Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China...

L'Artisan Fleur d'Oranger 2007

Fleur d'Oranger is part of L'Artisan's limited edition Harvest Series. Released in 2005 and then again in 2007, L'Artisan describes it as follows:
Once upon a spring, the flower of the orange tree blossomed as never before in the fresh, green, honeyed atmosphere of the Nabeul orchards.

A suave, delicate perfume, with very feminine tones, reminiscent of the intoxicating scent of the orchard at the end of a day's harvest and the almond sweetness of oriental pastries.
Fleur d'Oranger is beautiful and strange. The citrus is so light it seems evanescent. It's more about spice and a bitter edge, like an orange rind that has been cured in salt and pepper. What is so interesting is that this isn't sweet or spicy in the way most scents are. It isn't overtly masculine or feminine. It doesn't smell like anything else. I've tried it several times, in different seasons over the course of a year, and this one still baffles me. Other reviewers have used words like "light," "airy," "gauzy," and "almost ethereal." I'd say all of those are right on the money. When I first tried this, I really had no use for it. Now, a year later, it seems...more complex. It's like being able to see subtle differences in color or taste subtle differences in food that one couldn't when we were younger or less experienced of the world. After about half an hour I get more citrus from it, but it still floats above the skin for me, separate, apart, chaste and beautiful. The sweetness gives it a little hint of tea like notes on me, but very gently.

I see the beauty and complexity of it, and while I appreciate having tried it, and would probably appreciate a small sprayer of it (say 8-10ml decant), I am truly flummoxed for when I would wear it. Quite honestly, none of my daily goings on seem appropriate for this. Marie-Helene said in her review for The Scented Salamander
This is a fragrance for aesthets, people who like rare perfumes and appreciate the idea of wearing a vintage. In final analysis, buying it might constitute more of a powerful vote for a way of life than for the scent itself, which is more like a subtle trace, since it is not a perfume centered on the wearer and meant to magnify him or her but rather meant to celebrate the beauty of orange blossom captured from a field in Nabeul.
I think this might be dead-on. This definitely is a scent that seems like artistic endeavor, and I applaud it as a unique effort. Certainly if I found myself in a "lottery winner" type situation, I'd buy a bottle just for the sake of having one.

You can only buy Fleur d'Oranger in 100ml for a whooping $295. Luckily, if you want it, despite being an LE, you can still get it all over: direct from the perfumer, high end departments stores, and online from Luckyscent, Beauty Encounter, and Beauty Habit. But if you can't handle the cha-ching and still want to try it, you can get samples from Luckyscent and The Perfumed Court, as well as larger decants from The Perfumed Court.

"Now, Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river.
She is wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters.
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbour.
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers.
There are heroes in the seaweed. There are children in the morning.
They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever..."

- "Suzanne," Leonard Cohen (you listen to the song here)

Want more reviews? Tons available for this one. Try...
~ A review from Robin at Now Smell This! (note: review is of the 2005 edition)
~ A review from Bois de Jasmin
~ A review from Perfume-Smellin' Things
~ A review from The Scented Salamander
~ A review from Sakecat's Scent Project
~ A review from He Smells, She Smells
~ A review from Fragrantica
~ A review from Sakecat's Scent Project
~ A review from Pink Manhattan
~ A review from Perfume Shrine (note: 2005 edition)
~ A review from Scent of Abricots
~ A review from Invisible Magnet


The Left Coast Nose said...

I'm becoming a HUGE fan of your synesthetic connections: perfume + excellent lyrics.

Fd'O is one of those scents that I love on paper, but don't really wear on me. (Bvlgari "Au The Vert" is another that comes to mind.)

I love the fact that it's out there, and I love to smell it, but I'm not sure it constitutes a smell that "belongs" on my person. And maybe that's the point?

Diana said...

Yeah I feel very similar. I can't deny that it is artful or beautiful, but it seems like a scent you'd put in a museum, not wear in life. I'd love to know someone who wore this, actually, because I can't imagine the sort of person who would.

ChickenFreak said...

I adore this one for four minutes, and then it goes all to sour sugar on me. :( So I gave away my sample to someone who seemed to love it without reservation. But I don't think that she actually _wears_ perfume, just appreciates the occasional lovely sniff, so she's no good for answering your question, Diana.

Diana said...

I too keep my sample around for the occasional lovely sniff...won't it be hilarious if that's all anyone ever does with it? Just sprays it on their pillow after a particularly hard day and falls asleep with a head full of 'fume art?

The Left Coast Nose said...

That's funny you say that, Diana-- some of these unwearable scents, I think about scenting my pillow with! Somehow, that puts me into the land of the princess, though. Can't quite bring myself to do it....

Ines said...

I love FdO scents but I haven't tried this one. I wonder how I'll feel about wearing it...

TexasCR said...

I wear it! It smells like sunshine and happiness to me. It starts with a burst of green, then the lovely blossoms, and fades (slowly as it has great longevity on me) to a smooth honey. It's especially suitable for a sunny day or an upbeat mood. I also spray it on a paper fan and enjoy the wafts as I fan myself. (lasts 3 weeks and counting on the fan...) I must have been in a mad mood to have spent so much on one bottle (it is certainly my most expensive bottle), but don't regret it. I'm perplexed why this seems more unwearable to so many... it's just a very pretty, fresh floral...

Diana said...

Texas, I like the paper an idea! And you're not mad -- I bought a bottle of Iris Pallida -- who am I to talk? Perhaps this is just one of those scents where you have to be able to think of yourself in a certain way -- ie sophisticated, which is certainly NOT a word I'd ever use for myself -- to feel comfortable wearing. It feels sophisticated to me. And I'd like to be that way someday...so maybe there's a bottle in my future...