Hi there Posse. It’s been a while since I reviewed some new stuff for you all. Well, this past week I had a First In Fragrance order arrive. Tucked away inside were a few very interesting new fragrances that I thought we could look at. Santal Blanc might seem like a familiar name for a fragrance. Yeah, you’ll be remembering the 2001 released Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens (which, just BTW, has been repackaged into the cool new square ice glass bottles. OOOOH!).
So Van Cleef & Arpels has done their own version as part of the Collection Extraordinaire. There have been some really good hits and some misses in the range but my favourite is the amber, Ambre Impérial. A solid, simple amber that purrs beautifully through a cool day or evening out. If you are currently amber less in your collection it’s a pretty good place to start, or if you need a no brainer amber that you can spritz and go.
Santal Blanc by Van Cleef & Arpels 2019
Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, Fig milk
Heart: Violet, Sandalwood
Base: Tonka bean, Musk
The initial swish of fragrance from the atomiser is 100% buttery goodness. The fig milk is hardly fruity at all for the first few minutes, it smells more like full cream milk warming on the stove with a knob of butter melting into it. Once the citrus and fig make their entrance its a juicy, summer weight with this very unusual sweet, hot milkiness. This is hardly what I’ve come to expect from the VC&A Collection Extraordinaire, which are usually much safer and less challenging than this baby.
Santal Blanc is happily weird, a wearable weird that doesn’t seem to relate to anything else I’ve smelled, as a whole. It has that OTT ylang/sandal/milk vibe of Guerlain Samsara mixed with the ultra creamy fig of L’Artisan Premier Figuier and hints of Costume National 21 but nothing compares to the way this is structured or wears.
Once the fireworks die down I’m left smelling like clean, healthy skin and sweet milky woods. It’s beautiful and has kept me huffing myself for most of the day.
In my mind the casual wearer might eschew Santal Blanc, it may be just a little too crazy for them. Perfumistas, on the other hand, will take to it immediately. Gorgeously blended, sophisticated and unusual, with just a little look towards out there.
Surrender To Chance have most of the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire line so I guess this will be available to sample there soon too.
How do you like your sandalwood?
Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies