The Rykiels began as lemmings for me. I’m not usually susceptible to lemmings, but when some scent twins (triplets, actually) mentioned how similar Rykiel Woman, Not for Man! is to Barbara Bui EdP, but had pepper as an added bonus, I had to buy it. Unsniffed. I’d sworn I’d never do that again, and I hadn’t done it in a year. I’d been a good girl. Really.
So I skulked about guiltily for a week until my box showed up at the post office. I love my Barbara Bui but use it sparingly, as it has been discontinued (or maybe not). And even if the lawyers have figured it all out and it’s reissued, it’s probably an IFRA reformulation, a ghost of its lovely, suave self. (rant, rant)
So, was Rykiel Woman everything I’d hoped? Yes! It’s fantastic, slightly weird, but delicate enough (after the pepper sneeze opening) to wear at the office or on the metro. And that pepper sneeze opening is the best part. After the pepper, which is the olfactory equivalent of a beehive bouffant, it settles into a lovely amber/musk/leather which is simply heavenly, and classy besides. Then there’s the bottle, which is retro Big 80’s with a sense of humor. The whole experience reminds me of my girl-crush on the ladies of Heart when I was a junior high schooler.
If you buy it online (it’s usually around $30), make sure it’s the old formula in the Big 80’s bottle (with gold polka-dots), and not the new pink formulation, which is a bland fruity floral. Meh.
Notes for Rykiel Woman Not for Man!: created by Anne Flipo, and launched in 2003. Head notes are pepper, violet and dates; heart notes are jasmine, rose, pepper and sunflower accord; base notes are leather, amber and musk.