Berry Note in Perfume

So.  Having spent the last week+ killing everyone around me with Serge, and longing for the snow to melt, I rooted around on my shelves for things I’ve bought (and neglected) in the spring-is-just-around-the-corner category — subcategory: berries as in berry note in perfume.

L’Artisan Mure et Musc – basil, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin orange, jasmine, blackberry, musk.  Having never cared for it, I fell in love with this, inexplicably, on a visit to the L’Artisan boutique on Madison Avenue a couple years ago in the middle of winter.  Then, through my own auction-sniping stupidity, I promptly ended up with two bottles of the stuff, one less than half full, both with the old-style caps, for not much money.  (As I can’t find one now, I suppose it’s good I accidentally bought two.)  When I first put it on I remember why I loved it; the musk with the blackberry isn’t remotely foody or jammy, not especially sweet, and I crave that musky-citrusy opening.  Inevitably though it flattens and fades to something that smells pleasant but sort of like blackberry body wash, if such a thing exists.  It’s pretty enough, and yet pretty enough feels like kind of a waste of good skin to me.  Curious, I threw some Mandragore (surprise!) on top, trying to amp up the sour, and it was excellent.  In fact it was so excellent I contemplated not sharing my new secret.  The blackberry adds a sweet, musky note that Mandragore lacks entirely, while Mandragore’s peppery bitterness keeps the whole Mure thing interesting.  (good use of blackberry as the Berry Note in Perfume)

Ines de la Fressange: notes of mandarin, blackcurrant, bergamot, neroli, muguet, rose, peony, orris, patchouli, white musk, benzoin, vetiver.  I have the beautiful, ornate tall bottle with the oak (?) leaves on it from 2004, not the other, plain one that’s much easier to find now online.   This is pretty much the fruity-floral-musky fragrance you’d expect given that list of notes, although as it was done by Alberto Morillas it’s a very nice example of the genre, and unlike many fruity-florals at Macy’s/Sephora (Mayphora?) it doesn’t smell cheap, although for all I know it cost 12 cents to make.  I don’t think it’s genius, and it’s not “me” at all, and it’s maybe even a bit insipid, at least compared to what I usually wear.  And yet.  It’s such a bright, warm smile of a thing I can’t dislike it. (use of blackcurrant as the Berry Note in Perfume)

Poking around online I found the notes for the original 1999 version of Ines in the short, plain bottle, done by Calice Becker – aldehydes, peach, bergamot, brazilian rosewood, carnation, iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, rose, sandalwood, tonka bean and benzoin.  Has anyone tried that?  Hm.  That sounds really nice, doesn’t it?  I’m kind of overdue for a blind buy that (knowing me) won’t work out at all well.  What do you think?  Should I pick some up?

Having no more berries that I could see on my shelf, I went rooting around for my sample of Byredo Pulp, with notes of JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH WHO TINKLED ON MY HAND?!?!    I remember comparing it to a giant, boulder-sized fruit when I reviewed it, but I don’t recall it being quite so … boxwoody.  Sorry, the correct notes are … bergamot, cardamom, blackcurrant, red apple, fig, tiare, cedar, praline and peach blossom.  This thing?   Skeee-RUBBER.  Although I didn’t scrub it.  I took the twins to taekwondo and came home and made dinner while it hopped up and down on the back of my hand and hissed at me.  It does get a bit peachy in the drydown, and I can smell the blackcurrant.  I have no idea what in that list of notes might be giving me that boxwood smell, but if I sprayed this all over myself I’d weep and die. (overuse of Berry Note in Perfume)

Berry-wise, think we can all agree that strawberry as the Berry Note in Perfume is disgusting, yes?  (No?   Go on, argue!)  How about blueberry as the Berry Note in Perfume?  Have I overlooked something wonderful?  Hey, I’m a little ashamed to admit I still haven’t smelled Sacrebleu by Parfums de Nicolaà¯, at least not that I can remember (notes of black currant blossom, peach blossom, peony, raspberry, jasmine, incense, vanilla and clove), should I go scare some of that up?   Is it berry-ish, or more generically fruity-floral?  LT calls it a “dusky oriental” in The Guide and writes a four-star paean to it.  So I guess I should definitely put that on my list.  And that’s the great thing about being a perfumista — with all the endless amount of sampling I’ve done, I still have some huge gaps to fill.

