like Boutonniere No 7, though I don’t find myself reaching for it very often. On my skin, it is not at all close-wearing for the first hour and a half. If I’m walking, I catch the wafts from my swinging wrists just fine 🙂 I don’t really get gardenia from it though. On me it starts as a jasmine and bergamot mix and develops into apricot and jasmine-infused earl grey tea mixed with some soapy notes. Oddly enough, when I first smelled Lys Epona, the white flower and bergamot mix in its top notes reminded me strongly of Boutonniere No 7.

    • I like the way it sounds on you! And how nice that it doesn’t evaporate from your skin. Your version sounds lovely with the apricot and tea, though not the soapiness. I wonder what brought about apricot for you? It’s one of my favorite fruit notes in perfumery, so lucky you to have it with Boutonniere No. 7. No vetiver at all on you? None?? Interesting. Why do you think you don’t reach for the perfume very often?

      As for Lys Epona, that was fundamentally different on me, even in the opening minutes, so we must have very different skin chemistry indeed. Can I have your skin? 😉 🙂

      • Every so often I think it must just be my nose that’s different, not my skin, when I get a very different impression of a scent than lots of other people… And then I get worried about what I am subjecting the people around me to! There is vetiver in Boutonniere No 7 when I wear it, but it just hums along in the background adding to the ‘tea’ impression, so I don’t usually consciously identify it. I think the reason I don’t reach for it often is that it is fruitier than I usually am in the mood for.

  6. I don’t know where the Arquiste bottles are now at Barneys (post beauty floor renovation), but the entire line was relegated to a darkish corner and even the attempt to elevate the mirrored tray atop which they sat did not highlight the squat little bottles…the only reason I knew they were there was because I wanted to smell Boutonniere No. 7 which I quite liked but not enough for a FB; I got a leaky decant instead and now it’s all gone. From what I recall, I got zero vetiver but remember the sillage being pretty big and I had never worn it to the office!

    • “Squat little bottles”… lol! Glad you got some actual sillage out of Boutonniere. Lucky you. My skin doesn’t normally eat sillage, but both times I tried Boutonniere, its power vanished after an hour. It didn’t matter how much I put on either. It was almost evaporating in forcefulness, though it definitely is a persistent smell in terms of lifespan.

      It’s interesting that you liked it, but not enough for a FB. Do you think the pricing has something to do with that?

      • I would say that Boutonniere No. 7 was just like Carnal Flower — “too flowery” for me to justify a FB because I know I wouldn’t be using it much. I must have the opposite of anosmia for flowery notes because even a little bit makes me think it’s really intense.

  7. I adore adore adore gardenia. They happen to sell them at my local Whole Foods and I just sniif to my content every time I go there, which is very often. The smell is intoxicating, luring, a bit wild yet still white. Boutonniere n.7, however, did not work at all for me. I do not like my gardenia green and airy at all but lush, strong, creamy, melt-y and sunny. Like you, I dont mind if a gardenia scent is linear as long as it is out there, full-bodied erotic lushness. I have yet to have a good experience with Arquiste in general. I tried Anima Dulcis and Flor y Canto with high hopes only to let my samples wither in my bottomless drawer.

    • Interesting regarding your experiences with the line. I do like Anima Dulcis quite a bit, but L’Etrog was…. hm. As for Flor y Canto, well, it was not quite what I expected, based on all that I’d read about it. I’ll get officially reviewing it eventually, but let’s just say that you and I have enough of an overlap in all our tastes for you to probably know my response to it. 😉

      • Darling Kafka, Just a curious question: have you tried CB I hate perfume gardenia perfume? If so what are your thoughts about it? I feel convoked yet not compelled…mmmmhhhhh.

        • Gosh, sorry. I mean to post this on your Cepes and Tuberose so, of course, I was referring to CB’s Tuberose. My mind is not here today. My excuses darling Kafka.

        • I haven’t tried anything from CB I Hate Perfume. Something about the line seems a little overwhelming to me in terms of knowing where to start and the whole “water” thing. The latter confuses me a little. I’ve thought about ordering a sample but I have so many to get through as it is, so I never get around to it. I’m sorry I can’t be of more assistance, my dear.

  8. Thank you for all your comments- as comments indeed are always good to receive -and sorry to disappoint Kafkaesque but what you called ISO E SUPER on Boutonniere no,7 is actually AMBERMAX.

    • Thank you for clarifying which aroma-chemical was used. Ambermax would explained the peppered, dry, synthetic qualities. So, was ISO E Super used in L’Etrog, or was another synthetic responsible there?

      I have updated the post to correct the name of the aroma-chemical used in Boutonniere No. 7.

  9. Also, the $195 version of Boutonniere no.7 is the NUMBERED EDITION that came with a hand made steel gardenia boutonniere stick-pin by jewelers M. de Phocas- its not a price increase, but a different product – the regular Boutonniere no.7 is at $175. The stores have chosen which one to carry based on what they liked.
    We also would like to remind that Arquiste has only been in the market for two years, and that changes in distribution are not always for then negative- its a matter of finding out which partnerships work and which dont.
    We are very thankful for your comments as they are always positive for development,

    • Thank you for your response. I have updated the body of the text to reflect your remarks on the pricing differential and the distribution.

  10. as with a lot in this line, the original ideas and the presentation through words is seductive, but the actual end-product is more than ordinary… what a letdown…a good idea badly executed alas.

    • I love the history angle, simply love it, so I really admire what they’re trying to do. Unfortunately, the tendency towards very discreet, sheer scents is difficult for me. Or perhaps my skin chemistry simply doesn’t want to comply. For the money, I’d like… more. More, on a variety of different levels.

      I’m not sure that the problem is a failure of execution. Rodrigo Flores-Roux is certainly talented and very capable. I think that it’s a question more of aesthetics. You may struggle with the same tendencies that I do, or perhaps it’s something else. But I suspect that they have a different goal in mind than what you and I may like/want. There are those who really love Boutonniere No. 7, and there seems to be even more love for other fragrances in line (L’Etrog excepted perhaps), so, as with everything in perfumery, it all comes down to subjective tastes.

      What sorts of houses/brands or specific perfumes do you love?

      • I don’t tend to have favorite houses, I just know when something grabs me by its execution. In sheer perfumes for example I love le Labo’s fleur d’oranger 27. Its a masterpiece of white floral orange blossom without any of the sticky sugary nonsense that’s usually associated with it, a sheet breath of orange blossom on a march night in a dark garden. I also love love love Oriza Le Blond’s Chypre mousse, again a masterpiece of craft, and a heavenly balanced evocation of a state of mind.

        • Chypre Mousse??! LOL. Well, you won’t get an argument on that point from me. I’ve written about it extensively. 🙂

          I haven’t tried Le Labo’s orange blossom scent, though I have a vague memory of perhaps sniffing it in Paris. I’ve contemplated getting a sample but Le Labo’s reliance on ISO E Super in a lot of its fragrances has made me a little wary of the line.

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