One Thousand Scents

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scentroulette Day 14: Alfred Kafé by Carrement Belle

No particular reason you should ever have heard of Carrement Belle, a French niche line (with a dreadful website that looks not to have been updated in well over a year, given that their latest news announces an event to take place in late January of 2009, but at least you can order their products online--no sample service, but apparently if you order one of their scents you'll get samples of all the rest) that isn't sold in North America: I only know of them because I got a sample of one of their scents, Alfred Kafé, from the Perfumed Court International Man About Town Sampler.

Alfred Kafé is....not good. Really not. It starts off with a weird lunge of lavender and what appears to be the start of a fougere scent, with an interestingly masculine petroleum undertone, but then all of a sudden there's coffee, thin and bitter and indigestible. Lavender and coffee sound promising, and they might work in a different context, but this mix is pretty dreadful. (I was sure I had tried or at least heard of a coffee-lavender scent, and sure enough, they're both found in Bond No. 9 New Haarlem and Thierry Mugler A*Men, but Mugler keeps the two elements apart so they can't clash, and I can't smell any lavender in the Bond. There are a few others, too.) I suppose other things happen later on in the scent, and maybe they are good, but I can't say I care. I don't like this one tiny bit, so now I have to scrub it off.

The ad above promises "lavender, coffee, bergamot, mint, a floral heart on a woody-musky base", and that, I suppose, is what you get, but it doesn't smell nice, and what is the point of a scent if it doesn't smell nice?

"Carrement Belle" means "straightforwardly [literally 'squarely'] beautiful." Alfred Kafé isn't, but they have other scents, including a vanilla that is supposedly very nice, so I wouldn't write them off altogether on the basis of a single fragrance. But since I'm most unlikely to ever run across anything else of theirs, it hardly matters. All I know now is, this is one to steer clear of.


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