I admit I never paid much attention to Eclat d'Arpege, Lanvin's 2003 release, beyond a couple of sniffing and the quickest skin test to determine that it was decidedly not my thing. However, since it has become my sister's signature perfume in the last couple of years (yes, she of Tresor and Loulou infamy) I decided to give it a little more attention.
Eclat d'Arpege opens like many modern department store perfumes- a sheer fruity floral thing with an obvious clean musk overtones. The floral notes are very delicate and have a transparent, almost ethereal quality that feels very spring-like, evoking the first blooms of the season. The official notes include lilac and wisteria, and while I've smelled more realistic lilacs, there is this pale purple quality to the scent, even if my own skin tends to kill it upon contact.
My favorite part of this Lanvin perfume is the emerging of a soft osmanthus note, all fuzzy and peachy-apricoty. As far as fruit notes go, this is one of the best way to do it, as osmanthus flower has fruity overtones that don't scream of synthetics. Everything flows towards a wood and musk drydown that is less creamy than Eclat d'Arpege's opening lets on. The drydown is really very nice if this is your thing. It's too light and sheer for me and my skin chemistry doesn't do it any justice, but apparently, my sister gets many compliments on it.
While Eclat d'Arpege is not very original and is too much in the inoffensive, office-friendly category for my taste, I do think it's well done and very underrated. My sister and I are obviously evil scent twins, and it's pretty funny. I don't think we could ever wear each other's perfumes. Years ago I gave her my unloved bottles of YSL Paris and Chloe Narcisse. She wore both of them beautifully, which proves my point.
Bottom Line: One could do much worse when looking for a pretty summer floral.
Lanvin Eclat d'Arpege is available from some department stores and many online discounters. While retail price is $95 for 1.7oz, If you do some searching you'll find it for a fraction of the cost.
Eclat d'Arpege perfume ad from magazincosmetice.com
French Elle cover from May 1956 featuring Christian Dior's shantung "Glycine" (wisteria) skirt suit from Irenebrination.typepad.com