Scented Advent, December 15

Scented Advent, December 15

The Guerlain sample I pulled today was one that I tried and liked in the Las Vegas boutique, Frenchy Lavande. This version was launched under that name in 2021, but it is basically the same as Le Frenchy, which was launched in 2017. Like a few others, it was renamed and moved into the collection “L’Art et la Matière”. It is called an “aromatic fougère”, so classified largely because of the central role that lavender plays, but others have called it a citrusy aromatic. Fragrantica lists its notes as: Top notes, Lemon Verbena, Lemon and Bergamot; middle notes, Petitgrain, Lavender, Citron, Sage and Neroli; base notes, Ambergris, Vetiver and Tonka Bean. Eddie Bulliqi reviewed it and Herbes Troublantes recently for Fragrantica: “Herbs for Winter; Guerlain’s Frenchy Lavande and Herbes Troublantes.”

The opening is lovely, and even my nearby husband looked up and commented, “That’s really nice, what is it?”. While the opening notes are in fact very citrusy, I also smell lavender right away. The lemon and lemon verbena are more prominent than the bergamot, and the lemon verbena adds a distinctly herbal tint to the lemon and lavender. I can’t pinpoint the moment when lemon gives way to citron, but I can say that the partnership of citrus and lavender continues in the middle phase. I only get glimmers of sage, and the neroli is a latecomer to this stage, at least to my nose. It gradually replaces the lavender, as the fragrance moves toward its base notes. Vetiver continues the aromatic, herbal aspect of Frenchy Lavande. I can’t really distinguish the ambergris and tonka bean accords, just that the base slowly becomes warmer and less herbal.

Believe it or not, there is actually a blog called “The Traveling Frenchy” by a young woman named Alex, and in it she has posted a guide to visiting the lavender fields in Provence. I highly recommend it if you are thinking of seeking out French lavender fields; she gives very specific information on the locales she prefers, and even lists particular villages and roads.

French girl in field of French lavender in Provence
The Traveling Frenchy blog’s Ultimate Guide to the Lavender Fields in Provence

Ultimately, though I like Frenchy Lavande very much, it is a bit like Herbes Troublantes in reminding one of a cologne, although it is in a eau de parfum format. I wouldn’t say that it is much nicer than my Jicky eau de toilette or even that it lasts longer; and it certainly costs a lot more. Bottom line: if you want a Guerlain lavender, I recommend Jicky. In fact, that may be my next Guerlain purchase, from its reissue of several Guerlain classics in the collection “Les Legendaires”.

Do you have a favorite lavender-centric fragrance?

Perfume Chat Room, October 28

Perfume Chat Room, October 28

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly. This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is NOT Friday, October 28, because I am a day late in posting! We have just wrapped up a week-long visit to New Hampshire, to see my father-in-law who will turn 92 next month. He is doing well, sharp as ever, and we’ve had a lovely week spending every afternoon with him, going right after lunch and staying until his dinner arrives. We’ve enjoyed a week spent in the gorgeous New England fall, though the fall foliage was just past its peak. The reddest leaves tend to fall earliest, from the maples, but there was still plenty of breathtaking orange, gold, yellow and brown to admire. We went on some good walks including a lakeside trail that follows the shoreline and an old railway track.

And of course, I’ve enjoyed smelling the fresh New England fall air, which to my nose is a blend of wet leaves, soil, pine and balsam, damp moss, ferns, chrysanthemums, and lake (I would include sea water if we were on the coast). Probably some petrichor too, as we had a few showers this week.

Rainbow over New England lake

I’ve also been enjoying some of the Guerlain samples I was sent with my order from the Guerlain boutique in Las Vegas. A few I’ve really liked: Oeillet Pourpre, Herbes Troublantes, and Frenchy Lavande. They blend well with the fall air. I like Oeillet Pourpre very much, but I don’t think it is significanty better, to my nose, than L’Artisan’s Oeillet Sauvage, which I love. I might prefer it slightly to Lutens’ Vitriol d’Oeillet, which I also like very much.

I can’t believe that Halloween is upon us! Do you have any special Halloween plans or traditions? Ours, to the detriment of our waistlines, is that I go out and buy far too much candy in hopes of many little trick-or-treaters, then we don’t get as many as I had hoped, and we “have to” eat all the candy. I’m trying to do better this year!