Gourmand Perfume – Posse Scent Club November Part II

FU#*$&@* Gourmand perfume.  Word of advice — never go out of town when there is a Posse Scent Club coming up that you have to write for, and at least one of the scents on the list is something you detest that has some fierce fans, because your “friends” will stick you with the one scent you don’t ever want to write about again.

gourmand perfumeSo…. let’s start somewhere else in hopes of keeping the yelling down when I get to ArabieSerge Lutens Rahat Loukhoum is one of those scents that I could stick my nose in the bottle and sniff all day and be happy. Put it on my skin?  Not so much.  Notes of fresh white almond, crushed cherry pits, hawthorn, heliotrope, Turkish rose, balsam, tonka bean, aldehydes, white honey, musk and vanilla.   I’m not sure what goes wrong on me, and it doesn’t always, but I’m blaming the honey.  Inspired by the thick, jellied candy, which I’ve never smelled… maybe?  It’s not that white stuff with the jelly chunks inside it that Brachs makes and sells in the Pick-a-Mix bins? 

Listen, my culture just isn’t that polished, shoot me –oh, wait, the Arabie fans will do that later, never mind. 

The open of Rahat is sweet and cherry and just lovely, but the longer it’s on me, it turns into kind of a blobby mess. I’m not sure if it does that on everyone, but because of the way it dries down, this for me will always remain in my “leave it in the bottle to sniff” category of perfumes – gourmand perfume or not –  but any time I am almost out of it, I have to make sure I have at least a couple of ml around always to sniff because smelling it makes me very happy, for reasons I just can’t explain.

Guerlain’s Iris Ganache I’ve reviewed in the past, and I’ve not changed my mind on how much I love this since my previous review.  The notes are  bergamot, iris butter, white chocolate, floral notes, cinnamon, patchouli, white musks, cedarwood and vanilla. It sounds like a mess, but it so works, never going too sweet or into the sweet gourmand perfume territory.  Wasser balanced this one perfectly, as the drydown veers off into a dry territory that is a shadow of sweetness, just a whisper.  In fact, the longer I smell this one, the more I adore it.

Listen, when I get done with this next one, I should just move before the Arabie lovers show up at my door, throw a gunny sack over my head and take me out and throw me in the river.  What they were thinking when they made this perfume potage is a mystery.  A commenter said yesterday that they wanted to eat Arabie, not wear it, and that’s pretty much where I fall, just so I don’t have to smell it!  Notes of Cedar, sandalwood, candied mandarin peel, dried figs, dates, cumin, nutmeg, clove, balsamic resins, Tonka bean, Siamese benzoin, myrrh reads like a shopping list for King Soopers instead of a perfume.  It’s just tooooooo much — too cuminy, too much spice, too, yes, FOODY!  Gak, gah, erp, yuk, I hate this stuff on me with the passion of a thousand burning coals. I will never change my mind, no, not ever.   Pardon me, I need to salt and pepper my Arabie hand and eat it now.

  ::: shudder ::::

Whether gourmand perfume or foody perfume, I do always find myself fascinated with the more “eaty” scents, even though I wear very few of them. Iris Ganache is one of the ones I do wear.  When you do try a gourmand perfume, are you someone that wears them or just likes to sniff them in the bottle?  Out of the six scents that we picked for this Posse Scent Club, which did you like the most? Which did you think was the best made, even if it wasn’t your favorite? And why?

 

  • Vasily says:

    Well, the only one of the lot I’ve tried is Arabie … I have no interest in Loukhoum though I like the candy … tried Serena Ava Franco’s take on it, and meh … plus I loathe almond in hand cream and other products, so suspect Loukhoum would leave me cold. The Iris Ganache sounds interesting but not for me. Fou d’Absinthe is on my list to try.

    Now to Arabie … the first SL I tried was Chergui. Disaster on me. There was something highly unpleasant about it on my skin. I’ve recently tried Arabie and Fumerie Turque. The latter’s on my must have list, Arabie is on my near miss list. As a former pipe smoker, the Arabie association for me wasn’t with fruit cake but with certain dried-fruit soaked Danish or English blends that feature Latakia that I used to favor. If Fumerie Turque is a fruited Virginia-Turkish tobacco blend, Arabie is smoky Latakia and the richest boozy Christmas pudding you can imagine. I don’t get the cumin note at all.

