L’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe ~ fragrance review

L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe

L'Artisan launched Fou d'Absinthe earlier this year. It is said to be the first fragrance from L'Artisan to be marketed specifically to men, although there are certainly other "masculine" fragrances in the line; it also introduces a new bottle design that will eventually be used for all of the L'Artisan fragrances. Fou d'Absinthe was created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and features notes of frozen alcohol, absinthe, blackcurrant buds, angelica, star anise, four spices cocktail (pepper, clove, nutmeg, and ginger), patchouli, pine needles, cistus and fir balsam.

L'Artisan describes the opening of Fou d'Absinthe as...

...a steely grip of icy-cool alcohol, enveloped by an explosively aromatic bouquet composed of absinthe, a green, slightly bitter note, tingling spirit of angelica and crispy spring-like blackcurrant buds that give way to subtle fruitiness.

I have never tasted real absinthe so I have no idea how close the fragrance is to the drink, but the top notes do in fact evoke an alcoholic drink of some sort; it is cool and bright and dry, with, as advertised, bitter green undertones. Unusually for L'Artisan, Fou d'Absinthe is being released as an Eau de Parfum — I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the only other Eaux de Parfum in the line were introduced as Extreme versions of previously launched fragrances — and from the start, it feels deeper and richer than the line's usual offerings.

The anise note is not quite so prominent as it is in some other absinthe-based fragrances, but it blends beautifully with the other herbal notes. The spices are likewise muted. As it dries down, the briskness of the opening fades, and Fou d'Absinthe gets warmer and softer: it smells like sun-warmed earth with a touch of bark and a sprinkling of pine needles. Eventually it is a very mellow blend of patchouli, amber and vetiver, still nicely dry, with just a whisper of indistinct spice notes.

It is a lovely composition, and I should think it will find many fans. It is, to be sure, masculine; I am sure there are women who will wear it, but there will be many who won't. Do try it on skin, at any rate; you might be surprised by the dry down, which strikes me as less overtly masculine than the opening.

Fou d'Absinthe is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles; for shopping information, see the listing for L'Artisan under Perfume Houses.

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24 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I love and wear this one. Such an elegant, cool scent, and I love the fact that anise is so subdued.

    I tried the real absinthe once. I thought it was the most vile thing I have ever had the misfortune of tasting. *shudder* :-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love and wear this one, too! On my skin it's a slightly spicy, peppery blend of angelica and ginger underlined by pine and a touch of anise. It's definitely green. For some reason, it makes me think of ferns. Oh, and in top notes, it reminds me of Serge Lutens Borneo minus the chocolate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Really, vile? I love ouzo & pastis & sambucca, but I guess it is just a completely different sort of thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Happily, I'm not getting Borneo — that one is too much patchouli for patchouli-phobes like me. But I can see the reference in the dry earthiness that they share.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Strange, I dreamt about Fou d'Absinthe last night! I knew there were bottles of Fou d'A and Ormonde Woman in the bathroom, and I was trying to crawl out of shower (which had a big gate in front of it) to get to the bottles. I bet a professional would have a good time with that dream.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I own and love this one too! Not too butch on me at all. Strength is similar to Timbuktu, so I think they may make the “masculine” ones stronger in general, whether they are labeled as EDP or not. The new bottle is nice, but so little difference between the old ones that I can't really see why they bothered.

  7. Anonymous says:

    LOL…not even going to try to analyze it for you A, or I'd have to share my own weird perfume-related dreams.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, good point about Timbuktu.

    I liked the new bottle until someone mentioned how much like a bolt the top looks…now whenever I see it, I think of taking a wrench to it :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    to which Bertha wonders – Does Absinthe make the heart grow fonder?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Really enjoy this one, too! I understand what Ina means about ferns. They had some absinthe (somehow, a legal kind) at the Barneys party for this scent. Anisey and good, I thought, not unlike ouzo. They served it with a sugar cube, but I could have drunk it alone.

  11. Anonymous says:

    LOL!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nice touch for the Barneys party…and if it was anything like ouzo, I would have loved it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I tried this perfume by accident, while walking through a department store in Perth, Australia.

