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Friday, March 24, 2006

Perfume Review: Parfums d'Orsay Le Dandy

The story of Parfums d’Orsay began when Count Alfred d'Orsay, a dandy, writer, painter, and sculptor, was exiled to London for supporting Louis XVIII. There he created a perfume called Eau de Bouquet (now known as Etiquette Bleue) for his lover Lady Blessington. The formula was re-discovered in 1865, and Parfums D'Orsay was established. Le Dandy was first released in 1922 (according to other sources, in 1923) and then re-created in 1998 by perfumer Dominic Preysass (author of Balenciaga Talisman and Shiseido Basala).

If Le Dandy the fragrance were a man, and I was fortunate (?) to meet him, I would have fallen head over heals in love with him, no doubt about it. The perfume paints a “portrait of manhood and its ease of manner, rich as cigar smoke after Sunday dinner” (Louise Townsend Nicholl). Having said that, Le Dandy is entirely and enjoyably wearable for a woman. Its boozy darkness, its husky smokiness, its spicy sweetness make Le Dandy a rich, robust scent, but the notes are blended very smoothly, all the luxurious ingredients are tastefully understated, never over the top. The scent caresses the senses like the lushest of velvets. Though it has a note of whisky, Le Dandy actually makes me think of the sweeter aroma and the dark golden color of very fine, very expensive cognac. I adore the ginger note here; it adds exquisite spiciness and a piquant “bite” to the composition. The drydown is supremely elegant, the woody notes dry and almost leathery. All in all, Le Dandy is one of the most refined, sumptuous and enjoyable scents I have tried in a long time.

Le Dandy is available at Beauty Café, $85.00 for 100ml.

*The 2nd image is from


Blogger Marina said...

It is not similar to Ambre Russe to my nose. I smell lots of incense in AR, none here. I'd say though Le Dandy is also a rich and robust scent, it is subtler that AR. I would highly recommend it to you, I beleive you will like it!

10:36 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I know I've tried it but can't remember what it smells like. Must dig through samples...

10:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I would love to know what you think about it. I can't decide whether you will like it. My prediction is you would think it is nicely done but not "you".

10:43 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

You know, what's really terrible, and is sending trembling fear into my wallet, is that I perversely DON'T want to try this unless I have the vintage in hand, too. I'd somehow feel like I were apostate without the both to smell. Weird, I know... especially since I don't know either of them at all.

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Do you mean the 1922/23 version? Yeah, I d love to try that too but I kind of have a feeling it is next to impossible.Though I haven't tried eBay yet...
In any case, I would highly recomment trying this one even in its present form. It is...superb.

1:50 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I've tried a couple others and really liked them. This one sounds really amazing. Is it weird, like Cumming?

6:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I didn't think Cumming was all that weird :-( And Le Dandy is less weird still. In fact, it is not weird at all. It is elegant and smooth and suave. :-)

6:21 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Actually, my Cumming question reminded me: I was all excited a month ago about the Cumming, when you go to their website they'll send you a sample absolutely free, and how great is that?!?! And then typing my previous comment I realized -- hey -- I never got my free sample :-( Guess I'll buy one on You Know I think it sounds amazing.
PS I am selecting some veeeeery interesting things for you!

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I've ordered that free sample too, ages ago and never got it either. I think it was just a joke on Alan's part, heh.

I am lookign forward to those veeeery interesting things. AI am also a little scared. :-)

9:54 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

No, no, no, don't be scared!! There is no practical joke aspect whatsoever to my picks. (Perfume: the one thing about which I am serious.) I won't say that I LIKE all of my selections, necessarily, but I can say that they've each been chosen for their merits across the price-point and exclusivity spectrum. How's that?

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't wait to try them. I have no doubt I will make a fool of myself raving about some scent only to later discover it was one of Coty's Musks or Baby Phat. He he.

8:45 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

It's fun to cogitate on this topic. I am relatively new at this and still have trouble picking out individual notes unless they're screamingly obvious, like strong rose or incense. I also have no grip on the chemistry like, say, Victoria does, and so I can't smell it and think, well, this has so-and-so in it and therefore must be expensive. I'm likely to love the Jovan Musk and hate the Caron urn, and that's okay. It's a blogger democracy, and I'm allowed to be middlebrow. Coty Wild Woods? One of my winter staples now. Seriously. It's a GREAT smell, I don't care that it's cheap. Thanks. PS I am sending you and P identical sets, is that what you're doing? (She is sending me vials since I don't have any.)

9:50 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I adore Wild Woods, you know it :-) And that scent just goes to show that the price is not always (often, but not always) an indication of anything. If I did not know it was by Coty and someone told be it was...oh I don't export Lutens perhaps, I would have believed it :-)

I am not saying what I am sending yet. I am still plotting. *evil cackle*

10:15 AM EST  
Blogger Nonna Gorilovskaya said...

Marinochka, I love the new blog design. Looks perfectly marvelous!

7:09 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Bolshoe spasibo. I am laughing at "perfectly marvelous". Thank you, thank you, Dahlin' :-)

9:10 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Oh man, March if you come back to check - do NOT BUY a sample - I will simply slip that into the envelope of things to send you, shug! :)

11:59 PM EST  
Blogger Ironsienna said...

Hello!! I just bought the original version from ebay:

I am waiting for it to arrive... My concern though is whether after 60 years (this is a '50s version... same I suppose as the 20's one) the scent will remain the same... what do you think...?

10:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Is LE DANDY anywhere in the style of Creed TABAROME?

2:45 PM EDT  

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