Diptyque Florabellio & L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee

I generally think that it’s a good idea for a perfume lover to go outside their comfort zone from time to time, and to stretch themselves by trying a different sort of olfactory style than what they are usually drawn to, so long as the scent in question has a few notes which they really love. Yet, even with that last part as a solid and absolute requirement, I usually end up wondering why I bothered, because the end result is almost invariably, inevitably, a failure. “Stretching oneself” seems to be great in theory, but actual perfume experimentation outside of my olfactory comfort zone — and, most particularly, amongst brands whose aesthetic I don’t enjoy — rarely results in a happy surprise or a miraculous find. More often than not, I’m left feeling greatly irritated.

That was the case with two new releases that I tried recently: Diptyque‘s Florabellio and L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s Rose Privée. Diptyque is not a brand whose aesthetic I enjoy, because I find their scents to be excessively synthetic, fresh, clean, and sheer, but Florabellio tempted me with claims of coffee, saltiness, and toasted sesame seeds. Hmmph. L’Artisan is another brand that rarely works for me, primarily due to synthetics, sheerness, and longevity issues, though I did really love the great, once discontinued Safran Troublant (which, alas, was also badly flawed by unusually brief longevity on my skin). Nevertheless, the new Rose Privée beckoned to me, not only because it was created by Bertrand Duchaufour, but also because it contains lilac, carnation, basil, patchouli, hay, and amber. What an intriguing set of elements to go with rose, I thought. It can’t be too bad. Well, it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve ever tried; it had a few bits that were quite interesting or intriguing in the first hour; it was far from the rose soliflore that I was dreading; and it was an A/P scent that actually lasted on my skin for a change. Unfortunately, I also found it to be schizophrenic in its changes, and unappealing as a whole. I’ll cover each fragrance in turn.


Source: Alu-magazine.com

Source: Alu-magazine.com

Florabellio is an eau de toilette that was created by Firmenich’s Fabrice Pellegrin and released a few months ago. Diptyque’s website gives only a brief note list and description:

-Apple blossom, marine accord, coffee-

A fragrance created as an olfactory landscape: in the foreground, invigorating and salty sea spray mingles with the vegetal bitterness of sea fennel. It then develops around soft and sensual apple blossom, and in the background, like an optical illusion, swirling wafts of roasted coffee with toasted sesame accents.

Photo: Samantha Hearn Photography via Elitedaily.com &  samanthahearn.com

Photo: Samantha Hearn Photography via Elitedaily.com & samanthahearn.com

Luckyscent‘s note list encompasses all the elements in that description, and adds osmanthus as well:

Sea air, sea fennel, apple blossom, osmanthus, coffee, toasted sesame.

Source: drugstore.com

Source: drugstore.com

Florabellio opens on my skin as an amorphous floral laced with clean musk, then drenched in the synthetic aquatics of calone. The scent bears an strong resemblance to Issey Miyake‘s famous and revolutionary 1990s calone hit, L’Eau d’Issey — except this is harsher, more overtly clean, unbalanced in its synthetics, and smells of chlorine instead of sweet, melony wateriness.

Subtle, minute slivers of cool melon (with the tiniest undertone whisper of wet cucumber) wrap themselves around a floral bouquet that feels largely abstract and faceless except for an initial resemblance to artificial freesia. Not once do I smell anything reminiscent of actual, clear, concrete osmanthus or apple blossoms. I’m not even sure that apple blossoms have much of a smell in nature, and I suspect that is a wholly man-made note that my nose is reading as “freesia” instead. The latter is definitely a laboratory-created ingredient that, in my experience, is common in hair or body sprays and is painfully redolent of overly fresh cleanness. I’m not a fan. Here, the best thing I can say about the “Whatever The Hell It’s Supposed To Be” floral note is that at least it’s not soapy or like Tide dish washing liquid. Still, the scent feels wholly abstract except for the wet, liquid, and melon facets.

