Sunday, December 14, 2008

Review: L'ARTISAN PARFUMEUR Fleur de Liane

The origin story for L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur de Liane is very enticing. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour travels to Bahia Honda and conjures up the perfume essence of an imagined leafy green vine flower that could be native only to that precise corner of verdant jungle floor.

Good heavens. Echoes of Rima... all the way to Panama.

The reality is hardly as dramatic, though. On the contrary, rather pale and limpid -- as perhaps it was meant to be, given the aquatic notes and inspiration from tropical forest rains. But watery intentions or no, Fleur de Liane is somewhat of a disappointment to the promise in its description: it isn't particularly unique. Or specific.

In fact, it is quite a lot like Diptyque Eau de Lierre (the drydown). This perhaps should not be hugely surprising, since both are renditions of vine plants -- lierre is ivy and liane is creeper plant. But that a tropical flower from the twining depths of Duchaufour's imagination and drawn from travels should end up smelling so very much like ivy running up a French bastide (the origin story for Eau de Lierre) is somehow a little depressing.

Maybe it will grow on me. But as of now, it strikes me as fresh, pleasant, innocuous, and very, very generic. A scent for a shampoo. A bit of melon and some mild floral sweetness laid over nearly that same 'vine' drydown as the Diptyque -- and that, furthermore, being slightly peppered and more idiosyncratically, sharply 'green' is the more interesting fragrance (though itself not tremendously interesting)! Alas.

image of the cover of Green Mansions from

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