One Thousand Scents

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Again: Nez a Nez Atelier d'Artiste

As I mentioned, I got the latest grab-bag of samples from Luckyscent, most of which were the entirety of a new line called Nez a Nez ("nose to nose"). As I was poking through the Luckyscent descriptions trying to decide which to wear first, this jumped out at me: Atelier d'Artiste

begins with a sharp, clean vetiver that feels like throwing windows open and letting cold air whisk through a room. Then we have the smells of the room itself. A haze of dark, aromatic tobacco, a trace of strong, bitter black coffee, the enticing boozy charm of cognac and rum-drenched fruit and a vivid patchouli which smells like all the sorts of trouble one might get into with a particularly charming artiste. Warm, creamy vanilla adds a cozy sweetness....

Tobacco? Coffee? Rum? Vanilla? Gimme gimme gimme!

After an unexpected dose of boozy fruit--black grape and raspberry, says the official list of notes, plausibly enough--but no real vetiver comes the main event, and as I sat sniffing the back of my hand, I knew that I had smelled this before, not just sort of, but very precisely. Once the fruit had cleared away enough, I recognized it: it was L'Artisan Parfumeur's Eau du Navigateur.

That scent also has coffee and tobacco and rum (plus a hefty dose of wood). If you wear Atelier and Navigateur side by side--I did, of course--you will discover that they do converge pretty convincingly after fifteen minutes or so, and then begin to go their separate ways again after something under an hour. Navigateur stays warm and somewhat gourmand (but not really, unless you like eating coffee-soaked stir sticks at the tobacconist's), whereas Atelier begins to turn oddly sourish as the patchouli revs its engine. And then a ghastly thing happens: the whole composition just turns into a pile of that huge powder note that contaminates Montale Chypre Vanillé and Le Labo Labdanum 18 and Louve. If you like The Attack of the Vanilla Powder Puff, then perhaps this will be up your alley, but the rest of us are going to find it cloying, asphyxiatory, horrendous.


Here, by the way, is what can only be the company's own description of the line from Luckyscent:

They are visions of scents characterized by debates of colors, research pushed into the field of various feelings which are proposed in the olfactory world by Stephane Humbert Lucas. The perfumes were imagined pictorially. They talk, they express themselves humanly without imposing a body.

This is advertising bullshit of the very first water. "They express themselves humanly without imposing a body"? Well, what perfume doesn't? And if they were imagined pictorially, then how do they talk--where do the words come in if they're pictures? We expect a certain degree of high-flown nonsense when reading about scents, but that is just beyond the pale.

I am hoping for better things from the rest of the line, but after this experience, I'm dubious.



  • So disappointing! Am I gonna have to make my own Tobacco-Coffee-Booze scent?

    But their advertising copy nearly makes up for the disappointment. Hilarious! I don't know if any entries into NST's Le Prix Eau Faux will be able to match Nez a Nez.

    By Blogger Life and Dreaming, at 11:26 PM  

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