Sources: Mure et Musc, Ines de La Fressange, Mandragore, all from my collection; Byredo Pulp, private sample.

  • cathleen56 says:

    I’ve got the Ines de la Fressange you’re looking to try. I can’t quite make up my mind about it — it’s got that spermy undertone that I can never decide if I love or hate. I’d be happy to send you some or, better yet, bring you some. A long-overdue date with Louise is in the works, and we could make it a threesome or I could give it to Louise to give to you.

  • Joe says:

    Hey… nice to see this list.

    I haven’t worn M&M in awhile, but I usually bust it out for a couple days in spring. I’ll have to try it with a Mandragore topper.

    Another good berry is PdN Balkis. Rich and very sweet, like some kind of elegant dessert or after-dinner drink: rose, coffee, and raspberry.

    And hey, a li’l Serge never killed ANYBODY! (Well ok, MKK almost kills me, but I still keep sniffing my wrist.) :d

  • london says:

    My favourite non-citrus fruits are Sauvignonne and Vraie Blonde (peach), Fig Tea and Cristiano Fissore Cashmere (apricot). Can’t think of any acceptable berry ones though, much less strawberry.

  • Geordan1244 says:

    Victoria’s Secret had a fragrance a few years ago called Succulent,which was part of the Mood series. It contained blackberries, madagascar vanilla, and something else I can’t remember. The lotion was/is still fabulous (although they discontinued it, one can still find it on ebay from time to time). I bought the fragrance untested, after trying on the lotion; I was sorely dissappointed with the fragrance as compared to the lotion (it just didn’t have the ooomph that the lotion had – the fragrance reminded me of sweet ribbons dangling in the air, rather than the seductive spicy tendrils of scent that lured me in…I think the fragrance had too much berry, not enough spicy vanilla, whereas the berry in the lotion became a topper for the spicy vanilla). Not a “high-class” scent, but definitely one that would put me in the mood :d :”>

    I don’t like strawberry scents, but am willing to try anything.

  • Flora says:

    I bought the 1999 Ines de la Fressange scent unsniffed – LOVED it, and repurchased! It’s definitely worth a try at the price. It’s great for summer, as it never gets too sweet no matter how hot it gets. I had no idea it was by Calice Becker at the time, but it did not surprise me when I found out she did it.

    You want blackcurrant? Nirmala by Molinard is the way to go; it’s my favorite fruity-floral ever. (I suggested this one earlier for Sandalwood, so you get a two-fer with that.) 🙂

    I once had a REAL strawberry perfume and it was fabulous. It was by Fragonard, and meant for young girls, and of course it’s no longer around, but I still remember ho lovely it was. The so-called “strawberry” in perfumes these days is pretty sad in comparison.

  • Wino says:

    Everyone has already heartily endorsed Sacrebleu, so I’ll just add, “Yeah! What they said!”

    As for Ines, the original version in the octagonal bottle is really lovely. Perfect for spring/summer, it is SO light and cheerful! I don’t get much fruit, just a light, peachy undercurrent, some sparkle from the aldehydes, and a classy, kind of shimmery floral. (I’m trying desperately to think of a better word than SHIMMERY, for God’s sake–Prix Eau Faux, anyone?–but coming up blank.) I haven’t tried the later version, so can’t compare, but HIGHLY recommend the Becker version!

  • pyramus says:

    I thought that Mure et Musc smelled like, and I quote myself, ” a freshly and thoroughly laundered jar of jam.” This was not a good thing, to me.

    Anna Sui Night of Fancy has a blueberry note. Well, a synthetic-blueberry note. Well, a synthetic-creamy-blueberry-candy note. It’s not completely hideous, for about five minutes, and then you’re sick to death of it.

    • maidenbliss says:

      Did you know that Heather Locklear has worn this scent ‘forever?’ Not that I care. I just remember reading a review years ago about this being her signature scent.

