La Femme Idèale Or How Blue Grace Entered My Life – Review: Armani Privé La Femme Bleue

There is a new bottle in my closet. Not just any old bottle, no, one of only a thousand made and sold at exclusive retailers worldwide. My bottle bears the number 489 and hails from London.

Sorry, it sounds like I am boasting, but I am so proud and happy about that bottle. It is not full of course, I split it and that is the best (the only) way to own such unreasonably expensive perfumes. I thought about buying it long and hard, since it came out last year, and I am very glad I finally did before it was too late.

My bottle was among the last four that Harrods had, and I’m thankful that the lovely Tara was kind enough to acquire it for me.

“This perfume was inspired by a collection that was in turn inspired by the desert, serving as an original scent-track: a vision for clothing transposed into a cloud of fragrant emotion. Giorgio Armani wanted a fragrance for his collection, a legend to be experienced through scent. 1,000 numbered bottles for 1,000 unique women. La Femme Bleue: a perfume for a person in love with blue, its shadows, its depth. It all starts with an imaginary Black Iris, rare, precious and enveloping. Here, Giorgio Armani has started with this royal blue flower creating a unique perfume that is at once bright and dark, secretive and bare, full and floaty. A spicy, reserved hint of chocolate, as dark as the dreamed iris it accents, grows deliciously sweet as it threads itself into this textured and addictive composition, adding a soft, creamy consistency. The instant the stopper is removed, the bottle breathes forth a mysterious and carnal sensation: the recollection of a journey yet to be made, the memory of a moment yet to be lived. A unisex fragrance that eludes any attempt at neat categorization.”

No doubt, La Femme Bleue is a beauty to behold, but how about the juice inside that blue piece of art?

I can honestly say I would not be moved at all by this bottle, despite its enticing color and smooth glassy planes, where it not for the divine perfume inside.

Created in 2010 by Serge Majoullier (a perfumer to watch for sure!), La Femme Bleue includes notes of  iris, chocolate, woody notes, incense and vanilla.

Iris and Chocolate, well, that brings one perfume to mind instantly that is a bit easier to come by, but not by much and it will be a rare commodity soon, since it has been discontinued recently – Iris Ganache, a Guerlain Exclusive of which I own a bottle as well. But those two are very different and owning both is totally warranted. (And no, that is not just a justification. ;) )

La Femme Bleue opens with a soft and powdery iris that is soon underscored by an only slightly sweet-ish chocolate note. It is deep and rich, but never, not for a second is it heavy or cloying.

La Femme Bleue has a light and airy character throughout its development, it is no gourmand, but uses the iris and chocolate to evoke something refined and elegant, expensive smelling and simply beautiful.

La Femme Bleue develops into a woody incense over the course of the next few hours. It has moderate sillage and extraordinary longevity.

La Femme Bleue does to iris what not many iris perfumes can do – it makes it soft and pliable, warm, flowing and textured like silk. It is not dusky, not earthy, rooty, grey, cold, or aloof like many iris perfumes are attributed (Iris Silver Mist for example). It is not powdery and stringent and overly schoolmarmish (Iris Poudré has that reputation). It is not sweet and thick like the gourmand take of Iris Ganache either.

La Femme Bleue is unique in its take on iris, and the obviously high quality materials do their thing as well. As hard as it is for me to say that: some things are worth the money.

La Femme as a name would have sufficed, because this perfume is utterly feminine to me as it covers all aspects of my ideal woman – elegance, grace, sensuality, beauty and most importantly intelligence.

Another fitting name would be Grace Bleue, because she comes very close to my ideal woman.

I feel blessed being able to wear La Femme Bleue, whatever it is called.

Image source: giorgioarmani.com, mgm.com

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Armani Privé, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand, Iris and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to La Femme Idèale Or How Blue Grace Entered My Life – Review: Armani Privé La Femme Bleue

  1. lady jane grey says:

    I wear it today… And can’t stop sniffing my wrist…

  2. I’m so glad that you have managed to get hold of a bottle of this, you really do seem to love it :)

    It sounds wonderful!

  3. Ines says:

    I didn’t find it in your post. How much does it actually cost?
    Just so I know never to come close to it. :) In case I feel the urge to acquire one… (especially now they are probably all gone)

  4. Alexandra says:

    Oh I am so pleased for you! It is a beautiful object and you have obviously completely fallen for the perfume *happy perfume dance*.

    Unfortunately after the messy disaster that was Musc Moari (wonderful on the paper, sour and nasty on my skin), I am wary of chocolate in perfume; which is probably a good thing as I can probably live with never smelling this (too many ‘probably’s in that sentence, I haven’t quite convinced myself!), Ambre Orient on the other hand…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Happy perfume dance indeed! :D

      It is not nearly as obviously chocolate-y, or even gourmand-y as Musc Maori. But I don’t want to tempt you in any way, sorry.
      Ambre Orient looks like a positive bargain in comparison and is in the permanent line, AND is a gorgeous amber, so… ;)

  5. Charles says:

    I understand you dislike for the bottle, but I find it rather beautiful, In this “New” age of horrible bottling (ie: Guerlains recent attempts) this is at least tastefull and signature Armani.
    The bottle is full of contridiction, as is Armani style. A simple, luminous bleu modern mettalic crystal, “Very Armani”, with a “Fred Flintstone” air about the stopper.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Charles,
      I love the bottle! I’m sorry if this didn’t come out clearly, but I truly adore this beautiful bottle. I even called it a piece of art and I was not being sarcastic! The color is amazing and reminds me of good times, since I have a ballgown in this shade, so I really have no issue with the flacon whatsoever and I’m glad this excellent perfume is housed so well.
      I love your Fred Flintstone characterization of the stopper, btw. :)

  6. andrea says:

    I found and fell in love with this yesterday so your review is perfect, I also purchased as it was 1 of 2 left in the UK, I too intend to split it. It is the nearest I think I could ever come to a signature scent. I am so glad it is totally different to iris granache as I have one of those on the way to me any day.;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Great! May I compliment your excellent taste? :)
      I love to know that the second to last one went to you. Our bottles were probably neighbors on the shelf. ;)
      I must say we have a lot in common taste-wise, Andrea!

      • andrea says:

        I hope so as the Iris Granache was a blind buy, can you tell me where your number is, I briefly looked at the base of mine this morning but there was numbers and letters so was not sure if I was looking in the right place.
        It would seem that food will now not be an option for the next month or so but I have one of the rarest perfumes in my collection.
        I also tried the Clive Christian perfumes while I was on a roll, I am glad to say that I was not tempted by ‘the most expensive perfume in the world’
        Also I lost my bet to Tara, I came away with a bottle of Bois des Iles, despite me being convinced I would come away with Coromandel, it was a close call between Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie which I did not expect to like as much. :-)

        • Olfactoria says:

          I’m certain you will find them different enough.

          The number is on the back of the bottle (small, engraved at the bottom of the backside).

          Clive Christian is the least tempting brand I have ever seen. ;)

          And a Chanel too, wow you had a good day! Congratulations!

          • lady jane grey says:

            I’m sooo with you on Clive Christian, Ladies !

          • Olfactoria says:

            That shows that juice is more important than image, if only Clive Christian knew that…

          • andrea says:

            I will have a look again tonight, thanks for telling me where to look, I must have had a blonde moment this morning.
            I am sooo glad I was not the only one to dislike the Clive Christian brand, I had not read any reviews before I smelt it so went in totally indifferent, I am finally getting to know my likes and dislikes (and it seems I am in good company with both you and Lady Jane not rushing out to buy any of the brand)

        • Tara says:

          Andrea, you came away with a bottle of Bois des Iles! That’s great. The exact same thing happened to me and I think it may be the only time.

          Congrats on La Femme Bleue and I’m sure you’ll love Iris Genache.

  7. Sandra says:

    I love this review of this gorgeous perfume! How envious I am of all who are able to own the perfume and the bottle.

  8. arline says:

    I am happy you obtained this fragrance. You are a serious collector!!!!!!

    I have a couple of questions for you. I was wondering if you have a go to fragrance, not a signature scent, but one that calls you more than others. This leads me to my next question, which is, what happens when you find a limited addition fragrance, that you LOVE? Once it is gone, chances are slim of obtaining more. I would be bothered by this a lot, because I would want to know that I could have more if I desired it.

