The Different Company Oriental Lounge

Hi there, snowbound friends of the Posse!  We’re still digging ourselves out on the East Coast and the kids are underfoot because school’s closed (anyone want to place bets on whether they’ll reopen this week, or are we headed right into winter vacation, which starts Wednesday afternoon?)

I’ve been getting my champagne and shovel on.  Those of you familiar with the DC area know that Sunday in the mid-Atlantic was warm enough after a typical snowfall that if you don’t get that 16 inches of snow off your car and out of your driveway by Sunday night, it’s 8 inches of icy mush by Monday.  But we had a great time playing.

Before I forget – thanks to the many commenters who came by on Friday to enter the Tauer Perfumes draw.  I won’t include Andy’s email here, because I don’t want to embarrass him, but he was very, very touched as he read them, and congrats to Tara for winning.

Okay, today’s review: The Different Company’s Oriental Lounge, the new oriental (duh) from the line.  Here´s a link to Grain de Musc, in which Céline Ellena explains how she was tinkering with the genre to come up with the fragrance.  Notes via LuckyScent are: Bergamot, curry leaf, pepper, red rose, labdanum, tonka bean and satinwood.  (Satinwood, according to Ellena, is a blend of a synthetic sandalwood note and a powdery note.)

To be fair, you should read the Grain de Musc interview, which explains Ellena’s intentions.  I started to try to quote from it, but I’d end up quoting most of it, which feels too plagiaristic for me.  Also, here´s a link to 1000 Fragrances’ review, and Octavian knows way more about perfume structure than I ever will, and hey – he liked it.

Me?  Eh.  Seriously?  This could have been straight from the Macy’s bottle of Usher’s newest flanker for men, maybe called something like Usher IV: Love Machine.  To me it smells like a midrange woody guy cologne, subcategory: barbershop shaving cream.  I am pretty sure it’s Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez who’ve noted that if you take a classical feminine and cheapen the ingredients enough, it starts to smell like a cheesy masculine.  Well, Céline Ellena has apparently worked the same dark magic using expensive ingredients and all her technical skilz.  Congratulations, Céline, I’m (sort of) speechless.  I note, again in her Grain de Musc interview, that “Oriental Lounge arose from the need to compose a warm oriental, which was missing from the brand´s line-up. It was also missing for me, because to speak bluntly, orientals aren´t my favorite perfume family…”  So, this is an oriental developed by someone who doesn’t even like orientals?  Well, that explains everything, I guess.  Since I’m too lowbrow to appreciate this result of the subverting of the aesthetic, I invite you to comment if you’ve tried it.   It’s not terrible.  It’s more … pointless.  I can’t think why I’d put this on instead of … well, pretty much anything else I own.  I think I’ll dab on some vintage Cinnabar parfum and go downstairs and scare the children.  Cinnabar goes with sledding, yes?  I promise I’ll put my champagne flute down first!

40 Comments
Tara C January 5, 2010

Wow, just back from vacation to discover I won the drawing! I never win anything, this is so exciting! I think I may have gotten the "dull" batch of OL too, as I found it quite flat and uninteresting. Must try again some day.

mals86 December 22, 2009

If this has any proximity to shaving cream, I'm staying far far away. That's a dealbreaker for me. I love the idea of your wearing your Cinnabar while sledding - I hope that memory sticks with your kids. (Cinnabar scares ME. But the concept of wearing your personal Warm Fuzzy while having fun, now that's inspired. I cannot wait to officially open my Christmas-present bottle of Alahine and spritz that on; I think it's going to be my Christmas smell, although not solely on Christmas.)

Robin R. December 21, 2009

I think I got the "dull" batch of Oriental Lounge, guys. At least, it was yawnsville when I gave it a whirl. So true about the questionability of a gal (a wonderful gal) who doesn't really like orientals putting together an oriental. Kind of like Sarah McLachlan doing a heavy metal song.

