May Candy

By March

I rooted around in the collection of vials and decants sitting near my computer, I haven’t done a random candy samples review in forever!

Also:  I’m thinking we should do another Swapmania, in June, maybe?  I promise not to do it on a holiday weekend this time.  Would you funsters prefer June or July?  Or never again?  OK, on to the reviews…

Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber cologne: one of the new JM tea scents.  If you can smell either tea or cucumber here, your nose is more discerning than mine.  Seriously, this could be anything summer-musky out of a splash bottle.  This could be Estee Lauder Pure Linen Paradise Eau Légère. Or possibly Marc Jacobs Biscotti Breeze.

Jo Malone Assam & Grapefruit cologne: another one of the tea scents.  Man, am I glad I didn’t buy this unsniffed.  Thanks, Anita, I owe you.  For the first seventeen seconds it smells great – not a ton of grapefruit, more citrus, and a lovely tea note.  Fortunately my internet connection’s kind of slow, so by the time I started surfing for bottles, maybe five minutes later, all the fun tea and citrus had disappeared and I was left with whatever they’re putting in the Earl Grey & Cuke bottle above, only more in the direction of D&G Light Blue.  Apologies to anyone who just had their breakfast spoiled.  Also, I wish they’d make a Light Blue Light (lite?) flanker.  See, I told you I had crap taste.

Roja Dove Diaghilev – I went off to read more about Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev but wound up reading about Nijinsky instead (they were lovers), then got distracted by details like: “Then Nijinsky went back to the Mariinsky Theatre, but was dismissed for appearing on-stage during a performance as Albrecht in Giselle wearing tights without the modesty trunks obligatory for male dancers in the company. The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna complained that his appearance was obscene…”

Eh, where were we?  Oh.  How’s the perfume?  Well… I agree with Anita that it’s kind of a hybrid of (new) Femme and Mitsouko, the scent Diaghilev is either supposed to have worn himself or sprayed on the curtains before performances, or maybe both.  I’m kind of a sucker for Roja Dove’s retro scents, and if I didn’t have Femme or Mitsouko I’d have ponied up for one of the thousand bottles of this limited edition.  It’s a lot like Mitsouko, only with a strong sweaty note, more peach, and less … fangs.  Sadly, Diaghilev is sold out on the Roja Dove website.  I already have Femme and Mitsouko, though, so I’m not crying myself to sleep.

Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse – call me lazy, or crazy, but when you release a slew of fragrances and they’re all named “L’Heure (something or other),” I can’t remember which ones I liked.  I finally got around to trying Fougueuse, which came out later than the first batch, right?  This is “the spirited hour,” composed by Mathilde Laurent around a “horse-mane accord,” notes are bergamot, magnolia, horse-mane note, green notes, lavender, floral notes, Maté, Vetiver, musk, oakmoss, leather.

I throw up my hands, okay?   I agree this is totally worth smelling — because it’s phenomenally weird.  Does nobody else find it bizarre, as strange as Dzing! only maybe even more so?  Here’s my personal list of notes as Fougueuse unfolded, since I gave up trying to construct any sort of reasonable review:

Earl Grey tea
green pepper
dusty eraser

I sure didn’t sniff it and think, meh, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve smelled that.  It’s unisex, to the degree that eraser dust and horse can be defined thusly.  I’m not sure it’s right for me (I guess I’ll stick to smelling like damp earth or moldy crypt, thanks very much) but if you find the general crossroads of, say, Dzing, Bulgari Black and Fleur de Narcisse appealing…


  • nozknoz says:

    March, I love your analysis of the notes in Fougeuse, which I agree is very odd. It’s interesting, and I’m glad I have a small decant for reference and revisiting over time, but I don’t think I’ll wear it very much.

    I was totally frosted that Diaghilev never made it here, so I’m hugely grateful to be reassured that I can console myself with Mitsouko and Femme. Whew – I can do that! ;-)

    • nozknoz says:

      Forgot to say, I’ll probably be too overworked over the next two months to split this summer, but I enjoyed it a lot the first time and hope to do it again someday.

      Also, I don’t find Dzing that weird. It’s one of my favs.

  • minette says:

    not surprised roja dove did a riff on mitsouko – when i met him at nm a few years ago, he was wearing it very well. so well, in fact, that i wound up buying mitsouko parfum instead of the jicky i thought i was going to buy. and to mix mitsouko with femme sounds delish (to me, anyway). but, like you, i have both of those, so don’t really need the hybrid.

    love that cartier… but for me it’s all horses/hay/barn and great musks. will probably be my third heure – in time. have l’heure promise and the midnight hour. yes, this one was released in the second round. the releases confuse me, too – no order.

    • March says:

      Your third, I am impressed! I have samples, I think — unless they all evaporated, which they might have. :-ss And it’s nice to know Roja Dove loves Mitsouko that much, his project makes even more sense.

