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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yum, Yum and More Yum

Review by Tom

I only recently have started to like gourmand scents. I loathed the vanilla fad of the 90's, and most fizzyfruity scents make me gag. Here are a few that changed my mind.

Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum

Rahat Loukoum is a fragrance that on the surface, I should really hate. Named after the candy called Turkish Delight, (and it is a delight, trust me) it's very fruity, and I normally loathe that. It opens with a hit of bright, boozy cherries that remind me of (oh god, here he comes with the stories again...) my first job after college. I worked at Dean and Deluca in New York, and one of the things we sold were incredibly boozy fruits in, well, booze. Raspberries in framboise and cherries in cherry marnier. The opening of Rahat Loukoum smells exactly what it smelled like taking the cork out of the wide mouth of that big 8 quart jar. Rich cherries, almond and spikey booze. While I do get the smoky part that Colombina mentions (as well, as a delightfully sly musk that creeps in like a thief: Skank, hands off my candy!) on me this stage lasts throughout. It fades slightly behind the smoky almond and the honeyed musk, but as most SL's comes back with any movement that would make one "glow". I love it so much though, that I might just try to jump start it.

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

Reading the notes on this one (caramel, toasted hazelnuts, spices, vetiver, balsam wood, bitter orange, incense, licorice, wenge, dried grasses and resin), one would think that this would make perhaps the most horrific thing one could be served as dessert, never mind as a scent. As a matter of fact, the opening of hazelnut and caramel leans just this side of cloying. Actually, it's so sweet and nutty that you kinda want to figure out a way to spread it on toast. Luckily, just at the point that you start actually gnawing on your wrist, the vetiver, woods and spices drop in to deepen and tart up the proceedings, with a wonderful bitter orange note adding more foodie depth. Many thanks to Colombina for my introduction to this one. It's truly brilliant.

Argenteé by Des Filles a la Vanille

Reading the ingredients on this one, you would have thought that I would have headed for the hills. Well, I would have if I'd just read about them. Luckily I was in ScentBar (the store for LuckyScent here in Los Angeles) and the nice lady just grabbed my arm and said "I think you'll like this". Yes, the opening is very much like a treat that I loved when I was a kid and the treat-truck would come trundling by on a hot summer day and us kids would run to the curb with the money we'd hurriedly begged from Mom; creamsicle: orange and vanilla scented cream. But then, the creamsicle starts its walk on the wild side. The peel of the orange starts to come out, and the pith. The vanilla starts to get boozy, and then we start getting musk. Not a lot, this isn't MKK, but enough to let us know this creamsicle's gone bad. It's sitting on a barstool, knocking back the screwdrivers, spoiling for a fight. There are quite a few more scents ahead of it on the list so I am not going for a full bottle, but this is a great find.

Well, since we've covered yum, yum and more yum, I guess we should touch on a yuck.

Luctor et Emergo by People of the Labyrinths

Okay, I'll admit it. I am a hard-headed New Englander, and I usually have to find out for myself whether I will like something or not. In some cases it works out, like movies the critics hated that I find wonderful, in some cases it does not. Like the time I was visiting my friend in Scottsdale in February and I ignored the advice of the seniors around the unheated pool that the water was too cold to swim. Imagine jumping into an 80000 gallon Slurpee, and the subsequent near heart attack.

Well, Ignoring the warnings, and hoping to find a local alternative to the wholly wonderful Rahat Loukoum, I got a sample of LeM from eBay. Upon applying, I did get some almond and some cherry, but it almost immediately became... Play-Doh. In the interest of science, I kept this goop on for hours, just to see if it went anywhere.

It didn't. carries both Argenteé (at $75 for a bottle or $3 for a tester, and I'd test it- I loved it, but remember, I love Miel de Bois..) and Luctor at $165. Since Play-Doh is ten bucks, you can get two bottles of something nice from luckyscent and still get the LeM effect if you really need it.

Aomassai is available at Parfumerie Generale website, and Rahat Loukoum is available here if you are lucky enough to have a friend who lives in the EU and is willing to ship to you, or you live in the EU.


Blogger Marina said...

That creamsicle sounds like a blast. Truly a fun creamsicle to know and hang out with. :-) My second favorite part of this very fabulous article is the way you talk about my arch-enemy. Yes, POTL. :-)

11:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

And I haven't done this before but there is always a first...

This is for KELLEY, in case he happens to read:

I think my messages get stuck somewhere in cyber-space, I replied twice and PM-ed at basenotes too. Sorry about that! The Montales are scheduled for tomorrow. :-)

(Sorry to highjack your comments, Tom, I'm done now :-))

11:41 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

The creamsicle was fun, and quite a surprise.

PotL was a major downer: it sounded so good online, and went so bad so very fast, and never recovered. Just as an aside, did you have Play-Doh as a kid? I'm hoping that I wasn't hallucinating that reaction, but it was all I could think of. It's the exact same scent, down to the amount of salt.

11:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Sorry Tom. Thanks Marina for the note. Tom, great reviews. I am so curious about the Parfumerie Generale scents and Aomassai sounds fantastic! Are they worth the prices? They sound truly--odd! Around here odd is a good thing.

12:45 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Great fun, Tom- thank you for [as always] your candor.

I glean a lot of pleasure from your posts...

Have a great day!

6:32 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Wonderful reviews! Even if you don't like my beloved POTL. :-) I've actually never smelled Play-doh, so I don't get that, but I do get ancient incensey rosewood statues from Japanese temples. Taking a moment for brief thank you to my skin chemistry here. Madly adore Aomassai - it's my favorite of that line after Harmatan Noir. I know I'm odd man out here, but I get a coffee note in it. I must revisit Argentee. Loved how your description took it from innocent childhood to a happily wilder adulthood.

7:24 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Aomassai - ack! Okay, the drydown is very nice, but the first half hour I'm clutching my stomach... that POTL crap, it must be some kind of inside joke? But that is just the kind of thing that we, the loser People of the Play-Doh, would think.

Hey, did you ever try the CB Musk? He's selling samps on his site now, BTW. I reviewed it yesterday -- comments were eeeeew!

7:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't smelled play doh till a couple of months ago when DH bought some for DD. Why did thee bring home these lumps of stuff scented with POTL, was my reaction :-)

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Really interesting reviews. I am not usually a gourmand person, but Aomassai is a major exception; I love it!--although my first reaction when I smelled the opening was, "What on earth was Marina thinking when she recommended this to me?!" But, as always, M. knew best. Now, the whole thing seems wonderful to me; I even enjoy the (pretty brief on me) super-sweetness, in part because I know what's coming.

I haven't tried the Vanille one, but creamsicle doesn't sound good to me (not a big fan of Anne Pliska, for example). And I dislike the other two. I can very well understand how someone would love the Serge, but for reasons that are unclear to me, I just can't do cherry-inflected scents (although I adore real cherries). I have a similar problem with POTL, and I don't understand the Play-doh love here, either. I don't think I hate this as much as M. does, but I never could make myself like it. Nasrin at ThePerfumeshoppe in Canada was shocked when I told her this is always #1 in MUA polls. Apparently, it's not a big seller for her (but that's b/c it's obscure, I think) and she doesn't care for it, either. Boy, I'm verbose today. I'll shut up. Thanks for the great reviews!

9:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Tom, another SL for me to try! I just got a mess of SL samples pff eBay, but this wasn't one of them. *sigh* Guess I'll have to go back. Woe is me.

I'm happy to hear there's another yummy Des Filles out there to try. I loved Je t'aime, but the others I've tried left me cold.

-Priscilla (greeneyes/SweetDiva...Blogger won't let me post with my account since I switched to their Beta. Grr.)

10:02 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Kelly- I thought Aoumassai was worth it, and Iris Taizo, although the iris on me was a but strong. I can't speak for the others, and am almost afraid to try them (my checkbook trembles at the thought..)

11:27 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy them!

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If i got ancient incense, I'd love it too. Sadly, I got the play-doh. Oh well, $160 given to AT&T and American Express. Probably for the best.

11:30 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I bought CB Musk, sight un- er- smelled because of your and M's description. I will review it here (with Columbina's permission) further, but it's a corker!

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Aomassai was one that I should have gone seriously ick over- the nutty opening reminds me of Chistmas candies that we got as kids, and dearly wished they tasted better. But after a minute on me it became bewitching and I was hooked.

I hear you on the cherries- I am the same way with peach. I adore the fruit, but artificial peach scent is an instant sick headache for me.

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


what were the SL's you got?

11:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice reviews! Actually, if you really need a Playdoh perfume rather than plain Playdoh you can get it for $20 from Demeter.
I have only tried a POTL dupe and it was ok, although I think I got some of the Playdoh effect(I haven't smelled the stuff either, I keep thinking of a homemade Swedish equivalent called trolldeg with lots of salt in it, but I have no idea if they smell the same) but of course I'll have to get a sample of the original as well.
Btw, I can't comment with my Blogger account either since I switched to Beta.

12:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful reviews! I love it when a scent brings out certain memories. I've never thought of Rahat as boozy but now that you mention, I can see how it is. As for POTL, luckily for me, I didn't grow up with play-doh, so no associations here. ;D Aomassai is indeed very much spreadable.

12:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I didn't know that. Personally I have no need for play-doh perfume, but it's nice to know it's out there at so much less

5:13 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks! If there was a hint of chocolate in Aomassai it would smell like Nutella- and then I might have taken a bit out of my wrist....

5:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What SLs did I Turque, Daim Blond, Santal Blanc, Iris Silver Mist, Bois de'm not sure that's everything, but close enough! ;-)


8:54 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I am so happy Fumerie Turque is coming stateside for a while- I can't wait to whiff it

2:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Rachel said...

Haha! The "treat-truck" trundles.


11:49 AM EDT  

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