Another round of quickie reviews: Roca Perfums Núvol di Llimona / Lemon Cloud, Especially Escada and Lalique Encre Noire Pour Elle.
Roca Perfums Núvol di Llimona / Lemon Cloud
The opening is truly good enough to eat, and it should be. Núvol di Llimona (or “Lemon Cloud”) was developed by pastry chef Jordi Roca of the renowned Cellar de Can Roca. It's supposed to be a lemon muffin soaked in milk — or "an all-pervading, ethereal cloud of lemon surrounding a sponge cake treated to milk and sweeties", take your pick — and that's just what it is, a sheer lemon sugar fragrance with subtle cake notes, lightly charred, lightly milky, not overly sweet. It's sort of like a foodier version of Fresh Lemon Sugar, and it's highly enjoyable — if I still worked in an office, it's just the sort of thing I'd want to have in my top right desk drawer for a quick dose of comfort and cheer in the late afternoon. Even though I don't work in an office, I'd still like a bottle, and it would be an excellent (if spendy) choice for a very young girl who wanted her own perfume.
The notes are bergamot, tangerine, lily of the valley, milk, custard, sugar syrup, toasted sugar and musk. It can be purchased from the restaurant's website (€50 for 50 ml) and is coming soon to Luckyscent in the US.
Especially Escada is the latest from German fashion house Escada. It's supposed to be about "the scent of morning dew on a rose", and it's supposed to help you "create your world of happiness". It's probably somebody's idea of happiness, but it isn't mine — this is a very fresh and clean floral with some watery pear and a hint of something vaguely rosewater-ish. In no time at all, it dries down to a basic pink 'n fruity laundry musk. To an old-school perfumista like me, it smells more like a hygiene product than a perfume. To anyone afraid that rose might be too old-fashioned to wear, it's probably perfect.
Especially Escada is available in 30, 50 and 75 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products; notes feature ambrette, pear, rose, ylang ylang, aquatic accord and musk.
Lalique Encre Noire Pour Elle
This was Lalique's 2009 feminine follow-up to the 2006 masculine Encre Noire, and I took my own sweet time getting around to trying it. That's partially because I adored the original (dark and dirty) Encre Noire and didn't figure they could best it, and partially because it didn't get particularly glowing reviews. But I've always wondered about it — it was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel and the notes (bergamot, vetiver, musk, kephalis, freesia, rose, osmanthus, cedar and ambrette seed) sounded great.
I'm sorry to report that I'm on the side of everyone who found it dull. It's a bland, thin, sort-of-rose-ish floral over a clean and pale woody musk base, with the vetiver mostly missing in action. I wore it for a couple days next to Especially Escada, and it's hard to say which one I enjoyed less. The Escada isn't my sort of thing, but at least it's cheerful. The Lalique mostly just sits there, afraid to say or do anything at all.
Lalique Encre Noire pour Elle is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum. There was also a limited edition Parfum (see the lovely squat ink bottle above lower right), very expensive and perhaps much better than the Eau de Parfum, but I assume that's long sold out.