Powdery Woody Sueded Violet
There are many woody violet perfumes to choose from these days, and their numbers continue to augment. I discovered Le Labo POUDRE D'ORIENT, a limited edition Anthropologie launch, last year and took an immediate liking to it. For one thing, I love violet. For another thing, the "cedar note" really smells like cedar, not aromachemicals. Sealing the deal was the unheard of price--for a Le Labo launch: $62 for 2 ounces. As an added bonus, I love the bottle and the cap!
Whoever the perfume buyer at Anthropologie is has a certain strategy which can be summed up in two words: revolving door. Fortunately s/he has excellent taste and so brings lots of worthy perfumes into the stores where they are available amidst all of the weird and random articles circulating about and also exiting at regular intervals through the revolving door. If ever the expression "various and sundry" applied to anything, it would be to the wares available at the Anthropologie stores. It's not even easy to find their perfumes, which are distributed across various floors in a seemingly arbitrary way. Anthropologie is the sort of store where you can pretty much wander around all day and never get bored. I've been happy with nearly every perfume I've ever tried there before.
The bad news about the revolving door strategy is that the perfumes are literally "here today, gone tomorrow." The good news is that true loves can be stocked up at absurdly low prices because when Anthropologie decides to expel something from its shelves, they mean business, beginning with a big fat 50% slash, and then anything which still straggles on gets reduced even further.
Well, that's probably enough about Anthropologie, and I do not want to make you too jealous since I absconded with a couple extra bottles of POUDRE D'ORIENT before they disappeared forever. I paid what some people pay for those ugly bottles of the vat-produced chemical soup reformulation of JE REVIENS, believe it or not.
POUDRE D'ORIENT is a mighty fine perfume, rivaling Creed LOVE IN BLACK in its category. Very similar cedar and violet notes, but POUDRE D'ORIENT is a bit more powdery and offers a slight touch of suede as well. To me it seems linear, but since I love the essence of this perfume that's just fine with me. I also believe that this special limited edition LE LABO creation is as good as some of the LE LABO perfumes I've tried and even better than others.
I recently underwent a radical change in view about limited edition and discontinued perfumes, having recognized that the reformulation situation has spun completely out of control. I now prefer limited edition and discontinued perfumes, because I know that no officious chemist is tinkering with the formula behind the scenes at the behest of some corporate accountant.
So I'll enjoy my Le Labo POUDRE D'ORIENT while it lasts, and when it's gone I'll not be sad but happy to have had the opportunity to wear such a lovely creation. For everyone else, I recommend Tom Ford NOIR as the closest surrogate available right now.