  • Austenfan says:

    The one I instantly thought of regarding berries is Goutal-Quel Amour. Tart and interesting. It is supposed to have blueberries. There is a good review of it on Perfumesmellingthings. It is not my favourite Goutal, but it’s very pleasant on occasion.

    Do try Sacrebleu; I think Turin is spot on in his review of it. Use a light hand though; when overdone it becomes very cloying, but in the right dose it’s very lovely!

  • maggiecat says:

    “Who tinkled on my hand” made me laugh out loud…and as I;m having a fairly bad day (working from home while hubby recovers from oral surgery) i needed that. Perhaps I’ll go get my box of samples out and play a little…Anyway, thanks for making my day! (And Unconditional Love isn’t bad at all – the cologne is much better than the body lotion; for me Falling in Love is the other way ’round)

  • Lee says:

    I can’t do much fruit. There was that men’s scent – Black XS that came out a few years back that made me heave. The raspy woody men’s note combined with strawberry frosting does not a good blend make. I quite like Mure et Muscs et amis, but not on me.

    Saying that, I’m a little smitten with the new(ish) men’s Dior, Ambre Nuit, which is faux fruity to start with, generic mensy in parts and with a Nazgul drydown sans tobacoo. I think you’d hate it, but I thought I would too.

    Might write about it on Friday – lord knows I sorely need inspiration.

    • Shelley says:

      I just got a small dose of Ambre Nuit. Am going to have to go for a ride again, with your narrative in mind…didn’t have much fun first time around, but I was preoccupied.

      To be fair, it arrived with a larger dose of Cologne Blanche, which is happy time for me. Obviously, as they used to sing on Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other.

    • Francesca says:

      Oooh, I just got a small dose of Ambre Nuit, too. It smelled great on The Silver Fox, who gave it to me. I can still smell the 10 Corso Como I put on this morning, so I’ll wait to test it.

      • March says:

        Hahaha, and how did the Silver Fox feel about it?

        • Francesca says:

          He loves it. And I’m wearing it today, and I love it too. I don’t get fruit. The fox and I both get rose (subtle, spicy rose)in the drydown–it reminds me a bit of MPeG George Sand. I’ll have to do a comparison of the two.

      • maidenbliss says:

        Isn’t 10CC most heavenly? Do write up Ambre Nuit!

    • March says:

      Ooooh, write about it! I’ve not smelled it. You make it sound delicious.

    • Louise says:

      Oh, please do write up the Ambre Nuit-I am playing with a decant, just can’t figure this one out8-|

  • Nava says:

    Isn’t it funny how we’re both in “Serge” moods. I’ve been wearing Encens et Lavande, Rahat Loukhoum, and now Louve. There’s a “which doesn’t belong and why” vibe to those choices because EeL is a total departure from the other two. Louve is just RL with some powder thrown in, but I love it anyway.

    I’ve always had a thing for berries in my scents, and I’ve loved Mure et Musc forever. I used to love Trish McEvoy’s #9 Blackberry, Vanilla and Musk, but Philosophy’s Falling in Love is almost an exact duplicate, and has better ancillary products to go along with it.

    I haven’t smelled any of the Byredos yet, but from the sound of it, I’d be running for a brillo pad. :d

    • March says:

      I loved your EetL review. And yes, it’s a big departure from the other two!

      Honestly, I can’t remember what any of the Philosophy scents smell like which is funny, because I see them all the time.

  • Shelley says:

    Help me, I have a Costamoor samp on each wrist, and I’m stuck in sweet purgatory. This would be just fine if I enjoyed such a thing, but I don’t. Rats. Had other hopes, since the one is called Tabacca. The other, Sugarwood, obviously arrives as advertised. I MUCH prefer the thick haze with of L’HB or (with rasp added) Sacrebleu.

    So I’m going to try to scrub, and go back to Ines, which nobody but Musette has discussed yet. I have both, and remember that both were “nice.” Not very helpful, that, so will go back. I think I preferred the contents of the leaf bottle, and not just the bottle itself. Will report back. Happy to send a samp of the square bottle version if you like.

