The tale of how I met Bijou Romantique is an epic love story for the ages. After reading a Now Smell This review that called Bijou Romantique an “enchanting homage to a traditional [oriental] genre”, I marched into Henri Bendel determined to try it. I was almost thwarted by an elusive tester- it wasn’t at the Etat Libre d’Orange counter (or any of the counters, for that matter). I finally gave up and took my Ineke sample set to the cash register. As I was handing over my card, I suddenly spotted the rogue tester hiding next to the cash register! I brought it home to the Etat Libre d’Orange counter and then triumphantly sprayed it on my wrists. Five minutes later, I was right back in line for that cash register.
For years now, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue (in the parfum formulation) has been my all-time favorite perfume. The best way that I can describe Bijou Romantique would be “L’Heure Bleue went up two cup sizes”. The delicate, romantic combination of iris, bergamot and vanilla in L’Heure Bleue is rendered voluptuous and lascivious in Bijou Romantique. Other reviewers have commented on Bijou Romantique’s similarities to Shalimar, but I’m telling you, this is L’Heure Bleue’s filled-out little sister. This doesn’t speak very highly to my skills as a reviewer, but I couldn’t possibly put into words how much I enjoy smelling Bijou Romantique. It’s unquestionably the sexiest perfume I own, and my very favorite Etat Libre d’Orange.