Fleur de Carotte by L'Artisan Parfumeur came out in 2000 in a special and huge splash bottle decorated with a paper crown of carrot tendrils. To be honest, it looks a little ridiculous next to the refined regular L'Artisan bottles (I also have a similar limited edition bottle of Ananas Fizz with a pineapple crown. It probably looked like a good idea at the time). In any case, this Olivia Giacobbeti composition was discontinued some time between 2005 and 2006, leaving no sillage in its wake.
And that's a major issue with L'Artisan's Fleur de Carotte. And not just the sillage-- Fleur de Carotte dearly lacks presence. It took me months to even get a general feel of this fragrance because it's usually pretty much gone by the time I finish getting dressed. I finally figured out a way to trap enough of the scent around me. It requires not just practically bathing in Fleur de Carotte, but also spraying my clothes and trying to get as much as possible between my skin and a cashmere wrap or a sweater. And then pulling a blanket over my head and breathing in. I wish I were kidding.
Fans of certain iris perfumes are familiar with a damp earthy carrot facet of these fragrances. The chillier the iris, the carroty it smells in the opening. Thus, one might expect some of the iris spirit to show up in Fleur de Carotte. However looking at the listed notes forces you to reconsider. This L'Artisan perfume was constructed to smell of baby carrot, cucumber, tarragon, lettuce, apricot, and ginger. Basically, throw it in a bowl and add some balsamic vinegar.
The idea of Fleur de Carotte is freshness. It's a whiff of cool air through the kitchen garden in summer, here for just a second and then it's gone. It smells very pale green like a homemade herbal iced tea with a hint of fruit but no actual pulp or juice, where someone has already strained all the herbs out of the pitcher, so the tea is quite weak. The carrot is also too abstract-- it lacks the rooty earthiness and there's nothing here to chomp. The composition smells like it has absolutely no base to anchor it and create a strong impression. It's fun while it lasts and if I apply an enormous and embarrassing amount I finally get a faint remnant of crystallized ginger to remain on my skin. But the frustration of having this pretty little nothing fade away so quickly makes for a very unsatisfying experience in the end of the
Watercolor by Maree Clarkson.