Friday, July 27, 2007

Stop me if you think you smelled this one before: Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Royale

Somehow, I managed to live nearly 37 years and not come across a single bottle of any Houbigant perfume. It's quite an accomplishment, considering we're talking about one of the oldest houses, responsible for some classics, like the original Quelques Fleurs and a few others (see Sweet Diva's recent review). I'm guessing the newish (2004) fruity-floral addition to this line, Quelques Fleurs Royale is probably not the best introduction I could hope for.

It's been a while since I came across a scent with such three distinctive and separate stages. The fruity opening wasn't promising. Bergamot and grapefruit as top notes. Where have we smelled it before? (Answer: Everywhere). It could be a lot worse, though. We could have gotten peach with a side of some berries, so I'm not complaining. The heart notes are as floral as they get. Jasmine, rose and tuberose, rounded by honey. What I got was mostly jasmine, aggressive enough to swallow most of the other notes but not skanky or Glade-ish. The floral mix was too floral for me. Nice, but I don't do white gloves and Junior League. My biggest complaint, though, was not so much the lacy handkerchief as much as the total lack of originality. I've smelled this one before, and so did you.

Some of the jasmine stays behind (my skin has always been a jasmine amplifier), but the drydown is mostly amber-sandalwood, and surprisingly, quite gorgeous. I really liked it after the first few hours, enough to give it a couple of chances, but it's just not worth it to sit through the lengthy floral stage.

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