Fatal Attraction?

play-misty-for-meWhat is a moldy old picture of Clint Eastwood doing here on the Posse? Well, I was thinking about explaining the lure of foody/gourmand fragrances as a “fatal attraction”, but then I remembered I own a DVD copy of Play Misty for Me, the 1971, pre-Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood gem that scares the bejeezus out of me about a thousand times worse than Fatal Attraction ever has. If you can get your hands on a copy of this, do me the favor of watching it late at night, either alone or when everyone in your household is sound asleep, and tell me this isn´t one of the most terrifyingly blood curdling cautionary tales ever told. Glenn Close ain´t got nuthin´ on Jessica Walter. And Eastwood´s swaggering jazz DJ Dave Garver is off-the-chart sexy-nasty in ways Michael Douglas could never be.

Now onto the topic at hand: foody/gourmand scents. I know a lot of us have a love/hate relationship with this category of fragrance, but there is bound to be at least one scent in this genre that everyone here will fess up to wearing. As for what degree of foody/gourmand you´re into, that is a personal preference. There was a time when for me, the foodier a scent was, the more I loved it. I had no qualms about smelling like apple pie, pumpkin pie, candy corn, cinnamon buns, chocolate babka, pancakes, waffles, French toast, melting marshmallows…I could go on for hours if not days. That phase has passed, and I am now drawn to scents that are, shall we say, a bit more grown up? Sophisticated? Less provincial? Oh hell, call it whatever you want. I no longer want to smell like breakfast food. There; I said it.

This past May I reviewed the Acorelle line of organic fragrances, brought to us by Susan Anapol, the North American distributor of Comptoir Sud Pacifique. When I met up with her at Art with Flowers in Tyson´s Corner Galleria, she told me that her next import was going to be the reissued line of Les Senteurs Gourmandes by Laurence Dumont. tendre-madeleine_100ml_230x200_230x0

Some of you may recall that these scents were sold at Sephora stores for a time, then yanked from their shelves and website. The line has since been reintroduced in new packaging with some new scents, and some of the old ones discontinued. The current lineup now consists of Vanille Bourbon, Vanille Chocolat, Vanille Frangipanier, Vanille Monoi, Vanille Orientale, Vanille Patchouli, and Vanille Violette. In addition to these, Figue Sauvage, Musc Blanc and Tendre Madeleine are brand new to the line.

Let me start by saying that these are not your children´s vanillas. These are exactly what you want when you don´t want to smell like cookie dough or, ahem, breakfast. The Laurence Dumont stable of vanillas are earthy, warm and sexy. If you´re in the market for a sexy floral with warmth only vanilla can provide, then Violette, Monoi and Frangipanier are worth checking out. Violette is reminiscent of Lancà´me´s Tresor, but Monoi and Frangipanier are stunning choices for all you tropical floral scent-lovers.

I immediately zeroed in on Tendre Madeleine; Yes, I have morphed into an unabashed almond whore and I am not ashamed to admit it. It has nothing to do with Marcel Proust, or the fact that I consumed vast quantities of marzipan as a child. Almond done right is heavenly, and Tendre Madeleine is right up there with Carol´s Daughter Almond Cookie.

Tendre Madeleine has a sparkly bit of bergamot at the beginning and an even warmer mix of cinnamon, vanilla and woods as it dries down. This, along with Acorelle Amande de Blé, Dior Escale à  Portofino and Almond Cookie are now my favorite almond scents.

Fig is another note I have a hard time passing up, and is also one that can be hard to get right. The pinnacle of fig is of course L´Artisan´s Premier Figuer, but Figue Sauvage  gives it a pretty good run for the money. Dumont´s fig is spicier, though not as creamy as Premier Figuer; the addition of vanilla and sandalwood to the base makes it warmer and more fig-a-licious. Did I just say “fig-a-licious”? I am not well.

As for the rest of the vanillas, again, it´s all about personal preference. Bourbon is the sweetest, but will not give you a toothache; Chocolat has a bit of an Angel vibe to it, and Orientale and Patchouli are the dead-sexiest of the bunch.

