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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel and Frederick Malle French Lover, or, A Tale of Two Vetivers

Review by Tom

These are two of the most talked about new releases, and lemming that I am, I had to try.

Fleurs de Sel

The kind decanter Nancy (fishbone96) sent me this, the newest creation by Lyn Harris. Fleurs de Sel is one of the lightest scents I have ever tried: I have to write that for me it makes L'Antimatiere seem like Musc Kublai Khan- I actually ordered more from Patty to get a handle on it. Not that I hold its lightness against it, from its sagey opening to its warm, salty-skin vetiver drydown it is a beauty. Created by Ms Harris to celebrate her memories of a village in Brittany called Batz sur Mer, if this is what a marsh smells like, then I want one. I don't get marsh out of it, I get the smell of clean skin that's been swimming in green waters: clean-skin musk, green-ness and the slightly salty smell that skin gets when lake water dries on sunkissed skin. I described L'Antimatiere as being the cashmere sweater you borrowed from your lover, still smelling of him. This is you and he after that lake swim, laying in the cool grass under a warm sun. I am going to live with the decant for a while: I've had other Miller Harris scents go sadly wrong on me so I want to make sure before popping for a full bottle, but so far I am pretty enamored.

French Lover

Oh my..

This has been compared to Guerlain Derby and it does make that same slashingly chic statement. On me the angelica takes a backseat to the vetiver: and what a vetiver! Incredibly full, it's supplanted with woods and incense and not a little musk. It also reminds me a bit of something else- somewhat as if Le Labo Vetiver and Guerlain Habit Rouge had a love child: It has the Le Laboish austere smokiness in its vetiver, but it has the swagger (the only way I can think of to put it) of Habit Rouge. Wearing it today maundering about in my paint-spattered t-shirt and old jeans, I kept getting marvelous little whiffs of it and felt distinctly underdressed. I also passed two people who visibly and enjoyably sniffed and then looked at over at unshaven me and visibly thought "Can't be him". This is the scent I would wear into a meeting with the CEO, a date with the person I wanted to marry or perhaps when being sentenced: it has a rock-ribbed patrician quality to it that's quite wonderful. Needless to say, I logged onto the Malle website and picked up a (small) bottle right away, especially since it will be renamed Bois d'Orage in the states, since it is felt that "French Lover" would not sell as well. Well "Thunder Wood" sounds like a porn star, and I like the original name.

Fleurs de Sel will be out this summer at Saks and LuckyScent. Bois d'Orage will be at Barneys around the same time. French Lover can be bought at the Malle website.

28 Comments:

Blogger Bryan said...

Incredibly funny reviews...not to mention provocative. I particularly agree with your "green skin scent" analogy. It would be kind of like cuddling up with the monster from the Black Lagoon...in a good way...once you get past the scales, etc. French Lover is just plain HOT. I'm sure you wear them both quite well.

12:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Bryan-

French Lover is HOT!.. no other way to put it. I wore it to work today and had several people coment on it (that sillage). I so enjoyed telling them the name and the new name it will be sold by here that we had quite a little pow-wow repeating "french luh-vahhh"

Green skin? Kind of: I might need to date the Hulk to feel as dainty (quiet, you!) as I'd like to convince, er, delude myself I am I thought I wrote clean skin. Of course, having delved further into F de S and having it bloom more for me I might mention that if the Black Lagoon guy smelled like this I'd get used to gills...

12:58 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Terrific reviews, Tom, so vivid! I enjoyed your very different take than mine on Mr Ohlala, which is shaping up, like FdeS, as a rather divisive composition, not love-hate but love-meh. On some people French Lover seems to have no sillage, or to be all cedar (or all alochol in Patty's case). Off to try Fleurs de Sel...

2:55 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Huh, alcohol.(add usual comment about coffee).

2:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Oh, you make Fleurs de sel sound marvellous! Actually, it sounds exactly like Sel de vetiver, except that Sel de vetiver is not super-subtle. I have to try it of course. I think Sel de vetiver also has the slightly salty scent of sunwarmed skin after swimming in a lake, not in the ocean... Since most beachy scents are all about the ocean and I'm not all about the ocean I very much like the idea of another lake scent...

Vetiver? You just made me much more interested in trying French Lover. I get the thing about feeling underdressed in an elegant perfume. Since I sit around at home most days while trying on new scents I get that a lot...

3:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leopooldo said...

For me, Sel de Vet has the edge over Fleurs de Sel. The latter's a little medicinal on me.