    You’ve reminded me; I think I need to clean the boxwood out of the litter box… ;))

    • March says:

      Clean that litterbox! And sorry those scents were such a fail, I’ve not tried them yet.

      I think Ms. Musette caved on the original Ines. ;)) And is sending me a squidge…

      • Shelley says:

        Blast. I had successfully procrastinated until re-signing in. 😉

        The Divine Ms. M should have a sample of each. It’s the leaf bottle she ♥’s …

  • sweetlife says:

    I keep trying the Nicolai’s, and appreciate them in theory, but in practice they have so far escaped me. Alas. I blame me, not them.

    Pulp makes me laugh out loud! That can’t be completely bad, can it?

    • March says:

      They’re quite their own thing. Some people complain they’re not strong enough but that’s never bothered me.

      Pulp was just very boxwoody on me. It wasn’t what I was looking for that moment.

  • mals86 says:

    Hated Pulp, giant frozen fruit-bar on steroids that it was.

    I like L’Heure Bleue (and PdN Vanille Tonka is a totally-necessary, nothing-but-fun carnival ride for me), but Sacrebleu did not grab me at all. I was expecting to love it, but… meh.

    But I do have a small bottle of the original Ines de la Fressange (bought 1 oz blind last summer for $13), and it is terrific! Yes, fruity, but not the sort of canned fruit cup that our mothers used to pack in our school lunches – more like a tangy, fruity margarita, followed by a very classical sort of ladylike floral. Even the drydown is pretty. It’s not at all an intellectual, ladylike thing, but pretty-with-a-twist. Hmmm… garden party with jello shots, maybe?

    • mals86 says:

      I just said ladylike twice, so mentally cancel that word.

      Oh, I know what it reminds me of! At college, the chorus I was a member of used to have a brunch party with mimosas in the spring. So there we’d be, outside on a Sunday morning, dressed up in floral, puffy-sleeved dresses and white-shirt-tie-knakis,(okay, yes, it was UVa in the 80’s) eating cheese straws and strawberries and knocking back mimosas and gossiping our heads off. *That* is 1999 Ines.

      • March says:

        So you’re talking about the original, the one in the short bottle? It does sound like something I have to try. I love your UVA description — Laura Ashley dresses!

        • mals86 says:

          Yep, the original in the octagonal bottle. And yep, Laura Ashley dresses, but with mimosas and catty gossip about who’s porking whom, not with tea and cookies. For choir people we were awfully naughty.

          • maidenbliss says:

            I am so there! Do you have the recipe for the cheese straws? They are really quite delightful!
            A bit on the dry side, if not done right, but really, darling, I adore them. And as to who is porking whom, that is classic, Mals! What I would give for a hoop skirt and wisteria…

  • maidenbliss says:

    It was Angela @ NST who wrote that review.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Everytime I even think about ‘who tinkled on my hand?’ I burst out LOL! As to berries, I prefer them w cream or maybe in a nice dry juniper martini. I can’t get past the edible thing. Sacrebleu has been on my list since reading Robin’s review @ NST.

    • March says:

      Well, Mure doesn’t strike me as even a little edible. I’ve drenched myself in it again today … and I will get on that Sacrebleu thing, I remember Angela’s review. Although I can’t reconcile the fact that some people call it candied and some people compare it to LHB.

  • Musette says:

    I was going to arm myself with some massive aldehyde today but I think I will revisit Ines. I have the leaf bottle (Shelley – again8-| – BLAME SHELLEY) but I think I will hunt up the Becker, as it sounds right up my alley! El O LOOVES this on me. Usually he just says ‘uh, nice’ or jumps back (as with Catagan) but this one…of course, I don’t get any berry at all – or if I do, I don’t know that’s what I’m getting. It’s like a sweet green on me – very summery (which is What March Said)

    Scare Blue! I love that stuff! not so easy to wear, as it veers into L’HB territory, which is always a bit weird for me, but it is gorgeous.

    One berry I ‘do’ get – and love – is Celine Elena’s Sublime Balkiss. Juicy, salty, sea-berries. Go figure.

    I spritzed Pulp @ Barneys and tried to jump back from my own wrist!:o That’s some rough stuff.

