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Friday, April 20, 2007

Needle in a Haystack. Perfume Review: La Base For Her

When I saw that today’s random sample turned out to be La Base, I was a little scared. Last time I tried it (a long time ago; as I said, samples stay in the To Review Box for years, awaiting their destiny), I found La Base, an homage to Switzerland, the Alps, and mountain flowers, to be simultaneously a little too aquatic-fresh and too overwhelmingly, headily floral. That, of course, was during my Floral-Hatin’ Period. If you too are or were such a hater, read the list of notes in La Base and tell me if they do not spell Death by Flowers to you: alpine rose, iris, jasmine, bluebell, violet leaves, mimosa, freesia, magnolia, marigold, alpine bell flower…These days I am in the throws of mad love for floral perfumes, and so I decided to give La Base another go. Oh, how our tastes change…Or, as Mr. Colombina would say, fickleness is thy name, woman! The scent that blossomed from the sample vial was…breathtaking.

La Base starts fresh, “yellow-green”, with field flowers and grass covered in morning dew, shivering in the mountain breeze. The top notes seem to be the olfactory rendition of Albrecht von Haller’s poem, The Alps; they tell us the story of how

Not far from the ice, a fertile mountain stretches
its broad back, with meadows rich with fodder;
its gentle slope glistening with ripening grain,
its hills heavy with a hundred herds…

As the scent progresses, it grows warmer and headier. The sun is at its apex, and the meadows and gardens are languorous under its hot rays, the flowers ripe, their petals fully unfolded, greedily absorbing the sunshine. I kept coming back to re-read the list of notes, because in the middle stage of La Base’s development I smell tuberose and gardenia…I am not familiar with the scent of marigolds and “alpine bell flowers”, so perhaps the creamy, indolent, sultry aroma is due from the presence of these notes…After a while, the floral symphony subsides a little, and the scent once again becomes fresher and drier, thus taking us through the whole day in the Alps, from the chilly, grassy-herbal, fresh smelling morning, to the languid day, fragrant with the luscious flowers, to the brisk, slightly earthy-smelling twilight …Exquisite, beautifully blended, and just the kind of scent I am craving these Floral-Lovin’ days. I need the bottle!

La Base For Her, Eau de Parfum, is available at Luckyscent, $130 for 50ml.

To read about Ina’s Needle in a Haystack, please visit Aromascope.

35 Comments:

Blogger Ina said...

"Death by flowers" - LOL! But I agree with you on La Base. It's such a sun-lit floral! So uplifting and springy! I must get a sample again.

11:34 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Damn! I'm trying to be good and here you are giving me another happy spring scent! Why am I turning to cool grassy florals? I'm the weirdo gemini that loves skank and citrus! Fickleness thy name is Pansy? C'mon, Lee, Kelley the rest of the boys, have our sap risen (sorry ladies for the image) and our fancy gone green?

12:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous ghostranchguy said...

i tried that alps thing and it was a bit george von trapp... being a guy i tried la base "for him" (yeah tmp00 there's a version for men) but it just went all green and frivolous... unless of course you're into that kindah thing

2:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

I was once in the French Alps, all the more astonishing since I have severe acrophobia. The trails were not too steep. I kept hearing cowbells that belonged to the grazing herds. At each level I found flowers that were lavender-colored, white, or yellow. But at each level they were *different* flower species, just in the same colors. This fragrance sounds wonderful, and I'm so glad you included the poem.

I don't know what an alpine rose might be. My horticultural interests sometimes get in the way of my perfume fancy. :-)

2:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

The alpine rose thing bugs me a bit. "Alpine rose" is a mountain-loving variety of rhododendron, with small, not even knee-high clumps and bright orange-pink blossoms. Very rare (and protected), since it only grows in reasonably high altitudes and resists cultivation. Besides, hordes of flower-happy travelers tend to raze the slopes in search of bouquets... And it's scentless! So what did they put into the fragrance?
Lovely review, Colombina - makes me want to try this, although I'm not much of a floral-lover (unless the flowers are the real, rooted and growing McCoy)!

3:18 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This is one of the very few scents I think of as being a clear blue or violet that I actually like. However, I'm not sure I love it. Will have to go resniff now.

