Gourmands can be tricky. No one wants to smell like dessert. (Those who do, can skip this paragraph and go directly to the review).
Marla of PST once told me that a goat bit her wrist, where she had applied Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma /Blu Mediterraneo. I found that story hilarious, but it is always at the back of my mind as a warning: She who smells like food, is bound to be eaten.
A good gourmand scent is more than a food smell, I think we all agree on that. Guerlain and Parfumerie Générale are the houses of choice for me, when I get the craving for something sweet, but I recently found two lovely and affordable perfumes that satisfy my sweet tooth just as well.
The Les Notes Gourmands line includes four perfumes named after the Italian musical scale – do re mi fa sol la si do. The bottles tread the fine line between cute and kitsch, but on a good day, they fall on the side of cuteness for me.
I have tried the first two: Do Ré, an ode to Heliotope and Mi Fa, a song for Marshmallows.
Do Ré was created in 2008 by Jacques Flori and includes notes of green notes, fig, heliotrope, almond, virginia cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean, benzoin, and musk.
Do Ré is all about heliotrope/almond. Sometimes, really all I want, is to smell a good almond note. My go-to perfumes in this department are Carner Tardes, Caron Farnesiana and Etro Heliotrope. It is the latter, that Do Ré most resembles.
A green tinged, not overly sweet, lovely confection reminiscent of marzipan, but fluffier and a lot greener and airier than one would imagine reading the notes list, Do Ré is not heavy at all. It is easily wearable with discreet sillage, and lasts for at least six hours on me.
It is often available on eBay or at discounters for a very good price.
Mi Fà, also a Jacques Flori creation, inlcudes notes of bergamot, tangerine, orange, almond, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, green notes, ozonic notes, neroli, petitgrain, black pepper, jasmine, tonka bean, vanilla, virginia cedarwood, patchouly, sandalwood, ambergris and musk.
Mi Fà is all about marshmallow and that is the truth. It is a sweet, but airy, spun sugar scent that somehow manages to evoke images of soft pink marshmallow clouds to bounce around in, without being overwhelming or cloying in the least. The fresh citrus top notes stay for a long time, diffusing the sweet rose-jasmine vanilla core into a gauzy and weightless affair.
Mi Fà has excellent staying power and moderate sillage. It is a lot classier than one would think, and it is really not only a perfume for the teenage set. I don’t feel even vaguely mutton-ish when wearing it.
By Kilian Love is very close in smell actually, so Mi Fà would be a vastly more affordable dupe.
The credit for discovering the line goes to Vanessa, who found the perfumes in Budapest and wrote about them, and my friend Florence, who generously shared samples with me. Thank you, Ladies!