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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rae of Light Part 2: Amoureuse, Eau Illuminée and Emotionelle

By Tom

The last three of the six samples I bought from her website. Just throwing that out there in advance, so I won't be investigated.

Amoureuse is tuberose. For those of you who were scared by Fracas as a child, fear not. This isn't a tigress like the Piguet or a post-modern bondage queen like Tubereuse Criminelle. This is a placid, shimmering scent that is primarily woody and quite chilly in the beginning. As Marina eventually came to a darker place with this one than I did. For her it became "thick, almost a little cloying". For me it stayed softly spicy, slightly honeyed and quite gorgeous.

Eau Illuminée was inspired by "the beauty, light and physicality of San Francisco". I've been to The City (caps are theirs..) several times and love it; I don't know it this sparkling little number is the personification (scentification?) of that place, but it's the one that I think I would like to own most of the six. Marina writes that it's a citrus "that packs a punch", and what a punch! Basil, lime and lavender are seamlessly blended into chilly perfection. Orris, tonka and labdanum warm things up like that sun peeping through that SF fog, but like a summer day in the City by the Bay, the fog is never far off.

Emotionelle opens with the most perfect melon you can imagine. If you squeezed a perfectly ripe and fulsome cantaloupe onto your forearm you still wouldn't get the melony perfection of this. I am rather averse to melon in scents, so I was trying to mentally distance myself from this stage, which is difficult, what with my forearm being in such close proximity to my face. Cedar, vetiver and spices go up against it, but that big, juicy melon just rolls over them. Soooo, not me. Maybe it's you?

These are $135 for 50ML, at her website, where I bought the samples. Also at Luckyscent, Aedes and Barneys (not all of them at Barneys online)

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Blogger Flora said...

Tom, I am one of those rare melon lovers, as long as it's the real thing, and I have been very curious about Emotionelle since I first heard of it. I am sure Amoureuse and I would also bond immediately.

1:39 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If you're a melon lover than I think you'll be in heaven. But Marina in her review disagrees. It's worth the six bucks to get her generous samples to find out.

2:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Zazie said...

I think Amoureuse is among the best florals around!
It's my humble opinion, of course ;)...
The reason is: I love tuberose (though admittedly I don't get much of it out of l'A), and I just swoon over honey and delicious woods in the drydown.
I get a lot of bitter green mandarin (or whatever it is) in the opening.
Oh, and I dab it, instead of spraying it.
I just wish the dry-down was a bit less pretty and a nuance darker.

3:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

Thanks to you twisting my arm I ordered the samples yesterday - these all sound pretty worth exploring. Thanks for the reviews!

3:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I used to think that Amoureuse was a bit much, but this days, even though I sort of moved away from being a fan of Big Florals, this is one of the very few in the genre that I crave.

6:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Mals86 said...

I like melon... but I found Emotionelle's melon rather, um, garbagey. I mean, melon left uneaten and decaying in the heat instead of the crisp honeyed juiciness on a plate that I was hoping for.

But Amoureuse has been singing siren songs to me for some time, so as I said yesterday, I think I'll bite soon on that sample set. Thanks again for the reviews!

8:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I love Amoureuse, too - it's on my to buy list along with Debut. It sounds like Eau Illuminée needs to be moved to the top of my "to try" list, especially since the samples are sitting on my desk at home. At this rate, I might end up with 3 FBs from DelRae in short order.

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

I love your reviews, Tom. You always make me smile.

I haven't tried any of these, but you make me really want to try Amoureuse. I am a little tuberose-phobic, though... it grows and grows and grows on my skin.

12:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in SF and the peninsula, and I can tell you that Eau Illuminee captures the herbal brushy hills and woods of coastal northern California. I was wearing EI a few weeks ago while bicycling around the Monterey area-- the woods around Asilomar smell just like EI's drydown. Heavenly.
-- Gretchen
ps: best sample set ever.

2:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Zazie said...

Hi Ducks!
I was surprised when I learnt about the tuberose: I fell in love with L'A without knowing the notes and on my skin it is all bitter-green opening and warm honey dry down, veiling a distant vaguely floral bouquet. On me this is as far from being Big Floral as it ca be, but it is HUGE on the honey (which I love). I own several tuberose fragraces, but you won't find in L'A any hints of the creamy or camphorous or salty/rubbery petals... As I said above, I dab the fragrance; spraying might bring out the florals and the tubey more!

2:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I adore Amoureuse for exactly the reasons you stated .....

** softly spicy, slightly honeyed and quite gorgeous.**


3:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think what I liked most is that it isn't too much tuberose.

3:59 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


They certainly are- they're generously sized samps at a great price!

4:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It really a lovely scent, isn't it?

4:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I can see where you get that. For me it just skirts it. But I really don't like melon in scents so it's not a plus.

4:01 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I would love to read how you liked them!

4:02 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thank you! I think you might be pleasantly surprised by Amoureuse.

4:03 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is the best set ever! And thanks for the description of the Bay area; I want to take that bicycle ride!

4:04 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Since the samps were vials I dabbed too, and you might be right about spraying.

Much as I love it, I cannot imagine Fracas being sprayed..

4:06 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Amoureuse is a lovely. lovely thing. I'm so glad that I tried the others in her collection as well.

4:07 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I am a hopeless honey sl*t and the honeyed quality is what I love most about Amoureuse. Have a much more tentative relationship w/ tuberose (loathe Fracas), but it works for me here. Need to resample Illuminee and Emotionelle. I *really* want to be able to love Emotionelle because I'm such a huge fan of M. Roudnitska's work, but...that killer melon! I had visions of it having a rather terrifying starring role in a Halloween movie.

8:21 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


the killer kantaloupe is something I just cant get over

9:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Marian said...

Although Fracas smells like a men's locker room on me, Amoureuse and I are good friends. "Just a dab will do ya", but that dab is oh, so heady and sensuous!

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


A dab is a wonderful thing...

2:29 PM EDT  
Blogger The Left Coast Nose said...

I live in San Francisco, and Amoureuse's scent illusion of Victorian Box tree is truly magical-- come visit us here in the spring and you'll see.

I agree with Mals86 that Emotionelle's famous melon phase is slightly garbagy-- but that drydown-- I would wear that everywhere.

As for Eau Illuminee-- "packs a punch"-- wore it once and I'm still traumatized!!

I love the DelRae line as a whole though-- thanks for reviewing!
Rita @ LeftCoastNose

9:10 AM EDT  

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