Source: bayshorepoolrenovations.com

Source: bayshorepoolrenovations.com

As for the aquatics, I don’t think any of it is salty in a natural way. The salt water here bears no resemblance to the photorealistic accord that makes Profumum‘s Acqua di Sale stand out so much. THAT is the scent of the sea in a bottle. If I were to sniff Florabellio blindly, the first thing to come to mind would be Calone, smelling here like an overly chlorinated pool mixed with the sharpness of the chemicals in a dry-cleaning shop, coated with tiny slices of melon aldehydes and wet cucumber. I’m shuddering even as I type. I used to own L’Eau d’Issey, and never once did I think of chlorine or dry cleaners when I wore it.

Amidst this badly handled flashback to 1992, something arrives that finally hints at perfume modernity and an attempt at originality: coffee. The small drops of it appear on the sidelines after 10 minutes, initially feeling rather nebulous and hazy, and I think Diptyque is right to describe it as an “optical illusion” because it really does feel that way a lot of the times. For a short time, roughly 30 minutes into Florabellio’s development, the coffee grows somewhat stronger and more concrete, and it’s easier to pull it out, but that doesn’t last long.

Source: wall321.com

Source: wall321.com

Around the same time, thin ribbons of creaminess start to stir in the base, smelling like lightly sweetened, abstract, white woods more than anything evocative of actual sesame seeds — toasted or otherwise. Unfortunately, the white musk and the aquatics grow stronger in parallel conjunction. The tiny melon nuances in the background feebly strive to stay alive, but they soon fade away entirely. As for the largely indecipherable, quasi-“freesia” floralcy, it grows more nebulous and hazy, rapidly turning into that synthetic, generalized “I’m A Floating Flower” vagueness that plagues so many cheap, mainstream scents.

In short, at the 30-minute mark, Florabellio is an overly synthetic, overly clean, fresh bouquet of artificially sterile, crisp, freesia-ish florals drowned in salty-ish chlorine water that is mixed with dry-cleaning fluid, then splattered with drops of dark coffee, all atop a white, lightly creamy, vaguely woody base. May the Gods save me.

Source: pixabay.com

Source: pixabay.com

Unfortunately, relief is not in sight. The “woody” note (I refuse to call it “toasted sesame” because it simply isn’t so on my skin) goes haywire, taking on an increasingly synthetic undertone of pepperiness mixed with dryness. I wouldn’t compare it to a synthetic cedar, but it’s a peppery woody something. (Why did I ever chose to test this scent?!) It starts to bully its way onto center stage at the end of the 1st hour and the start of the 2nd, sending the wimpy coffee note flying into the gutter. The feeble coffee lies there briefly, resulting in a scene dominated largely by an amorphous, indistinct, aquatic woody, floral musk, accompanied by cleanness, peppered woods, barely any coffee or creaminess, and no sweetness. The coffee crawls away at the 90 minute mark, never to be seen of again and ended what little hope there was of something interesting happening.

Source: stain-removal-101.com

Source: stain-removal-101.com

From the start of the 3rd hour almost to Florabellio’s very end, the fragrance is just a hazy blur that can be summed up as an aquatic twist on a basic, general floral musk. The white musk and the calone both grow stronger and stronger with the passing hours. The former reminds me of the sharpness of Bounce’s vaguely floral laundry drier sheets, while the latter is even worse as it turns to hardcore dry-cleaning fluid with only a hint of salty wateriness. In the end, all that’s left is the smell of dry-cleaning.

Florabellio has okay projection and decent longevity for an eau de toilette, though I should emphasize that my skin projects and retains scents with a lot of clean, white musk longer than the average person. Using 3 smears equal to 2 good sprays from an actual bottle, the fragrance opened with 3 inches of projection. It turned into a skin scent after 4 hours, and lasted 8.5 hours in total. I tried it twice, but scrubbed it off after the first 2 hours the first time around.