      • minette says:

        ha… i went a little crazy and bought those two. but they have brought me much enjoyment, so that blurs out the high price tag in my mind. sorta kinda.

        honestly… i think this line is one of the best i’ve smelled in the past few years… she really did some nice work here. not a stinker in the bunch so far.

  • tammy says:

    I’ve been hoping for another swap, hooray! No preference, either month works for me.

    Jo Malone has never done much for me, the Diaghilev sounds intriguing, though not necessary at that price point, and the Cartier sounds like something I’d prefer to smell on Musette rather than take a chance on my own self!

  • Beth says:

    March, I love your reviews! Aside from the JoMalones, I haven’t tried any of these, and those I only sniffed in the store. I love your viewpoint and the barnyard skank comment cracks me up ;P

  • Ann says:

    Hi March, always love to see your random candy posts! I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with the Jo Malone tea series; it was nice, but not enough to rush out and buy full bottles. As for the Fougueuse, I liked it quite a bit, as I’m all about anything that’s “horse-y.” However, my decant will do me just fine.
    Can’t comment intelligently on the Diaghilev yet. Anyway, thanks!

    • Ann says:

      P.S. No real preference on the swap date, although the summer heat always gives me pause regarding fragrance (you never know how long packages will end up sitting in an un-air-conditioned USPS warehouse).

      • March says:

        I know, I know! But now that I started it, it seemed like kind of a winter/summer thing to do. I’d personally rather do that than spring/fall, which are always so busy for me, maybe in a different way. Summer seems like a great time to sit on the porch with some lemonade and think about swaps. @};-

  • karin says:

    March – I soooo agree with you on the two JM tea scents you mention!!! Very Light Blue-ish. I haven’t had a chance to try the others, and am not seeking them out (I know some are already sold out). Didn’t impress me at all.

    As to Fougueuse, I am a Mathilde Laurent fan, and this one definitely has me intrigued. It’s a strange one. I actually bought a full bottle of it (along with Defendue), and hosted a split. Still have about 20ml or so left. I’ve worn it twice. Need to wear it again. I had a small issue with it – too tenacious. It’s very persistent, and by the end of the day, I wanted to wash it off. Perhaps I had sprayed too much? I do love Dzing!, and that one took me awhile to “get”, but now it’s one of my HGs. Fougueuse may have the same result.

    • March says:

      I’d agree with the tenacity, whatever they put into the base. And honestly, if you’re that much in love with Dzing, I think you’ll fall in love with this one.

  • Sherri M. says:

    I would love to do Swapmania again! I’ve once again accumulated too much stuff, and it needs to go to a better home. June, July…you pick it! :-)

    I like Fougeuse but also found it a little strange. I didn’t quite get “horse and money” though I definitely see how people do. I got “iced tea on the back porch with guests (when the house is freshly cleaned and there is a faint waft of guests’ cologne/perfume), which then is followed by the entrance of the hay note–a very green hay which smells to me more like the Timothy Hay my daughter feeds her bunny than horses’ hay. I’m sure the horse and money thing is the premium quality hay in an upscale stable smell. It’s a very elegant accord, but I think my own “bunny” associations did me in on that one, and it failed the “husband test” too.

    But what do I know? I liked Defendue (aka “dust and chocolate), one of the least favored on the boards. Now that one passed the husband test…lots of people couldn’t figure out what it had to do with sin, but I think I get it!

    • March says:

      Dust and chocolate, that must be the one kind of like Dune, I would need to dig up my sample. And I’m laughing, I can totally see how the bunny association might do this in for you.

  • Disteza says:

    I have much love for Fougueuse, but I’ve been awash in smoky hay recently, as my grill -happy SO has found that you can smoke things using hay. As in sweet hay smoked cornish hens with apples. I feel fat just remembering it!

  • Rappleyea says:

    Funnily enough, I’m wearing Diaghilev today as I was able to get in on a split. You are dead on with your description – Mitsouko without the fangs, i.e. oakmoss, and a cumin opening rather than the bergamot. I also don’t get as much of the rose in this that I get in Mitsouko. And the dry down doesn’t seem like it will be as interesting as Mitsy, more of a generic tonka base rather than the lovely Guerlinade.

    A bit disappointing, but maybe only because I already own quite a bit of vintage Mitsouko. Perhaps this will show up in the Swapmania. No preference for dates.

  • sara says:

    swapmania! yes! June I’m in!!!

  • Alice C says:

    I lol’d over the Cartier! ;) I was not attracted to it from earlier reviews…not sure I want to smell like a horse or hay.

    June is best for me, I think. So….June! June!! June!!!

    • March says:

      Another vote for June.

