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.
I don’t typically post about new or upcoming launches, but the fantastic debut collection from Areej Le Doré, the limited 100-bottle quantities for the trio, and the speed with which they sold out made me decide to make an exception to my usual rule. This is a brand where the particular circumstances make it worth having advance notice to order samples, having some time to spend getting to know the fragrances, and then deciding if one wants a bottle. Plus, I was once chastised for covering a fantastic Areej Le Doré fragrance soon after it sold out, albeit for completely understandable reasons because it’s frustrating to hear about great scents that come in limited quantities, but I’m not going to make that mistake again, so I’m telling all of you about their launch before I write even a word about them in an actual review.
Times Square, one of two new releases from Masque Milano, seeks to take you back to the cacophony, smells, and busy streets of New York City before Mayor Giuliani cleaned it up in the 1990s. Masque’s official scent description is one of the most unusual, unexpected, and humorous accounts that I’ve come across in terms of what a perfume brand promises to offer you if you try its fragrance. It bluntly and cheerfully talks about the city’s “stink” and its many, divergent “miasmas,” from the scent of cheap tobacco to the garbage on its streets and how the “cherry of the whore’s bloody-red lipstick melts with the strawberry of her chewing-gum.” Yet, if you “find your way through the crowd of bachelorettes waiting for the male-strip show,” [there… ] will be a flood of tuberose and carnation.”