These reincarnated Dumonts are $59 for 100 ml of eau de parfum. You can find them at Art with Flowers in the DC area; also at Henri Bendel in NYC and at Plumm in the Americana in Manhasset NY (my old stomping grounds). Online, they´re at lushoasis.com.

 OK, now it´s time for you, dear loyal Posse reader, to fess up: What is your favorite foody/gourmand scent? Go ahead, make my day.

81 Comments

  1. I blush to admit that I am old enough to have gone to see that movie in the theater when it first came out and I still get little shivers when I hear that song. Thanks for reminding me (I think). As for gourmand scents, I have to mention Bond #9 New Haarlem. Mmmm. Coffee and chocolate.

    • Ah yes, Bond New Haarlem; I do love that one on a cold, blustery winter day.

      I’m assuming the song of which you speak is Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. It is still quite haunting, even when I hear it today.

  2. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get my nose around gourmands, and I’m a self-confessed foodie. The only one I really love (or like, even) is Parfum Del Rae’s Bois de Paradis. No, actually I am also quite fond of Missoni by Maurice Roucel, but I can’t say that I’m as wild about it as Dr. Turin. It’s very, very interesting and odd and fun, kinda like Missoni designs and, unlike most of them, a bargain, but it verges on being just this side of too sweet for me on most days. On others, it’s dandy and the Gianduia chocolate hit is just what a body needs.

    As for Misty, that was the first time I ever really sat up and paid attention to Clint Eastwood. I was actually fortunate enough to attend a party at MOMA held in celebration of his having donated his papers to the film archives at Wesleyan University, and he was there. I had always thought that there was something slightly repulsive about him, and didn’t think he was all that big a deal or attractive or sexy, even though just about every one else I knew did, but holy crap! He was a freaking GOD.

    There’s an old guy with a saxophone who hangs under one of the bridges in Central Park in the evenings, and he always plays “Misty” for me, and I think about the film and the wonderous Mr. Eastwood.

    • Bois de Paradis is heartbreakingly lovely; I was quite obsessed with Missoni when it was new, but something about it no longer works for me.

      I’ve been to Carmel by the Sea twice in my life, and both times I kept eyes in the back of my head in the hopes of spotting Mr. Eastwood, but no such luck. However, I did see one of the most breathtaking sunsets on the beach one night. The Monterey Peninsula is THE most beautiful spot in North America, in my opinion.

  3. Hi Nava!

    I secretely like my gourmands, mostly vanilla, but tend to wear them as sleeping scents, and sometimes to work-not surprisingly, the students like them. Vanilla is a tenacious note for me, one that I tend to amplify.

    My favorite is LMDV line, with the incensey Vanille Noir du Mexique at the head of the group. I got the full line for 5 bucks each when Sephora had a clearance on the “old” bottles-and now they’ve come back at double price the original.

    Guerlain’s Art et Matiere line has some real goodies that work well for me-the choco note in Iris Ganache really pops nicely for me, ane sometime I’ll get Angelique Noire-though it’s pricey for what is essentially a not-sweet vanilla on me.

    When the mood strikes, Sushi Imperiale, while not strictly a gourmand, is delish.

    Happy Weekend to All!

    • Hi Louise,

      You have my stamp of approval on all your choices. And thanks for reminding me about Iris Ganache and Sushi Imperiale; I haven’t worn either one yet this summer. They are gorgeous. 🙂

  4. Agreed on Sushi Imperiale! Also cannot resist Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

    Nava – you a have a soul sister in Seattle – I’m another complete almond whore. I’m obscenely in love with Mazzolari’s Alessandro; carry Crazy Libellule blah blah blah Vanilla Macaroon in my purse; and will add Farnesiana to my collection once the economy improves a tad…or I cave. Whichever comes first!

    Clearly not a closeted gourmand-lover here 😉

    • Almond whores of the world unite!! And, I love SDV as well.