Florabellio receives very mixed reviews on Fragrantica, though the majority skew towards the negative. People are split in terms of how much they can smell the coffee, and on the sorts of floralcy that appears on their skin. I’ll leave you to examine that in more detail if you’re interested. Since Florabellio puts me in such a bad mood, I’m going to highlight the more hilarious negative comments about the scent:

  • Garbage close-up. Source: stock photo colourbox.com

    Garbage close-up. Source: stock photo colourbox.com

    Swing and a miss here. This fragrance reminds me of actual garbage, complete with yesterday’s coffee grounds soaking into a sheet of newspaper, a half-eaten fruit, and dead lilies. The drydown was incredibly salty on me, almost like sesame crackers. There is just too much going on in this one.

  • I had the bottle on preorder, picked it up in-store, and returned it on the spot. Diptyque, what is going on?? It smelled like a hot diaper! Ok, obviously that’s an exaggeration but it is way too sweet and straightforward.
  • Patte de Poulet. Source  Photo: unfrancaisapekin.com

    Patte de Poulet. Source Photo: unfrancaisapekin.com

    Une odeur d’anis est trop forte. Ça me fait penser aux pattes de poule aux cinq épices. C’est un plat chinois. Je suis très déçue! [Translation: the smell of anise is too strong. It makes me think of Chicken Feet with Five Spices, a Chinese dish. I’m very disappointed.]

I have no idea how someone’s skin might turn Florabellio into the scent of Chinese Five Spice Chicken Feet, but the thought of it made me laugh for days. That, and that alone, has been the saving grace of trying this fragrance.

Some Fragrantica posters and a few bloggers give Florabellio positive reviews. You can read the thoughts of The Black Narcissus and of Jessica on Now Smell This for a counter-balancing perspective if you’re interested. Personally, I would not recommend going near Florabellio with a forty-foot pole unless you love aquatic fragrances, have no issue with calone in any of its manifestations, are immune to strong synthetics, and don’t have a high expectation of a lot of coffee. My suggestion if you want an actual, photorealistic, truly interesting salty sea fragrance (complete with the sense of kelp!) and if you don’t mind some herbal soapiness, is to consider Profumum’s Acqua di Sale instead.


Source: Luckyscent

Source: Luckyscent

Rose Privee is an eau de parfum created by Stéphanie Bakouche, an in-house junior L’Artisan perfumer based in Grasse, along with her mentor, Bertrand Duchaufour. Luckyscent explains the fragrance’s background and notes as follows:

Bertrand shared his passion, knowledge, and talent with Stéphanie guiding her to find the right proportions, and a memorable ‘hook’ to the fragrance. He shared his savoir-faire, helping her to be objective regarding her creation and to build longevity into her fragrance. Through this Eau de Parfum, L’Artisan Parfumeur illustrates its unique approach to perfume-making, with a Master training a new generation perfumer, in the great tradition of French craftsmanship.

[Notes:] Basil, lilac, carnation, hay, magnolia, may rose, patchouli, violet leaf and amber.

I suspect that the “memorable ‘hook'” mentioned by Luckyscent is not only the basil but also cassis, which seems to be Bertrand Duchaufour’s favorite note these days, judging by how many of his recent creations include it. The cassis is certainly very plentiful on my skin after the perfume’s opening stage, and I noticed yesterday that the Paris’ niche boutique, Nose, explicitly mentions it in Rose Privee’s note list (as “blackcurrant bud”).

Source: inphyusion.com

Source: inphyusion.com

Rose Privee opens on my skin with a duet of fresh basil intertwined with green, piquant violet leaf, and lightly streaked with spicy, fiery carnation. The bouquet is strewn with a few wisps of hay and drops of delicate lilac, then nestled within a rather illusory mirage of sweet cabbage roses. None of these last notes is particularly strong or deep. The basil and violet leaf pretty much outweigh everything else, with the fiery, pepperiness of the carnation lagging a few feet behind. The result is a very green scent that is extremely fresh and crisp, skewing heavily towards the leafy side with a fresh aromatic quality rather than true, actual herbaceousness.

