L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete


It’s June and it’s beautiful here. I am very very thankful after our awful autumn into winter.

But oddly, I am having pollen issues this year. Never happened before. To the extent I’m thinking of going for allergy testing.

I’m now rotating into my warmer weather scents. Recently, in the comments on one of my posts I mentioned LA Jour de Fete which I’d owned decades ago, either finished or divested, and for some reason was thinking about again and missing. As perfumistas are just the best, Alityke (second mention she’s gotten in as many weeks) contacted and asked if I would like a decant from her bottle. Well, yes indeedy, yessiree bob!

So I am now in possession of that decant and just had to talk about it.

Thank you, Alityke. I am a happy bunny.

Jour de Fete is one of those launch and then relaunch things. Originally landing first in 1986 and then again in 2003 (or 2004 – I’ve seen both referenced), and then as an LE in 2013, the name can be translated as (colloquially I guess) Happy Day or (which makes more sense) Festival Day. Anyway, summer festivals in France.

I had the original (ie, it must have been the 1986 version because I know I bought it in NY) which smelled of high summer joy. Sugary almonds, maybe hay or wheat, amber? That’s all I recall. It was sweet but not sickly. I remember liking it because while it was close to the skin it had a heft to it. It just smelled delicious but with a gentle weirdness.

I’ve discovered over time that almond is a note I enjoy (see Dior Hypnotic Poison). However, I have trouble eating almonds – if I do it frequently, the area around my mouth gets itchy. However, I can manage them as the almond base in the cake from my mother’s family recipe (dubbed killer cake) which uses ground almonds rather than flour.

Clearly, I digress.

So, the second iteration in 2003 (or sometimes 2004) which reappeared in 2013 (or 2014) and then appears to have disappeared.

Nose for the 2003 (04) edition and then the 2013 (14) LE was Olivia Giacobetti. Notes for those editions included bay leaf, almond, iris, wheat, white cedarwood and vanilla.

This is a somewhat different animal vs the JdF that I owned decades ago. That’s not a negative – I’m just saying this isn’t what I remember.

This version is much drier and at the opening the almond is bitter – which is actually really interesting and I keep returning to my wrist in that part.

As ever, I think my low body temp affects this, changing it vs the bottle smell. Up top I also get a bit of iris and wheat I think. Certainly something reinforces that dry, bitter aspect. It smooths out a bit and then moves into a sweet, almondy vanilla phase. And while it morphs over time, that’s where it stays.

The drydown is very gentle, wheaty vanilla.

Other reviewers speak of sugared almonds and I got that in the original version. Definitely doesn’t show up in this though. And I don’t recall that being a candy of choice growing up.

I am very pleased to have this back in my (rather small) collection and am looking forward to enjoying it through the warmer weather.

What about you? Is/was this one of yours? Do you like almonds – in perfume or to eat — and if so in what form?

Pics: mine and Pexels

  • matty1649 says:

    I don’t think that I’ve got any almond perfume.Jour de Fete sounds intriguing.
    I love anything almond flavoured.

  • Musette says:

    So glad you scored a decant! Perfumistas are the best!!!
    My favorite almond, hands down: Jergens. Original scent. That Cherry-almond scent is sublime.
    And yes. I am a savage.

    • cinnamon says:

      They are the best 🙂 The only Jergens I ever used was the coconut one. Really enjoyed that.

  • Tom says:

    I do like almonds. Especially as a flour substitute like an almond cake. Or almond croissants (damn, now I want one..) I scents it can be iffy- it can be overpowering in a way.

    I never really got into L’Artisan and I don’t know why. Maybe because I was so into Lutens at the time I didn’t have much room (or money) for much else. Uncle Serge would be there with his brass band while L’A would quietly be holding a sparkler.

    • cinnamon says:

      We have a bakery here that does brownies with almond flour. Really really good. Interestingly, it was l’Artisan I first got into and then Lutens rather later. And while I really admire Uncle Serge, only a few really work well on me (Arabie, Rose de Nuit). I am however obsessed with sampling Tubereuse Criminelle again.

      • alityke says:

        Uncle Serge has killed Tub Crim! MKK is now just KK & my beloved Boxeuses? Murdered.
        As I said to Tom when he posted about MKK I cried all ugly over Boxeuses. I have only a single bell jar

        • cinnamon says:

          What??? Where did you see that? Last time I looked it was in one of those tall black bottles. But I just looked on the site and it’s gone — no mention from a search. What’s that about? Off to look for decant.