        • Yes, you can join, my dear. We are equal opportunity whores after all. 😀

      • Uh, yeah. Contact me when y’all decide to unite. I’ll be there.

  5. I’m not much of a gourmand fan, as you know, though I *did* wear Sl Rahät Loukhoum in searing cold, the year it came out. I can’t do vanilla-themed fragrances (Vanille Galante doesn’t count as it’s mostly lily), they make me feel like a great big cake.
    I do, however, really love Hypnotic Poison (the original, not the new Elixir) for its slightly poisonous almond accents, and its meringue-like offshoot By Kilian Love. So I guess I’m not entirely impervious.

    • I moved heaven and earth to score a bottle of Rahat when I first became aware of it. I still love it to this day. Vanille Galante is beautiful once it dries down, but the initial burst of lily is almost too much for me. I feel like I should be wearing a giant stargazer lily in my hair.

      You’ve proved my point; there isn’t anyone impervious to gourmands, not even you! 😀

  6. I love Plus Que Jamais – with passion – during cold weather, and Escale a Portofino in the summer, but this is as foody as it goes, she says and lovingly glances all her dry chypres.

  7. I don’t want to smell like cake or chocolate. Although the fancy Madison Ave truffle shop (both chocolate and echt) and passionfruit waft of Renee Fleming La Voce was interesting and I’d wear it…to the opera, of ourse.
    Un Bois Vanille is my favorite Vanilla, though I also love SdV. Do we count Grapefruit in Gourmande? Because I am still searching for the holy grail of grapefruit

    Carter–I loved so many Clint movies, but a favorite line is from “Hang ’em High” “Next time ya hang a man, Rico, you;d better look at his face. (Clint has survived an unjust hanging, shows Rico the rope scar on his neck, and then proceeds to blow him to kingdom come agains a vat of booze.

    • Un Bois Vanille and SDV are two of my favorites as well. I like to think of them as “grown-up” vanillas.

      As for grapefruit, I’m not sure how I would classify it; LaVanilla at Sephora does a vanilla grapefruit, but their scents have that plasticky vibe that is a huge turn-off to me and others. Holy grail grapefruit would have to be Comptoir’s old Kumquat scent, but I don’t know if it’s still around.

    • Francesca–The DH, who is the film historian in the family–LURVES Clint’s westerns, so after his directorial debut with Misty and then seeing him in the spectacular flesh (I am not kidding — he was incredible looking, and I’ve seen more than my share of famous leading men and I can tell you that most of them are extremely short and just have enormous heads) I went back and watched them. At the time they still didn’t win me over 100%, but Clint as a director and as a more mature actor certainly did.

  8. This is a tough question….I have such a difficult time finding gourmand scents that work with my chemistry. More often than not I end up with plastic doll-head. I do remember at one time liking Comptoir’s Vanille Apricot…..but it was fleeting and I sold my unloved bottle on Ebay. I have always just assumed that gourmands and I just don’t mix.

    • Chemistry is definitely a deal-breaker, until you find one that works for you. 🙂

  9. Hi Nava

    I don’t wear very many gourmands, but I went through a brief period a number of years ago during which I tried to find the perfect vanilla. Dumont’s Vanille Orientale was pretty close. I wonder if it is the same in the new (and more expensive) packaging? The other one that I liked quite a bit was IPDF Vaniglia del Madagascar. But when I sniff it now, it seems just waaay too rich.

    At present, I like Iris Ganache, however, I have taken to layering a rootier iris over it (TDC Bois d’Iris or Odori Iris) when I wear it during the day. I love the sweeter notes before bed. And SL Douce Amere, though not really a gourmand, has that cinnamon-pudding note at moments. Love that one.

    • I definitely have to show my bottle of Iris Ganache some love; I have not worn it yet this summer. I’m not certain if the Dumont scents were reformulated, but Orientale is pretty doggone sexy. Weren’t the original bottles smaller, too?

      I used to be a big fan of IPdF Vaniglia del Madagascar, until I smelled Zenzero.