The floral note is peculiar for a scent ostensibly devoted to roses. Up close, the flower feels as though it is buried under numerous layers, and it’s frequently a peek-a-boo note that hides its full face, appearing simply as a vaguely rosey-ish floral sweetness that has been drenched with spicy carnation before being surrounded by piles of peppery, green violet leaf. From afar, though, the rose is stronger and clearer in its own right, particularly on the sillage scent trail, though it is a still a rather diaphanous, gauzy note that seems to sometimes shimmer out of view entirely. Part of the reason why is the basil which is extremely prominent, to the point where you might even describe it as “loud.” Thanks to the violet leaf, the basil sometimes bear a distinct undertone of mint as well. It is a surprising, unexpected, and very original twist on roses, certainly far from the typical gooey sweet floral that I had expected, and I admire it intellectually and theoretically quite a bit. In terms of practical reality and as an actual scent to wear, however, not so much. It’s a challenge, largely because I’m not keen on that much basil, and I don’t like violet leaf.

Source:  getwallpapers.net

Source: getwallpapers.net

Rose Privee quickly shifts. 5 minutes in, the lilac quickly retreats to the sidelines, then vanishes completely a short while later. It’s disappointing, not only because the lilac was one of the reasons why I wanted to try Rose Privee, but also because the scent of the flower was enormously strong when I sniffed the vial. On actual skin, however, it’s not only an insubstantial note, but a brief one. So is the hay, which rapidly joins the lilac on the sidelines. On the plus side, though, the first hint of patchouli pops up there as well, throwing off the smallest flickers of both woody spiciness and berry-like fruitiness.

Source: agelessonline.net

Source: agelessonline.net

The end result is only the second in Rose Privee’s list of unexpected twists. The perfume goes from smelling primarily of fresh basil (with tiny minty undertones) and peppery, green violet leaf shot through with the thinnest streaks of spicy, peppery carnation — to — something that consistently made me think of a very fresh summer salad made of basil, mint, and juicy dark berries, all dusted with a few pinches of spicy pepper and perhaps pink peppercorns. 30 minutes into the Rose Privee’s development, that mental association becomes overwhelming, thanks to the patchouli turning strongly fruity (fruitchouli) and the arrival of a more important note: Bertrand Duchaufour’s beloved, tart cassis berries. Something about the combination of notes here also sends off distinct whiffs of raspberries as well, so I guess a comparison to a summer fruit salad with leaves and fresh herbs would be more precise.

Never in a million years would I have guessed this was where Rose Privée would go, but this is the bouquet that appeared on both occasions when I tested the scent. I was rather astonished, to say the least. Again, it’s intellectually interesting and enormously original, so kudos to the two perfumers for doing something different. But do I actually want to smell like a summer basil-berry salad with purely green (violet) leafiness and with a frequently elusive, illusory mirage of a rose that is growing increasingly faint? Eh, not so much.

Wild violet leaves. Source: crated.com

Wild violet leaves. Source: crated.com

At least this opening phase of Rose Privee has some intriguing twists and a host of nuances to draw me in again and again for a sniff, but I can’t say the same for the rest of the scent once the 1st hour is over and the 2nd begins. The rose is becoming so shy, it’s even becoming hard to detect on the scent trail from afar. Unfortunately for me, the clean musk grows more prominent, turning Rose Privee cleaner and crisper in nature. It cuts through some of the fruity sweetness and amplifies instead the leafy greenness. The result is a thoroughly green scent dominated in overwhelming part by basil (with minty undertones) and violet leaf, all shot through with clean musk.

There are other changes which I like even less. The scent is slowly turning quite sharp. It’s also taking on a different, less natural source of pepperiness thanks to a new note, a dry, very thin woodiness that appears in the base and smells very synthetic. It doesn’t last for long, though, and soon joins the carnation, lilac, hay, and rose on the departed list. Even the most abstract suggestion of floralcy has vanished, but a muted fruitiness lingers at the edges. It smells mostly of tart cassis with very little of the raspberry left, but both fruits are drowned out by the increasingly shrill clean musk.

Bounce Spring Renewal drier sheets via Pinterest.

Bounce Spring Renewal drier sheets via Pinterest.

