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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Who Is Afraid of Fruity Florals? Caron L'Accord 119

I've had a pleasure of wearing the formerly "Paris exclusive" L'Accord 119 for a while, thanks to Shelley, Notes from the Ledge. (Shelley and I are reviewing the perfume together today, so please  click over to her blog, when you are done, to read her impressions). I gave no thought  to its olfactory family, group and sub-group. Then the news came that Caron will be launching it in the States (possibly under a different name?) and is describing it as...a fruity floral. My first reaction was to be appalled. What a blasphemy! The exquisitely dark, baroque elegance of L'Accord 119 is as far removed from Heiress by Paris Hilton as the rarefied atmosphere of a Caron boutique is from a messy TJ Maxx in the local mall.

As I walked by my perfume shelves later that night (the spirit of Carrie Bradshaw possessed me and) I wondered... When it comes to fruity florals, why are we so negative? Have the ubiquitousness of the generic representatives made the whole family seem inferior and turned us into snobs?

And also, define a "fruity floral"! In Michael Edwards' detailed categorization, Floral / Crisp - Citrus Fruity or Floral /Fresh Citrus-Fruity is where you find Heiresses and Baby Dolls. Soft Floral/ Crisp - Citrus Fruity  boasts L'Artisan Parfumerur Orchidee Blanche and the 1987 Nina by Nina Ricci. Among Soft Floral /Fresh - Citrus Fruity, next to Tiffany's Trueste, you'll see XOXO Perfume by Victory International...The are also Fruity / Crisp  and Fruity / Fresh groups, which include scents heavier on fruit, like various summery Escadas.

Société Française des Parfumeurs distinguishes between Floral Fruity Woody ("On a floral bouquet, with a woody undertone, fruity notes are added..." Examples...Jacques Fathe Iris Gris, 1947 and Hot Couture No 1 by Givenchy.) and Floral Fruity ("The floral "body" is still there, but new fruit notes are showing strongly..." Examples: Patou for Ever, 1998 and Tropical Punch by Escada, 2001).*

Haarmann & Reimer Guide to the Feminine Notes, 1984 edition, does not have a fruity, a fruity floral or a floral fruity category. The closest would be their Floral Notes / floral-sweet (Faberge Babe, Piguet Fracas and Estee by Estee Lauder). The 1991 edition adds the Floral Fruity sub-category to the Floral: "these are fragrances, whose character is enhanced by radiant-fruity elements, some of them highly dominating."** It includes Hermes Amazone, Prescriptives Calyx and Molyneux Quartz, among others. There is also a lone representative of Floral / Fruity-Fresh in the face of Oleg Cassini II.

Let's keep in mind that each fragrance manufacturer, each brand and each new perfume campaign might offer their own classification and understanding of what is fruity floral / floral fruity.

The rather obvious conclusions are that not all FFs were created equal, that a "fruity floral" is not a swear term and that one (well, me) should neither be embarrassed to try an FF, caught enjoying an FF, nor offended when a favorite is called an FF.

As for L'Accord 119, it is a gorgeous blend of creamy, just a tiny bit green jasmine, over-ripe blackberries and wonderfully rich, nutty, delectable musk. Wearing it, I am haunted by phantom whiffs of blackcurrant and pineapple, and find L'Accord to be a close relative of Patou's late, lamented Colony... Or rather, I'd call L'Accord the child of ménage à trois of Colony, L'Artisan's Mure et Musc and Caron's own Acaciosa. Having just concluded a wordy defense of fruity florals, I feel a little embarrassed making a case for L'Accord 119 not being called one. Undoubtedly, the fruits here are "showing strongly" and even "dominating" the floral accord and the composition in general. Having said that, it is impossible to ignore the dark, brooding, velvety yet dry, "very Caron" base of the blend. If it was up to me, I'd classify L'Accord the way Michael Edward classified Colony, as Mossy Woods / Crisp Citrus-Fruity or put it into Société Française des Parfumeur's Floral Fruity Woody category. Incidentally, the latter includes Aimez-Moi...and so there goes Caron's claim that L'Accord 119 is their first fruity floral.

Call a Caron boutique to find out about L'Accord's availability.

For Shelley's review of L'Accord, please, visit Notes from the Ledge.

