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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Praise of a Sonia Rykiel

By Marla

The Rykiels began as lemmings for me. I’m not usually susceptible to lemmings, but when some scent twins (triplets, actually) mentioned how similar Rykiel Woman, Not for Man! is to Barbara Bui EdP, but had pepper as an added bonus, I had to buy it. Unsniffed. I’d sworn I’d never do that again, and I hadn’t done it in a year. I’d been a good girl. Really.

So I skulked about guiltily for a week until my box showed up at the post office. I love my Barbara Bui but use it sparingly, as it has been discontinued (or maybe not). And even if the lawyers have figured it all out and it’s reissued, it’s probably an IFRA reformulation, a ghost of its lovely, suave self. (rant, rant)

So, was Rykiel Woman everything I’d hoped? Yes! It’s fantastic, slightly weird, but delicate enough (after the pepper sneeze opening) to wear at the office or on the metro. And that pepper sneeze opening is the best part. After the pepper, which is the olfactory equivalent of a beehive bouffant, it settles into a lovely amber/musk/leather which is simply heavenly, and classy besides. Then there’s the bottle, which is retro Big 80’s with a sense of humor. The whole experience reminds me of my girl-crush on the ladies of Heart when I was a junior high schooler.

If you buy it online (it’s usually around $30), make sure it’s the old formula in the Big 80’s bottle (with gold polka-dots), and not the new pink formulation, which is a bland fruity floral. Meh.

Notes for Rykiel Woman Not for Man!: created by Anne Flipo, and launched in 2003. Head notes are pepper, violet and dates; heart notes are jasmine, rose, pepper and sunflower accord; base notes are leather, amber and musk.

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Blogger Flora said...

I m starting to think that the word "reformulation" is just another term for "completely ruin." I hope I can try the original of this, it sounds fantastic!

12:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous dissed said...

I've been back and forth on this one for years. Think it's best in the heat. It's love again. Thanks for reminding me.

2:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it really blooms nicely in hot weather. It doesn't become cloying at all, or over-rich, as some leather scents do.

2:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Violet and pepper sound perfectly wierd and delicate! Must try, thanks!

10:07 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I love the fact that this is a great scent that is actually available for a great price. So rare these days and always makes me happy. :-)

1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Pepper is such a fun wacky ingredient for me...I have some Eau de Patou which I really love because I swear it has a pepper a traditional cologne, but with that twist.

You know how happy amber and leather make me...I do believe this is going on the "keep an eye out for list."

Meanwhile, fingers are in ears and I am singing loudly whenever you start to mention Barbara BLA-LA-LA ;)

2:51 PM EDT  
Blogger saralevy said...

I've loved this one for several years. Violet, pepper, and a wonderful date (the fruit, not the social occasion) note are what I notice most. And it does resemble Barbara Bui. Body lotion is terrific too.

8:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm going to have to find that body lotion! And thanks for mentioning the date note, it is there, and it's lovely. Date isn't used often, but maybe it should be!

8:00 AM EDT  

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