7:37 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
I am going to write a murder mystery and call it Death by Flowers. The villain(esse) will wear either Mugler Alien or the new Burberry London, both of which tried to smother me when I sampled them :-)

8:17 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
There is something in the air. We, skank-fanatics, turn to gentler and more flowery things. The end of the world is near.

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ghostranchguy,
George Von Trapp! Good one! :-)

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Maria,
Oh those flowers sound so beautiful. Does your horticultural database include Alpine bell flowers? What are those? :-)

8:20 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dinazad,
I am sure most of the notes in every perfume the creators make up as they go. What's actually included ...we'll never know. I'd swear there is tuberose and/or gardenia in La Base. :-)

8:21 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
Clear blue or violet...Hmm, intersting. In my mind it is yellow-green, with maybe a couple of violet spots...I love hearing about perfumes in terms of color, I find it easier to understand what a person actually smells that way. :-)

8:23 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Death By Flowers, definitely. But you make it sound like a must-try. Mostly I've decided that flowers=cloying is the real deal-killer, and as long as they don't smother me (with fruit, either) there's potential!:-P

Keeping my fingers crossed this will post -- I had to re-enter myself in Bloggle -- nope!

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

wow -- that's really weird. Well, never mind my technical difficulties. I do wonder whether I have some sort of firewall issue.

8:41 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
Try it! It really isn't as heady I thought. It actually isn't really heady. Such a lovely scent.

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sorry you are having troubles with this dumb thing!

8:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

Umm, you're probably right as to made-up notes. Still, I daresay they're supposed to evoke something (like the seabreeze puffs in Moschino Friends). But alpine roses? And, for that matter, what about the 3000 m altitude included in the men's version? I suppose it's meant to entice you to try the fragrance. Or to meditate upon it, as I intend to do (much cheaper! ;-))

9:21 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

D,
True, much, much cheaper. :-)

9:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

I am in the mood for white florals these days, so maybe (since you get tuberose and gardenia from it) I will like it too. Lovely review.

10:35 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Minsun,
I am probably dreaming up tuberose and gardenia, but it is worth a snigg anyway.

10:44 AM EDT  
Anonymous Teri said...

I'm a true blue florals girl and would quite happily experience 'death by flowers' lol

I'm definitely adding this to my 'give it a go' list.

11:19 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Teri,
I think you will love it then!

11:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

Well, Marina, "bellflower" is the common name for the genus Campanula. I don't know which one they might be referring to. Some campanulas may be fragrant, but the genus is not known particularly for scent. They make pretty clumps or groundcover, as do other alpine plants. In horticulture, an alpine plant is one that grows above the tree line, whether it be the actual Alps or any other mountain range. They're great for rock gardens. True to alpine plant form, the flowers I saw in the Alps were small and dainty.

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Fascinating! Thank you so much for the info, Maria!

12:50 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

This is one of Annieytown's favorites, and it is a really pretty floral. Tak used to carry a small roll-on, not too expensive.

1:38 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
I wonder if they still do, I should find out, because this price is Ouch. :-0

1:48 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

sounds lovely. . . but I am feeling over-perfumed right now. Can this be for real? I wonder how long it will last?

2:33 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

J,
Oh my goodness, I hope you are feeling OK :-) And I hope the over-perfumed stage doesn't last long!

2:39 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

I think it has to do with getting 2 Tom Ford bottles, all his carded samples, and the new Andy T. all at once. Of course, it's all good; it's just that I have so much to play with that I am feeling kinda sated--which is a VERY good thing--because I am also feeling kinda (no, make that extremely) broke.

3:22 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Oooh! tell me, tell me, which 2 Fords?

3:30 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Moss Breches (when I was in NY, and knew nothing about it; I was surprised I liked it so much), and Oud Wood. I also liked the Ambre, but it's the wrong time of year:) I know you like the Gardenia, but I don't think I can wear that one:(

3:47 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Interesting!! I am going to be reviewing them all next week, would be such a pleasure to compare notes with you!

3:48 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Sounds like you liked different ones:) It will be fun to compare! I need to try my samples more. . . .

3:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Dang, I know this would really be Death By Flowers for me, but you make it sound so drool-worthy... Perhaps I'd try the greener men's version?

5:42 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

S,
I think the greener one should probably be safer to try :-)

5:44 PM EDT  

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