Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2014

daffodil on yellow

Where I live, it’s as if we fell off a cliff from frosty mornings and rain-slicked trees into yellow tufts of daffodils. Chives spring up in clumps in the vegetable garden, and my plum tree is puffed with blossoms. Heck, that guy in accounting even shaved off his beard. No question about it: It’s spring.

For my top 10 of spring, I’m going to be perfectly frank about the perfume I’ll be wearing. I’m not going to force-fit recent releases to show you how on top of it I am or sprinkle in variety for the sake of a well-rounded post. No, I’m going to tell you exactly what favorites I’ll be dragging from the back of the perfume closet. Judge me as you may.

Guerlain Chamade: As soon as I smell daphne in the neighborhood, I go straight for my atomizer of Chamade Eau de Toilette or my precious decant of Parfum — or sometimes both…

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Luckyscent Parfums Raffy

Notes of toffee and apple

Taking a cue from the designer perfume line’s Déliria fragrance, which features notes of toffee and apple, the first course of Nova Scotia Salmon incorporates citrus-cured apple and grain mustard. The second course includes guests’ choice of Atlantic Black Cod, served with carrots and roasted garlic fumet, or the Omaha Beef Tenderloin with smoked potato mousseline and Bordelaise syrup, both of which are inspired by the saffron, whiskey, lavender, and rose bouquet found in L’Artisan’s Skin on Skin.

— Los Angeles restaurant Patina is offering a Valentine's Day dinner inspired by L'Artisan Parfumeur's Explosion d'Emotion trio. Read more at Patina Partners with L’Artisan Parfumeur for Valentine’s Day Dinner at Haute Living.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Skin on Skin ~ perfume review


Long-time perfumistas, what were the “big” niche brands when you started out? My own perfume addiction took hold on the fragrance board in MakeupAlley in 2003, and at that time, as I saw it, the “big four” were basically Diptyque, Serge Lutens, Frédéric Malle and L’Artisan Parfumeur.1 When one of those four brands released a new fragrance, perfumistas sat up and took notice, and everyone did their best to get their hands on a sample as soon as samples were available to be had.

It’s a different world now. There are approximately three times as many fragrance launches every year, and so many niche brands have sprouted up — and in some cases, vanished again just as quickly — that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. Diptyque, Serge Lutens, Frédéric Malle and L’Artisan Parfumeur are still big names, but even venerable old brands can no longer rest on their laurels what with all the product out there competing for attention. It takes some doing to keep the affections of your long-time customers and still attract new business.

L’Artisan Parfumeur kept my affections for a good long time, but lately, I’ve been puzzled by exactly what they’re doing over there. Many of their beloved series — the limited edition summer fragrances, the travel fragrances (Bois Farine, Timbuktu, Dzongkha), the harvest perfumes — appear to be in remission, and it looks like they are phasing out a number of my favorite scents…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Amour Nocturne & Deliria ~ fragrance reviews


I admit it: sometimes I do feel an “explosion of emotions” when I pass a bakery display case. But I wouldn’t have thought a perfumer’s rendition of an emotional explosion would give off so much brioche and baba au rhum. To me, that’s just what L’Artisan Parfumeur Explosions d’Emotions Amour Nocturne and Déliria do. They smell like sophisticated pastries steeped in liqueur — and for Déliria, sitting in a crimped foil holder.

L’Artisan Parfumeur released three fragrances in its Explosions d’Emotions collection: Amour Nocturne, Déliria, and Skin to Skin (which Robin will review later this week). L’Artisan describes the collection as “Three concepts, translating the extraordinary emotional power of fragrance, created without compromise, with master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour.” They’re packaged in a larger, squat version of the perfume house’s classic columnar, heptagon1 bottle and cost an eye-popping $280 each.

So, what do we get for all that cash…

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