    Do the gin berries (not quite juniper – just ‘gin’) in Brilliante count? Yes, I’m still flogging that 3:-o

    xoxoxo >-)

    • Lee says:

      A sublime Balkiss might be the best of the bunch though.

      Right, I need to de-teabag my mug….;))

    • March says:

      Don’t you hate it when you want to saw your own arm off? And I bet Pulp is a hard one to bury. (I just typed “berry”, how funny is that?)

      I can totally see a man (well, lots of people) loving Ines. IT’s massively pleasant. Certainly more pleasant than much of what I wear. 🙂

      • maidenbliss says:

        I’ve decided you’re wasting your time here-you could be writing for Jay Leno-he seriously needs some help. There’s always something bouncing out of your mouth that keeps me in stitches. I haven’t even sniffed – whoops, almost wrote sniggled Mure, but not sure if I want to now. Lee could do some guest appearances…

      • Musette says:

        Tell me about it. Perfume has taken the place of jewelry – I have these ‘heads’ that I wear as earrings and a former colleague said “I always know to stay away from you when you wear The Heads”. I was truly flummoxed – but it’s the same with scent. when I’m feeling really 8-x I always reach for Miss Mits

        xo >-)

        • maidenbliss says:

          Ain’t it the truth? It used to be jewelry but I’ve gone astray…. And what should I do about all those jewels in my attic?

          • Musette says:

            any diamonds or emeralds over 5cwt, send ’em to ol Evil Auntie >-)

            xo >-)

          • maidenbliss says:

            rubies? old gold? let me dig out the treasure chest. Isn’t divorce a wonderful thing?

          • Musette says:

            Rubies are gorgeous! Have them reset! I love divorce, when it’s done right;)

            wait. that sounded just…..weird. (insert ‘whistling guy’ and blushing guy here)

            xo >-)

          • maidenbliss says:

            hilarious:) yes, baubles take the sting out of the ‘goodbye ring!’ and of course, ‘when it’s
            done right.’ Where do I find the skeleton? he’s so cute! as long as it’s not worn as nose ring.

          • Musette says:

            go down to the emoticons and click ‘more’ – his code is pretty easy, I think ( 8 (+) – (+) x ) he is cute, isn’t he?

            xo >-)

  • Robin says:

    That’s so funny about Pulp! I’ve never had that experience at all, in fact, it’s one of the few massively fruity things I really like. But agree about Mure et Musc, and it’s a shame because I understand it used to be much better. Will have to try it with some Mandragore.

    • March says:

      I remember you liked it, and the first time I just thought, MASSIVE FRUIT. This time when I got the urine-y bits I remembered why some people really hate grapefruit scents that do that … odd. Don’t know why it behaved that way.

      If you look upstairs, Denyse relates intelligence that L’A did NOT reformulate Mure, whatever people are saying, which might be of interest to you. And please do try it with Mandragore.

      • Robin says:

        C’mon, it came out in the late 70s! If it’s never been reformulated, it’s got to be the only scent on the market that’s been around that long with no change in formula. And it isn’t just LT who says it’s been reformulated…it’s many perfumistas who remember it from when it first came out.

        • What Pamela Roberts (formerly from l’Artisan) said, to be more accurate, is that the musk in it, which is what LT says was changed, is still the same because there were no supply/regulatory reasons for changing it.

          • Robin says:

            Sure, I’ll buy that. But a fragrance that hasn’t been changed since 1978: that’s hard to swallow in any case, and esp. when so many consumers are convinced it does not smell like it used to.

      • Winifreida says:

        Ah Pampelune…to me it takes a wonderful trajectory towards a reassuringly hot sweaty (I’ll leave it at sweaty) human thing as the day wears on; somehow its another one I love.
        But apart form not liking fruit, I’ve always loved citrus8-}
        Hang on what DO I like. I’m confused.

  • Aubrey says:

    Which version of Mure et Musc did you like? On me, the extreme version just isn’t quite right. But I hear that there are several versions including a cologne and that they all smell different.

