Lemon Perfume – When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons you put them in perfume, of course. What could be more delicious than a lemon perfume? Sadly, many of them end up smelling more like Lemon Pledge, or that goofy Love Fresh Lemon I wore as a kid. Actually, I just googled images of the original Love Fresh Lemon (made by the Baby Soft people, remember?) and there it is! $4.50 on Amazon. Worth it just for the trip down memory lane

But now I’m all grown up, and here are two of my favorite lemon fragrances, opposite ends of the lemon spectrum:

Nocturne in black and gold - Lemon Perfume

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket
Carthusia Mediterraneo — Robin at NST and I share a deep, abiding love for this one. While it would be a natural in summer, it’s perfect for right now, for last fall, for 2007, it’s just perfect. It is. Their website is very coy, and I’m not going to dignify their marketing story by quoting it here (the hills of Capri are alive with the music of tiny singing monks gathering precious posies by moonlight, or whatnot). I think they admit to lemon leaves and green tea. To that list I’ll add liquid sunshine and tiny singing monk love. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last long enough (say, until early May?) but for $65 for 1.7 ounces, what do I want? Just buy the dang bottle. Try Aedes, I think they delivered my last order before I’d logged off my computer.
Philtre d’Amour, Guerlain — If this fragrance were a painting, it would be a Whistler nocturne, a burst of gold dazzling in an inky sky. I owe my impossible adoration of this one to Columbina, who reviewed the 1999 discontinued version. She mentioned it had been re-released, but Boisdejasmin said she had a sample of the new juice and was underwhelmed. I got a dab of the original 1999 vintage just to add it to the Guerlain Reject Pile, and  I fell in love, isn’t it always that way? I asked Boisdejasmin to do an actual side-by-side comparison of the original and the re-release and she said: your (vintage) sample wins. It is longer lasting and richer. Carnation/isoeugenol is gone in the new version (no doubt, to comply with IFRA regulations) and the entire thing is as interesting as …. well, not very. If I were to buy, I would definitely go with the old one.
So I did. It took me awhile to get my mitts on a bottle, I kept getting outbid, and I ended up paying some stupid money, which I sat around regretting until the phial showed up and I swooned all over again. Notes: lemon, bergamot, verbena, jasmine, petitgrain, neroli, myrtle, patchouli.
Philtre smells like heaven, a heaven made primarily of Lemonhead Candy as rendered by Guerlain. It opens with a glorious burst of citrus that is admittedly more ReaLemon than real lemon, brightened up by the sparkle of the classic Guerlainade, with a tiny dollop of the Skank which I prize so highly in my preciousssssssss, er, my Guerlains. The last bottle I watched on Le Bay went for $132 for 30 ml (approximately 1 ounce). I paid more than that, and it’s worth every damn penny.

  • Victoria says:

    I am very resourceful! 🙂 I figured that the problem was in using the pointer and I just typed the comment using the arrow key if needed.

    Yes, I think that the new one is flat and onedimensional. The reason I love chypre is because they take time to unfold. The new one does not. Mind you, I am not a huge fan of the original (I like it ok), but if I were to choose, I would definitely go for it vs. the new one.

  • March says:

    MarkDavid — Hey, I read somebody else who bought it at EPCOT! I had noooo idea, shopping in the wrong places! 🙂 The new one isn’t TERRIBLE. The basic idea is, in fact, there. But I have to agree with boisdejasmin that it’s just inferior. It’s …. flat somehow, like champagne without the bubbles. Having said that, I think the new one suffers more in comparison. Maybe to most people they smell pretty much the same. If my choice were NONE or the new one, I’d buy the new one. I don’t know what it costs, but I hear it’s enormous.

  • MarkDavid says:

    I am fortunate enough to own an orginal Philtre d’Amour, bought in EPCOT in 1999 for my mother as a Christmas Present, but she stopped wearing it b.c she never really liked it. So I’ve recently reclaimed it and I absolutely love it. I have a little less than half a bottle left. I’d be interested to smell the new PdA. I thought it was sad that it was limited edition and then discontinued, but to know that they brought it back and it’s not the same is even more of a letdown.

  • Patty says:

    Right, it’s not. I love Guerlain, but I love it more in the bottle than on me. 🙂

  • March says:

    Hey, P — I bet I can figure out a way to hook you up with some Philtre :”>

    But frankly, I don’t think you’re going to like it any more than you’ve liked the others…. the Guerlinade is not your thing, yes?

  • Marina says:

    I don’t think I will ever be able now to think about Philtre without hearing the voice of Golum in my head, My Preciousssss :d

  • Patty says:

    Comments are back wheee!!! Now I need to try the vintage Philtre, I liked the new one well enough, but it didn’t blow my skirt up.

  • March says:

    Victoria, the posting problem appears to be fixed. What I want to know is, how did you ever manage to leave a comment?!?:-? I sure couldn’t figure out how to do it!

  • Victoria says:

    Ack, I am finding it very difficult to leave comments today. Every time I want to use my pointer, I get taken to the main page. Oh, the story of Philtre d’Amour. It is definitely not the same anymore. Why reissue this never popular fragrance and then make it worse?