My turn to take a whack at LesNEZ

I think everyone else and their dog has reviewed these scents already, but I am slow, slow, slow, having just gotten them this week.

Let Me Play the Lionohmylord, yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Send me to perfume heaven now, this is right up there in My Immortal Beloved Vetiver Tonkaland for me. I don’t know the notes on this, but this is dry woodsy goodness, very faintly gourmandish, but mostly woody spice. Remember that Wickle chestnut and vetiver that we declared genius? It’s like that, with woods, and tons of it, and maybe some other spice, but sophisticated and finished and so lovely to wear. This has to be my favorite of the three, though I do adore The Unicorn Spell. They are just very different. The Lion immediately went under DH’s nose, and he is smitten and marched me off to decant some for him (I dutifully ignored him like a good wife). He likes very little that gets wafted past his schnoz, and that makes it a Big Deal. Wearing Let Me Play the Lion all day today, it has all the huffing addictive qualities I love in a perfume. It was glued to my nose, and at the end of the day, I can still smell it as strong. Incredibly charming.

The Unicorn is icily beautiful and very wearable. It feels a little like a cross between Laura Tonatto’s E. Duse and Serge’s Iris Silver Mist… a little sweet, a little cold, it has some jarring notes when it first goes on, but the longer it’s on, it softens and the odd notes are there as just tinkles on your skin and not as snowballs pelting you.

As for the L’Antimatiere, I’m lost. I think this must have a note I’m anosmic to, like Le Labo’s Vetiver one, I smell… alcohol. Anyone else get something else? I really wanted a good sniff of this, it sounded really interesting, but just zip, nada.

Sephora is having its Friends and Family sale from 11/18/06 through 11/26/06. Put in the code FF2006 in checkout to get 20% off every time you shop. How sad is it that I can’t find something to buy? Grrrr…

  • SniffQ says:

    Loved Lion, liked Unicorn, got nothing from L’A. Really tried hard to smell it, but nothing. Nada. So I put some olive oil on my wrist–just a little bit, in case L’A needed a base to hold on to. Still nothing. I felt left out and desperate, so I finally did something really weird. I LICKED my wrist, to see if there was something there at all. A flicker in the back of my throat. Not unpleasant, maybe a flash of burger, no onion, about an hour after I’ve eaten it and not brushed my teeth. Not what I’d wear as a scent. Glad to see it’s working on others.

  • hausvonstone says:

    hey – another person here who can not smell (or wear, I guess) L’A. Really weird. I have never had an experience of not being able to smell something before. the other two are lovely I think but don’t last long.

  • sybil says:

    Patty, I tried L’a again today…and it’s still just weird and not very likeable…and that’s the opinion of 5 other people who smell-checked me, as well. I wouldn’t exactly call it root-cellerish, because it’s not musty-damp like that, but it is very used-clothing smelling. DD1 told me that it smelled like someone sweated wearing floral deodorant 2 days ago. Skank, but not good. No-one person I spoke to had trouble smelling it, but what they smelled was not too good. So, no surprise, it’s a chemistry thing as well. I really like The Unicorn Spell (as does the violet-loving DD) and Let me Play the Lion is kind of mesmerizing…it’s veeeerrrry dry and hot-smelling on me…like hot spicy sawdust. All very interesting and distinctive, and I give LesNez all the credit in the world for that.

  • Tigs says:

    Elle and Patty: Listened to the interview and it’s so great to learn Luca Turin is working on a new version of the Guide. I’m impatient already (I’m an incorrigible Luca fan.)

  • Patty says:

    Oh, Tom, I’m so sorry! Mine were so very slow, maybe you can e-mail them to ask?

  • Patty says:

    R, Oh, I’m so glad you have liked these! I’ll try the day after day of spritzing, but I don’t know if I can hang in there if I can’t get a whiff of it!

  • Patty says:

    Helene, I think taking your time is a great idea! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

  • Patty says:

    Elle, thank you so much for the link, it’s awesome!

  • Nina says:

    Recently I’ve smelled several scents that don’t really smell of perfume so much as they smell of Person…l’Antimatiere, MH l’Aire de Rien, AP Maitresse. Recently I also read ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Susskind, where Grenouille – who has no personal smell – creates perfumes that make him smell like a normal human being. My mind is making connections here, you know? I’m wondering if we’re about to be hit by a flood of week-old-underwear, inside-of-my-winter-hat, I-blew-my-nose-on-this-tissue body-flavoured scents?