  10. Was Clint not just the hottest thing going back in the day? Loved his western phase, too.

    I like my vanillas mixed w/incense – LMDV Noir Mexique, CJ Scents Vanilla Autumn Nights, mainly worn @ bedtime. Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka is my hands down favorite, so far anyway. Thanks carmencanada, for mentioning Hypnotic Poison, which to me has a definite root beer vibe. It’s not one I wear often, but sometimes it’s just perfect. I’ve sampled L de Lolita a couple of times and like it too, partly bcs the bottle’s so cute. Cheap, too. I may pick up a mini this winter.

    • I’m not a big western fan, but “Unforgiven” is one of my favorite Clint films, besides the “Dirty Harrys” and “Misty”, of course. I’ll also fess up to loving the film version of “The Bridges of Madison County”. What I wouldn’t give to have Clint knock on my door one day…

      L de Lolita Lempicka also has immortelle in it, but it compliments the vanilla and cinnamon very nicely.

  11. Hmmm. Not many out-and-out gourmands in my wardrobe, although I do have a few with foody elements: Organza Indecence, Shalimar Light, and Vanille Tonka. I adore VT for the wild giggles it gives me – Lime! Dr. Pepper! Vanilla! A big armful of carnations! It never fails to lift my mood.

    Yesterday, I was testing Histoires des Parfums Blanc Violette, which a friend sent me and which I was not expecting to like. But there’s a violet/anise/vanilla/rice powder thing going on there that I found strangely compelling.

    • All great choices. And Histoires Blanc Violette sounds interesting!

  12. I keep being surprised at how many gourmands I like. Somehow the category doesn’t fit my self-image, but I guess it just goes to show how sniffing perfume can reveal previously unknown aspects of one’s persona. The ones I like the best have a little booze in them. Frapin 1270 and Spiriteuse Double Vanille top my list.

    Although my taste in perfume has changed a lot over time, Clint Eastwood has been a much more constant factor in my life. I think he still looks pretty great.

  13. Back about 5 years ago when I first really started paying attention to perfume, I had a moment with Pink Sugar–okay, maybe we should call it an established booty call for a couple of months (Holla!). As I said here before, wearing it made me feel like Templeton the rat in Charlotte’s Web–the chapter where he gorges himself at the fair. I grew out of it quickly as you do when your tastes become more complex and educated. Still, that scent was the one that received by far the most compliments–I mean people would literally come up and snuffle me, like I was a pie left on a windowsill…

    I now wear Rahät Loukhoum when I’m looking for a sophisticated interpretation of the gourmand or Caramel Sunset when I’m feeling performance-art trashy. I imagine I’ll be booed for this, but I think every woman needs a spritz by way of the truck stop now and then…sophistication requires some opposition, humor and surprise to be fully appreciated.

    I always enjoy your posts, Nava. And yes, Monterey is as beautiful as it gets…

    • Thanks, Erin. And I went through a short Pink Sugar phase as well, but it smelled a bit burnt on my skin. And, no one snuffled me like pie on a windowsill, so maybe it was more vile than I thought!

      Just so you don’t think you’re out there swinging in the truck-stop breeze all alone, I almost picked up a twin pack of Love’s Baby Soft the other day at Wal Mart. And a twin-pack of Chantilly.

  14. Good Lord! Y’all are making me hungry. And I’m not even supposed to be here – I’m SUPPOSED to be on the road! Damn.

    To the best of my knowledge I don’t do food/gourmand, unless you include citrus in there. The only vanilla I have ever considered, I think, is Shalimar and that’s only vintage perfume and that’s only within the last few weeks.

    Clint, I consider all the time. HottyHotHot, even as a wrinkled old man (all that time in the desert shooting Rawhide and spaghetti westerns takes its toll). When he started directing is when he got super sexy for me.

