When I selected a completely random sample vial from my queue today, labeled only NUIT DE LONGCHAMP, I knew absolutely nothing about the perfume, not even that it was really launched not by Longchamp but by Lubin. Nearly immediately upon donning this creation, I said outloud: "Arpège". Needless to say, I was surprised. What was ARPEGE doing in a vial labeled NUIT DE LONGCHAMP????
I had requested this sample along with an order from Aedes a while back and do not remember having known anything about it then either. I was just interested in trying a perfume called NUIT DE LONGCHAMP. Now that I've looked into the history a bit, I understand why--or rather how--it can smell so similar to ARPEGE: both were launched in the early twentieth century. This is a reconstruction by Lubin of the original perfume.
Clearly there are aldehydes present in this composition, just as in ARPEGE. I have no idea why they are not listed among the notes. (Another reviewer compared this perfume to Amouage DIA, which I take as further confirmation, since to me DIA is an aldehyde bomb.) From there it's a topsy-turvy tumbling and waning and waxing of tons of notes. In the end, however, whatever the differences in suggested notes may happen to be, these two perfumes smell an awful lot alike. There is a deep dark woody quality and some orientalia along with a fairly strong mixed floral component--not abstract floral notes, which have become much more common than not in recent mainstream launches, but the scent of actual flowers--but the aldehydes are always there quite prominently and adding that extra vintage-smelling oomph.
In a side-by-side test to determine whether my memory was not deceiving me, I confirmed that in fact NUIT DE LONGCHAMP smells much closer to ARPEGE than to any perfume launched since. This is a throw-back to the 1930s (ARPEGE was launched in the 1920s), and is only going to work for people who love vintage perfume and aldehydes--and, well, ARPEGE! People who already own bottles of ARPEGE, which appears to have been serially reformulated, might want to try this composition to see how far ARPEGE has changed. It is quite similar to the liquid in my bottles, but they are not too recent.
This composition smells like perfume used to in the olden days, before the advent of sweet laundry scents and fruitchouli and SSRI frags, and smelling it reminds me how much we are conditioned by and habituated to whatever happens to be currently in fashion. I am quite sure that many younger perfumistas would dislike this as much if not even more than CHANEL NO 5. But it's a great opportunity for those who'd like to travel back in time, as the reconstruction of this classic perfume by Lubin seems to me to be really quite good. The soapy iris, the oakmoss, the aldehydes... these are all important parts of what used to be considered perfume.