    I was curious about absinthe, so I sprayed a shot on the back of my hand out of curiosity. The result was that I kept sniffing it over and over again.

    I was surprised at how incredibly sexy, mature and masculine it smelt. It reminded me of a man who is a high-flyer, travelling the world and enjoyed living a high life. It definitely smelled like alcohol in a good way.

    I put it down on my wish-list and hope to purchase it one day soon.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don't know what L'Artisan prices are doing in Australia, but they've recently raised them here — you might want to shop around for price and buy it soon if the stores there haven't all already raised the price.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There were at least 80 bottles on a shelf – I think they were trying to dispose of them. The prices averaged around AU$130.00 per bottle but they varied depending on the strength and type.

    Perfume, sadly does not sell well in Australia. In general, only younger people tend to wear fragrance and only when they go out on a Saturday night; I know that fact because it's the only time I can smell the same fragrances wafting by whenever I pass them on a night out. It's always the same commercial favourites and never anything outstanding.

    As far as I know, perfume is not worn for a majority of the population because they work in jobs where perfume may not be appropriate to wear during work hours.

    To a degree, I can understand that, but I do think a light spray of fragrance can still be worn.

    Office workers tend not to wear perfume as well – only because they're too miserly, saving all their money for high-end expensive cars and homes; even when they're so highly paid!

    The older European immigrants still do tend to like dressing up and smelling good whenever they are out socially. It's almost a standard ritual with them.

    I think it's sad when only a few people today consider fragrance a part of a grooming ritual. Even among Gay men, fragrance is viewed very suspiciously. I have to force my friends to wear enough so that I can smell them when I'm up close – nothing worse than someone who says they're wearing perfume and you can't even smell it.

    I was told that perfume and flowers were considered to be 'frivolous and not a priority' when economic times were tough, but that was 10 years ago and people haven't changed their attitude.

    Oh well, I suppose we should just feel fortunate that there are some people in the world today who consider it a privilege to still be able to appreciate the few luxuries in life.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Some people think fragrance use is becoming less common in the US too. No idea if that is true — but you certainly wouldn't guess it from the amount of product being released every year.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Dang – I wish I had come across this review sooner; my local store is clearing out L'Artisan and this one is now sold out. :(

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oooooh…clearance prices???

  19. Anonymous says:

    First time poster, long time reader … lol. I'm wondering if any other Australian readers of this blog can tell me where to buy L'Artisan perfumes? I've been reading the review on Ananas Fizz, & this is exactly what I've been looking for in a perfume for summer. Where I live, we only get the bog standard celebrity perfumes & other large company releases … & its usually only after they've been released for some time in the rest of the world.

    I have this annoying knack of falling for perfumes that are unobtainable in our part of the world, or falling for limited editions. David Jones recently ended their supply of Comptoir Sud Pacifique perfumes, & as I used to wear Vanille Abricot as an everyday/shopping/round the house/etc., fragrance, I'm devastated. About 10 years ago, while travelling in Europe, I fell in love with a limited edition version of a Cartier fragrance – So Pretty. I had to beg a SA in Printemps in Paris to part with a bottle she had put away for herself!!!

    Right now I have plenty of fragrance to put on, but none that I'm loving, & I feel that I might be loving the Ananas Fizz ;-)

    Any ideas/suggestions/advice would be appreciated.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I know that DJ Perth has a small supply, but not Ananas Fizz, unfortunately. Good Luck in your search.

  21. Anonymous says:
  22. Tom Smith says:

    This fragrance does not (thankfully) smell anything even remotely like the drink absynthe, which is as vile smelling a brew as has ever been concocted. Think Sambuca with gasoline in it.

  23. marios.georgiou says:

    Hi Robin,
    Between this and dzing which one u prefer for a man?
    Because this sounds rather common in comparison with dzing

    • Robin says:

      It is much less unusual than Dzing. They’re both great scents though, I’d have a hard time picking. You need a sample set from L’Artisan ;-)

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