    For a sweet easy blackberry, I liked Lalique Amethyste (*waves to Tomassina*) and surprisingly, I like Philosophy’s Unconditional Love. But they are both pretty sweet. And speaking of blackberry, do you know what I love? Mistral’s blackberry soap. It’s far less sweet than the frags mentioned. I wish I could find a perfume that smells the same (alas, the Mistral perfume does not match it at all).

    • March says:

      I didn’t like the Extreme. As is sometimes/often the case when I try a lighter formulation first, the Extreme gains strength and tenacity but loses the airiness/white space/bitter elements that please me. So Extreme was more heavily blackberry IIRC but I didn’t get the citrusy musk I liked in the first place. And I accidentally bought that other thing (the cologne?) once and got rid of it and am very sorry I did. 🙁 I wish I could remember the smell.

      Really, Mistral blackberry soap? Huh. I think the pharmacy near here might carry it.

  • karin says:

    Great topic! I’m contemplating purchasing a bottle of PdN’s Balkis unsniffed. Would love to hear the yays and nays on it. Is it a good one? Also wondering about Cartier’s So Pretty.

    Strawberry – yeah. Sarah Jessica Parker’s new fragrance. Seems like she’s bowing to pressure with this one after the Covet debacle – just another syrupy, fruity floral. Wonder if it’s selling.

    Sacrebleu is one of my HGs. Wouldn’t call it sweet necessarily. It’s not a light scent. A bit on the heavy side, but delicious.

    • March says:

      If you look on Now Smell This, Robin compares Balkis and Balkis Light. I can’t remember Balkis but her review is very informative. I have a small sample of the Light, which is no longer available (and I have looked, believe me!) I think I get what she gets – less rose, which works for me, and it’s peppery.

      OMG I forgot! That new SJP thing! I did rag it for strawberry. There you have it.

    • Winifreida says:

      As a lover and hater of the fruity, I would say Balkis (PdN) is really well-done! Without doing a re-sniff of samples…could be in trouble here…its less pee-ish (cassis?) compared to say the Sublime Balkiss (TDC) which I nearly bought unsniffed on name alone!

  • Silviafunkly says:

    Similar thing: out of the blue at one of the L’Artisan shops (btw, there used to be 4 shops in London, from 28/2 there will be only one left, sigh sigh), I fell for Mure et Musc Extreme, not my usual kind of scent. I don’t wear it very often but when I do, it sparkles really nicely.

    Sacrebleu is niiiiice, very Guerlanish, I don’t get that much berry from it though. I read the notes and in my mind they don’t total to Sacrebleu (I have the higher concentration version). Am sure you’ll like it.

    Filling the knowledge gaps is what keeps my interest as vivid as day 1. In my case, they are more like black holes though !!!#-o

    • March says:

      I think almost all our freestanding L’A boutiques have closed, which makes me sad.

      Very Guerlainish? Okay I really need to try this!

    • Aparatchick says:

      Like Silvia, I don’t get much berry from Sacrebleu. Plenty of incense, jasmine, and clove, though. It’s in my personal Top 10.

      • March says:

        Mmmmmm. Although as I said elsewhere already I’m interested in how some compare it to LHB and some call it candied, like Pez. And LHB doesn’t smell a bit candied to me.

    • Winifreida says:

      We do not evne have a big retailer of L’A in Australia, only a few are carried at a fashion designers shop in Sydney.Say they are not going broke…noooo…hopefully just a re-organisation after the change of ownership?
      Actually, its funny how one reads all the stuff about declining sales etc, years ago nearly the whole bottom floor of DJs in Sydney seemed to be frag stands; now there and in Myers too it has been ‘rationalised’, BUT there are always people in there intently sniffing and buying.
      When I tried to sniff Spiriteuse DV in the G boutique in Myers, it was so bone dry you could not even get a whiff by putting bottle to nose and breathing in as you pressed!

    • london says:

      Which one is closing down?

  • Melissa says:

    I love your description of Pulp. I made the mistake of giving myself a nice hefty spray of it (both arms) from a decant. I must have blocked the scent memory, because I can’t describe the notes beyond a vague sense of having been assaulted by a fruit puree spewing out of the top of a blender. 😮

    I can’t think of any berry fragrances that I wear. I do like some fruit notes. Peach, plum and apricot blend nicely with other notes, without jarring sharpness or insipid sweetness. And I need to give Sacrebleu another try.

