I know Serge Lutens Dent de Lait came out about two years ago but I am not as current as I used to be, and I recently just got a sample. I may be confusing this with some other Lutens releases but perhaps I ignored this because ti was part of their very expensive line, the ones that cost a thousand a bottle.
But no, Dent de Lait now comes in a ‘reasonable’ price point, so I might as well try it I see that a lot of reviewers hate this scent, so I was skeptical. The back story is certainly interesting. Inspired by childhood, it has some weird note: almond milk, dried milk (!) and baby powder. It also promises a lot of aldehydes. When I asked for a sample, the SA said, “it’s metallic,’ and I don’t remember if that made me want it more or less.
My verdict: baby powder with flowers, cold and dry because it is bathed in aldehydes. It isn’t bad, and it sort of reminds me of something from Commes de Garcon, and it probably is very hard to wear. I kind of like it, I am drown to this very cold flower note (a rose?) and there’s a certain bitterness to it that I like. It’s a cold and bitter flower.
And perhaps that’s what I like about it. On this cold Valentine’s Day, it is fitting. Me, alone int his cold and bitter world, clutching a single rose.
I love all of Jo Malone’s limited-edition collections, so whenever they launch them, I pay attention. The latest one is called the ‘Wild Flower and Weeds’ collection and is inspired by the unruly weeds and wildly-wonderful plants and flowers that line the banks of a winding river. (Nice copy)
I initially gravitated towards ‘Nettle and Wild Achillea,’ because I was just watching Armie Hammer give anecdotal stories about when they were shooting ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and he said when they filmed the mountain scenes their legs were all bloodied by nettle plants. Yes, I know this is a very random analogy, but… Anyway, I like the initial blast of this – it’s very green and peppery, always a nice combination for me. It’s denser than most green scents, and white musk weights it The finish is very powdery, and I would even describe it as very Chanel like aldehydes. I complained that the initial blast was very alcohol-y, but the nice drydown is very appealing, and very un-Jo Malone. And just look at the beautiful bottle!
I sometimes forget about Parfum d’Empire – they do these elegant perfumes but don’t get the mainstream love. But maybe that’s better. I recently discovered a sample I have had – it’s ‘Le Cri de la lumiere’ from their house. And it’s quietly wonderful, with much emphasis on quiet.
Someone wise once told me, ‘the universe most times do not shout symbols to you, it most always whispers them.’ And I thought of that quote when I wore this scent. It is such a distinct and beautiful whisper, but you hear the message loud and clear.
‘Le cri de la lumiere’ has a wonderful floral heart of iris, rose, and ambrette. But it’s flanked by aldehydes not unlike a Chanel scent – this is not dissimilar to a face powder smell, but with a little more heft to it. It’s very abstract, and a bit hard to describe, but it certainly is beautiful. I imagine an Anna Wintour wearing this with great confidence. I like it, and want it now.
What’s in a bottle? If you look at the case of Mochino Cheap and Chic’s So Real, it says a lot. Look to the left and you either are enamored by it, or think it’s the ugliest thing out there. I don’t mind it – it’s certainly kitsch and I have similar looking bottles, and I think I have the solid colored one from the same line.
But how does it smell? Well, in line with its name, it smells cheap – your generic synthetic smelling floral, the sugary kind. I don’t get any floral here, really, but the notes say pink peony and white petals. I get generic citrus, which could be anything and everything…amounting to nothing. It’s gone in an instant, too. But then again, it is literally cheap – you can get a bottle at discount sites for almost nothing. So should this exist?
Century City Mall is near my house and right by the entrance I use is the Jo Malone store, so the brand is always in my consciousness. In all honesty, I think the brand is too popular for a perfume snob like myself, but at times I cannot help it – they sure do bring out crowd-pleasing perfume, and even I am not immune. Over the Holidays, they brought our ‘Myrrh and Tonka’ as part of their Cologne Intense collection. They are always very generous with me sample-wise (they are not idiots) and I have test-run the scent a couple of times.
I like it – it’s on the heavier side if you compare it to other Jo Malone releases, so it’s right up my alley. The myrrh in the beginning is mixed with lavender so it’s a smoky spicy sweet mixture. Then the scent gives way to some almond and vanilla and tonka bean. The vanilla is not the gourmand kind – it’s dry and resinous, and the tonka bean provides just the right amount of sweetness here. It’s pretty cloying and perfect for sweet weather, and I would imagine it might give people headaches if worn during warmer temperatures. I don’t know if I would rush to get this, and if I did get it, I would probably be fine with a 50 ml bottle of it. It’s like a ‘friendlier’ version of Tobaco Vanille, and definitely skews more masculine.
Nowadays I have this love-hate relationship with the House of Frederic Malle. They have done (and still do) beautiful perfumes, of course, but the brand has gotten so mainstream and everyone knows about it now that it has lost its niche status for me. It used to be just available at certain stores (only Barney’s) but now everywhere you turn it’s there – Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, you name it. It’s as ubiquitous as Jo Malone, and its exclusivity is long gone. So it took me a while to sample ‘Music For A While.’ But I have been reading a lot of best of lists from 2018 and this has been showing up a lot, so I had to see for myself.
It’s very nice. It has a lavender base, so it skews masculine, but it has a pineapple note. It’s a mixture of a generic barbershop scent but with a modern ‘Aventus’ twist. There’s a roughness to it – a lot of patchouli shows up on my skin, and if you ask me, it really does skew more masculine. It’s also very crowd-pleasing – there’s no edge to it, and with the Malle price points, I want something that will make it more unique. I think what is missing is the ‘wow’ factor. I enjoyed it, but it failed the ‘hyperventilation’ test for me. I wasn’t craving it afterwards.
But then again, I know that the house has started doing 1 oz ‘travel bottles’ recently, so perhaps I might be tempted, but nah, I can think of other Malle releases I would get first.
(Update – I am writing this now hours later and there is this beautiful pineapple drydown that is just wonderful. Plus, about 7 hours after, it is still going strong – this scent is tenacious! And now I want this!)
Does one dare citrus in the winter? I love citrusy scents, but probably, like everyone else, use it mostly in the summertime. But I am always looking for ones with a little heft in them, and Heeley (in collab with Maison Kitsune) has released ‘Note de Yuzu,’ which fits the bill.
This is a grapefruit and orange blast on me, with just hints of the Asian fruit yuzu. It’s a nice and crisp opening, and it doesn’t fade just right away,a s most citrus cologne type of fragrances do. I get a bit of tea in the heart of the scent and it gives it a dryness that makes the scent stick. I like that juxtaposition. There is some clean vetiver that shows up, and some kind of flower there (I detect some orange blossom, perhaps) and that’s it. This is not some complicated perfume that gives you a fragrant journey. It is a nice citrus that lingers, and yes, on a dreary cold winter day, it can give you a burst of freshness.