    Fumerie Turque is something I’d wear through the colder months. Arabie is something I’d trot out once in a while, particularly around the holidays. I like ’em both, but Fumerie Turque is my fave. But if someone has a bottle of Arabie they’d like to lay on me, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down…

    Vasily

  • Clare says:

    I am learning so much on this website and thank you all for your wonderfully written reviews and comments. I am a newbie to the world of fragrance and learning all about these unusual perfumes is just wonderful! Arabie is quite delicious. I can smell different layers of spices. It seems more of a masculine fragrance to me but I would gladly wear it to work except for my co-worker who has fragrance sensitivity and complains already about my perfumes. This one would probably send her flying out of the building! I love Iris Ganache! Knowing little about perfume, it’s my first iris-based fragrance and I was immediately hit with a burst of cold metal if that makes and sense. Then it dries down to a lovely sweet smell. Even though I have sworn off marriage after two divorces, I am thinking that I may have to find someone in the perfume or retail industry for husband #3 so that I can get all these wonderfully delicious fragrances for gifts or for free. I thought the Sushi one would not smell of fish but I never expected the absolutely fantastic scent that made me sniff my arm all night long. Is that how you recognize a fellow perfumista. They walk around with their arm up to their nose all day? LOL. I can’t wait to order the winter scents.

  • luv_bug says:

    I love Sushi Imperiale, which manages to be gourmand without being cloying or obvious. I don’t understand the name, either, but I do know that it was named way back in the day, so they were probably like, “This is kind of spicy. Which makes it oriental. What do those Orientals eat? Like, sushi, or something?” Et voila!

    Arabie reminds me of a dense piece of fruitcake. I prefer to throw those things through people’s windows like festive bricks, rather than eat or even smell them. So, it’s on my “no” list, too.

    • Patty says:

      Hahaha! That’s the way I feel about Arabie too, out the window or at least put it in the kitchen where it belongs.

    • March says:

      Hey, luvbug — somebody commented yesterday that they thought sushi imperiale was the name of a rice pudding type dish, sushi apparently meaning rice. Am I the only person who didn’t know that? That sushi refers to the rice? Probably (isn’t sashimi sushi without the rice? I’m such a goob. I don’t eat sushi. When we go to sushi joints I have vegetable tempura and one of those giant Sapporo beers.

  • Camille says:

    Interesting how many different takes there are on these scents! Fun to read the various reactions.

    I have a sample of Arabie and consider it toxic. It is pure curry on me; although I love curry I don’t want to smell like it, especially not this slightly sour version. I think I got Nina’s version of Arabie in my sample vial.

    On the other hand, I adore Bois Farine and like Rahat very much–both are “comfort scents” for me. The first is creamy wood, the second almondy goodness. I get very little cherry from Rahat; it’s mostly a “clear” scent on me, if that makes sense–not creamy, not powdery, not really sugary, ust clear and true almond.

    I found Sushi very masculine. That’s not bad, just not what I was expecting from the descriptions I’d read. Haven’t tried the Fou.

    The biggest surprise for me was the Iris Ganache. I adore Iris, am a Guerlain devotee, and don’t mind sweet, but I can’t tolerate IG. I have the stomach flip reaction of Lee here–I just can’t abide the combo of iris and chocolate with the Guerlain base. It is a scrubber for me, and I immediately gifted away the decant I’d purchased unsniffed. This was a complete shock for me and one I still can’t believe, but I tried and there is no way I’m gonna put this one to skin again.

    Looking foward to the next roundup of scents. It’s so fun to read the reactions to the contenders!

    • Patty says:

      The IG does have a very different feel to it, I think, so it makes sense that if you love Guerlain normally, that one may not work for you. I’ve actually wound up slowly loving all of the Matiere scents, though it took a while for some of them. 🙂

  • BBliss says:

    This brings ups something that I really am curious about – is it better to spray or dab or does it depend on the particular scent? And does it alter how a fragrance wears? I think it might…Is that why EDP (spray)and parfum (dab) are often packaged differently?

    We probably have had this discussion before, or maybe I missed it, but I’ve never really had my curiousity satisfied on this one…

    • Kim says:

      I am also curious about the spray vs. dab – would love lots more about this from the the 4 writers. Why it makes a difference, etc.