          • alityke says:

            I sold my export bottle last year as I only wanted to wear it maybe annually. I didn’t take a decant before listing it d’oh!
            There are a few that are gone forever.

  • Dina C. says:

    First off, I’m totally with you on the allergies. I’ve had them all my life and have recently added asthma to the mix. We’re trying to get it all under control (a real struggle in my case). Jour de Fete sounds very intriguing, especially since the nose was Olivia Giacobetti. I tend to enjoy her creations. I don’t think I ever had a chance to sniff this one which is too bad. Iris and almond and wheat. Hmm. I need to sample this.

  • March says:

    Oh I remember this! I wanted to love it, and I’ve smelled it on the strip and it was fabulous. On me though it always got this doughy note I wasn’t wild for (have not smelled it in years, though.) So glad you got a decant to enjoy! I love all things almond, including almond paste, marzipan, almond macaroons and croissants, and candied almonds.

    • cinnamon says:

      interesting on your almond love. I can’t do marzipan but almond croissants are nice in moderation. does trader joe’s have all these things? I wish we had one of those down here.

  • alityke says:

    I’m so pleased you’re enjoying it. I find it a cosy scent for a summer evening. Those where it’s been a warm, dry day & the sun has warmed the skin. The evening brings a breeze & the cool means light cardigans or wraps. Even better a fire pit & toasting forks.
    My favourite almond is Floris Madonna of the Almonds. Blossom, woods & almonds. Spring in a bottle!

    • cinnamon says:

      I wonder if our John Lewis has Floris. will look next time I’m there.

      • alityke says:

        Sadly Madonna of the Almonds has been d/ced for years as it was a LE. It does pop up on eBay occasionally for silly money

  • carole says:

    I completely love this scent, and cannot fathom why it was discontinued. I won a bottle, in 2014. It was just after my mom died (like a year after) and I just felt like a depressed mess. In April I entered a contest on a perfume site-and I won Grandiflora Michel. A few weeks later they had another draw, and one of the prizes was Jour de Fete. I won that random draw, too, and I never win anything.

    This fragrance reminds me of a Catherine Deneuve movie-mon saison preferee.In one scene their mother is making a cake on a summer’d day. She walks into her garden and picks cherries from the tree for the cake. She eats some and admires the rolling hills of farmland. To me that’s what this fragrance is all about-my mom used to make angel food cake (lots of almond), this woman was making a cake, the wheat fields, the idea of a party on a summer’s day. It’s a pretty perfect scent and I’m glad you have some in your collection, Cimnnamon.

    I also really like the charming older bottles of LAP. The coloured banners for each scent were the perfect accent to each scent. The new bottles look nice too-but I really prefer the old ones.

    Thank for the pleasant post-reading this a Sunday, after touching up my roots and doing a facial 🙂 That sort of a day here.

    • cinnamon says:

      winning things is so nice. especially when it’s after sad things have occurred. Angel cake … don’t get that much here. just sponge with jam or cream between layers (or both). and every once in a while pound cake (love pound cake). I too like the older bottles.

    • Dina C. says:

      I much prefer the older style bottles, too!

  • Tara C says:

    I love almond notes, like Rahat Loukhoum and Hypnotic Poison. Sadly I only have a 15ml of the original Jour de Fête, wish I had a big one.

    • cinnamon says:

      my plan when I next get to Paris (was supposed to happen in January — nope) is a visit to SL at Palais Royale and a lot of sampling. Never managed RL and really want to.

  • Carolyn says:

    This sounds amazing. I may need to track down a decant.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    So good that you have your love back, even though it’s changed.
    LOVE almonds in fragrance, also in any way from natural to cakes/biscuits. So yummy.
    Alityke is a good egg.
    Portia xx

    • alityke says:

      Bless you, thank you.
      Though being described as a good egg straight after a cake reference made my head flick straight to almond crème patisserie croissant & danish pastries!

    • cinnamon says:

      She is a good egg 🙂 I love the ground almond base of my mother’s cake. It only gets made once or twice a year as it takes hours. but well worth it. I like nuts in chocolate but generally prefer things like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Sigh.

      • Portia says:

        Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in Australia are disgustingly over sweet. I’ve only had the yummy ones in the US

        • cinnamon says:

          We get the US ones here. I can also sometimes find fancy organic PB cups which are not the same but sort of nice and make one feel a bit virtuous.

        • Tom says:

          Oddly, I like nuts and I like chocolate but don’t care for them together- especially peanuts and chocolate. So all the US Reese’s can come live with you. Almond Joy too.