  • Tommasina says:

    For blackberry and other possibly-boxwood-inducing notes, try Lalique Amethyste. I’m happy to send you some, if you like.

  • Francesca says:

    Strawberry in fragrance? Yuck.

    I remember doing a Nicolaï test fest a year or so ago and remember liking Sacrebleu very much but heaven help me if I can remember what it smelled like, and I don’t have time to rummage around in the little drawer-thing where I keep all the tiny samps this morning. Oh well. Do check it out; it’s very pretty.

    • March says:

      I wonder if they still have PdN at that pharmacy on Lexington? On the UES? I’ve forgotten the name…

    • Winifreida says:

      They have ruined the different fruit notes by dumping a melange of the cheapest and nastiest stuff in everything…there’s good strawberry and baaad strawberry! I was surprised to see in Turin’s book that Miss Dior Cherie had strawberry in it. I bought it for my daughter years ago and just loved it on her.
      But I was probably a sitting duck for a fruit conversion…all those years of Mitsouko, and just loving the real smells of flowers and fruits. Now it just seems to be a quest for evermore risk-taking into the unusual!

      • mals86 says:

        Now, see, I took one sniff of Miss Dior Cherie and promptly gagged on the strawberry… but I liked the berries in Hanae Mori. Trashy, yes, but FUN trashy.

  • Louise says:

    I’m thinking that Bois de Paradis was almost all berries on me, but way sweet. I gave that one away.

    And I must insist that Pulp is great, because I tame the Giant Fruit better than James did-it’s huge and delightfully bitter at the beginning, and keeps a fresh, realistic citrus vibe throughout. Though-where’s de berries? Not on me :d/

  • Dante's Bra says:

    Oh, Sacrebleu. I spritzed some on a red raw silk scarf I just brought back from Thailand; it’s a magic force field against the chilly winter. I can’t believe I like it because it’s so sweet, but I would argue that it does have a little depth in its incense-ey drydown. And it doesn’t turn Vanillazilla (at least on me, thank God ’cause I somehow make everything else vanilla).

    Not usually into the fruits, but I love the sound of a berry with leaves, thorns and earth…

  • I concur, Sacrebleu is quite lovely (I think it’s the most popular Nicolaï in the US), with a sugar-coated candy top note, yet not cloying…
    Not a big berry fan myself, as you can imagine. I did enjoy wearing Cartier L’Heure Folle when I was testing it, though: it felt like the berry on the bush, complete with leaves, thorns, earth and the unripe ones, plus the ones on the ground.
    Mathilde Laurent *did* conceive it as a tribute to Mûre et Musc, which by the way, despite what Luca Turin claims, has *not* been reformulated. I got this directly from Pamela Roberts who was the artistic director for L’Artisan. She no longer works for them, so she wouldn’t have much of a reason to cover up: I’m taking her word for it as she knows the formula.

    • March says:

      Oh! Well, I have to dig up my sample of Folle, I know it’s here, I’d forgotten.

      Dang, I meant to put that reformulation detail in my Mure section of this review. I remember the original dust-up and L’Artisan insisting that it had NOT been reformulated. I do wonder … for people who have older bottles, whether the scent itself changes over time in the bottle (say, several years) so that to those folks the newer stuff smells “reformulated” even though it isn’t? I think it’s plausible. I have older things that smell richer to me in a way that’s hard to define.

      • Scents definitely change in the bottle: they macerate and oxydize. Also, when a fragrance has a high proportion of naturals (which is probably not the case of Mûre et Musc), these can vary from batch to batch within a margin that the perfumer considers acceptable.
        L’Eau d’Hadrien is possibly another case of Turin-induced reformulation scare: Isabelle Doyen told me the concentration had been increased about four years ago but that otherwise, the formula had not been tampered with. She did add the proviso of natural raw materials being sometimes a bit different from one batch to the other, but she says that’s all.

        • March says:

          Hm. That gives me … hope re Hadrien. And re: Mure — I found my other bottle, and even those two bottles smell slightly different.