    • Patty says:

      This is purely my opinion, but I think it depends on the scent. I’ve had some scents I dabbed from the samples that I hated or loved and later tried spritzing and moved to the opposite feeling. It may be the concentration, the composition, but some just are better dabbed and some are better sprayed.

      • BBliss says:

        Yes, application mode has made me change my mind, too – but then I thought I was being overly analytical…

    • March says:

      A lot of hardcore fragrance nuts are really weird about the dab, from the perspective of the stopper (and thus the parfum) being contaminated by touching your skin. So they advocate decanting any such fragrance into a small atomizer for personal application.

      If you would like to make one of those people instantly insane, touch some part of your person to the stopper, or (if using a pipette) touch it to your skin.

      There. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest… clearly the application makes a difference. Generally I spray lighter things and dab stronger (or walk through the mist briefly, like with Fracas.) I think I get more out of spraying something than dabbing it (which makes testing from vials tough, I’m moving to those teeny weeny atomizers.)

      Finally, to all those SAs in stores who shriek at me not to touch my wrists together because I’ll “crush” the notes — I find that absurd, barring some reasonable explanation.

      • BBliss says:

        I get the contamination aspect for sure – but, well – if it’s mine and mine alone, I just dab away…and those SAs…never gave the wrist thing, a decent explanation, so I also crush away, because sometimes you don’t want to spritz both wrists and be dripping with fragrance.

  • BBliss says:

    Hmmm…I’m a foody person, but not into gourmand scents – they are interesting to smell, but often turn my stomach when on skin. I totally get your point, Patty.

    One of the weirder ones would be Arabie. Another one I found curious was the old Hanae Mori – it was strawberry and almonds, but morphed into a sweet vanilla smell – does anybody remember this one?

  • Gail S says:

    Okay, lemmesee….

    Rahat Loukhoum – I think I’m with you on this one. I do actually enjoy sniffing the top notes but if it’s on skin, it becomes nauseating within about ten minutes.

    Iris Ganache – Very nice. I like it a lot but don’t love it. There’s something in the drydown that many perfumes do on my skin that makes them smell very similar. This is one of them. I’ll have to do more research to find out what they have in common.

    Arabie – Haven’t tried. You’re making me nervous about it, but I think I’ll have to chance it anyway because I love spicy.

    Which brings me to my favorite. Hands down, Sushi Imperiale! I currently have approximately a hundred bottles of perfume and this one gets worn at least three days a week. Dear daughter wears it more than that. I have a feeling that it will be one of the few perfumes that I will be compelled to repurchase because I’m pretty sure we will go through our bottle.

    Best made – maybe Iris Ganache? Because those notes shouldn’t work.

    • Patty says:

      With the spice love, you definitely should try Arabie. I wish that series of notes appealed to me to wear as a perfume, but I just feel like i’ve spent the day in the kitchen (which I never do!) cooking. makes me tired. 🙂

  • Teri says:

    I was a bit trepidatious about Iris Ganache, because Guerlains tend to go sour on my skin. But to my surprise, it did well on me. Perhaps because it is sweeter than the normal Guerlain. That sweetness may have balanced the tendency of my skin to sour their frags. I normally do not like chocolate notes in fragrances, but I like it in this one. I’m toying with purchasing some of this. A Guerlain? With chocolate? Who’da thunk?

    I’m afraid the Rahat Loukhoum never even made it to my skin. I adore almond, but abhor cherry, so I wimped out and just sniffed it in the vial. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about those white nougat candies with the jelly globs in them! I made the same mental leap when I sniffed this.\:d/

    Arabie is fascinating and beautifully crafted. It truly is an olfactory journey to the East. It smelled good in the vial and good on my skin, but I still have a ways to go in my growth as a perfumista before I’d actually wear it. But then I felt the same way about the CdG Incense fragrances when I first smelled them, and two of them have now made their way into my regular rotation. I’ve set the Arabie aside for a retry next year.

    Of this month’s six, my pick is the Sushi Imperiale, with the Iris Ganache nipping at its heels.

    Can’t wait for next month. I love all the scents associated with the holidays.

