Two little treats arrived in my post box today: samples of Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy, and Hermes Un Jardin en Mediteranee. Both are examples of high French perfumery, but very different.
The Mediterranee is sharper than I expected, and the fig more fleeting. There are citrus, tomato stem, and woody/earthy notes, and something that is too garden-y, as well: after half an hour I got an unpleasant scent that seemed like not-fully-composted compost. Urrk.
I don’t normally chase obscure Guerlains, but with this new one I was utterly captivated by the association between ALD and Maurice Leblanc’s detective hero, Arsene Lupin. I had not heard of this French Sherlock Holmes character before. I don’t have any of the books yet, but am intrigued by the perfume. There are reviews on NST, Bois de Jasmin, The Non Blonde and 1000 Fragrances.
It is a little, well, dandified for me. I get the leather and the violets, but they are overlaid by a sweet creaminess that I find quite dense and which lasts ages on me. This thing is not just dandified but, worn on a man, would be almost foppish. I wish it had a bit more backbone. Which is stupid really because dandies don’t come with backbone, do they?
I may eventually appreciate Arsene Lupin Dandy, but the weather here is wrong for a salon fragrance like this. Today is the most beautiful day, warm, still, cloudless, with no hint of autumn other than that the light is sharper and the sky not the pale exhausted blue of summer, but deep, rich and sparkling. You have to be outside, and I was.
So while the Mediterrannee ought to be perfect, actually I have real tomatoes growing outside my front windows and I have been tying up their branches and eating the fruit that has been warmed to perfection in the sun. I’ve got the real thing today so I don’t need the dream.