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Friday, August 14, 2009

Caron Les Plus Belles Lavandes: Perfume Review

This year, I have been rediscovering lavender, and, of course, summer is the perfect season to enjoy the genre. Czech & Speake's Oxford & Cambridge is my "traditional", straight-up, cold and brisk lavender of choice. I also enjoy the note in the context of two Caron masculines, Le 3ème Homme, where it is is served with moss and amber, and L'Anarchiste, which mixes it into an "icy fruity" cocktail. And of course, my top lavender choice (and the main summer fave) is Lostmarh'c's L'Eau de L'Hermine, where lavender is soft, slightly sugared and brightened by the presence of a honeyed citrus accord.

With Less Plus Belles Lavandes Caron adds to my small collection of lavenders something that has been missing there: an oriental lavender. Blended with quite a bit of vanilla and a fairly generous dose of amber, this is how the scent manifests itself on my skin - as a fresh oriental. At times, that vanilla-amber-musk accord even tricks me into thinking, for a shocked half a second, that I am wearing CK Obsession. No, really! But forgive me for describing the scent in reverse chronology. Less Belles Plus Lavandes starts with as realistically a lavender as it gets, almost out-shining the herbal-fresh Oxford & Cambridge in its chilly verdancy. Then vanilla tiptoes in, softening the blend delicately. Its presence becomes more and more noticeable and finally culminates in that oriental base, which keeps surprising me every time I wear this fragrance.

I have only one negative thing to say about Less Belles Plus Lavandes: I dislike its bottle. This lavender is complex enough and fancy enough to warrant something a little more elegant than the utilitarian and unremarkable container. I wish the scent came in one of Caron's rectangular splash flacons with a tall stopper...So in protest against the bottle, I am not posting its image as an accompaniment to the text. Instead, you are forced to look at yours truly, giddy among the "samovars". Is the new Caron The Most Beautiful Lavender? Well, it is one of the very, very attractive once for sure. But visiting the well-hidden Caron boutique in NYC and spending time with delightful Diane is the most beautiful experience.

You can find it inside Phyto Universe, 715 Lexington Ave (58th St).

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Blogger tmp00 said...

If I am very good and there is a heaven that I get to go to, in it will be my bathroom, a corner of which will look just like that.

1:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sturdycat said...

Are you that pretty, or did you have a fantastic photographer?

1:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marian said...

I love Les Plus Belles Lavandes silvery buoyancy and versatility. It's delicate clarity makes it perfect for a casual summer day, and the discretely sensuous drydown would also be right at home at a Hamptons cocktail party on the beach.

The Caron boutique is a hidden jewel across the street from Bloomies. And you're right- Diane is what gives the boutique its special sparkle!

1:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Mine too. But "for some reason I can't explain, I know" that's not going to happen :-)

2:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's definitely the photographer. The best one. I can give you their contact info.They like to be paid in samples. Very expensive oud samples.

2:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If I did not love LPBL already, I would have fallen for it just reading your description. That party on a beach sounds lovely. And I know the best photographer for it! :-)

2:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

This sounds delightful. I like the Czech and Speake as well. I think my new favorite lavender is Andy Tauer's Reverie au Jardin - it is comfortable and alluring all at once.

2:21 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

That boutique really is a little piece of heaven. Magical. I know I have a sample of this somewhere. Must find it. I've been gradually coming around to loving more and more lavenders (a calming, peaceful note - how could that not win me over?)and the dry down of this one sounds irresistibly delicious.

6:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I need to revisit Reverie au Jardin, thank you for the reminder.

10:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you don't find a sample, please let me know!

10:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

I loved visiting the Caron boutique on my brief NY visit last year(or was it 2 years back-losing track of time) DH had been fore-warned that perfume would be a definite part of the trip..:)
Your description of this perfume sounds a lot like my impression of Andy's Reverie au Jardin- a warm yet refreshing lavender (though there definitely isn't any amber in RdJ, there is something softly warm and comforting about it). Now I must get my hands on a sample of this. (M- have I told you yet how many lemmings you are responsible for..:))

4:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I must try this one - and like Tom, my idea of heaven is a Caron boutique complete with the crystal urns!

And Sturdycat, yes she really is that pretty . :-)

1:58 PM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Oh, I emerge from the woods and find this temptation. Hmmmm...."lavender oriental"? Given that I am also a fan of the Caron male lavenders, and Andy Tauer's herbal take, plus being an amber fan...well, I think I'll have to investigate whether the vanilla/musk portions behave for me, or overtake. There are times I like, times they are too much..., you reminded me I would like to try L'Eau de L'Hermine. Life was so much simpler just a day ago. ;)

11:59 AM EDT  
Anonymous Trish said...

I can't wait to go to the Caron Boutique on Thursday. Will be in NYC for the day!!

7:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You DH sounds like a saint! :-)

1:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I feel bad about it too. It IS a lovely Spa, but a wrong ambiance for Caron, and the boutique deserve to be a stand-alone somewhere.

1:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

:-)) Well, life doesn't stay simple for long. I hope you will report on your investigations!

1:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

How fun! Eenjoy your day!

1:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I don't know how I missed this review - it sounds divine. I love lavender and I love oriental, so it sounds like something I really need to sniff.

Although, now I'm also wondering what would happen if I layered either Jicky or C&S Oxford and Cambridge with Obsession - probably something that would clear out the tri-state area.

11:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I dare you to try doing that :-)

10:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Well now I have to try it - I can't promise that I'll leave the house though. ;-)

12:11 PM EDT  

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