This might have been a very different, less grumpy review if I had tried the Explosions d’Emotions collection before learning that L’Artisan was retiring* THREE of my favorite fragrances**. But it’s hard to get too excited about these dramatically overpriced, resolutely three-star perfumes in light of what they’re replacing.
Amour Nocturne smells like very burnt cotton candy. The official note list includes cedar, hot milk, caramel, orchid, and gunpowder. I don’t know what gunpowder smells like, because I don’t live in colonial Virginia, but perhaps that’s the source of the burnt effect. Amour Nocturne is an instantly likable fragrance, evoking childhood carnival memories without being sickeningly sweet. Only you can decide if you’re willing to spend $280 to smell like burnt cotton candy.
Deliriae smells like non-burnt cotton candy, the wet insides of an apple, and bright, silver metal. This is the strangest and least wearable fragrance of the trio, although anyone intrigued by the idea of a metal note should certainly check it out. The metallic effect is definitely prominent and makes for a rather dissonant fragrance; the first time I tested Deliriae, I thought it smelled like bell peppers. Like Amour Nocturne, Deliriae strikes me as a fun little conceptual piece that might be more at home in a $15 Demeter bottle than a $280 L’Artisan one.
The name, the notes (saffron, whiskey, leather), and the rather explicit ad for Skin on Skin all led me to expect a deep, seductive leather scent. Instead, Skin on Skin is a soft, creamy iris fragrance melded with the gentlest of suede notes. When I smell this fragrance, I see the color blue. I find it dreamier and more melancholy than its sensual name would suggest. Skin on Skin is by far the most complex of the three fragrances, and the only one that I would consider to be a proper perfume rather than an interesting smell.
Talk to me, L’Artisan. We’ll get through this together. Why do you routinely discontinue your most gorgeous and creative perfumes? Why are you phasing out your 50 ml bottles, forcing us to buy 100 ml bottles that we will never, ever get through? Why do you offer 15 ml bottles for only two fragrances, and only at Sephora? I’m here for you, L’Artisan. Until you discontinue Dzing!, at which point I will stage an intervention.
*A sales assistant at Barney’s New York told me last week that L’Artisan is “retiring” Bois Farine and Safran Troublant. When I checked the L’Artisan website for myself, I found that those two fragrances (along with Traversee du Bosphore, Mimosa Pour Moi, Drole de Rose, and several others) had indeed been moved to a new section titled “La Bibliotheque”, the French word for “the library.” My totally-unconfirmed-by-anyone suspicion is that these Bibliotheque fragrances will eventually be online-only.
** Safran Troublant, Bois Farine, and Poivre Piquant.