    Misty is a terrifying movie and, having been stalked twice (to know me is to wonder at that on oh, so many levels, but there you have it) I can tell you It Ain’t Fun. Killing your stalker is usually not an option, except in the movies but being stalked is just the outside of enough of my patience. And then it gets scary, which pissed me off – but again that ‘killing’ thing is easier done in films…

    But I digress….unless you are an orange or a lemon I am unlikely to want to wear you. No chocolates, no vanillers……

    at least I don’t think so…

    xo>-)

    • Yikes! Just the thought of a stalker is terrifying enough. You poor thing! Maybe you should consider a gourmand or two as repellant? Just a cheeky suggestion. 😉

      And I still love Clint, weathered and wrinkled and all. Who wore SPF back in the 50s and 60s anyway?

  15. So have you tried Montale’s Amandes Orientales? It says it’s nothing but almonds and vanilla, but is so very steely and cold on me that it’s almost the anti-gourmand. I’m mostly into BIG, FREAKISH gourmands–the spicier and weirder the better: Arabie, El Attarine, Aziyade, Coze, Borneo 1834, DSV, Dzing!, 1740 Histoires des Parfums, Miel de Bois, and the like.

    There’s also my down-tempo gourmands, like MetB Quiet Morning, Rahat Loukhoum, Safran Troublant, Tea for Two that are perfect for those moments that I don’t need to have the smell o’meter turned up to 11.

    • Unfortunately, all the Montales are non-starters for me. And your choices definitely go up to 11. 🙂

    • Amandes Orientale is my guilty pleasure for winter. I can’t believe I love that scent. It’s everything I would claim not to like and I love it immensely.

      Many moons ago I loved Jour de Fete but they reformulated it to a ghost of its glory. I wouldn’t wear it to a skunk rassle now.

      In the depth of winter I love SL’s Arabie. I don’t care that I smell like a sugar plum with double-date stuffing. I love it.

      And now, I’m completely head-over-heels with Sublime Balkiss, berries and all.

  16. I love almond and vanilla scents. I own Farnesiana, Lea, the discontinued Vanilla Lust, Home Health Almond Glow Oil (YUM). My first gourmand was Vanille Abricot. I still have a little left but rarely wear it any more. I also have to confess to purchasing Pink Sugar several years ago.

    • Ah, yes; Vanilla Lust is an unfortunate casualty. I loved it, too.

  17. Foody/gourmand? Nah. Well, maybe vanilla. Marzipan/almond has always made me feel a little ill. I don’t think of saffron as a food, but as a spice or a bitter floral essence, but that’s just me — I love the stuff and use as much in cooking as I feel I can afford!

    “Play Misty for Me” — there was something so…crazy about the early Seventies, as the Sixties went sour and nobody knew how to stop it. So earnest, too, and so much casual, um, hooking up. Good-looking guys like Eastwood’s character could have anyone, and knew it. Feminism was just around the corner, but hadn’t really gotten started yet. The catchphrase “Let it all hang out” had been taken to heart by people who should have let nothing out. This movie captures it all so well.

    • Hey, they’re not for everyone. 🙂

      I agree with your take on “Misty”. The timing and setting of it are a much more accurate depiction of the late 60s/early 70s culture; so I’m told! 😀

  18. I am a total almond whore – Rahat Loukhoum and POTL are probably my favorites in that category. I also love vanilla – SDV, Un Bois Vanille, and the whole LMDV line. And I still love Pink Sugar! Sometimes I layer it with Chocolovers too. 🙂

  19. Hi Nava! I remember seeing that movie a long time ago…maybe when I was babysitting at someone’s house, at night, and it was really creepy! Yikes! You’re so right about it being a nail-biter of a suspense movie.

    I recently discovered the L’Artisan scents at Art with Flowers, and I love the Premier Figuer Extreme. I had never smelled a fig scent before that, I don’t think. Aveeno has a new bodywash that is Fig and Shea Butter that is great and reminds me of it, too.

    I’m not normally a big gourmand lover, but I’ll have to go back and sniff some of the Laurence Dumont ones, particularly the fig and violette.