    You clearly have enough fragrance to last a very long time, but aren’t some perfumes more special? I know moods change as well as body chemistry, not to mention life circumstances, so one scent could not satisfy it all.

    I am just fascinated by you perfumistas!!!!!!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have a few perfumes that have a special place in my heart. Either because they remind me of a certain person or situation in my life, those don’t get worn so often, or because I just feel at ease wearing them, these are in heavier rotation. Thankfully none of my go-to perfumes are discontinued (yet). I’d say the most worn in the past years are Dior New Look 1947, Le Parfum de Thérèse by Malle and Voyage d’Hermès.

      I used to worry and panic, if I fell in love with a limited edition, discontinued or vintage fragrance, but I don’t anymore. In my experience there is always something new to capture my interest, and a little goes a long way. I will not use up any of my bottles anytime soon.
      And I always have a solution in the back of my head: if something I truly love, can’t be found again, I would try to approach a perfumer to re-create the scent for me as a custom perfume.
      This is not cheap, but there are some incredibly talented indie perfumers, who I would trust to make something very close to what I wanted.

  9. Vanessa says:

    Happy that the Blue Lady has entered your closet, joined your family etc! ; – ) Blue Grace is an excellent image, though for some reason I do see her as a brunette. Isabelle Adjani, or Juliette Binoche maybe?) I read somewhere that Juliette Binoche likes Cristalle and L’Ecume de The from CSP, but I bet she simply hasn’t got round to trying this beauty yet!

    I love the bottle too – it reminds me of a bluebottle’s bottom and I mean that in a good way. I like the scent a lot, but have tried to bat the lemming off and thus far have managed all right, touch glassy planes. : – )

    • Olfactoria says:

      I like Juliette Binoche, but to me LFB is undeniably a blonde. ;)

      Is a bluebottle a fly? There are jellyfish too, but I couldn’t say whether their blue parts are on top or bottom! ;)

      If it is the fly’s bottom you mean, it is an excellent approximation. It is really that shade of blue.

  10. Alexis says:

    I would give my right nostril to smell a whiff of this. I’m intrigued by the combination of iris and chocolate. Two things that shouldn’t go together but I’m sure many use to feel that way about bacon and chocolate…but I digress. I also love the color of blue…this just sound so wonderful. You are a very lucky lady!

  11. Tara says:

    I’m so pleased you’ve got your Grace Kelly iris!

    You can always sell an albatross but it’s very tough when you’ve missed the chance to obtain a wonderful perfume that’s no longer available. I’m glad you could organise a split and keep that gorgeous bottle too.

    BTW I could get used to being referred to as “the lovely Tara” :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      You’d better, lovely Tara! ;)

      Those are wise words, and I will certainly remember them. It is easier to sell something again, than miss out on something special and irreplacable.

  12. Sorry that I am late to the party in commenting on this stunning new addition to your collection, Birgit. But I wanted to express my sincere congratulations (and to Andrea, too!). That bottle is the most amazing shade of blue and the juice sounds divine beyond measure! A perfumista’s dream come true. <3

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are never late and always welcome! Thank you, Suzanne!
      Sometimes I think it is a bit absurd how happy a small bottle can make me, but then I know I’m not alone… you all understand. :)

  13. Philipp says:

    I just returned from Milan and sadly I was not able to smell this scent. There were no more bottles left at the main Armani boutique in Via Monte Napoleone. I forgot to look elsewhere, because I had a packed schedule (see below)

    Nevertheless I was able to sample some of Dior’s exclusive collection (Granville, New Look, Bois d’Argent), Chanels’ Jersey, N 18 and Bois des Iles, some of Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection (Ambre Absolute, Moss Breeches and Oud Wood), Prada’s exclusive Cuir Styrax and the newly-launched Infusion d’Iris Eau du Parfum Absolue (which I bought), Pierre G. new line Phaedon Paris (@ Profumeria Oggioni), Tauer’s Pentachords (@ Profumeria Profumo), Heeley’s extrait collection (@ Profumo too). I also visited 10 Corso Como (they still have the 3 Artisan Harvest Collection scents available) where I bought a bottle of Chene and Profumeria Mazzolari in Piazza S. Babila. There I immersed myself in the world of Guerlain: I fell in love with Derby and the wonderful candle Boudoir Venitien. Sadly the candle was backordered, but I put my name down for one as soon as they are restocked.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t get to smell/buy it. :(
      But your trip sounds amazing, you really made the most of it, that is wonderful! I wish I could have gone to all those perfumeries you mention whne I was in Milan last summer, but three whining men in tow, it was impossible. :)
      How did you like the Diors?