    Incidentally, when I sniff Lion on skin, I get the most peculiar illusion of….mashed banana. It’s not at all unpleasant, actually rather nice. It’s a bit like the illusion of grapefruit you get with Sel de Vetiver.

  • Leopoldo says:

    I’ve put some Antimatter on again. For the first time in a couple of weeks. Still that ink thing, but it’s now a sweetish musky scent. Quite feminine, hushed, skin like. you have to get close.

    Leaves me a bit cold, actually.

  • tmp00 says:

    Whaaaahh! When is mine going to show up? :((

  • violetnoir says:

    I meant to say (before I became brain dead), that I wore L’A yesterday and really could NOT smell it. Oh boy, I’m going nuts here! 8-|


  • Dennis says:

    Hi again,
    I think the main ingredient in L’A is ambergris. The process as described by violetnoir is what happened with me…it took really just living with it and I found I really loved it. Comfort scent, definitely, but with that edge of “What is that?”

  • violetnoir says:

    I think L’Antimatiere is one of those stealth fragrances: You may not be able to smell it, but others around can. I also think that it is cumulative: The more consecutive days you wear it, the better and more enveloping it becomes.

    Who knows, because I wore mine yesterday, and could smell it. However, I think if worn correctly (liberal spritzing and on consecutive days), it may be sheer genius! 😉

    I have to test drive the other two this weekend, although a preliminary spritz of both tells me that this line may be almost as special as the DelRae line.


  • Patty,

    I have not come around to reviewing them yet. Schifferlé encouraged me to take my time; this is what I am doing:)

  • Elle says:

    Spritzed some on my ankle a while ago (wrists are taken by Knize 10 and CB Musk this morning) to reconfirm my impressions. Am getting mostly a sweet amber toned down by musk, but I can’t honestly separate out the musk enough to say if it’s wet sheep or not. Could be, but that’s just because I’ve now got a firm visual of sniffing a lump of ambergris on the back of a swimming sheep.
    What I said about the musks came from just having heard Luca talking about them in an interview on Leonard Lopate’s show on WNYC on Tues. If you haven’t listened to it, you might enjoy it (I definitely did). Will go try to find the link.

  • Patty says:

    Oscar, it does not sound quite as appealing the way you describe it. 🙂 That makes me feel a little better about not being able to smell it.

  • Patty says:

    Elle, that sounds like the wet sheep smell — do you get a wet wool out of it? Hopefully March will pop by and remember the name of that. CB gave us a primer on that musk that some people can’t smell. Though the we sheep one he said normally men can smell and women typically cannot, though there are always exceptions.

  • Patty says:

    Veronica, and you will love the smell as well as the Shakespearean reference!

  • Oscar says:

    On me, L’A was the strongest one. Several hours after one spray to the wrist, it became stronger than my sotd. And it lasted a long time! (easily detectable 24h later). The scent however, I didn’t quite like; genderless (maybe more to the feminine side) synthetic musk, similar to a specific scent (not a perfume) I can’t recall. May be that of sheets laundered with a really old washing powder(??)

  • Elle says:

    On me it turns into a rich amber and musk scent. They say there many people can only smell certain musks, so most musk scents use several types to ensure that a majority of people will be able to smell the perfume. I know there are some musks I can’t smell and I’m wondering if Doyen only used one or two here that are not evident to most people. However, that doesn’t explain the amber, which is actually the dominant note I get – deliciously dense. As I said, DH can’t smell this on me or himself at all, but my boss thinks I smell beyond divine when I wear this and it’s one of the very few scents he’s ever raved about that I wear. Would love to know what Doyen put in this.

  • Veronica says:

    Let Me Play the Lion.

    Finally! Another Shakespearean-themed fragrance I can put next to my Coriolan.

  • Patty says:

    Marina, we never have the same anosmic glitch, this HAS to be a first! 🙂 And I’m glad we found one complete line that we agree on, how cool is that?!?!?

  • Patty says:

    Sybil — root cellarish? I mean, I like that, but I have JAR Shadow to cover the root cellar territory.

    Did you love Lion too? I’m seriously smitten with that one. I’ve just been very impressed with this trio as far as craftsman ship, very different scents, with completely different feels, focuses. BEautifully done.

  • Patty says:

    L — crap. I really want to smell it. I hate it when this happens. I’ll see if DH can smell the durn thing.

