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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Perfumeur L'Eau de Jatamansi

Review by Tom

L'Artisan is for me one of the more difficult lines to get a handle on. I've tried several: some are gorgeous but terribly fleeting (La Chasse au Papillon, Safran Troublant), some weren't fleeting but went wrong (Piment Brulant, which ended up as taco seasonings) or just didn't quite make me get the card out (Dzing!, The pour un Ete as great as they are). Of course this isn't going to stop me from trying them and hoping that one will be the one.

L'Eau de Jatamansi is the latest one from L'Artisan, and according to the nice man at Fred Segal, the first in the line that's completely organic (which begs the question...). According to Luckyscent, it is "100% natural, Ecocert-certified, Organic.." Apparently Jatamansi is incredibly rare, grown thousands of feet up in the Himalyas in "under skies oblivious to pollution, in soil that has never suspected the presence of fertilizers" (but apparently not hyperbole) and the oil itself is used in Ayurvedic medicine.

The scent? It starts out with a nice burst of grapefruit, full of the peel and wonderfully refreshing. It's joined by light woods, cardamom, bergamot and what must be the Jatamansi. It adds up to something that reminds me a bit of the sort of old-fashioned hair tonic I used to smell at barbershops when I was a kid. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing, you'll have to be the judge. I rather liked it. What I liked less was the lasting power: two hours tops. Of course, since it comes in a huge 250ml bottle re-applying is hardly out of the question.

Those huge 250ml bottles are $145 at Fred Segal and LuckyScent, and I assume at Barneys and Neimans and all the places that usually carry the line.

The search continues...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But buying a 250 ml bottle *is* out of the question for me. Thanks for trying it, Tom.

2:32 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I've used jatamansi a lot because it's so important in ayurveda, but I've never come to appreciate the smell - heavy and very unpleasant to my nose. Although I had heard the L'Artisan wasn't like the real thing, I still had my doubts. I shouldn't have. Honestly, I'm absolutely head over heels in love with it. I think it's my favorite LE summer scent they've ever put out. Like the real Jatamansi, it's uber comforting and grounding - w/out the foul stench. Maybe it's all about associations and memories, but for me they're all wonderful.

7:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some reason, I am not very interested in this new offering. Hearing that it's quite citrussy (grapefruit) in its opening helps kill any shred of a lemming too. Thanks for the review, Tom.

7:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite liked it too. But now I want you to test all the l'Artisans and let us know your thoughts and feelings - Tea for Two certainly ain't fleeting! And what about Voleur des Roses?

7:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Gail S said...

I really like the opening burst that I got of grapefruit and bergamot, but it was quite literally "gone" as I walked from one room of the house to the next. Forget 2 hours, 2 minutes tops on me!

8:19 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I was going to pass, but Elle's comment makes this sound very enticing. I guess I must sniff it. The things I do for science~

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I just can't believe Dzing didn't quite make you get the card out. Would you please re-try it for me one last time? :-)

8:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Apart from one or two offerings, L'Artisan isnt the most capable house when it comes to fresh/citrus fragrances. By the sounds of it, it doesnt look like this new fragrance will change things but I will it a try nonetheless. Not surprised at hearing about the by-now trademark poor L'Artisan longevity though.

9:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Yes, Dzing! is amazing and should be experienced by every scent-a-holic. It's almost hypnotic. I can smell it by just thinking about it. I find it pretty long lasting as well.

As I get older, these fresh, fleeting scents lose their attraction. And, what's up with this "all natural" ad campaign? You can give me the unnatural stuff every time!

Good one Tom...

9:18 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Just want to add that it is not the summer LE, although because of Jatamansi, there won't be a summer LE this year. It certainly *feels* like a summer LE, anyway!

Also just read somewhere, not that it really matters and have already forgotten where I saw it, that L'Artisan is *not* calling it 100% natural & organic because the formula includes water. That actually made me laugh :-)

10:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite a fan of L'Artisan and Jatamansi sounds very nice to me (thank you, elle...) - but I'm afraid I'd loose the scent after two minutes (I'm the Dzongkha- and Dzing-type...)

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think it's out of the question for me as well. I liked it, but not 250 MLs worth.

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Glad that it was a slam-dunk for you. It missed with me- I did like it, just not enough to pop for that big bottle

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Grapefruit killed it for you? I loooved the grapefruit opening! So fresh and lively.

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Testing all of the l'Artisans could take years!

But I need to try those two.

11:47 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


that's too bad. 2 minutes? Oy!

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


give it a shot- like I wrote, it was a miss for me, but a bare miss.

Besides, you never know with any of these- what might smell awful on me may totally smell fantastic on you.

Angel taught me that one: I recoiled from it then met someone on whom it was quite simply divine

11:50 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I will retry it. That was a near miss- I don't remember why I didn't fall for it initially. I think I remember thinking that it was somewhat close to an SL that I had and I was being "good"

11:52 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


The grapefruity opening was about the best citrus that I remember smelling in a long time. I even liked that hair-tonic smell that I got. I didn't like three things: $140, 250mls, and no legs. Hence, I'll pass.

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


as I get (ahem) more mature I find myself wanting less fresh and squeaky-clean. The (I assume) Jatamansi lent it something that was not that at all, and was quite comforting, but read a little old dude around the edges.

Okay, I'll retry Dzing! If I have to buy a bottle It's on your head!

11:57 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

water isn't natural and organic? okay...

11:58 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

lady jane-

Like I wrote earlier, give it a try. You never know. Plus, if it's a hit for you, respraying would be a pleasure.

12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to like L'Artisan scents but no, no grapefruit, and no bergamot, not now, not ever. Sigh. I'll have to find some other way to see what a jatsmani smells like. I was so hoping they'd come up with a new scent that I'd love. And no, I don't get why I'd care if my perfume was organic or not. hmm. Thanks for the review ...

Dzing ... I have a friend who upon smelling it swooned & said it made her want to lick boots. Boots with very high heels. Me, first whiff made me imagine burying myself naked in a velvety dark wardrobe of butter soft leathers & inhaling deeply. Whereas bergamot just makes me want to sneeze. Oh well.

Dzing Devotee ;)

5:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Dzing Devotee,
Allow me to shake your exquisitely-scented hand :-)
Fellow Devotee.

5:26 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


the grapefuit is fairly fleeting..

Now I really am going to have to try Dzing! again...

5:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, not to put too fine a point on it--grapefruit burst was great, but fleeting. And then it was. . .Old Spice. For four determined hours. I'm assuming the ayurvedic benefit is that I ran five miles, trying to flee the Old Spice scent. I keep wanting to love L'Artisan, but they don't last--not the mandarin, not the ananas fizz, not Dzing. Or worse, I can't get them off--Piment Brulant and Dzongha, which both smelled like an aggressive green pepper. I keep searching.

9:48 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That's it! Old Spice!

10:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm with you elle - i lovelovelove it and ordered it online from their newly improved website! I actually got carried away and splashed out on the jatamansi body cream too which is feels so naturally rich and untainted...i highly recommend

11:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check it out

12:56 PM EDT  

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