  • Judith says:

    Well, having read all the acclaim, I feel I MUST retry Arabie (which I don’t know well), and I just happen to have a mini somewhere. . .Ah, here it is–cumin monster at first, then. . spicy, OK, but I’m not getting it yet. Maybe I need to dab more (I sometimes have perfume-eating skin). Will check back later on that. For the others. Rahat–cherry is one of my least favorite notes, and it’s TOO FOODY anyway. Iris Ganache–sorry, too sweet for me. And since I haven’t yet tried the Sushi (though I must), and Fou d’Absinthe started out promising but turned into shaving cream on me, that leaves Bois Farine, which I really like. Still leaving Arabie (and sushi) open as a possiblity.

    • Patty says:

      I would have guessed you to be in the Arabie love camp, how exciting that you don’t know yet! Make sure to update us!

      • Judith says:

        Ok, I wasn’t getting enough from my little dabs, so, despite Elle’s sage advice, I sprayed the sucker. Hmmm. . . definitely not in the “love” camp–too much cumin, and the heavy spice mixture soemhow just doesn’t do it for me–maybe too sweet, too. Got that “dinner-at-the-Indian-restaurant” feel. I wouldn’t say I hate it either, but it’s not something I would choose to wear (though I might try it again to be sure). NB–i don’t think this judgment is a result of my having sprayed it: it’s not overwhelming me; the combination of notes is just not great on my skin/to my nose.

        • Judith says:

          minor update: Ok, I am liking this more as it goes on–but I’m still not feeling the love. 🙁

          • Judith says:

            Final: I gave up and covered myself in Chergui. Loving that Chergui (which is strange, b/c I didn’t until this year).

  • sybil says:

    Welcome back! Arabie gets my vote as most interesting/well made but I’m one of the few (maybe the only!) in the take-it-or-leave-it camp. Love the spicyness, hate all that extra sugar. And RL is weird on my skin, but great on DD2–pastryish in the best way.

  • Anne says:

    I so wanted to adore IG. The notes… incredible! Bought a larger decant unsniffed because I just knew that I would love it. Well it’s not love and not even like. There is a sharpness there on me that just won’t go away that I just don’t like. Rita, you said it.. does something to my nose too!

    Arabie on the other hand I scrubbed off when I first tried it a year ago. Newbie impatience. Dug my sample out for the Club and I was surprised. Lee, I get the almost leathery-ness and a kind of dried date/fig clove Jamaican fruit cake. Nice on a cold, cold day!

    I learned this month that I am not a foodie, eaty or gourmand fan so my list is relatively linear.

    Arabie (best made and my fav, might even wear it)

    and, in no particular order….

    IrisGanacheBoisFarineSushiImperialeRahatLoukhoumFoud’Absinthe .

    • Patty says:

      That’s so sad about IG, I would have guessed that that one would have worked for you.

      Eaty scents, I think, are very primal on how they appeal to people, and if it’s not a smell that has an emotional reference, then it’s just annoying.

  • March says:

    These were really fun to read! Arabie appears to be, unsurprisingly, a love-it-or-hate-it scent — along with the other two! So, yes, I suck — but it looks like I *did* give you the more interesting part of the list.

    Arabie — I’m with you totally.

    Iris Ganache — I was absolutely astonished to find how much I enjoyed this. I think it sounds disgusting, and also like it would be waaaay too sweet. Somehow, as you said, it really works. Between this and Spiritueuse Double Vanille, I’m closer to forgiving Guerlain for some of their recent releases, although I still wish they’d do something darker and less vanillic.

    Rahat — I am pretty sure this is Turkish delight, a jellied candy I object to violently on textural terms. It’s not the almond part I object to, it’s the cherries, along with the overall sweetness. However, I can totally see how people might love this.

    • Lee says:

      I can forgive Guerlain anything because of Bois d’Armenie…:x

    • Dusan says:

      March, glad I’m not the only one disliking ratluk (Serbian for rahat loukoum) the confection for its frothy texture! Oh, I feel vindicated now, thanks! 🙂

      • March says:

        :-& urk — it’s like eating … a jellyfish? A sponge? The sludge you step in at the bottom of the lake? I shudder just thinking about it. I had my kids at the barber down the street last summer, he’s Greek, he was so proud he’d brought some back from his visit home, before I could object he’d stuffed a piece in my mouth! I gave him a big, wide-eyed smile… it was all I could do not to get sick right there in the store. Eventually he got busy and I could spit it out.:”> Honestly, it makes me feel like a petulant 5-year-old writing that, but I just.can’t.do.it. I feel the same way about fois gras, raw oysters, shad roe and a number of other texturally challenging things.

