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Monday, December 03, 2007

Perfume Review: Sonya Rykiel Belle en Rykiel

Here is how to make your very own Belle en Rykiel. Take Rykiel's Woman Not For Men (or, lacking that, Barbara Bui, which is more or less the same thing), add a generous splash of any lavender soliflore, and you are all set.

Seriously though, the premise of Belle en Rykiel was very appealing. "Feminine, but with a nod to the masculine (...) composed of equal parts of darkness and light" (osMoz) ...frankincense-lavender accord contrasted with the soft gourmand-ness of heliotrope and vanilla... In reality, the frankincense part of the deal is missing completely on my skin, and lavender alone is incapable to produce the effect of "darkness", although it does manage to add a touch of cliché barber-shop-ish masculinity to the composition. The top notes, where lavender reigns supreme, are sharp, soapy and cold. As vanilla and heliotrope become perceptible, softening the chilly harshness of lavender, the fragrance warms up considerably, acquiring the weightless fluffiness that is quiet attractive although not in any way original. In fact, as soon as lavender disappears, Belle en Rykiel basically turns into the aforementioned Woman Not For Men / Barbara Bui on me...only with an addition of a note that is vaguely coffee-like. But that one note, lovely as it is , does not make up for the absence of the promised frankincense and for the aggressive over-abundance of lavender, not does it make me, an owner of a Barbara Bui bottle, to want to purchase the new Rykiel scent.

Fairly boring as it is, Belle en Rykiel should, however, be appreciated for what it is NOT (yet again). A luxe perfume release that is not fruity, fruity-floral and/or aquatic deserves our kudos. So kudos to Rykiel!

Belle en Rykiel is available at Nordstrom, $70.00-$85.00.

The winner of Friday's poll is Existentialist. Please email me your address and the samples will be on their way!


Blogger elle said...

Lavender. Too. Much. Lavender. Can't really be objective about this scent due to the overabundance of that note on my skin, but, even if it hadn't been for the lavender, I don't think I'd have found it thrilling enough to merit buying. But, you're right - kudos to Rykiel for all the things it's not. :-)

7:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take a pass on the Belle, no lavender thank you. But I'm happy to be reminded that I'll have an option for those bland not sure what to wear to work days when my Barbara Bui runs out. Today's very much a BB day, a cranky Mon when all I can do is get out the door with a long day & then a final ahead of me tonight. Gimme Barbara.

7:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Completely agree. way too much lavender. But at least it's not fruits :-)

7:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Best of luck today!!

7:58 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I killed off the lavender rapidly (and am glad I did) but mostly I get coffee. Coffeecoffeecoffee. You're right though, yay on the not-a-fruit-salad angle. And (if I didn't have those other options) Belle would be more appealing. The drydown's soft and a little sexy.

8:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. It came on the scene too late.

8:26 AM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

That's too bad.

Ugh... the comments have got me writhing. Lavender and coffee sounds horrible to me this morning. I love the smell of lavender-the-plant but never seem to warm up to the scent when it's on my skin.

As for coffee, I so wish I could wear it, but ... I can't. I tried one of CSP's vanilla/coffee scents for a while -- the problem was that the coffee went rancid as the scent dried down, and the end result reminded me way too much of that time I spilled the coffeepot on myself at work one Monday when it had been sitting all weekend.

9:49 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't do well with very coffe-ish coffee scents myself, but in this one the note is not too prominent and is quite nice.

9:58 AM EST  
Blogger Gail S said...

Well, thanks for this review! Since I have Barbara Bui and Woman not for Man and plenty of lavender scents, I'll take this one off my wishlist! Sad, it sounded really promising....

10:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd still give it a try. It is a nice scent, just didn't wow me.

10:45 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I have only tried BeR quickly on a card, and for that matter, hardly know the SR line so had no idea Woman Not For Men was anything like BB. Must try it!

1:56 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Would love to then hear your thoughts re: Woman SR vs BBui.

2:02 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Is it at least a decent lavender?

2:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's OK.

2:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow- our chemistries must be very different. i adore not for man, but belle is too sweet for me. and i don't find any likenesses between the two scents. i like belle - but don't feel called to wear it. maybe because it reminds me very much of absolu by rochas, which i have. not for man i find extremely sexy.

regarding chic - it's one of those scents that is "easy" for others to get - nothing challenging about it, but it's pretty. it's one of the brighter roses i know of. - minette

11:04 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Not for Men is much on me than belle. Funny, huh? :-)

6:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, I just got my package, thank you so much! I am going to try the Parfum Pour Toi as soon as I get out of the office for the day. :-) I'm excited to try them all.
Happy weekend, everyone!


11:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad!!

11:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Belle en Rykiel! And everytime i wear it, i get sooo many compliments. Im a bartender at a luxury hotel in NYC and most of my customers at the bat cant get enough of the scent....i guess everyone's nose is different! I did enjoy reading people's comment tough and found it quite interesting that i seem to be the only one who's happy with the fragrance!

8:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like genevieve, I really like Belle, but this is probably due to the fact that lavender fits my chemistry so well. Still, I agree, at least it's not fruity-floral!

9:00 AM EDT  

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