Annie of Blogdorf Goodman has said on more than one occasion that Paul & Joe Bleu is her favorite amber fragrance ever. As someone who lives for amber perfumes and has enough of them to bathe a fully grown St. Bernard dog, I can't really play favorites. But I fully understand why Annie is so smitten. Bleu is breathtaking and smells like a million ambery dollars, offering the kind of quality and complexity we rarely find in a designer brand, let alone a label that has just given us this:
The blend of notes in Paul & Joe Bleu is soft and warm, but it's so precise and well-done that when worn in the heat of summer (that was when I first discovered it years ago), it blooms and fills up like the very best amber perfumes. The animalic edge is more pronounced on warm skin, but it's there even in the cashmere-like fuzziness of winter. Still, even the great cuminphobe I married has no objection to Bleu whatsoever. He finds it just raw enough to be sexy.
The thing I most appreciate about this 2003 Pierre Bourdon composition is the perfect balance: between all the elements: the powder, spice, sweetness and animalic accord. Bleu is perfectly tailored without being too grand or too dark. It's labeled as a feminine fragrance, but any amber lover has an equal chance of loving it, and since there are enough Shalimar-wearing men among my dearest friends, I'm happy to tell them that Bleu is almost butch in comparison.
Notes: bergamot, coriander, cumin, ylang ylang, jasmine, rose, magnolia, heliotrope, sandalwood, myrrh, vanilla and musk.
Bleu by Paul & Joe ($60) is available from Bergdorf Goodman (in store only) and BeautyHabit. Some online retailers seem to still offer the fragrance in its old packaging for even cheaper prices. I haven't tested a new bottle yet so I can't comment about reformulations.
Top photo: Jac. de Nijs - Girl with lion cubs in Artis (Amsterdam Zoo), June 14, 1961
Paul & Joe Spring 2012 Kitten collection from beautyhabit.com