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March 20, 2007

Crazylibellule and The Poppies : Les Divines Alcoves Perfume Collection Review


I have previously shared my excitement at discovering a lovely collection from Crazylibellule and The Poppies that not only offered an interesting and humorous range of fragrances, but also made it available at a fantastic price of $16 for a lipstick shaped tube of solid perfume. While Shanghaijava took us on a journey through Asia with its aromas of coconut, musk, incense and orchids, the newest collection Les Divines Alcoves is all about love. On the whole, this collection does not disappoint. Out of seven fragrances, I loved four (Tout Oublier for  its beautiful iris accord , Aux Anges for evoking the radiance of Diorissimo, Amoureuse for charming me with its lush rose and Dans Tes Bras for its rich warmth), found one pretty (musky Presque Nue) and only two were completely lacking in distinction (Le Baiser and Toi Mon Prince.) The compositions are even more sophisticated and elegant than those from The Shanghaijava Collection, with just enough whimsical elements to lend the collection a lighthearted spirit. …

Imagine my surprise and delight at discovering a facet of Christian Dior Diorissimo in Aux Anges. The opening of Aux Anges (On Cloud Nine) includes bergamot, tangerine, ylang ylang, jasmine, jasmine, and white flowers. The crystalline transparency of lily of the valley is underpinned with the green tartness of citrus and fruity jasmine, just like the ornamentation in Diorissimo. Aux Anges is light and soaring, a very spring-like fragrance that I foresee enjoying very much as the weather gets warmer.

Amoureuse unfolds in a classical rose bouquet foiled in a smoky woody accord. Never becoming cloying or, by contrast, overly sheer, Amoureuse is simply delightful. For a rose lover, it is one of the best, bargain-priced discoveries. Like my other favourite rose, Yves Rocher Rose Absolu, Amoureuse rests on an ornate oriental base of patchouli, resins and woods, which serves to accent its seductive quality. Amoureuse (In Love) includes pink and black pepper, rose, tea, jasmine, musk, patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla.

If Aux Anges pays tribute to lily of the valley and jasmine and Amoureuse to rose, Tout Oublier is an iris melody. The iris is layered with the sweetness of violet and then wrapped into the velvety cloak of amber and woods. Given my intense fascination with iris, Tout Oublier is my personal favourite from the collection. Reminiscent of Hermès Hiris, it possesses a slightly aloof, intriguing presence, and yet the warmth of its woody-ambery accord lends an interesting twist. Tout Oublier (Letting Go) contains bergamot, tangerine, rose, ylang ylang, iris, violet, cedar, amber and musks.

The warm, almost autumnal aura of Dans Tes Bras is one of the most irresistible fragrances from the collection. It is rich and voluptuous, veiling the skin in a luxurious layer of scent. As the composition develops, the musky base dominates with its round and milky scent. Appropriately named, Dan Tes Bras (In Your Arms) is the scent of a tender embrace. The perfume has notes of juniper berry, pink pepper, peach, cedar, patchouli, amber, musks.

Presque Nue is a sheer veil of musks. Overlaid with soft floral notes, the composition develops into a rich musky accord. It has a classical character, conjuring a vision of a cream coloured silk clinging to the skin. Although uncomplicated, it is quite lovely and easy to enjoy. Presque Nue (In The Nude Almost) blends bergamot, ylang ylang, neroli, jasmine, rose, lily, violet, sandalwood, amber and musks.

Le Baiser is one of the least interesting fragrances from Les Divines Alcoves, being somewhat hazy and indistinct. The floral heart blurs into the sharp accord of woods and vanilla. Le Baiser (The Kiss) features bergamot, jasmine, rose, iris, violet, sandalwood and vanilla.

Now, Toi Mon Prince was disappointingly close to Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb. It has the same candy floss sweetness, the same fruity transparence and the same mild patchouli. I suppose that as a lower priced alternative to Flowerbomb, it might have some merits. Toi Mon Prince (You My Lorn) includes bergamot, berry, tangerine, mango, almond, jasmine, apricot, rose, sandalwood, musk, white peach and patchouli.

Poule de Luxe is another new collection from Crazylibellule and The Poppies. However, it left me indifferent, mostly because the fragrances explore the gourmand, vanillic themes that seem somewhat more simplistic than either the Shanghaijava or Les Divines Alcoves collections. The names describe exactly what one might find in these perfumes: Vanilla Moka (dark chocolate, cocoa bean, sandalwood, mocha, coffee liqueur and musk), Vanilla Pralines (caramel, hazelnut, pecan pie, musks), Vanilla Sucre Glace (bergamot, tangerine, jasmine, orange flower, musk, vanilla, caramel), Vanilla Pom d'Amour (tangerine, rum, hawthorn, peach, red fruits, licorice, musk, vanilla), Vanilla Fruit Sorbet (raspberry, rose, raspberry, iris, raspberry, vanilla, musk), Vanilla Lemon Pie (orange, neroli, almond, caramel, heliotrope, vanilla), Vanilla Macarons (almond, amaretto, cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, amber).

Being solid, the fragrances stay close to skin, but they last remarkably well. For a more detailed overview of the previous collection, please see my Crazylibellule and The Poppies: Shanghaijava Collection review. Crazylibellule and The Poppies fragrances are available from b-glowing in the US; Printemps, Bon Marché, Galleries Lafayette and Beauty Monoprix in France.



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