    • Winifreida says:

      GAH! A long tentacle of microsoft just reached out and took control of the ‘puter when I was nearly finished posting! But I think it entirely disappeared…
      Fruit, another note I thought I hated, in fact I thought I hated every ‘fume that came out in the last couple of decades because of that acrid pee note, that thing that’s in all the shampoos that I find myself opening lids in the shop to avoid!
      I remember meeting Angel, and being blown away by the genius of it…but it marked a generational divide…Hey where was everybody when they first smelled Angel?!
      But now, I have learnt that fruit can make a scent (I never would have known that Mitsouko is peach-y, for example) and well done, even berry things such as the Cartier can be nice. I found myself contemplating a decant!
      And yes strawberry, the last note I would have thought of but I LOVE that Hilde Soliani thing…and the dreaded Mousson, Therese, Lyric, is it really in the way the perfumer handles it?!? Or most probably, the bottom line re $$$, frooot is obviously something cheap!
      In fact just lately and probably because its summer here, I have been deliberately seeking fruit. Yep, even banana!

      • mals86 says:

        Lyric is froooty to you?

        And when I first smelled Angel, I was five movie-theater rows behind a person wearing it. I found it nauseating, even at that distance.

  • Masha says:

    Sacrebleu as glorified Pez, I love it! But it’s a must-sniff, it’s gorgeous.

  • Christine says:

    I love your writing. It’s probably the use of imagery or maybe the fact that I’m just finishing up work at 1 am, but well I could have just reached out and pet big bad Byredo Pulp. And YES no strawberry. I can’t even do artificially flavored strawberry candy. It smells exactly how I would imagine a berry fart would smell.

    Okay! I’m off to bed, even though I’m finding it hard to pull away from AMC’s running of Forrest Gump (even though, geez they’re playing it every night, I don’t know what I’m afraid of.). ‘Night!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Berry fart!! 😮 ROFL

    • March says:

      I adore strawberries (the food) and cannot imagine a fragrance deploying strawberry successfully as a main note. Probably it’s from smelling too many resolutely awful strawberry-scented bubble baths or whatever. Berry fart is right.

  • DinaC says:

    Okay, first, huge LOL at Skeee-Rubber. How funny! That was the most hilarious thing I’ve heard or read all day. :d

    Another berry-ish one to nominate: Gucci II edp. When you look at it in the bottle with its pink juice, you might be tempted to think, “Oh no! Another dreadful fruity-floral.” But it’s not. It’s more herbal-blackcurrant, and a bit of violet according to Tania Sanchez in PTG. They even give it four stars. I don’t wear it a lot, but when I do, I enjoy it.

    • March says:

      Really, Gucci II? See, that’s the fun thing about this blog, gathering info. Unless I noticed it in The Guide (and I hadn’t) I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

  • carter says:

    Sacre bleu, you ain’t tried Sacrebleu? JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH WASSAMATTA VOUS?

    • March says:

      As I said above, I *must* have tried it, along with a bunch of other things, at PdN in London, and (possibly) at that joint on Madison? No, Lexington. That pharmacy carried some… yeah, head hanging in shame. I’ll rectify the situation.

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh my goodness, babe. You have to test Sacrebleu! It smells like an homage to L’Heure Bleue. Really!

    On me it smells like apricots floating in thick cream with vanilla drizzled on top. I even have it in the “light” version, and I would be happy to send you some of that.


    • March says:

      I must have smelled it at some point and just can’t remember — as you know, it’s in almost no shops around here. And given the reaction today I definitely have to try it. But you’re not making it sound very fruity.

      Do you have both regular and light?

  • Amy K says:

    I swapped away my bottle of Sacrebleu a few years ago, and I keep contemplating a re-purchase because I find myself missing it fairly often. It has nice depth, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. This sounds odd, but it reminds me of…Smarties. You know, the candy? It’s like a sophisticated, Oriental version of Smarties. Or maybe Pez.

    • March says:

      You know, I have smelled it. And frankly I’d love an Oriental version of Smarties or Pez. No, really. I can totally see how that would work.