The musk is a killer, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Its power makes Rose Privee’s sillage bloom on my skin, in addition to making the scent overly sharp to my nose. By the end of the 2nd hour and the start of the 3rd, the musk adds the distinct whiff of Bounce laundry drier sheets to the mix. The blasted white musk is even starting to overwhelm the basil which takes a few steps back, though the violet leaf remains as sharp as ever. From afar, Rose Privee now smells primarily of leafy greenness with sharp laundry cleanness that is laced with basil, peppery undertones, and only small smudges of tart cassis.

Source: 123rf.com

Source: 123rf.com

Rose Privee devolves even further. Roughly 3.25 hours in, it’s basically just a green scent with pepperiness, sharpness, and a whopping amount of laundry musk. It turns a bit smoother at the 5.5 hour mark, and takes on a brief suggestion of creaminess in the base at the 6.5 hour one, but these are all minor points of degree. The main part of the scent is overly clean, fresh, green leafiness. Yet even that eventually succumbs to the blasted laundry musk which slowly takes over in Rose Privee’s final hours, wiping out all else in its line of vision. All that’s left is synthetic laundry cleanness. The whole ordeal ends just shy of the 10th hour.

Rose Privee’s development feels schizophrenic to me, though I suppose no-one can deny it has quite a few twists along the way. I love my fragrances to have twists and turns, but I want them to be logically connected and not to veer quite so sharply. If I may recap, Rose Privee opened as a leafy, peppery basil-floral with spiciness; turned into a green, basil summer fruit salad 30 minutes later; then, 30 minutes after that, became a blurry bouquet of peppery, leafy greenness with a lot of clean musk freshness and thin, unpleasantly synthetic, peppery woodiness for an hour; which was followed by a very long period of green violet leafiness with Bounce drier sheets and pepperiness; before ending up as laundry cleanness.

Photo: Paul Huggins Photography. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Photo: Paul Huggins Photography. (Direct website link embedded within.)

No, a thousand times, no! I don’t like primarily green fragrances regardless of whether they are herbal, fresh, floral, leafy, or peppery — never mind a combination of all of that mixed with fresh berry fruit salad as well — but adding an increasingly brutal, bulldozer amount of white musk is really the kiss of death. As a whole, what an unexpected and strange mix of stages! Each time I tested the scent, I kept thinking, “What on earth will an actual rose lover think of this, especially if they go in with expectations of a hardcore rose-centric fragrance?”

The answer to that came courtesy of Victoria of Bois de Jasmin who found Rose Privee to be sadly lacking and a disappointment. She is apparently someone who feels one can never have enough rose fragrances (so, basically, my complete antithesis), but she didn’t think Rose Privee made the cut or was worth it. She gave it a low Two Star rating, and writes in relevant part as follows:

"Fluid-Shape," abstract photography by Bruno Paolo Benedetti. (Website link embedded withinphoto.)

“Fluid-Shape,” abstract photography by Bruno Paolo Benedetti. (Website link embedded withinphoto.)

On the rose spectrum, Rose Privée is on the light and sparkling end, although it has some dark touches. From the moment you apply it, you notice fruity notes—sweet raspberry, tart pomegranate peel and other juicy, bright effects. […] A green, spicy note underneath the pink froth should be a great contrast, but instead, it turns bitter and musty, a flower on the edge of withering.

What happens later is more of the same—bitter, stale petals mixing with fresh, delicate buds, with a handful of shredded cedarwood for good measure. Rose Privée is not quite a dark moody fragrance, but it’s also not much of a bubbly, lighthearted blend. It feels as if the perfumer couldn’t quite pick a single theme and instead you get something in between, without a distinctive point of view. On the plus side, if you find most light roses to be fleeting, Rose Privée won’t disappoint, because it grabs onto your skin and lasts beyond all expectations.

Source: tastespotting.com

Source: tastespotting.com

On Fragrantica, there aren’t a ton of reviews but they’re quite mixed thus far. A few people’s thoughts can essentially be summed up as “a herbal floral.” Others detected a strong, sometimes bitter, citrusy grapefruit aroma with which they struggled. One poor soul who has my complete sympathy said all she smelt was musk (presumably, of the clean, white variety), adding that she couldn’t detect any “of the other notes, and certainly not rose. I detest musk. I couldn’t get this off fast enough.”