        • Dusan says:

          =))
          I’m sitting here picturing your queasy polite smile and then spit

          • Dusan says:

            Hey, half of my comment ended up in limbo! It was supposed to go: =)) I’m sitting here picturing your queasy polite smile and then spitting the yukky thing out when he’s not looking. And I can’t blame you. at.all. Jellyfish and sponge rolled into one, oh yes. Ugh!
            Btw, my dad’s just asked me why I am roaring w/ laughter.

    • Patty says:

      I had to quit holding grudges against Guerlain for IG, Bois d’ARmenie and Double Vanille, along with that Pluie thing that not everyone likes, but I find just stunningly elegant.

      It would be cool if they ventured into some seriously dark skanky territory again… yeah!

      • March says:

        Where’s another Vol de Nuit, or that nasty-a$$ thing you sent me, Mi Mai? How ’bout some more of that? Even smelling Shalimar in the parfum, which is not something I’m anxious to do again any time soon, I admire how dark and aggressive the opening is.

  • Divina says:

    *raises her hand sheepishly* Yep, Arabie lover here as well! Mmmhmm, I’d probably choose it as the best made. I love its unique-ness. Rahat Loukhoum on the other hand …*shudder* That one, I don’t even wanna sniff from the bottle. It’s evil!

    • Patty says:

      You know, the one thing I have to give to Serge, most of his scents are not ordinary things that people don’t care about. Whether love or hate, many are unforgettable.

  • Masha says:

    HATE Arabie, love Chergui, go figure….

    • Patty says:

      That actually makes sense. I love Chergui and hate ARabie. Chergui has an understated elegance to it, and Arabie hits you over the head with everything it’s got in it. Throwing the skillet at you in a way. Chergui wafts and slithers up your nose and charms you. 🙂

  • Nina says:

    Well, Patty, I’m joining you in the firing line. Whenever PoL runs one of those ‘most hated’ polls, my fingers are typing ‘Arabie’ before my brain has even formulated the word. I can’t describe how much I loathe it. The first time I innocently applied it to my skin, I came close to needing a skin graft from the frenetic scrubbing that followed. It smells to me like someone had consumed an entire North African meal – including dessert – and then thrown up into a bottle. But then, I positively dislike RL, even from the bottle. There’s honey in there somewhere, and I Dont’t Do Honey.

    • Patty says:

      Our skins must have been separated at birth. 🙂 Honey is usually just vile in a perfume (nazgul, are you listening?!?!), but it almost works in Miele de Bois, which still shocks me that I’m coming around on that one.

  • Louise says:

    Hi Patty-well, you know I am in the Arabie club, have been since first sniff. Love it, bathe in it, spray it at strangers. I get the cumin and all rich bath of spices, and love it all.

    Rahat hurts my teeth. I like my candy sweet, love the inspirational treat, but Rahat goes gaggy-sugary on me. I do this to a number of SLs, including Cedre, oddly enough.

    I admire the IG, and like the light choco drydown (which lasts forever on me). But Iris just works poorly on me, and the opening is meh. I do wear my samp occasionally, and ignore myself for awhile to get to the drydown.

    My vote for best gourmand/gourmet blend-probably Bois Farine for originality, Arabie for audacity, Iris Ganache for sophistication.

    • Patty says:

      I’ll second the Arabie for audacity.

      I always have to rank Serge by wearability, and many of his things just don’t work on me, but I love to sniff them. The ones that do work on me are magnificent, so I do get the Arabie love from others.

  • Lee says:

    Kim’s already said it all. I LOVE turkish delight, but couldn’t wear RL in a million years – it’s the one here on which I agree with you, P. I think I’m gonna send you some topnotch TD – you like pistachio, rose water, lemon, orange blossom, mint? Which one? Or all five?

