The first time I came across Memoire Liquide in person was years ago at Henri Bendel. They had a massive display of the various essences or whatever it was they were offering, and if you were lucky enough there was also a SA on staff that could help you create your own personalized blend. I always sniffed them, but ended up moving on to "real perfumes" because I simply couldn't be bothered. A few years later, Memoire Liquid introduced the Reserve line, a collection of already blended eau de parfums, accompanied by matching body cream tubes. Definitely a good idea, and I remember being fond of Encense Liquide, though I no longer have a sample to give you a good description.
Somehow I've found myself the owner of an Amour Liquide gift set (I think it was part of a press goodie bag), and occasionally (and sometimes against my better judgement) I actually put it into some good use. Because: gourmand vanilla. Need I say more?
The official notes are black orchid, tonka bean, Madagascar vanilla, and incense. These has a lot more to do with the dry-down than with the way Amour Liquide opens. I can't believe I'm saying this, but a zesty or uplifting top notes would have done this fragrance a world of good. Instead, what I get is sugar burning in an old and beaten pan that has already lost some of its non-stick coating, stirred with a plastic spatula that's also getting chard and melting. This phase is exacerbated when I layer it over the body cream, which smells like plastic and whipped cream blended together.
However, the hot mess starts to come together within fifteen or twenty minutes, and we're left with a more or less linear musky-vanilla scent that feels warm and cozy. Also very edible. The body cream itself is actually a great addition--- again, once it loses its plastic and burnt sugar aroma. The cream is rich and pampering, and does wonders for dry limbs. The EDP layered on top is long-lasting and rather satisfying, as long as you don't expect too many twist and turns.
I was asked once about Amour Liquide's relation to another sweet pink scent, Love from By Kilian. I have to admit that Kilian's marshmallow fluff is more fun. It's quirkier and far less flat than Memoire Liquide's buttercream frosting. Both give this pink and young impression, but I think Love is more bubbly and better conceived. This doesn't mean that Amour Liquide is bad in any way (well, except its opening). It serves a purpose and smells more expensive than 90% of those mall store cupcake scents. I'm still pondering finding something to layer with it, to add some maturity and character, but so far I only managed to amp the creamsicle factor by adding too many sprays of Stella by Tocca. And I wasn't high, I swear. Next I'll go with something saner such as smoky incense or an orange blossom.
Memoire Liquide- Amour Liquid gift sets of 50ml Eau de Parfum and 5oz Body Cream ($110) are available from Twisted Lily. The store, as well as beautyhabit.com also stocks the items individually.
Image via Plastik Magazine.