Hyde Park's Rose Garden via gardensoflondon.co.uk

Hyde Park’s Rose Garden via gardensoflondon.co.uk

On the other hand, one chap found Rose Privee to evoke British roses, and seemed to like it quite a bit:

Very pleasant, green and fresh English rose, the type of full bodied, multi-petaled one, that keeps going and going. The magnolia gives it a slightly exotic kick and the basil/ violet leaf accord the spicy, deep aromatic punch. [¶] A lovely abundant bouquet but nothing we have not smelled before. Go through Hyde Park in early summer and smell the lilacy, purple pink English roses and THIS is what you get. [¶] 10/10 for a Reference English Rose.

Hm. I lived in London for a good number of years and went to Hyde Park frequently on sunny days, but nothing about Rose Privee takes me back there. And Hyde Park roses are certainly a far cry from the experience of the Fragrantica poster who wrote, “All I could smell was a citrus, almost like grapefruit,” or the one who wrote, “All I smell is musk.”

Clearly, skin chemistry is going to play a major role — far more than usual, in my opinion — in terms of what happens if you try Rose Privée for yourself. I wish you luck with it.

Brief Cost & Availability Information: Florabellio is an eau de toilette that comes in two sizes: a 50 ml bottle for $90 or £58; and a 100 ml bottle for $125, £75. In America, you can find it at Luckyscent and high-end department stores like Nordstrom’s, Barney’s, and the like. You can also buy it directly from Diptyque, though they are currently sold out of the 50 ml bottle. Outside the U.S., it’s available at the UK’s Liberty and Selfridges, Diptyque’s EU website, Germany’s First in Fragrance, Australia’s Mecca, and all department stores which normally carry the brand. For a complete list of stores, you can use Diptyque’s Store Locator guide. Samples are available from Surrender to Chance starting at $3.75 for a 1 ml vial. L’Artisan Rose Privée is an eau de parfum that comes in two sizes: 50 ml for $120, €90, or £77; and 100 ml for $180, €122, or £95. In America, you can find Rose Privée at Luckyscent, Twisted LilySephora, and Barney’s. You can also buy it directly from L’Artisan’s US website. Outside the U.S., you can buy it from L’Artisan’s UK, EU, or Japanese websites, from any department stores that usually carry the line, and from niche retailers like Paris’ Nose, the NL’s Celeste, Italy’s Alla Violetta, and Australia’s Libertine. Germany’s First in Fragrance and the UK’s Harvey Nichols usually carry L’Artisan scents, but Rose Privée is not listed at the time of this review. For all other retailers, you can look at L’Artisan’s Stockist page. Samples of Rose Privée are available from a few of those niche retailers. At Surrender to Chance, prices start at $5.39 for a 1 ml vial.

15 thoughts on “Diptyque Florabellio & L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee

  1. I panicked for a minute because I hadn’t heard Safran Troublant was discontinued. It’s still on their website, so I think I’m safe. Now I can comfortably continue to pretend I might buy a bottle someday, even though I’m sure I won’t.

    As for Florabellio… I got as far as sniffing the sprayer and set the bottle down in terror. I’m sure it’s not fair to judge a scent without ever even spraying it, but your review has me convinced I made the right decision.

    • Is Safran Troublant back on their website? That’s great news. I had heard that they were thinking of bringing back late last year, but didn’t know they had actually done so. They should never have discontinued it in the first place, as it was amongst their best scents, imo. I covered it around the time I first starting blogging, and like 2 months later, they decided to pull it, resulting in a small panic amongst some people I know, all of whom love it. I just wish it didn’t die so quickly on me. I mean, crazily quickly.

      As for Florabellio, I snorted out loud at how you took one sniff and “set the bottle down in terror.” Hilarious. 😀 But at least you didn’t get Five Spice Chicken Feet!

  2. Lol! I panicked, too, about Safran Troublant. I have a bottle with about 10 ml (at most) left in it. It’s one of my favorite fragrances!! It’s heavily discounted online, so I probably ought to get a new bottle. . .

