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Boucheron by Boucheron

I am loving this – I bought a wee bit unsniffed as some blog commenters raved about it, and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. I love love love it, so then I looked up the notes. Well, it’s pretty much What I Like. Amber, sandalwood, AND vanilla in the drydown? I’ll take three.

The scent illustrates the problem of believing notes when they’re never really confirmed by the company that produces the product and different people have different impressions. I see one site listing orange blossom and jasmine in this; I see another listing citrus and civet. If there’s any civet in this I’d be shocked; it’s usually pretty noticeable and pretty distinctive, being an ingredient that mimics a biological ingredient from a cat, which ingredient has a distinct relationship to cat pee. Perhaps what I have is not the same formulation, either in strength or vintage, as what’s being described online. These things are difficult to pin down.

I don’t get any strong impression of citrus in what I have, though I would believe orange blossom. I can’t quite tell if it’s tuberose or jasmine in the middle notes, though I would put my money on jasmine (this does NOT smell like tuberose to me, though that note may already have worn off). It’s neither as virginal as orange blossom nor as sexual as tuberose – the blend is a careful and artful blend, conveying a floral bouquet without giving away any particular flower.

It all just goes to show the dangers of buying by notes, and why I try occasionally to smell something others are raving about no matter what the notes list is. But “it’s beautiful!” isn’t a sufficiently detailed review either. I guess this is why bloggers tend to fall back on such florid language, so here’s mine:

To me wearing Boucheron by Boucheron feels like the experience of touching a finely made desk, carefully hand polished, surmounted by a bouquet of rich flowers. It’s a soft, luxurious scent, but balanced and blended so it never falls too far into either decadence or loudness for bad taste. It’s feminine but elegant, not come-hither but also not locked away behind a glass wall of untouchability either. Its welcome is a bit impersonal but also gently warm – a socialite shaking your hand and thanking you for coming to her party with a genuine smile even though she can’t remember your name.

My friend K probably wouldn’t like it, as it does have a small note of bergamot at the beginning that to me announces “A fine perfume in the classic tradition!” and to her announces “Satan!”. But it’s a lovely elegant floral, perfectly appropriate for day wear and incredibly pleasurable in its nonlinear progression, and I call it a delightful find.

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What do you think?