  • Marina says:

    I am with you on L’Animatiere (well, I am with you on all of them, really). I smell absolutely nothing.

  • sybil says:

    L’a on me smelled very subtle and not that good. It wasn’t evil, nose-wrenchingly bad, or bland, it was just…strange for perfume. It smelled like clothes someone had slept in, on my skin…not sweated in excessively, just worn, w/ that human scent, not exactly musk. It smelled like sheets that are about 1 day past the point when you think, mmm, better change these. So, I guess it was animalic, but not in the MKK or Musc Ravaguer way. I got no other notes of flowers or herbs or vanilla or what have you…not that I’d necessarily recognize them if i did.
    What you said about Let me play the lion, though…

  • Leopoldo says:

    It is subtle I think – and i think it’s like that bitter quality in brussel sprouts, or tongue rolling – some can, some can’t and there’s no way to smell it if you’re in the can’t category. I got ink, then a faint trace of musk. I’m in the maybe can / maybe can’t category…

  • Patty says:

    :::cries:::: L, you and Dennis are killing me. I *need* to smell L’A, it sounds stunning. What note(s) do you suppose that is that we can’t smell? Is it really subtle? I’ll keep waiting, I doused myself about an hour ago or so, so it should be blooming soon, if it’s going to.

  • Elle says:

    I adore these. Dame Daemon(which is what I insist upon calling Unicorn Spell, since that was a name they considered before settling on the official name, which I think brings to mind a Little Kiddle doll scent and SO doesn’t fit this wonderfully sophisticated, cool fragrance) and L’Antimatiere are my favs. DH can’t smell L’Antimatiere at all, but on my skin it blossoms after about an hour into this amazing, rich comfort scent and from then on continues to go through fascinating, subtle changes. *Love*.

  • Patty says:

    L, I would guess Lion would be your favorite. I’m still hoping L’A does some magic today, I’ve certainly dowsed myself with it.

    I wish everyone would wear the Nazgul but me, I can smell it vicariously smelling good on other people and love it. It’s only when it touches my skin that it blossoms and spreads its wings and devours my soul… and not in any good way.

  • Leopoldo says:

    Lion was my favourite – I’ve only room for one properly chilly number on my mantle, and that award goes to ISM (of course), and seeing as Unicorn leaked and scented my very existence, I don’t need to sniff it again for a long time.

    I actually ran out of my sample of Lion whilst I was working in Norway a couple of weeks ago, and I know if I buy a bottle it will bizarrely remind me of that wet Nordic weather – the change of colour in the birch leaves, that kind of thing. I might do, one day, but it’s some way down the list, and certainly below the Nazgul *does evil cackle*.

  • Patty says:

    Chaya, how strange. I know Cait thought only Lion was pretty wearable, but I’m pretty happy to wear at least two of them.. I do agree with you that they are like a beautiful piece of art or craftsmanship, too. So I don’t think that’s so strange at all. 🙂

  • chayaruchama says:

    Dear Patty-
    I enjoyed reading your impressions.
    I like all 3, for different reasons, and the Lion is very fetching, but I’m strangely not moved to buy…
    I suppose I could liken my appreciation to the regarding of a Faberge egg-
    I’d love to look at it endlessly, turn it this way and that, but not paricularly want to wear it .
    Strange, huh?

  • Patty says:

    I finally ordered bottles, and my samples showed up the day after my bottles. Do you want my samples? Or I can make you some. I think you’ll love these.

    Yup, going to Kansas for Thanksgiving.

  • March says:

    Patty, I am STILL waiting for my samples:((, so I am later than you… I have high, high hopes for these, though.

    Hey, are you going home for Thanksgiving?

  • Patty says:

    Thank you, Dennis! I have liberally spritzed myself with the L’Antimatiere, and I’ll see how it goes! When I spritz it, I get something, and then it goes to nothing, I was hoping there was a trick to it. 🙂

  • dennis says:

    Hi! I love your blog…I have had a full bottle of L’Antimatiere for two weeks now. When I received the samples I loved Lion and the Unicorn, but was strangely intrigued L’A.
    I wore it for two or three days and was completely hooked. It does start out as nothing but then as it warms up it opens into a very addictive and subtle scent. To me it is like wearing a very cosy sweater. I can’t describe the smell, old fur coat maybe?

    I did have a colleague at work (who has never commented on my fragrances) stop me and ask what was I wearing, it smelled amazing.

    I think the Lion is going to be gift for my SO!