      I’m not sure I want to smell like a horse or hay either, although I’ll smell like wet pavement or damp earth…

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    Funnily enough, I was in Saks yesterday and skin tested the Fougueuse and tested multiple things on paper. Almost everything reminded me of something else (in the case of the Tom Ford summer one, Jean Nate) but this was something I had never smelled before. It was not weird to me, although it is sort of masculine and I don’t particularly want to smell like that. It is mostly hay and leather. For hay, I prefer Chergui and for leather, Cuir de Russie. That said, one of my coworkers complimented me yesterday.

    I think June is probably safer as fewer people are on vacation.

    • Marla says:

      Chergui is my ultimate hay scent, too. Except for just hay absolute in perfumer’s alcohol. I took Luca Turin’s advice and tried it, it’s perfect all on its own!

      • March says:

        Oh! I meant to ask you if you’d ever tried that with the hay absolute. I bet it’s gorgeous.

      • mals86 says:

        Hay absolute is really lovely. So is narcissus absolute.

        But given that I loved both of those by themselves, I was surprised to *not like* Fleur de Narcisse. Or Chergui. Or Bois Blond.

        I don’t geddit.

    • March says:

      So you liked it, but you aren’t in looooooove.

      Cuir de Russie is a wonderful leather.

  • Austenfan says:

    My vote is for July as well. I will be away on vacation in June from the 11th -18th. But I will go with the flow. I have some things I would like to find another home for as well.
    I haven’t tried any of the Cartiers and doubt that I ever will. Not because I am not interested, but I wouldn’t know where I could try them if I wanted to. Also, given the price, it seems very unlikely I will ever buy a full bottle.
    I love Dzing! and Black though, and I think I like Narcissus or barnyard in perfume.
    I am glad to find that other people beside myself like/ or have liked the not so great perfumes. I used to wear Escada Rocking Rio at some point,which is so out of character. I have to wear it again sometime. I still own loads of it, unfortunately.

    • March says:

      Escada Rocking Rio?!?! Hehe. If you still own loads, you could always put it up for swap.

      I probably won’t be picking up a bottle of the Cartier either.

  • Marsi says:

    July is a better swap month for me due to vacation plans. I had so much fun getting rid of some of my stinkers (Chanel Cuir de Russie, for one) and have looked forward to your announcement of the next mega-swap.

    • March says:

      lol, someone up there is already trolling for CdR…. we’re split pretty evenly between June and July for swap votes.

  • donanicola says:

    Oh d*mn I see I’m going to be in the minority here as my vote is for July but if it is June can it not be 18 – 25 pretty please? I’m already making a mental list of things I’m happy to swap away. Diaghilev annoyed me. I thought it was so derivative and added nothing to the discussion. And how much of a non brainer was it to compose a scent in honour of the man and “copy” what is reported to have been a favourite of his? OK it was clearly made with some great quality ingredients but I think there was no imagination going on there. And you’re right about the fangs. As for La Fougueuse, well that is LOVE, true love. And your triangulation of BB, Narcisse and Dzing! is perfect. As I love those three the Spirited hour also moved me. It is weird. And wonderful.

    • March says:

      Nope, it’s split pretty evenly between June and July. Well, arguing with you only a hair about Diaghilev — you’re right, totally unoriginal, but it’s the first scent I can think if that is clearly a copy of Mitsy, and a decent one at that — it didn’t smell thin or cheesy. Given the dreck I smell day after day, a ripoff of Mitsouko is welcome, frankly.

      Another vote for Fougueueueueueuese! Everyone loved it but me….

  • Olfacta says:

    I got to get me a bigger sample of L’Heure Fougueuse. I only had the teeny-weenie one from LS and it just didn’t do the scent justice.

    Couldn’t do the last swapmania because I was out of town — so, June? Sounds good to me.

  • london says:

    I must have a different nose. Diaghilev was way greener than Femme or Mitsouko to me. Green and powdery. And Fouguese I could barely smell. It was sort of like a dialled down Fleur de Narcisse. I don’t get it at all. Maybe my expectations were too high.

    • March says:

      Ooh! Green would have been lovely. I’d have liked green in Diaghilev. That’s hilarious about Fougueuse, I’d have described it as a dialed UP Narcisse. Maybe you’re anosmic to the musks or something?

      • Musette says:

        On me, Fougueuse is perfect. Then it vanishes. Then, right before I’m ready to throw in the towel it comes galloping back! I spritzed HARD (and often) this am, mostly to see if it would be intrusive (I could get away with it at this particular meeting)…what I found was, like Brillante, I have to be a bit heavy-handed with it in order to get any staying power. At that pricepoint, that kinda sucks. But it’s so gorgeous…..

        hey! did I mention how much I LOVE it? ;))

        xoxo >-)

        • March says:

          You and everyone else love it, apparently. And hey — lots of love to you for sharing. Mebbe I bring out the barnyard? No, don’t answer that.

  • Civava says:

    You really made me laugh with the Cartier. :d Thank you. I should try it I’m kind of attracted to weirdness.

