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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe

Fou d’Absinthe is the newest release by L’Artisan Parfumeur, marketed as the "major masculine fragrance". Indeed I can imagine that this beautiful blend, both austere and soft, would be jaw-droppingly sexy on a man. Having said that, and modesty aside, the scent is just as gorgeous on my skin. Like a severely elegant suit that conceals the most delicate silk lingerie, the cool, razor-sharp olfactory “exterior” of Fou d’Absinthe hides unexpected softness.

Fou d’Absinthe starts with the intense verdancy of angelica. The spices (pepper and nutmeg seem to be especially apparent) add the most enjoyable “kick” to the blend and compliment beautifully the subtle “boozy-ness” of the composition. To me, the most delightful part of the scent is the patchouli and pine accord, which is balsamic, bitter, pungent, simultaneously earthy and pungently green. Neither anise nor blackberry is strong, but both are still present, adding to the fragrance a certain sparkle and a surprising, fruity gentleness. Fou d’Absinthe is an interesting, multifaceted composition that never stops subtly changing on my skin. Boozy and sober, bitter and soft, spicy and cold, I found each aspect of the scent to be attractive and enjoyable.

Fou d’Ansinthe is available at Aedes, $90.00 for 1.7oz, $125.00 for 3.4oz.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant description! To my nose, in top notes Fou D'Absinthe smells like Serge Lutens Borneo minus the chocolate note. I adore how soft it gets, too. It also evokes the image of ferns, for some reason.

11:42 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

sorry to see that you have yet to conquer the blogger template, personally, I've decided to live with it, but you fight on!

As for Fou d'Absinthe, I have the same problem I have with most L'Artisan scents: they develope fast and fade quickly. This might be a fact of living in a desert climate, but at heart I am a cheap New Englander (albeit with your annointed Mongol soul): it's intranscience keeps me from buying a full bottle, much as I like those nice people at the Scent Bar, the brick and mortar store for

Please forgive the shameless plug; I am not connected to them in any way, other than they are really nice about letting me soak myself in whatever I want to try/ If you are in LA, they'll do the same to you

11:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! And I always wondered how wonderful Borneo might smell without that chocolate note. I actually see what you mean about the similarity here. This is like Borneo without chocolate and camphor. In other words, wearable Borneo :-)

11:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have not given up yet on this template. I spritz on some Yatagan and fight it everyday. I am obsessed with this thing now. I need to get a life! :-)

As for L'Artisans, some of them are heartbreakingly fleeting. I love Safran Troublant so much, but it is gone within minutes. Fou d'Absinthe was actually quite long lasting. My beloved Orchidee Blanche also lasts very well. But don't even start me on the magical disappearing Ananas Fizz :-)

And I am always thrilled to hear stories about great stores and great customer service!

11:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next to Serge Lutens, L'Artisan is beginning to be my favorite perfume house & luckily, I don't have a problem with their scents fading quickly, noteably Safran Troublant & Tea For Two. I may have to add Fou d'Absinthe to my L'Artisan collection, especially if it is similar to Borneo. (Angelica: a preservative against evil spirits and witchcraft.)

12:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, so nice to see you here! I didn;t know that about angelica, more the reson to love it!

12:22 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oh, this one was magic, just a confirmation of how much and why I love most of the line. In general they last pretty well on me, too. L'Artisan is the first line that rocked me (in Paris, of all places) and provoked fragrance insanity -- The Earth Moved. It did.

7:06 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

I love this. For chemical reason I don't understand, it's one of those scents that seems to really blossom on (my) skin, smelling much better than it did in the bottle (where it smelled good to begin with). It also lasts on me. But I'm trying to talk myself into a decant instead of a bottle, particularly because I recently caved to L'Artisan temptation on FdO (glad I did though; it's achingly beautiful).

PS They had a very cute party for the Fou at Barney's, where they served absinthe (some legal kind), apple martinis, and food with green in it. I wore a green suede jacket and matched:)

8:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think L'Artisan is great. Some of their things are less interesting to me than others (Mure et Musc anything, for example), but that's just "me not them". I can't think of any of their scent not being objectively good.

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You looked so chic! :-)You know, I can't stand the actual abcinthe, the very smell turns me off. So I was both surprised and pleased that Fou was only vaguely reminiscent of it. If Fou were a drink, I'd drink it :-)

8:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I'm kicking myself for just ordering a sample from Aedes and not surrendering to the apparent inevitability of just getting a full bottle. Sounds heavenly.

9:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

No, you are very wise to srat with the sample. There have been scents that sounded like they were guaranteed to work for me...but in reality they didn't. Having said that, I hope Fou is wonderful on you!

10:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this! Another thing to add to the list! BTW Was Aomassai sort of gourmand on you? It was woody in the middle, but almost no smoke and incense, and lots of caramel and vanilla at the end...

11:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It started gourmand, like milky-caramel-like. Then it became super-woody and stayed woody till the end. Ahhh, I love it :-)Did you like it?

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Victoria said...

Oy!! Still waiting for my sample I ordered on June 3rd!! I guess I'll be testing this at the Scent Bar tomorrow! :O)

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lucky you, going to the scent bar!
By the way, the package went out out this morning :-)

11:50 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

As I am going to be the last person on earth to try either, how does it compare to the Caron Reglisse?

12:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is more complex, drier, much less "gourmand" ...just much more interesting overall.

1:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. It starts with a whip and ends with a whisper...not sure whom it is I am mis-quoting here :-)

1:06 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

"This is the way the world will end/Not with a bang but a whimper"? Nah, that can't be it--yours is much sexier. If you didn't make it up, I'd like to know who did.

2:24 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

slight misquote on my part, anyway--should be "ends" not "will end." PS I am sitting on my hands to avoid buying a certain scent (not very effective--I bought some other things instead:)

2:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

According to my notes here, I was misquoting Jean Cocteau, who said about Marlen Dietrich that her name starts with a caress and ends with a whip.

And it is the same with me. When I am trying not to buy something, let's say an expensive scent at full price, I end up ordering *several* cheaper things that at the end cost me more than that first perfume I was trying not to buy *rolls eyes*

3:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I have a feeling that I'm not going to like this one (mostly because of the patchouli note), but at the same time, your description makes it sound wonderful! I must sample this immediately. :-)

5:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I won't lie to you, patchouli was there...but it was elegant, well-mannered patchouli. I am really not a fan of that note myself, at all, but here it was lovely.

5:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Carol said...

I just got a sample, and I do love it soo much, but it fades so quickly on me ..sigh!

6:22 PM EST  

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