    Iris Ganache – I couldn’t agree with you less. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful smell – the way the high note of the iris is counterpointed against the sweetness of the chocolate – so deftly handled. But for some reason, it just flips my stomach. Flip, flip, flip.:-&

    Arabie was my gateway perfume into the world of niche, many moons ago. I was sniffing fig scents (for a girlfriend’s present) and the lovely french SA in Liberty suggested I try Arabie. My mind almost exploded on first sniff – I’d never had an olfactory vision (is such a thing possible) as wondrous as this one. I just don’t get the curry thing (and take it from me – we Brits know our curries). It’s more like the fruitcake affair, but impossibly dark and rich high-end fruitcake made for the Sheikh of Shangri La or somesuch. Some days, only Arabie’ll do. It’s one of my all time favourites. I spray it happily – but saying that, I’ve only used a third of a bottle in three years. It’s actually a little bit leathery once you get used to its lustrous beauty…

    So, in order from 1 to 6:

    Arabie
    Fou d’Absinthe
    Sushi Imperiale
    Bois Farine (some days it goes to rubber on me – blech)
    Rahat Loukhoum
    Iris Ganache.

    Still love you though, even if I can’t wear Arabie in your presence.

    • Patty says:

      Pistache!!! Okay, I just know I’m going to hate it, but I’ll try it anyway!

      You can wear Arabie around me. I have a hunch it smells good on you. 🙂

  • capriccio says:

    I will be the sympathetic voice: Arabie is disgusting. Give me civet, slap me with Yatagan, hurt me all day with burning rubber and peat moss, but keep that hideous mess of cheap Indian food leftovers away from my skin.

    Speaking of Yatagan (mmm, celery), one of the reasons I like Iris Ganache is that the iris is so vegetal and rooty.

    RL is all about the almond for me. I’ve had a lifelong dislike of the smell of almonds (though I like to eat them), and the first sniff of RL changed that for me. I also don’t particularly like cherry in my fragrances (it keeps ruining Greenbriar for me), so RL has rocked my nose in a few different ways.

    So even though I love Bois Farine more, I have to say that Rahat Loukhoum is my winner for best made this round–it single-handedly changed my mind on two notes at once. The dry-down doesn’t get weird (FdA, I’m looking at you, and sobbing small spicy tears), it’s true to the food without being entirely derivative, and yes, it makes me happy to smell it on or off my skin.

    • Patty says:

      Finally!!!! I was beginning to think the whole perfume world adores ARabie and I’m the long voice in the wilderness crying for cooking spices to be left out as a primary ingredient in perfumes.

  • Maria says:

    Patty, you’ve never had Turkish Delight? That’s what rahat loukhom is. Go over to libertyorchards.com and look up their Old Fashioned Locoum. It’s very good. The company was founded by Armenian brothers.

    I enjoy eating rahat loukhom, the confection. But I detest Serge’s version! Why not just pour sugar syrup on myself? Same goes for Bois Farine. And Iris Ganache–yeah, unusual, but the only thing I like in it is the iris, which quickly disappears. I want to go running to my darling Iris Silver Mist.

    My favorite of this month’s assigned scents? Drumroll please….ta daa! Well, you know the answer. Arabie!!!!!! On me it’s a delicious rum-soaked fruit mixture with nutmeg and clove. I get no discernible cumin; that probably makes a big difference. Obviously, I enjoy smelling like a spicy, rum-soaked fruitcake. I think I’ll go put some on right now. I should admit, however, that a little goes a long way. I still have most of the 1.5 ml. sample I ordered from the Frip a year ago. I laugh when I think of you pouring out my sample, holding your breath and thinking, “This woman is in for such a bad shock.” :d

    The only other among this month’s scents that I liked was Sushi Imperiale. The others, forget it. I look forward to December’s batch, though. So there will only be five scents?

    • Maria says:

      Correction. I do get a bit of cumin when I first put on Arabie, but because it’s surrounded by other spices, it just smells as if I’m in a spice shop. No one note dominates. Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had Indian food.

    • Dusan says:

      Cracking up here at your visual of poor Patty decanting Arabie or Nazgul. Maybe she wears a hazmat suit?

    • Patty says:

      Only five scents for December. Not sure why, but that’s just what we got to. 🙂

      Oh, you Arabie fiends… the weird thing is, the more I smell it, I do get used to the “everything in the kitchen” aspect of it, but that still doesn’t mean I want to wear it.

