Perfume for the dog days of summer.
It took over a year from the European release of Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum in 2012 to its arrival on our shores. In the interim American fans of Nuxe's Huile Prodigieux did just about anything to get their hands on a precious bottle. The uninitiated (mostly spouses, I suspect) stood aside with a bewildered look on their faces.
I have lost count of the Huile Prodigieux bottles I've used up other introduced me to it back in 2009. I've since discovered that it's just as magical for thick curly hair as it is for dry limbs. As a result, more often than not, my post-shower smell is initially Nuxe on all its vague floral beachiness (it fades before I get to actually perfume myself). As a result I've learned to love the scent much more than you'd expect. It's familiar, pretty, and in a strange way comforting.
Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum was created to accompany the oil. It expands on several of the themes and hints you find in Huile Prodigieux: the cleanliness, the beachy tropical vibe, and the white floral background that is reminiscent of European suntan lotions and oils from pre-SPF days (see this post on Perfume Shrine if you're not familiar with the scent). Despite this nostalgic bit Prodigieux Le Parfum is a modern fragrance that remains on the lighter side of the gardenia-magnolia duo. It's sheer, not heady, and even the creaminess is kept firmly under control despite the hint of coconut milk (a nod to American sun products?).
Victoria of Bois de Jasmin finds the perfume overwhelming and too creamy. For me it's actually the opposite. I get a too sharp note of a synthetic... something. A citrus/jasmine/non-gardenia that is not quite convincing and could have used a smoothing creamy musk to balance it (the lovely Victoria must think I've lost my mind). The vanilla note barely reaches my skin, and the coconut milk is far less obvious than it is in some of my favorite fig scents. If I use Prodigieux Le Parfum over the Huile the dry-down is more emphasized and the effect is warmer and, indeed, beachier. Also, hot weather complements it beautifully, despite a higher burn rate that hurts the longevity.
It's not high perfumery nor does it smell exactly like the oil. But it's nice. Very nice, even. I enjoy Prodigieux Le Parfum despite myself, and it's a good reminder not to take myself and my perfume collection too seriously. Sometime you just need a mental beach day with a glossy magazine or an Elin Hilderbrand novel, and Nuxe has provided this with a pink umbrella on top. And now you can get it without a European mule.
Notes: orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin orange, orange, rose, magnolia, gardenia, vanilla, coconut milk, pebbles (a mineral accord).
Nuxe- Prodigieux Le Parfum ($69, 1.6 oz eau de parfum) is available from Nuxe website (American as well as European) and om dermstore.com.
Image via myvintagevogue.com.