    I bought the Dior Escale a Portofino this week. Love it, but didn’t realize that it had an almond note in it. I’ll have to sniff “harder” next time I wear it! 🙂

  20. Hi Dina,

    The only movie that scares me worse than “Misty” is “The Exorcist”. I’ll never forget when my older brother came home from seeing it, he turned on every light in the house and refused to go to sleep. All these years later and he’s still a pretty big wuss!

    I’m glad you got a bottle of Escale; the almond note is there if you wait for it. 🙂

      • Yeah, Jaws; but not the same degree of fright for me as a demonic child or Jessica Walter weilding a butcher knife.

    • For me it was “Night of the Living Dead” (the original black and white 1968 version.) I watched it at my brother’s, came home, looked in all the closets, turned on all the lights, etc. A real masterpiece of horror, and the only film that has ever affected me like that.

      Well, “The Exorcist” would have, but by the time I saw that one I knew ever plot point and line, because everybody had been talking about it.

  21. Ahh, I love too many foody/gourmands to name them all, though many of my loves have already been named. Ones that haven’t include AG’s Vanille Exquise (not foody but boozy on me), Lostmarc’h Lann-Ael (yeasty in a yummy way), Kenzo Amour, Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, and the two vanillas that started my pefumista ways: CSP’s Vanille Abricot and Vanille Cannelle (neither of which get much love anymore, since I’ve grown into more complex gourmands).
    And that is just the vanillas 🙂

  22. OK, I’m SO cliche, but Angel is a favorite. And I’m wearing Lolita Lempicka today, which I have to say, smells delicious. I think I’d like Borneo 1834 if I ever got around to trying it…let’s see, what else? I see Disteza mentioned Dzing! Is that a gourmand? If so, that’s one of my HG scents!

    • If you like your chocolate dark and bitter, nestled in patchouli leaves and drizzled with cobwebs, then Borneo will indeed be the scent for you. It’s not sweet, but it IS dark.
      Considering that Dzing! lists tonka, saffron and ginger as notes, I place it as a gourmand, but again it’s weird because of the balsalm note that turns leathery/carboardy depending on your skin.

  23. Misty was Jessica Walters’ finest work. Great movie. I remember seeing Clint in another movie early in his career called The Beguiled in which he was a Civil War soldier hiding out in a girls’ school – very creepy.

    Back to perfume. I like vanilla as long as it isn’t the dominant note, so those vanilla gourmands are not for me. I recently sampled Ava Luxe Cafe Noir and adored that. That one is a pretty realistic coffee fragrance.

  24. I love Guerlain’s Angelique Noire – that bitter note just cuts right through the sweetness and becomes addictive for me.
    Another vanilla, Luten’s Un Bois Vanille.
    For me, Shalimar is bitter orange and vanilla with a ton of skank in there. sigh. For aniseed, give me L’Huere Bleue any day.
    Interesting isn’t it that there don’t seem to be Chanel gourmands??

      • aahhh… that explains it. but he is sticking true to the house history, no? Ernest Beaux doesn’t seem to have done anything ‘gourmand’ either – Bois des Iles, No 5, Cuir de Russie….

  25. Nava, on your recommendation I got Almond Cookie by Carol’s Daughter — wow, I love it and so does anyone who gets near me when I have it on. It’s got killer sillage, though — I have to spray once far away and walk through it!

    I really love foody scents for those days when I don’t want to have to engage my brain to appreciate a perfume … just my lizard forebrain … so I’m not the one to ask. Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Amour de Cacao is a favorite. So is Loukhoum, and a whole lot of the Pacifica scents, and probably my favorite ever is Lann-Ael. Froot loops ahoy!

  26. Your use of vanilla scents for sleeping is fascinating to me because I–a long-time insomniac–have just start to realize that some very sweet gourmands, which are my guilty pleasures, allow me to fall asleep faster and to get back to sleep if I wake in the middle of the night (I just bring my wrist to my nose and inhale deeply a few times). So far the ones that have been working are Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum and SL Bois Vanille, but I have tried very many (yet?). Now, you’ll have to excuse me, as I’m going to go off and scour the other posts for some alternative soothing vanillas and almonds. But if anyone else has suggestions for sleeping scents, I’d love to hear them!