  14. Philipp says:

    Well, I know how it is to travel with fussy traveling companions which is why I chose to go to Milan all by myself. It was heaven, because I could go wherever I wanted to go, I rested and ate whenever I felt like it etc. I sampled fragrances to my heart’s content and went wild at the Louis Vuitton store without having to justify anything.

    The Diors were very nice, I already knew two of them (Eau Noire and Leather Aoud), but I did not buy any on the spot. The very nice sales assistant showed me the entire boutique and gave me 4 large samples as well as a small mirror as a gift. Bois d’Argent smelled very iris-heavy on paper, whereas on skin it is more woodsy. These coming days I will also try New Look and Granville. The Milly sample I will swap, because it does not interest me. I think that the Dior Line is more to my liking than the Chanel line.

    If you ever go to Milan again, I strongly suggest you visit Mazzolari, it is truly the largest and nicest fragrance shop I’ve seen so far.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad you had such a great time! I will certainly check out Mazzolari next time I make it to Milan.
      I ama big fan of Bois d’Argent and it is on my to buy list for this year.

  15. deeHowe says:

    (sorry I’m late, again!)

    It makes me very happy that you have this bottle in your collection— could this be the one to rule them all???
    <3

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  19. chris says:

    This one is really STUNNING!. Have you ever trie Irisss by Xerjoff ?.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is!!!
      Yes, I tried Irisss, and while it is beautiful, I find it quite similar to Iris Silver Mist which I have a bottle of, so I was not very tempted (thankfully, at those prices!).

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  21. chris says:

    Birgit
    I don’t know if you have this info already, but today armani prive has launched another iris fragrance called La Femme Nacre, comes in a similar blue bottle(This time, has a mother of pearl plaque on the front) and is £150 more priced at £500.
    Best
    CHRIS

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Chris! I saw it on NST. Beautiful. I really hope the juice is awful… 500 GBP is just not justifyable for me. :(

      • Philipp says:

        I just saw it too and I am shaking my head. The price is just outrageously high. I think no (modern) juice in the world is worth that much, let’s be real. However, if Birgit wants to host a split, I’d be part of it, for curiosity’s sake.

        • Philipp says:

          Here is the official fragrance description in French:

          A nouveau, Giorgio Armani décide de donner le premier rôle à l’iris dans son nouveau parfum Haute Couture. Les muscs contemporains se marient en ajoutant chacun un reflet, une tonalité particulière. Leur accord contribue à cette sensation délicieuse d’épaisseur ouatée, de lumière irisée, diaphane et enveloppante.
          Au cœur du parfum, l’absolu iris exalte les muscs en les illuminant et les pare d’éclats bleutés, parmes, gris-rose et verts, se traduisant par des nuances poudrées et boisées.
          En fond, les bois sombres de patchouli et vétiver, aux reflets gris lumineux, créent une surface lisse où se dépose la touche de fève tonka.

        • Olfactoria says:

          A split is not a bad idea, but still… I tend to agree with you, no modern juice is worth that much. And here it is clear you are paying a lot for the bottle.

  22. Philipp says:

    Today I visited the Armani store in Avenue Montaigne, Paris. The sales staff told me the fragrance will be available in a month or so. Has anybody else been on the look-out for La Femme N. as well?

    • Olfactoria says:

      I heard it is already available at Selfridges in London! Well, I’ll see next week. :)

      • Philipp says:

        The Giorgio Armani boutique in Via Montenapoleone Milan had bottle 975 out of 1,000 available as a tester for La Femme N. The poor salesgirl had to don black gloves when she handled the bottle and after spraying some of the scent on a mouillette she cleaned the nacre plate. LOL.
        Anyway, the tester’s jus must have been cooked by the store’s harsh lighting, because I did not smell anything akin to iris. I saw damp woods, pepper and a weird musky-musty spicy base. I was flabbergasted.

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