More and more often, my mania for collecting pushes me to purchase blindly most of the perfumes that are part of my collection, and the fun is to have all these bottles full of a fragrance that offers a wide range of options. For sure, there are some genres in which I trust and rely more heavily on than others, but I feel like I am building a library that covers an entire sphere of olfactory senses. In that respect are some parts of the area that I could deliberately jump here and there. You can't expect to love everything. Lalique's Le Parfum occupies a small fragment of this sphere that I could not have previously thought existed. Le Parfum is adorable - a continually growing mixture that takes place almost like a thriller book, full of twists.
Le Parfum arrived in my collection like lightning in a clear sky. A few days ago, a member of a group I follow on Facebook published a post with a photograph and a statement highlighting the beauty and qualities of Lalique Le Parfum. Fascinated by this object unknown to me, I immediately searched, and Notino sold it at a small price per 100 ml in EDP format. How come it costs only 24 euro when the retail price on the Lalique official site is 122 euro? I have no clue; however, Notino is a trusted site, and it does not sell fakes. I affirm that if I hadn't read that the nose behind this masterpiece is Mr. Dominique Ropion, I would have bet it was a creature of Nathalie Lorson. Using smoked and dusty accords are almost a trademark of Mrs. Lorson. I enjoy the perfumes of Lalique, always prime quality on all levels. Encre Noire above all, then the fabulous L'Insoumis by Fabrice Pellegrin. And Le Parfum is no exclusion. If you are interested to know what they have in common, Lalique Le Parfum, Guerlain Shalimar, and Guerlain Habit Rouge, I suggest you keep reading.
Before I narrate you the scent's fairy tale, let me describe the packaging. The essence comes in a scarlet box, and the bottle inside is on par with the Ombre Noire, a solid crystal cube with an elegant cap that has a lovely relief of a Medusa face in the opaque glass and a scarlet rope bound on the sprayer. Lalique Le Parfum is minimal, elegant, sober, a beautiful, warm vanilla-tonka oriental. It reminds me of a fat French vanilla ice cream. It is not the gourmand vanilla accord you might find in cookies, pudding, cupcakes, or custard, but something smoldering and more mystical.
Touching the scent, I think this perfume would be great for those counting for less sweet vanilla fragrances, slightly twisted vanilla, lighter, almost airy orientals, or some salty and aromatic qualities with their sweet hints of skin. Le Parfum greets me with a blast of a boozy tone right in my face. You might conceive it is featuring a kind of like tropical rum or finest cognac, but no. I am sure the accord results of the alcohol and the smoky vanilla notes. Set aside just a moment, and the scent turns into an aroma of bergamot, bay leaf, and pink pepper, which is just too joyful and bubbly. The smidgen of pepper blends well with the bay, but not enough to frighten away anyone. I didn't know I like that medicinal Indian bay that much! It was the delight like finding something forgotten deep in the drawer. That bay leaf that everyone goes forward to criticize is the only thing I can say I love entirely. It is a brilliant touch and stops the scent from becoming too sweet or thick. Likewise, it renders the opening of a twist that might not be everyone's cup of tea. The almost gourmand sweetness of the top notes reminded me of my beloved Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.
The slightly powdery and floral heart is elegant and subdued, a sensual blend of jasmine and heliotrope with just a hint of bitter almond accents. The heliotrope and almond give light as a non-sweet floral smoked tobacco during development. To me, that undercurrent combo of the middle stage is somewhat reminiscent of Shalimar by Guerlain, or even Habit Rouge, without the latter's animal quality. However, jasmine mixed with vanilla and sparkled with some pink pepper is frankly a bit of a cliché, but here it assumes a distinctive look.
The dry-down of passionate yet subtle patchouli tenderly soothed by buttery vanilla, tonka, and sandalwood is enveloping and pleasantly fluffy. The sandalwood becomes prominent and gives the fragrance a nice woody creamier. Elegant, comforting, unique, and beautifully framed. It is creamy and smooth and smolders, yes, it smolders. There is a touch of patchouli in the base, which I do not consider particularly evident. I know it is there because it tempers the sweetness of the frothy vanilla and almond heliotrope. Lalique Le Parfum is an oriental, but not in the traditional oriental way, quite a modern oriental. Although it is based on the classic vanilla accord, patchouli and coumarin, it is unmistakably a modern oriental fragrance. It is losing the animal and dark richness of the classical oriental, replacing the dirty civet and vinous ambergris with smooth effect "warm skin" of modern musk.
The official notes are a surprise, evoking a more dusty and floral heart with a salty end and a sultry finish. On my skin, however, this is a thoroughly smoky gourmand fragrance. Le Parfum is an unpredictable, somewhat androgynous gem that I miserably discovered long after its market launch, nearly fifteen years later. It is beautiful oriental vanilla that looks timeless, and I see why some people have likened it to Shalimar. It's not that they smell like, but it depends a lot on the impression they leave. Lalique's Le Parfum lacks the spiciness of Shalimar without being unbalanced or overly sweetened. Before wearing it, I almost expected it to be sweet to becoming sickening, but it just didn't happen. Still, as an admirer of many Lalique fragrances, the performance of the EDP disappointed me. Le Parfum does not have strong sillage, it stays close to the skin, and its longevity is scarcely acceptable. It's a pleasantly delicate, understated scent. Yes, surprisingly, because it lacks Lalique's usual bold generosity of touch. I find Le Parfum to be really versatile and very wearable, at least the batch I own. The keynotes and accords make it ideal for colder days of late Fall and Winter, though the fuzziness of its performance fits well, even for warmer days and nights of Spring and Summer. It is suited for office wear or a lazy day off. I see it could be a sophisticated everyday scent and one that would encourage others to snuggle close. Essence does not always have to be unique, to be beautiful and satisfying. I liked Le Parfum so much, that's it.
This review bases on 100ml (3.4 FL. oz) I own since July 2020.