  27. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around this in the current weather, but I came around to gourmands eventually. I need to visit those at AwF. Believe it or not, Demeter Egg Nog is pretty darn great — spicy, not really egg nog. My bedtime comfort scent in cold weather.

    • Demeter Egg Nog is GREAT, even though it doesn’t actually smell that much like egg nog: it’s actually a version of CSP Vanille Cannelle, only better because it isn’t as sweet. I wear it to bed a lot, too.

      • Oh, you’re the other Egg Nog fan! I knew there was someone. I almost pitched my mini in the trash unopened, it sounds so disgusting. Doesn’t smell a thing like egg nog, you’re right. Just a great cinnamon/vanilla comfort smell…

  28. I have a huge number of gourmand fragrances because I love them and they love me back: a lot of CSP scents, a slew of foody Demeters, the late lamented Todd Oldham, Yohji Homme, L Lempicka, the A*Men flankers….

    I think my all-time favourite would have to be Excess by Gendarme, which true to its name smells kind of like a dozen different gourmands all sloshed together in the same bottle and topped up with Angel: it ought to be gross, but it’s spectacular.

    • Did you get A*Men coffee? Jealous jealous…. also how does the Yohji hold up on you? It’s so brief on me… I wonder whether I can’t smell it?

      • I don’t know how to say this without sounding horribly condescending WHICH I AM TOTALLY NOT but I feel sorry for you if you can’t perceive Yohji Homme, because Luca Turin is right: it is quite simply one of the best men’s fragrances that there has ever been. (On a visit to Toronto in the year Yohji Homme was launched, on the day I was leaving, I sprayed some on my wrist at Holt Renfrew, went to a movie and got there about half an hour before the movie was ready to start because that’s what I do, sniffed my wrist compulsively, realized I would not have time to go back to HR after the movie, left the theatre, ran back to HR, bought the stuff, and then ran back to the theatre. That’s how desperately I realized I needed it.) All the pieces of YH fit together perfectly: it’s smooth and seamless and exactly right in all its proportions, wood and rum and licorice, square-jawed and manly and just sweet enough. It lasts hours, too.

        And yeah, I did get a bottle of A*Men Pure Coffee. (I tried to order it through Sephora but they never did get it, so I was lucky to find it in a department store.) It’s so good, even better than Chandler Burr described it: he says it’s nothing but coffee, basically, but it’s really A* Men, de-pepperminted and with half the sugar, with a huge cup of creamy coffee (real cream, no non-dairy creamer here) plonked square in the middle. And Pure Malt is also good, in a completely different way: it doesn’t make you think of whiskey, exactly, but it’s earthier and more obviously masculine than the very sweet original.

        • Oh, I love your HR story!!! How very perfumista of you. 😉 The mark of an obsessive… I would have done the same.

          I’ve only tried Yohji twice — once from the bottle and once from a sample, but I realized later the sample came from the same bottle… so there’s always the chance the bottle was off. I just couldn’t get a grip on it. On my retry list, though.

  29. Another fab review, Nava. My favorite gourmand note is anise/absinthe. Love Serge Lutens Douce Amere. I do love Borneo but still can’t imagine where I’d wear it! This new line is quite nice and hurrah for an affordable line of well done fragrances. And always cheers to Art With Flowers!!! Oh, and I love Play Misty for Me but I find Fatal Attraction a better “bad” movie due to the super hammy Michael Douglas and the horrible portrayal of women–mousey housewife becomes killer to stand by her man to eliminate predatory oversexed career gal. On my list of entertaining bad movies!