  • Rita says:

    OK, everyone knows I’m the biggest Serge slut ever, but Rahat Loukhoum is one I will not try. Ever. The thought of smelling like cherries and almonds scares the hell out of me. My apologies to all you lovers out there–hey, I don’t expect all you to love Rose de Nuit!

    Arabie, on the other hand, is one of my favorites. I do not directly associate it with food, I associate it with my favorite candle shop. It sells candles and potpourri, and the last time I was there I thought “Geez, it smells like Arabie in here!” And Arabie is very complex, just as the many scents that I get whiffs of as I move about the candle shop. So although it does not directly remind me of food, it does remind me if foody things(am I making sense here?) The thing I love most about Arabie is that it is one those scents that brings back fond memories. My son is 10, and a few months ago we visited a theme park for the first time since he has been tall enough to ride the ‘good’ rides. We had a blast on the coasters, and this just happened to be the first time I wore Arabie. Fond memories indeed.

    As for the Iris Ganache, I’ve been holding off on trying it. I have tried 24 La Pausa and Iris Silver Mist, and neither one fare well on my skin. Actually I don’t really smell iris scents much at all, I can only tell you that what I do smell does something strange to my nose, something so strange I cannot even tell you what it is. The only reason I will try it is because I am now a Guerlain slut along with a Serge slut–I’m slutting it out all over the place! :”>

    • Rita says:

      I forgot to add that I think Arabie is the best made(sorry Patty, but it is a complex and comforting scent on me), but I have a difficult time deciding which I like more, Arabie or Fou d’Absinthe. I think I must go with Arabie on that one as well.

    • Patty says:

      I do agree that Arabie is well made and complex. That I hate it doesn’t take away from the craftsmanship of the scent, which is excellent. 🙂

      Iris Ganache is much more about the interplay between the notes than about the Iris. I barely notice the iris in this one, though I do get it. It’s more about how the chocolate and ganache is downplayed without losing them.

  • Kim says:

    Iris Ganache – scrubbed off in 5 minutes. I get iris on the opening and then nothing but the thick Benadryl cough syrup we took as children! @-)

    Rahat Loukhoum – it was off in 20 minutes. I get an initial blast of mediocre almond marzipan and then it turns into bad marzipan, really nauseating. :-& b-(
    Too bad – I love marzipan, especially my mother’s home made kind with fresh ground almonds. Maybe almond isn’t a good note on my skin?

    Arabie – num! 😡
    Spices and dried fruit, citrus peel and cloves, with a cumin edge and some cedar sharpness that both cut the sweet peel. Part oriental, part gourmand, not foody at all. Nice and complex and somehow gets softer on my skin with a touch of incense through the drydown. Definitely the best made and my favourite of the six. In fact, one of my favorite Lutens after Ambre Sultan and Borneo 1834.

  • Gina says:

    Let me start off by saying that I own a full bottle of Arabie, I have for ages. Then let me say that I completely understand why people don’t love it, even though I do. It just smells great on me, my boyfriend likes it too. Smells like I’m in an Indian spice market, and there’s incense burning. I don’t wear it often, though, because it can overwhelm me.

    Rahat’s interesting. I’ve had a sample around for a long time and have only gotten around to putting it on my skin right now. It kind of smells like play-doh. It’s nice, but I wouldn’t wear it much.

    The Iris Ganache hates me, and I wish it didn’t. It sounds so lovely, and damn it, I wanted it to love me. My skin turns sweet perfumes even sweeter, often in a cloying way. It’s great with incense perfumes because it works, but with sweet stuff, my teeth start to hurt from it.

    • Patty says:

      Too bad about the IG. It seems to be one that falls into the Arabie camp. If it works on you, it’s spectacular, but if it doesn’t, bleah!

  • Tigs says:

    Um, really? Arabie is my fave of the group, too. I think I’d award it best made, also. I’m not coming to beat you with pillow cases filled with perfumed soap, though. I love Rahat as well, though I don’t wear it often, and like Fou D’Absinthe. I like Iris Ganache more than I expected to, and my husband oddly adores it, but I don’t think it’s even the best iris scent of the year (for sweet iris, I’m surprised to be saying I’d go with Equistrius).