    . . .as for those reviewed, I’ll pass. Honestly, the minute I saw the Bounce dryer sheet image, I thought, “Why bother reading?” but I love reading your thoughts!

    Btw, Safran Troublant lasts quite a while on me! I forget how long, but it was notable. I have been wondering about skin chemistry/health/whatnot and longevity for a few weeks now since discovering Ambre Loupe (of which a fb I need!) is pretty much a short lived but beautiful skin scent on me and Kiste lasts about 3-4 hours. Go figure.

    • I think there is a definite link between health/metabolism/hormones and longevity, because the former really impacts the skin chemistry. A long time ago, I read some references to studies on that point, and I recall they mentioned hormonal fluctuations, skin dryness, and smoking amongst some other factors that I have forgotten. (Menopause possibly being one of them as well? I can’t recall exactly.) I don’t remember any citational sources being linked, and I don’t have the time to try to hunt for the studies right now myself, but there does seem to be causatality. That said, I am NOT suggesting that those specific factors are at issue with you. (You certainly don’t smoke, to my knowledge, to name just one of the things I vaguely recall.)

      What I would be curious to see is if Safran Troublant still lasts a long time on you. Your comment could be read to indicate that you haven’t tried it in a while, so perhaps your skin chemistry has changed even with regard to that once longlasting scent? The fact that something as strong, deep, and dense as Kiste — which is pretty commonly regarded as being a powerhouse by most people — only lasts 3-4 hours may indicate that the issue could possibly extend to many other fragrances. In short, before you buy a new bottle of Safran Troublant, you should test it again to see what happens. Either way, you have my full and total sympathy. It’s incredibly frustrating, especially for fragrances that you adore.

  3. L’Eau d’Issey maybe be one of the most sickening smells to my stomach in the history of forever, along with Escape by CK, worst than TM’s Alien which I abhor. I cannot be in the same atmosphere with them. In general, I have a rather bad relationship with Diptyque. With the exception of Tam Dao, I don’t get along with Diptyque’s sensibility. Not even the candles work for me.
    I have not tried Rose Privee but I do love basil with a passion and if the rose seems to be buried enough so as to not smell like a dirty attic on my skin, I may try it just for those opening 30 minutes.
    I have sampled so many L’Artisan over the years and have always wanted to love the house but I guess that just like Diptyque, though for different reasons, our sensibilities don’t really get along.
    Thanks for your wonderful reviews K!

    • Haha, you poor thing, you sound quite traumatized by L’Eau d’Issey. You aren’t alone, you know. Quite a few people loathe it passionately. I actually enjoyed it when it first came out, and I bought my bottle right in 1992. Perhaps it wasn’t so bad then, because I do think that the scent has been reformulated badly over the years. It’s been out something like 23 years now! I do know that a more recent version I tried some years back made me wince.

      As for Rose Privee, I’ve given up guessing what may appear on your skin because, you’re right that the results really seem to vary from scent to scent, even if they share similar notes, but I will be quite curious to hear the results in this case. I do hope you get a lot of basil, not too much fruitiness, and that the rose is the sort you enjoy. You’ll have to let me know.

  4. Thank you for the thorough, well-written reviews, as usual! As I think I’ve mentioned before, I do like light, sheer fragrances, but so far the only Diptyque fragrance to speak to me is L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I tried Florabellio and found it very disappointing. I didn’t get any coffee or osmanthus. The opening reminded me very much of the Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon fragrance that all the kids at school were wearing in the 90s/early 00s. Which, y’know, I wouldn’t mind smelling again for the occasional nostalgia trip, but not for the prices that Diptyque is asking… that said, I hear it is selling very well.

    I have only tried a few L’Artisan fragrances. The notes in Rose Privee make it sound like something I would like but I am VERY wary of that musk. I remember thinking Seville a L’Aube was nice, but I pretty much like any orange blossom scent I come across.