  • ggs says:

    L’Heure Fougueuse : LOVE. Do not find it as weird as Dzing! But maybe that’s because “weird” translates to “interesting, but I don’t want to wear it” to me, and I bought a Bottle of this one as soon as I had a chance! I don’t get any sulphur; I find the Tea note to be quite dominant, which is what I like about it ;)
    (Per Gran de Musc– awards can be so random, but it is too bad that Mathilde Laurent didn’t get one for this. )

    Haven’t sought out the new Jo Malone teas, as I haven’t yet found anything in that line that works for me. Your reviews confirm that for me!

    • March says:

      I wish I’d gotten more of the tea note, which fades quite rapidly on me, and less barnyard, which is … pretty darn barnyard! You know what a fan of tea scents I am. Based on reviews and comments here, though, most people don’t find Fougueuse weird.

    • Well, not so random since the finalists were Like This, the Fougueuse and Nuit de Tubéreuse, which all got a lot of love on the blogs and are all original products… I voted for the two latter with my skin, but I’m pretty happy with the winner.

  • The Diaghilev bugged me no end — as though Mitsouko had had cheek implants and collagen-ed lips: the balance was all skewed. That’s the reason why the original Mitsouko and Femme were perfect: balance.
    I find L’Heure Fougueuse to have that sort of perfect balance. I pegged it as a modern interpretation of Eau Sauvage, not because it copies the notes and adds a twist, but because of its structure and the effect it creates.
    I think it’s the best thing Mathilde Laurent has done so far. It almost makes me regret that La treizième heure won two French Fifis last year, because that meant the Fougueuse only came third in the votes for the Specialists’ Award — we couldn’t well crown the same perfumer and collection two years in a row…

    • Musette says:

      Ha! You sure could’ve :-w :d In fact, I am hoping to have Mme. Laurent’s tiara finished by tonight – I will be happy to crown her myself!

      You remember how much I loved Brillante, right (still do)…well, imo, Fougueuse is leaps and bounds beyond that – I ‘got’ XIII – I just didn’t like it much. L’HF is gorgeously, weirdly beautiful. I’m on my way to a meeting and I’m going to wear it – again!

      ^:)^ Mathilde Laurent!!!

      xo your Number One Fan>-)

    • March says:

      D, with the Diaghilev — I hear you, and/but I’m so happy to run across something that’s a ripoff of Mitsouko, as opposed to another iteration of Angel…. you know what I’m saying?

      For Fougueuse (what is wrong with me that that word’s so difficult to spell correctly?) I almost described it in my review as “Eau Sauvage sprayed on Man o’ War.” (famous race-horse, not the jellyfish, lol.) It’s a really interesting scent.

      • Musette says:


        You are now Officially Quing of Allll Descriptions.

        That is absolutely PERFECT for Fougueuse (fwiw, I think it’s all the ‘u’s that are in there.

        And Man o’ War is the perfect recipient for the scent!

        xo >-)

        • March says:

          I was looking at photos of Man ‘ War. I know zip about horses, and what a beauty he was.

          Glad to know I’m still quing! 😉

  • Hmm, gotta try that Cartier. Thanks March!

  • Musette says:

    Wait. you didn’t LOVE Diaghilev?


    well…ackshully I can see where you wouldn’t just fall over in a dead faint o’ desire…you have all the components already, in fangier form. This is the only Dove I’ve fallen in love with (semi-b #5 smells like cherry cough syrup to me). And I’ve fallen – hard!

    xo >-)

    • March says:

      I think I want those notes separate, lovely though they are. Mitsy’s all stabby, and expensive, and weird. I don’t need her to be sweaty as well.

  • Musette says:

    Wait. you didn’t LOVE Fougueuse?


    I’m wearing it right now, apres-shower, in extreme (80F) heat and I’m overwhelmed by its weird loveliness. I would crawl over broken glass to bring Mme Laurent a sody for this one!


    xo >-)

    • March says:

      I think …. this is the one that makes it ultra-clear to me that I am not a true barnyard leather ho. It’s lovely. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s very … assertive on me. I can’t imagine actually wearing it anywhere, I’d feel like I’d been to the Ag Fair first and forgot to change my shoes.

  • Cheryl G. says:


    • March says:

      June would be easy enough for Swapmania, I’d probably let it run for a few days (over the weekend as well?)

    • GvilleCreative says:

      Yea! June! I didn’t take part last time (it looked light frighteningly good fun though)– and this time, I know what I want!

      I want to find vintage or even 1990s bottles of Chanel Cuir de Russie. I’ve decided that I absolutely must own more. Love this stuff. I saw a few bottles on here last time, and I could kick myself for not joining in!

  • Catherine says:

    I still haven’t sniffed ANY of the Cartier scents. I need to remedy that soon.