    • Patty says:

      Well, I did know Arabie lovers probably wouldn’t kill me, but I know how devoted of a following it has. Truly falls in the love it or hate it category for most people.

      • Tigs says:

        Well, while I’m part of that following, I can completely understand why people have trouble with it. It’s one of the only scents where I do that silly “Spray once into the air and walk through the mist 8 seconds later” routine. I have no trouble with the spices, which are not overpowering on me(and besides, I love the smell of Indian cooking, particularly South Indian with asafoetida powder – definitely a better smell than, say, BBQ in my opinion, sorry!) It’s more the extremely dense fruitcake drydown, which is hard to handle in a regular dose. But Arabie otherwise is magical stuff on me. Bois Farine is most certainly not – am I the only one who gets, gummy, oily overworked pastry dough?

  • Dusan says:

    Arabie I haven’t tried but given that Lee and Elle are fans I think I’d probably love it.
    Rahat I smelled from the wax sample and… I kinda liked it although perhaps I’d turn the sugar vol down a notch (The road to exploring SergeDearest is one expensive toll road and right now I’m so broke I am seriously considering trading my body for some Serge fix 😀 )
    Joking aside, what was the name of that black musk Arabian oud you blogged on in part 1 of the Paris travelogue?

    • Patty says:

      Well, there’s two black musks. One is just the essence, which is bottled humpty. They had another that they were out of with black musk in the base that was just spectacular, but I can’t remember the name of it! I have just a teensy amount of that one that I’m hording. 🙂

  • Divalano says:

    Welcome home! I think I shall join you on the Rahat is scary bench. Not that I’ve ever sniffed it, I haven’t but just imagining all those notes sends me running. No thank you, not on my skin & I’d love to sniff but I’m sure it’d make me hungry. The sweeter Serge scents go all candy syrup on me. If Daim Blond sent me into sugar shock I can only imagine Rahat.
    Iris Ganache … is there one single Guerlain without bergamot? What is this, a plot? And what’s iris butter?
    Was that me who said I’d rather eat Arabie than wear it? If not it should have been & kudos to whoever did. I’ve still got my sample & will spray one more time on the coldest day of the year before I trade it far away from me but I’ve warned it, it’s on notice.
    And I love the word “eaty” … makes much more sense to me than gourmand or foodie. Honestly? I’m not really into any of this month’s scent club choices. I guess that means I don’t do gourmand? Hmmm.

    • Patty says:

      Pretty sure it was you! 🙂

      I don’t do many eaty scents for wear, even the ones I like quite a lot just smell better in the bottle.

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, I’ve never smelled Arabie, so I’m not apt to show up and toss you in the nearest body of water because you hate it. Sorry to read that Rahat is a mess on you, on me it’s a hot mess of cherry marnier and yummy skank. You can send your my way anytime at all. :d

  • Elle says:

    OK, let me be the first to stand up and declare my unashamed, total adoration of Arabie. It’s dense, sumptuous, warm and wonderfully original. It makes me deeply happy every time I wear it. However, I understand why it might not be universally loved and, God knows, I can’t even imagine actually spraying it – even once. A single drop is more than enough. Still, what a damned glorious drop. And, yes, this is the one I think is the best made – mostly because it’s just so incredibly interesting. But, honestly, I don’t think I can be objective – my love for it is too intense. If it hadn’t been in the running, I think I would have chosen Fou d’Absinthe as the best made. I like Iris Ganache and enjoy wearing it from time to time, but it doesn’t inspire long term loyalty. And I thought I had come to loathe Rahat, but this summer returned to enjoying it – although only when layered w/ incense or dark wood scents.

    • March says:

      Lordy. If you like this one, that means I have to retry it.:-ss

      A single drop? Literally?

      I try it by spraying it on in the store — even a really light spray, made of what I imagine is 30 molecules of fragrance, and there I am, being beaten to death in the middle of a souk. But it *should* have potential on me, you know? I like spicy scents. I like Malle’s Noir Epices, and everybody hates that thing… hmmm, I wouldn’t spray that on, either.

    • Patty says:

      So that spritz I keep putting on to test it is overkill? I still think I won’t like Arabie because those smells just don’t appeal to me to wear, but I think they smell great in the kitchen. 🙂