    • I’m honestly not surprised that you detected no coffee or osmanthus in the Florabellio, because quite a few people don’t. I’m even less surprised by the cucumber melon fragrance which dominated on your skin, or that you were taken back to the 1990s. Calone can smell of heavily cucumber and/or melon, and that was a big part of L’Eau d’Issey which basically ushered in the calone/fresh/clean/aquatic era in 1992. It became a full-blown thing when Acqua di Gio arrived on the scene in 1996, because it has a huge amount of calone (along with some hedione, the citrusy green synthetic that I talked about in the Hermes’ Jardin de Monsieur Li review). The problem here, for me, is that Florabellio also includes what is called an “ozonic” element, that sea “air” part the company mentioned. That can transform calone into the dry-cleaning scent that appeared on my skin, though calone can also skew to chlorine water on me in some instances as well.

      Anyway, you seemed to have a much, much better time of the scent than I did, though obviously not one which bowled you over or felt worth the price tag. On a slightly tangential note, did you hear that Bath & Body Works is bringing back its Cucumber Melon scent and lotion? If you want to go down that memory lane again, you will soon be able to do so for much less than Diptyque is charging. 😉

  5. I’ve read mixed reviews on Rose Privee, but was never tempted enough to sample it. Safran Troublant is discounted for $83.99 on Fragrancex. Of L’Artisan’s line, I’ve smelled Voleur de Roses, Al Oudh, Dzing, Dzonghka, Fou d’Absinthe and possibly a few others. As for Diptyque- I agree with you on their aesthetic. 😉

    • I’m really surprised, Don, given what a hardcore rose lover you are. Normally, that and your innate curiosity (always a good thing) would seem to trump the mixed nature of reviews for Rose Privee. Who knows, maybe you’ll get around to it at some point. But don’t go near the Diptyque. LOL.

      • Sometimes my ‘innate’ curiosity may at times appear more insane. :/ I should sample Rose Privee because it could prove to be a lot nicer than I imagine. I’ve checked out Diptyque and have no interest in their line.

  6. Might I go on a perfumer tangent? Bertrand:
    Does one follow scent structures one likes? Or perfumers? Or both? I loved all his NVC creations and Chypre Palatin and a few others. But I certainly haven’t tried his whole list nor would I want to. He strikes me as someone very capable of accommodating/creating for the brand style (a skill in its own right) and when I look at the list I am left wondering which ones might really be his voice (or scent).
    I contrast him with Edmond Roudnitska. So few perfumes but each a landmark. Incidentally both my mother’s favorites (Rochas femme vintage and Diorissimo) and one of my top five’s (Le parfum de Therese) are by Roudnitska.
    Musings out loud.
    Don: I take advantage of following you in posts to agree with your statement in our previous thread about the unisex approach to perfumes. I adore Bois Sepia and Pour un homme de Caron on me when wearing cotton-cashmere dresses and cardigans in the fall. The contrast between feminine textiles, neutral earth tones and ‘masculine’ scents.
    Tickles and watermelon slices for Zola!

    • You know, I think you’re completely right that it’s hard to pinpoint Duchaufour’s own voice, in large part because he is SO prolific across such a wide swathe of brands, each with their own aesthetic. One thing that you have to recall, though, is the process by which most scents are created: generally, the company/client puts out a brief with their vision, a host of perfumers supply a “Mod” in response, and the company/perfume house chooses the one which most fits their vision to work with further. So, ultimately, it is the client dictating the shape and nature of a scent.

      One opinion that I have heard from a few people in the industry about M. Duchaufour is that he really seems to create the best things when he is with a client who is strong enough to put their foot down on some points and/or insist on editing, because B/D can go over the top or get carried away otherwise. In an interview with Neela Vermeire, for example, she said bluntly that she was one of his most challenging, demanding clients — and the perfumes are wonderful as a result of that, imo. A few of his other scents for other brands, however, are quite unbalanced or bombastic, imo. (Majda Bekkali’s Fusion Sacrée Lui, I’m looking at you above all else!)

      The possibility of something wonderful makes me willing to try almost all of his creations, so long as there are a few notes that really appeal to me, but the results can definitely be hit-or-miss for me.

  7. Paskale, If I only had all of
    those wonderful “pour femme” fragrances from the past to smell today….pre-reformulation that is.

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