Nina Z. December 21, 2009

Okay, I will defend it. To me/on me it is softly delicious. It is also one of the few perfumes that speaks directly to my limbic system; it just makes me feel so good. It is quieter than the other orientals I love, but I thought that could be a plus. Here is something lighter and clearer I can wear when I'm out to dinner, taking a walk, taking a class, etc. that's still soft and sexy, not "fresh." I thought for me it would make a good wallpaper scent, as you call it. And I actually just purchased a decant (and I only purchased a few fragrances all year).

Kate December 21, 2009

Oriental Lounge is a creative addition to the non-oriental orientals! I despise sweet fragrances however Ms Ellena has developed an experience via OL that starts out with a peppery, almost camphorous (according to Melissa) opening that dries down to a sweet, sexy and calming warmth that relaxes me. I've sniffed it on a few folks who really rock it. You know who you are, Melissa and jarvis. Just what I need in this snow!

monkeytoe December 21, 2009

I wanted to like OL (like the line and the nose) but I don't get the point. For a modern take on oriental I much prefer the original Shalimar Light/eau legere or Sacreblue (for modern masculine orientals I would take Gucci Pour Homme or Bulgari Pour Homme Soir over OL). If I am going to wear an academic exercise I want it weirder.

Rappleyea December 21, 2009

Sigh.... I don't know if it's the IFRA regs or perfumer geeks playing with their chemistry sets calling it art, but call me old fashioned, it doesn't smell like perfume to me! But I did LOL at the Sanchez/Turin line. Classic! I'm jealous of the snow - I used to live west of you out in Clarke Co., Va. and I talked to a friend there yesterday. I think she said they got either 20 or 24 inches! We were supposed to get 2 to 4 here in central Ky., but only got a dusting. No fun at all! I do feel bad though for the folks trying to get places for the holidays.

Francesca December 21, 2009

Lucky, lucky NYC, we didn't get hit too badly, though the DH and I were out in the worst of it on Saturday night, going to a perfectly lovely party, to which I wore TPIM. (Get it? Hah) I haven't tried Oriental Lounge, though the name reminds me of a wonderful CD we have of 30's western-style Shanghainese torch-song lounge music... And congratulations to Tara!!!!! Squeeeee! What are you going to choose?:x

Louise December 21, 2009

My bet on school staying closed the rest of the week?...and this affects my employment directly...I think they'll likely stay closed until Wednesday, then try a late opening...then send the kids home. Typical MoCo planning. Oops, I do love my employer, really :d/ I love Oriental, I like sweet, I like dense...but OL was too much, just too much of it all. You know how my skin eats scent, but amplifies sweet? Oy, this was a no-go for me. I do have a friend who wears it well, and admire Ellena's craft. But, I'm wearing my vintage Shalimar in my own little snowed in oriental lounge right now, so content ;)

carmencanada (Grain de Musc) December 21, 2009

I'm like Céline Ellena, I don't particularly favor orientals, but I do love and wear Oriental Lounge -- she's made the labdanum-tonka combination wearable for me, and the curry leaf lends it an intriguing green-metallic shimmer. I don't read it as particularly masculine: I'd say it's shed the feminine, heaving-cleavage trappings of the oriental family. And there *is* a richness to the natural materials she uses that set it apart from department-store offerings. That said, Céline told me that the first batch that was mixed was too high in concentration, which made the fragrance a little "closed". The Different Company's CEO wanted a late-summer launch and put it out while she was away and couldn't check it... It's possible that batch is still in circulation.

Musette December 21, 2009

I'm still gobsmacked by my beloved Cyrus Chestnut making JIMMY COBB! play 'Body and Soul' JUST FOR ME! Squeeeeeeeee! Oh, yum-ola. It is moments like these that gladden an >-)'s heart. I wore Cartier VI to celebrate His Cyrusness. It was perfect. Not so much the OL. When I first spritzed it I thought it might have some promise. For about 32 seconds. It smells like amber-scented dish soap to me. Not the worst thing in the world but I'd certainly choose Cinnabar over this one. Cyrus and Jimmy say "come sit by us" (before the set, of course. Playing is sweaty work!) xo >-) ps. the plows are standing by here in the Windy City. Just a dusting right now but Da Mare takes no chances!