Oh my. I have to retry French Lover now.

4:18 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Yoo-hoo !
L !
Since when are you "Leopooldo" ?, LOL...

WHY NOT Leopoodledoo ?

Now I must try FL, or whatever.
I split the MH w/ an angel, and it's magical on me.
Just gorgeous.
I've no complaints at all...

Tom, you couls wear burlap and be hot-
I've little doubt.

6:41 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp (Judith) said...

Hmmmm. . . I got a 10. ml. bottle of French Lover, and while I like it, I don't love it. Mr Lily, however, went crazy for it. He went so far as to tell me that it didn't smell good on me (later admitting that he was lying), so I would give him the bottle. And it DOES smell great on him.

I got a small sample of Fleurs de Sel, and I couldn't make up my mind. One time it seemed good, but on another try something seemed to be turning strange. And Rien definitley went south on me (though it was lovely on the strip). I will be getting a decant soon, though, so I can experiment more. I don't think I like it as much as my beloved Sel de Vet, though.

6:57 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

French Lover is a perfect name! They're idiots. Lee and I each kept thinking that, rapturous that it is, it reminded us very strongly of something else, but we couldn't think of what. I've tried every manly frag in my house and it's none of those, so I give up. It really was lovely, although I think it'd be a bit much in our summer weather.

7:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I think you liked Fleurs de Sel a little more than I did, although I did like it too, just didn't Love it.

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Carmen-

Thanks! I have read that some people aren't getting much from it sillage wise. Wierd, eh?

9:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Solander-

Can you believe that I've never tried Sel de Vetiver. Must rectify that.

9:33 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Another vote for SdeV. Maight be stopping at LuckyScent on the way home..

9:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Chaya-

i might like a nicce burlap scent...

9:35 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Judith-

If he loves it that much, I'd let him keep it...

..and pilfer from it shamelessly.

I'm hoping that this MH doesn't go all wierd on me.

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

March-

I had the same reaction and it was driving me buggy- it reminds me of something very much and I coudn't place it. I decided to just give up and go with it.

If I later discover that that it's a dead ringer for Hai Karate or something I will be really embarrassed..

9:40 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well, you've got a lot more experience in the men's department than I do. (Um, that sounds odd.) But your response is just goading me: what IS it? Definitely not something embarrassing, it's too lovely. I don't have a sample of Lover so I'm going by memory. Not Derby. Not Yatagan. Could it be Le Labo Vetiver? I keep thinking it must be something relatively obscure we've forgotten about. Also, I can't find my Muscs Koublai Khan -- could it be that? Of course skin chem is different, you probably smooth Lover out... it was very virile to me, but not in a joke-y flared pants/neckchain way.

9:47 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I want to say it was Le Labo (and sort of did) but I don't have that sample around to make the comparison decisive. I do remember that Le Labo sort of died on me while this one certainly doesn't.

It ain't MKK, not by a longshot. MKK's a sex beast. French Lover would at least buy you a drink first.

9:59 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Definitely must try the Fleurs de Sel. Sounds absolutely amazing.
French Lover was nice on me, but not shockingly amazing. On DH, however, it did come close to shockingly amazing, but since he won't wear scents beyond letting me test them on him, there's not much point in my getting a bottle.

10:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Oh my, French lover sounds swoonworthy. I need to get a sample and see if it smells as hot on me as it does on you. :-)

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Elle-

Having just spritzed Fluers I am finding it better and better.

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Newproducts-

give it a whirl and report back!

11:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

*writhing* I'm so darn mad I can't smell FL decently. Everything I get up until the alochol is a big old yes, and then I'm overtaken.

Love the MH fleurs de sel. Though I love Sel de Vet as much. You really need to Luckyscent and try it, it's simply amazing and beautiful and perfect.

11:23 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Patty-

I'm so sorry. Is it just that your skin eats it or is it just that you can't smell it? Although, I am not sure which is worse, really.

I will have to try sel de vetiver..

12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

You MUST try Sel de Vet.

I'm also still bugged, badly bufgged, by the French Lover smelly-likey...

And C, I can be you Leopoodledoo dog of love any time, baby.

1:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

This'll be daft, and it won't be it, but is there any similarity to Le Labo's Rose 31? I'm not sure if that number's right, let alone the scent...

1:43 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lee-

I'll be stopping at Luckyscent soon..

1:47 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

oh and I've never smelled Rose 31 so I can't tell you. One of these days when I am in NYC I will though (unless it's city-specific to Dubuque or something)

1:48 PM EDT  

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