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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saturday Sniffage

By Tom

This Saturday started off with a trip to Apothia, the store on Melrose Avenue that hosted the LA Sniffa last February. This time was dor a presentation from a company I'd not heard of: Givaudan. Accoerding to Wikipedia, "Givaudan has created fragrances for designers like Calvin Klein, Bijan, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and celebrities like Michael Jordan..." They previewed 5 upcoming scents: we smelled them on paper strips, which I feel is never the best way to experience a scent, and perhaps was the reason that not one of them I particularly liked. They seemed to be varying degrees of fruit/citrus/floral, and each one started with bergamot further cementing the idea that 2008 should be a bergamot-free year.

Apothia carries Serge Lutens, and I sniffed Un Lys again, reminding me what I like in perfume.

Having made the decision that I would not review the Givaudan scents in depth, I ventured out with my friend and co-conspirator Lynn to find something I would review. I stopped by new find Blunda, which is right in my neighborhood and carries the lovely Aftelier line. I tried the stunning Cepes and Tuberose, Shiso and Tango. Such a beautiful line and one that I will have to come back to.

Then it was off to ScentBar (I SWEAR I don't work for them). I tried the new Parfum d"Empire which are all lovely. (does anyone else think that Bengale smells a lot like Sables?), the gorgeous new L’atelier Boheme scents which I asked for samples of fully intending to review them when I was pointed to L'homme Sage by Divine.

Divine it is; wood, wood, and more wood, resinous and gorgeous, highlighted in the opening by cardamom and saffon, and grounded at the drydown by incense and a touch of immortelle. Chandler Burr in The Times preferred Dolce et Gabbana's (IMHO utterly dull) Light Blue, writing about Homme Sage snarked "for those who love cigarette-cured leather bars, this is perfection." Chandler, trust me on this, the Ramrod in no way smells this good. My credit card somehow managed to slither out on it's own and forced me to purchase. That's my story and I am sticking to it!

$115 for 50ml; apparenly I got the last one in the store. They are getting more however, which is a very good thing indeed.


Blogger elle said...

Paper strips? Please! And I'll gladly sign whatever petition might be going around for 2008 being a bergamot-free year.
I adore L'homme Sage. Pure perfection.
After falling for Tango, I've decided I need to retry the Aftelier line. Am very curious about Cognac.

10:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Forget bergamot. I vote for declaring 2008 Red Pepper, Pink Grapefruit and Litchi Free Year.

10:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Gaia said...

I shall not buy unsniffed. I shall not buy unsniffed. I shall not buy unsniffed...
There must be something terribly wrong with me, considering my love for manly, woody scents.

I so don't get the fuss or the appeal of Light Blue. Not just because it's horrible on me (well, that sure doesn't help), but why would I be interested in a fragrance you smell on every cheaply-suited intern walking around Midtown?

11:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I still can't believe Chandler Burr LIKES Light Blue - when I saw his NYT review, I read it over again to make sure I was reading it right. I find it equally unbelievable that he did NOT like the other one!

Odd that Givaudan would be doing a retail promotion - those outfits usually stay out of the spotlight.

Mmmm, Scent Bar - sure wish there was one near me! Or maybe I just need to come to LA - it's rainy season up here. :-)

11:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I was poking around on Luckyscent Tues wondering what new I could sample & found myself staring at Divine. Wood, saffron & incense, wow yum. I need to smell this.

Re: leather bars. Eau de Mineshaft sounds revolting. But ... maybe a musky leather scent w tobacco (fine cigar) & a note of cognac? What do you think?
And what's he talking about, there's no smoking in NYC bars anymore. Nor real leather bars, now that I think of it.

12:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L'Homme Sage is wonderful, though there's a note in there that doesn't play happy on my skin. Can see why people love it though. I prefer the bluey-green (with shafts of white milky gloss) qualities of l'homme de coeur. See, I'm more heart than head...

3:43 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Like Lee, I prefer L'Homme de Coeur but the whole Divine line can never get enough love: it's both classically French (balance, refinement, complexity) and quite modern. And I do get a strong immortelle note from Fougère Bengale (unlisted): it's not quite as tenacious as in Sables, which has the half-life of polonium, but it's very prominent.

4:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Mmmmhmm, mmhmm, mmmhmmm!! The whole Divine line is utterly *gorgeous*! Glad you found a new love!

4:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Oh, and I will totally freakin' second the no Litchi Ban!! Where's the petition?!

4:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ramrod?
Now there's a perfume name waiting to be snapped up.


7:20 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

That's very funny; I read that review too and thought, Chandler, you are goofing on me with the leather bar thing. Great scent, great line.

I'll sign the ban on litchi and various berries, along with "frozen" and "sparkling," etc.

I'll stick my neck out among the haters and say D&G Light Blue is an excellent scent (although I don't wear it) stuck in a hideous bottle, and I can think of waaay worse things (Angel! Pink Sugar!) to smell on every third person at the mall.

Lee, you know you like head just as much as heart ;-)

8:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shout out to Ramrod, Tom!

I must try LHdS. I'm wearing L'homme de coeur today, but it's being particularly quiet on me today...perhaps it would be better if I just sprung for a full spray bottle and doused myself in it. So beautiful.

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger IrisLA said...

Tom, So that's where you snuck off to after the sniffa. We ended up at All Purpose to sniff the CB I Hate Perfume line.

Scribbling in L'homme Sage on my to Sniff list at Scent Bar.

11:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops, did I say Eau de Mineshaft? Ramrod, meant Ramrod! lol so ok, guess you know where my guy pals hung out in the 80s, lol. Teach me to post after midnight.
Count me in on those petitions. I'll sign for bergamot & litchi.

11:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Divalano -- down here its the Chain Drive. There must be some sort of underground leather bar any rate I think we all knew what you meant!

I too love the Divine line. And they are very sweet if you write them for samples...just sayin'...

3:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

L'Homme Sage is wonderful, and Chandler Burr is just nuts. But I'm biased because LIght Blue smells like hell on me.

The whole Divine line does not get the love it should.

3:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I was not familiar with this line, but Tom, your review is so luscious that I immediately wrote for samples! I can't wait to try L'Homme Sage! And, I vote to completely ban anything with a prefix of "Frosted" like "Frosted Lemon"...or anything that trys to smell like an overly ripe apple, what are those anyhow?

9:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How utterly annoying! To me L'homme Sage was as stale and fluffy as that scented toilet paper my mother uses. Flatly predictable and quite cloying.

Interesting that this reviewer finds Light Blue dull. I felt it was sexy and spontaneous with an oddly flashing dimensionality (cubist). Not some overburdened piece of work conjuring volumes of internalized references.

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I was disappointed in the paper strips, but not thriled when I smelled the actual scents when they were presented in the store.

7:24 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I could go for a lychee-free sentury, thanks

7:25 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I totally agree withh you about Light Blue.

I think I can safely write that you would like l'homme sage unsniffed

7:26 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I did a double take on the LB review myself.

I also wonder exactly what kind of establishments MR Burr hangs out in....

7:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Nope, no smiking in bars anywhere. There are leather bars in LA, but I am too much of a cashmere sort of guy to be let in.

Come to LA!

7:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Nope, no smiking in bars anywhere. There are leather bars in LA, but I am too much of a cashmere sort of guy to be let in.

Come to LA!

7:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


L'homme de coeur? I didn't even see that one!

7:31 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Glad you got the immortelle as well- and I will have to hunt down this l'homme de coeur

7:32 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Well start one!

7:33 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm sure it will be the new Tom Ford mens scent

7:34 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


There are worse thigs at Sephora with "blue" in the name- the deep-fried licorice for instance.

But rating it higher than l'homme sage?

7:35 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

billy d-

I guess I am the last to know about the other one..

I, of course, never went to the Ramrod. Ever,

7:38 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


actually I was meeting a friend for lunch, and we went to ScentBar after.

Was Allessando at All Purpose? Isn't he the nicest guy? I'd kill for his teeth!

7:39 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Mineshaft, Ramrod, you are only digging yourself deeper- nest thing you'll be telling us you spent Wednesdays watching "Dynasty" at Uncle Charlies!

7:41 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm writing!

7:42 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


LB was not good on me either. At all.

7:43 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...



The only thing I want frosted are cupcakes.

7:44 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


chemistry is everything- light blue was an insipid, industrial smelling mess on me; flakeboard and formica to l'homme sage's hand-rubbed antique. Due to the availability, I wish the opposite was the case.

7:47 PM EDT  

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