*Société Française des Parfumeur, Classification des Parfums et Terminologie, p. 8.
**H&R Fragrance Guide to Feminine and Masculine Notes, 1991, p. 12.

Image source, and



Blogger Flora said...

Oh boy, this one is for me! I am already a Caron fan, and I also love many fruity floral scents. I cannot wait to try L'Accord 119. Even the possibility that it resembles my beloved Colony, be still oh my heart!

12:28 AM EST  
Blogger RH said...

Oy, I know this is a rather ignorant comment to post, but that image of the crazy fruit scared the **** out of me!!!

Love the review otherwise!

3:29 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

This sounds great. I thought the mention of musk might not prove enticing but the child of the three?! Oh yes. I wore Mure et Musc yesterday after a long time - I really enjoy it.
I'm off to read Shelley's post. :)

3:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, pineapple you say. I'm in, not to mention, I'd buy it just for your use of that carnivorous apple. Love it!!!

7:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like Caron L'Accord 119 and you are new BFF's. :D
Seriously though, I totally understand the need to separate a beloved and beautiful fragrance from the ubiquitous rabble of Paris Hilton's out there.
And that image - excellent! :)

7:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I do think this one is absolutely for you!

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Teehee, then I've chosen it well :)

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I love MetM in its extrait form, mmm...

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I wish there really existed apples like that, imagine a whole tree :)

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, I thought the image was Hot, as Paris would say.

8:37 AM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Bwa ha ha ha!!! Yes, that picture DOES represent my fear (and loathing?) when I hear the term "fruity floral." Love what you've done to put it into perspective.

I propose a fresh category, or subcategory, because "floral fruity woody" sounds dry to me. (Wishful thinking, perhaps?) I'd call L'Accord "floral fruity woody, down and deep," just to further soothe my need to make sure it doesn't get placed anywhere near the mouth of that flytrap of a fruit. ;)

Am going to spend part of this day pondering Amazone and Calyx being in the same H&R Guide category. I get it, intellectually, but the veering in my nose asks for another ponder.

Thanks for the invitation to the dance. :)

9:39 AM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I think this attempt to sort out the fruity floral genre is way overdue, M, so thanks for tackling it. And the Caron sounds great! Yay, Caron!

9:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term generally seems to be a warning..will smell like cheap candy and/or shampoo/will have no base notes. The only fruit I can think off I've been happy with so far is in Bois de Paradis, Delrae. But I'm open to Caron. Sure. THANKS SO MUCH for telling us about the classifications, I've always been so so curious about that book.

10:11 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

That apple is INSANE!

10:55 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caron sounds interesting, although the name and the marketing leaves a lot to be desired. In general, the blatant ignorance with which the house is treating its brand baffles me. Of course, I am only speaking as an outsider, this is how it appears to me.

11:09 AM EST  
Anonymous dleep said...

I don't like fruity florals as a rule but I do love Caron. I have to try this.

12:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

No thank YOU for introducing me to it. "Floral fruity woody, down and deep" so should be a category! :)

12:49 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

yay Caron, indeed!

12:49 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Do you mean H&R Guide? I love it, or them, rather.

12:49 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Right? :)

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The ignorance and the...negligence? In a way?
I mean, it is inside some spa. in NY, for goodness sake's.

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

well it's not THAT kind of fruity floral

12:51 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Re: the negligence of the brand. Sometimes I wonder if the new owners aren't treating the house the way an ambitious landlord would treat his rent-controlled tenants. Neglecting the house in hopes that it will just finally fail and go away, perhaps because of some contractual bargain...

1:44 PM EST  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm a Caronista of the First Order, so I am predisposed to like this on general principal, but Mother of GOD, Marina, that PICTURE! :o)

Thanks for the link to Shelley's blog!

2:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

that does sound quite possible

5:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Isn't that apple a beauty? :)

5:50 PM EST  
Blogger Dixie said...

What a great article! And I love the picture!

7:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! :)

7:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Sturdhome said...

If you're mentioning it in the same breath as Colony and Mur et Musc and it's a Caron, I can't wait to try it! Thanks for your lovely and erudite review. I don't klnow if I"m more a Marina or a Caron fan!

10:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

An oud and jasmine fan :)

8:37 PM EST  

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