Fragrance X
First in Fragrance
My Photo
Location: New York, NY
© Copyright 2005-2011 Perfume-Smellin' Things
All rights reserved
Custom Search

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Orient Express: Traversée du Bosphore

By Tom

L'Artisan is a house that I kind of have a love/meh relationship with. Frankly I think it's me. I admit it, I am an American, more specifically an (immigrant) Californian, even more specifically a resident of Beverly Hills, where the bling is big. I saw a Bugatti Veyron making a left onto Doheny from Wilshire yesterday and my only thought was that in white it looked like a blancmange.

We don't do subtlety.

L'Artisan is all about subtlety, and Traversée du Bosphore is nothing if not subtle. Meant to evoke "a listless day spent exploring Istanbul" I feel from the scent that the exploration would be more in the manner of an Agatha Christie novel, or better one of those sumptuous movies from the 70's made from them: there's leather and tobacco and fruits and nuts and saffron here, but while Uncle Serge would shove our face in it and add some camphor or armpit, L'Artisan keeps it safely in the Wagon Lit with the Hermes luggage, Pratesi sheets and attentive staff. There's musk there, but it is gentlemanly, like the man who opened your bed was slightly overworked.

I like this, really I do. I know it reads like I am damning with faint praise; I'm not. It's a literal representation of one of those Agatha Christie movies with Lauren Bacall or Mia Farrow: all the glamour with the unpleasant bits glossed over. You're crossing the Bosphorus, but you're doing it First Class. Sometimes, perfume-wise (to mix metaphors) I like to go below decks...

Traversée du Bosphore will be availble at the usual suspects soon, $155 for 100ML. I cribbed my sample from ScentBar

Labels: ,


Blogger Flora said...

Tom, it sounds really great to me, but I agree that Uncle Serge has spoiled us when it comes to Orientalist style perfumes. If it were not for him, people might think something like this is over-the-top ornate. As it is, we recall the scent of Arabie or Fumerie Turque and say "Is that all ya got?" to less extreme offerings.

I am still trying to imagine a Bugatti as a blancmange, and coming up empty... ;-)

1:37 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, there's nothing Serge about this orientalist perfume, in fact, it's really not orientalist at all. It's ephemeral and charming, more of the JC Ellena/watercolor school. I don't wear leather scents very well, but this is a light suede gourmand, an unusual category, and I find it very wearable. Definitely nothing below decks in this one!

1:45 AM EST  
Anonymous Kristina said...

This sounds great! Can anyone comment on the level of sweetness?

9:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conceptually it sounds great. But what's with the wispiness? Why not go for it? A big huge sensualist rush ...that's what I hope for in a perfume. (Actually folks...I don't live in LA, but I am on the westcoast....I guess subtle isn't in the cards here either).

9:55 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Serge has spoiled us, right? but I did like this.

10:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Nope, nothing below decks here. But sometimes it's really nice to linger in First Class..

10:52 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks for the most random spam comment ever!

10:53 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It isn't terrible sweet. It's mostly a lovely light leather.

10:54 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I sort of agree. but then so many have "gone for it" in the genre, maybe they decided to be different. I do like it, though

10:55 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sweet around the edges, but not at all cloying. I cannot bear lokum perfumes, love the candy, but not the perfume versions. However, I LOVE TdB, it's the only perfume with a lokum accord that I actually like. There's no candyfloss at all. And though it's sheer, it's not whispy/wimpy. It's really pretty unique, the more I think about it....

2:11 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Unique it is! I don't really get a lot of sweetness to it. (I like Rahat Koukoum, BTW)

2:23 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I sampled this one also recently and to my nose it reminded me Dzonghka that had been candied up just a little bit.

I like it but it didn't make me want to buy a full bottle.


5:02 PM EST  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Tom--I need to spray this on my skin to hopefully get the full effect. So many folks have been raving about it, but I can't smell much of anything when I dab it on from my sample vial.

But I love, love, love their new Coeur de Vetiver Sacre!


5:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This to me is more Ellena, in a good way, I get kinda a little eau D'hiver, but pistachio, not almond, the amazing thing of this scent is how weightless it feels,
Only thing I don't like is the heart, it screams of something white and floral, not the rose, which I love.
Except for Timbuktu, and Dzonhka, I just don't find the L'artisans very wearable.

7:23 PM EST  
Anonymous Claudia0219 said...

All i can say is GO FOR me one of the nicer gourmands out there. Light suede with a little sweetness. Perfect for those that cannot wear or don't like leather fragrances. Very lovely fragrance.

8:58 AM EST  
Anonymous eleven european mystics said...

i'm in the darkest mood possible. Reading about blancmange cars in Beverly Hills and below the decks in Istanbul has brought the first hint of a smile to my face in the last seven hours. That is enough for me Tom. And the Pratesi linen...but then the whole thing shifts and I understand that the problem with this may be the absence of volume, of a clear pronunciation. It will arrive here in about two weeks. I thought I'd love it, now...

9:20 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I kind of feel the same way- but then the bar for full-bottle worthiness for me has been raised pretty high. There's just too much stuff coming out..

11:22 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'm with you one hte vetiver one!

11:23 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


L'Artisan has some lovely ones but it's not a house that I have been moved to buy a lot of scents from

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...



11:24 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Glad I could lift the spirits!

11:25 AM EST  
Anonymous eem said...

is it a leather for summer?
And Frette linen is also great.

12:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

I've never been to Istanbul but I love to exoticize it in my fantasies. T du B sounds like it might just bust my bubble. I'm gonna pass :-)

2:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Tom.

I sampled the new Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris and I find it in the same vein as the Traversee but Traversee is sweeter.


10:22 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I would be a wonderful leather from late spring/summer. Too bad it's being released now when I want my leathers to smoulder....

11:21 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think if you look at it as more of a "Masterpiece Theater" version of Istanbul you'll be fine.

11:23 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I haven't tried that one. Think I need to.

Lord there are a lot of them out there isn't there?

11:24 PM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I'm Curious. (I madly felt in love wih their last one : the Vetiver Sacre)

4:02 AM EST  
Anonymous Scent Hive said...

Tom, you did an excellent job describing this scent. I just was at Barney's with Gaia and Jessica of NST and we all thought it lovely and unique.

A bottle will become mine soon enough!

12:05 AM EST  
Anonymous March said...

Tom, I said it somewhere recently: I was shocked by how much I like this. Okay, it's subtle, and not Uncle Serge, and I don't like the idea of Turkish delight blah blah. And I thought it was great! Knock me over with a feather.

4:34 PM EST  

Post a Comment

<< Home