Editor’s Note: The following review was posted in November 2010. I came upon it recently – the review as well as the perfume (in my “shunned and ostracized samples” box) and I just cannot let it stand like that. It has a high number of hits still and therefore it is time to take a second, or third look. Read the old review first and meet me again afterwards to hear my newer impressions. See you in about 500 words!
My review of Louve should have been a post in the “What Makes Me Run For The Shower” series, but since I sat it out, without succumbing to the temptation to scrub it off (and I was rewarded too) I thought I’d include it in the Lutens week, to keep that from going in the direction of total hero worship.
…Cherry Garcia, red disaster, death by cherry, Lutens for Kindergarteners, Cherry, Cherry Hallelujah!, nuclear cool-aid, cherry bomb…
Above are a few of the associations I had upon sniffing Louve. I always start a review by consulting my notebook, re-smelling the scent and brainstorming to create such a list as you can see above. Usually, the list gets incorporated in the text or only serves as a reminder for me. Louve leaves me so stumped, I thought I might as well let you read my list of associations.
Louve, means She-Wolf in french. Am I the only one wondering how that name came about for a scent like this? May I suggest Un Bois de Cerise? Or Cerise Criminelle? Or better yet: Cerise Khublai Khan? At least one would know what is about to come.
Lacking a descriptive title, one turns to the notes: they include almond, rose petals, fruity notes, jasmine petals, amber, musk and vanilla powder.
Aah, sounds good, doesn’t it? But here it is hidden, in the middle of the notes line up, “fruity notes” it says. Well, yes, that is correct, though it should be written like this “FRUITY NOTES” (and make that bold print, too). I’m sorry, but there is soooo much cherry in there, it totally ruins the fragrance for me. It smells so artificial, so cheap, so much like artificial food flavoring, complete with sugar overload, artificial dark red coloring and accompanying stickiness.
But I sat it out, and after hours and hours of tenacious cherry (it is an Eau de Parfum Haute Concentration after all) there emerged a very beautiful, sweet and powdery, almondy drydown that I really enjoyed. But, sadly there is no way I can wade through six hours of dark red cherry mist to get there.
I am not happy about that review. I want to review only the winners, but now and again I need to tell about the other side too. I’m sure we all have (many) fragrances that don’t work for us. It is a wholly personal thing, and I’m sure there are many Louve – lovers out there, and I envy them. I would kill for that drydown alone, it is magnificent. But the cherry-plastered marathon until I’m there puts me off re-experiencing it forever.
But one should really think about a new name, maybe Sa Majesté La Cerise?
Any Lutens you can’t take? Tell me in the comments!
Editor’s Note 2: So, here we are again. Bad, huh? The cherry to end all cherries, one would think… As I said before, I re-tried my sample, with some trepidation as you can imagine, and I ended up pleasantly surprised. Not that I am about to run out for a bottle of Louve, but after the initial cherry blast which in truth lasts a few minutes, not several hours, I really like what I smell. Almond softness in greyish hues, dark-red fruit-tinged heliotrope, powdery vanilla dusting it all. Cosy actually. Cosy and soft, sweet and warm.
I still find the name somewhat unsatisfactory though – Jeux de Cerise? Un Cerise Noire? Feminité de Cerise? What do you say?