  30. Oh, hand me my badge to almond hookerdom! I qualify with Jour de Fête, Confetto, the Body Shop’s Almond line and Ava Luxe’s Loukhoum (alright, so technically that’s hazelnut).
    I love many gourmands, yet never seem to classify myself as a gourmand-lover per se. Fragrances in the gourmand category always seem to come with unnecessary heaps of vanillin and sugar added to them – never understood why. Food comes in non-sweet variants too, no? So I usually gravitate towards the less toothachingly sweet ones: Safran Troublant, Borneo 18whenever, Ambre Russe, Ambre Narguilé, Krizia My Africa, Oyédo… Of course, then I sin against my own principles with übercandy-ish Dulcis in Fundo.

  31. Amour de Cacoa CSD is my favourite…but besides being “foody” I love it for summer “resort”, “cruise” vacations.
    I find no 18 has an “edible” quality about it, that, although not the usual gourmand type, I love as much…yum

  32. I have been a (comparatively) long-time Eastwood fun so it warms my heart to see his attractive mug here 🙂
    For another “creepy” film with him (creepy in a completely different way and one which I bet would have many femininsts think about it long and hard) is “The Beguiled” (same time-frame I believe). Do catch it if you can!

    Thanks for sharing your out-of-gourmands phase journey, it seems it’s an entry for many perfume lovers so no need to feel like you were overdoing it or anything.

    There are a few gourmands I enjoy, although they need to be somewhat tempered, somewhat not all about the food: Laura Tonnato Plaisir is one, Angel in the body cream version is another one, as is Angel Innocent, and I could add Shalimar Eau Legere in there for the lemon cupcakes tone it has. Several others are only marginally “gourmand” (Borneo, Birmane, Douce Amere….)

  33. Hi Nava. I don’t know if these are traditionally considered gourmand but these are some that make my mouth water every time I wear them, in different ways, of course.
    Virgin Island Water, with its lime and coconut rum mix.
    Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade, chocolatey immortelle leather, and, YUM…
    Tom Ford Amber Absolute is so laden with a syrupy vanilla impression on me that I have to consider it a gourmand and I love it although it lasts so long I find I tire of it at the end of the day. Montale’s Blue Amber as well is vanilla esque though it reminds me more of warm sugar cookies on the skin rather than the thick emulsion that is Amber Absolute.
    Arabie. Nuff said 🙂 And in a similar Indian food vibe, I love Comme des Garcons Luxe Patchouli. Weird but goood!
    This list could go on and on but I’ll end it with one of my first perfume loves that I still appreciate to this day: A*Men. I can’t help it, I like it!

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  35. Mahjoun by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is my newest gourmand love – based on a North African confection, it beats those hyper-sweet Loukhoum style scents all hollow. It dries down to incense too, so you get the luscious foody stuff and then some nice dry aromatics to follow. Dates, honey, fig, hazelnut, sweet orange, cardamom, myrrh – it had me at hello.

    • Mahjoun is freaking gorgeous. I also like layering it with some of her other spice scents, and it smells great with boring vanilla on top of it.

    • Thanks for reminding me of this one. It is one of my absolute favorites, and one of the few fragrances that made it thru “The Great Purge”. Which I regret, incidentally.

  36. There are so many gourmands that I love:

    Honeys: SL Miel de Bois, Ginestet Botrytis, CJScents Honey Wood
    Coffee: Neil Morris Izmir (coffee in a cafe with red geraniums hanging near you, overlooking the Mediterranean). CJScents Amber Coffee.
    Vanilla: LM Vanille Gourmand, Montale Vanille Chypre, Kilian’s Love
    Almond: Hypnotice Poison, Sinfonia del Note Amande Sucree
    Chocolate: Neil Morris Mystic Dragon, Guerlain Iris Gannache
    Others: Montale Sweet Oriental Dream

    I only have bottles of five of the above. If anyone is feeling particularly wealthy…. lol!

    I swear I have other things in my collection besides gourmands. :o)

    • Oh wow. I forgot Frapin 1270 and Mahjoun. I even have a FB of the latter…just a decant of the former. I would wear those for the rest of my life.

  37. Okay. That was not supposed to be a clown. Let’s try 🙂

  38. I tediously maintain that I don’t like gourmands, but every time I wear my sample of Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum Parfum du Soir, I want to nibble my arm off!

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