Rich spices, tobacco, coffee, dark amber, smoke, dark musks, and soft animalics dress up a spicy Borneo oud in Oud Picante, the third new release from Areej Le Doré. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser for men who love both ouds and spicy orientals, and it was the fragrance that I enjoyed the most out of the new quartet.
Atlantic Ambergris is another new release from Areej Le Doré and an extrait de parfum centered around top-grade white ambergris. The official description states that this golden heart is partnered with a “synergy of fresh, floral, spicy and green notes.” The note list is:
Top notes: bergamot, cardamom and a touch of Russian pine
Heart notes: jasmine sambac, white champaka, ylang-ylang, white Irish ambergris, tonka bean absolute, clove and nutmeg
Base notes: violet leaf, orris root, sweet myrrh, oakmoss, nagarmotha [also known as cypriol] and labdanum.
Areej Le Doré has followed up its debut collection with four new fragrances, one of which is called Flux de Fleur. Described as “a heavy, dark fruity, floral Oriental blend,” it immediately drew my eye with a tantalizing note list which included several white florals, honeysuckle (which I love), pink grapefruit (which I also love), coconut water, two types of frankincense, and even an Indian shamama (spice) amber attar, aged for more than two decades. Flux de Fleur seemed like a guaranteed sure-fire hit for someone with my tastes. Things did not turn out as I had anticipated, however.
Colour me surprised, I actually like Guerlain‘s new LUI. Quite a bit, in fact. It’s not something I had expected; I’m a Guerlain classicist whose heart beats faster for the old, vintage masterpieces from the house, not the vast majority of fragrances released in the LVMH era. LUI is a rare exception. I find it enjoyable, even delectable at times, smooth, nicely balanced, easy to wear, and a cozy comfort. There is no fruitchouli or goopy red fruits to smother you to death with cloying excess; no cheap vanillin shrieking like a deranged, over-sugared, saccharine banshee; no laundry cleanness; no harsh woody-amber synthetics; and no bombastic amounts of caramel-praline bearing with such an intemperate degree of sickly sweetness that it would put a diabetic in a coma. No, nothing like that for once. Instead, there is only a soft, smooth, carefully calibrated, and good quality cloud of golden sweetness laced with floral, woody, smoky, spicy, and amber flourishes. It’s simple, uncomplicated, and hardly novel, and I grant you that my standards, expectations, and bar for LVMH-era Guerlain are basically at rock bottom levels but, even so, I wouldn’t mind a bottle of LUI for myself and it’s been a long, long time since I said that about one of the company’s new releases.