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August 05, 2006

Soir de Lune by Sisley : Perfume Review

Sisley_soir_de_lune_1

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

If one were to take the English translation of Soir de Lune literally, a fragrance capturing a moonlit night could only be mysterious and dark. Indeed, Dominique Ropion who created the fragrance for Sisley worked on the classical chypre theme, setting the radiant floral heart in the voluptuous duskiness of oakmoss and patchouli. Its smouldering form is shrouded in enough floral sweetness to temper the sensuality of spicy, woody notes. Soir de Lune will seduce, yet it will not lend a clichéd sexy image to its wearer, and this is one of its most appealing qualities. Among the bubbly girly fragrances expected this fall, Soir de Lune, with its alluring womanly aura, comes as a pleasant surprise. …

The fresh top notes spill into layers of spices, interspersed with hints of rose that grow darker and richer as the fragrance dries down. The heart shimmers with floral nuances, exhibiting the chilly crispness of iris one moment and the honeyed sweetness of mimosa the next. The transition from floral opulence to woody darkness takes place in a harmonious manner, and when one finds oneself sinking into the raw silk warmth of the base, the sensation is nothing short of captivating.

Soir de Lune is the third fragrance in the line, along with Eau de Campagne (1974, Jean-Claude Ellena’s first commercial success) and Eau du Soir (1990). The result is a fragrance that befits Sisley’s luxurious image. It is an olfactory version of lacy lingerie under a classically cut dress—its seduction comes from the confidence it instills. Perhaps the lingerie metaphor is not completely out of place, because Soir de Lune is reminiscent of rosy chypres like Agent Provocateur EDP. It features the same spicy fresh top, the rich rosy heart and the opulently dark chypre base. However, Soir de Lune’s composition is better balanced by the rounded heart, avoiding the sharpness that made Agent Provocateur rather challenging for me to appreciate. However, as the fragrance develops, it attains its own distinctive character of understated sensuality and elegance.

Soir de Lune includes top notes of fresh citrus, bergamot orange, mandarin, lemon, coriander, nutmeg, chili pepper; mid notes of May rose centifolia absolute, mimosa flower absolute, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, peach; base note of moss, musk, honey, sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli. It is debuting this month at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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