Divine L’Ame Sœur : Perfume Review

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Cassatt18

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Divine L’âme Sœur creates an illusion of opalescent dust falling on dewy petals. The veil of aldehydes is, at first, hazy and opaque, however almost instantly it begins to fade revealing tropical opulence of ylang ylang and rich fruitiness of jasmine. While ylang ylang is a heady note, aldehydes render it ethereal and elegant, smoothing its rough edges and softening its sharp lushness. Indeed, Ernest Beaux was the first perfumer to discover the unique affinity between aliphatic aldehydes and ylang ylang, when he created Chanel No. 5.

L’âme Sœur, which means “Soulmate,” was created by Yann Vasnier for Divine, a fragrance house founded by Yvon Mouchel in Dinard on the northern coast of Brittany. If it is possible to conceive of a perfectly elegant fragrance that nods to the classical tradition without being repetitive, L’âme Sœur is it. A beautiful rose note lends an appealing sweetness to the heart of the composition, complementing the crisp white shimmer of aldehydes.

Once the fragrance dries down, a luminous note of ambergris resurfaces to support the composition. In L’âme Sœur, the peculiar winey and stunningly sensual scent of ambergris is present as a wave of warmth that softens the lush florals. Where rose was tempted to appear as heavy and sweet, it is rendered as sun drenched and delicate. The juxtaposition of sensual warmth with the cool aldehydic opening is what makes L’âme Sœur particularly exciting. The final result is not so much powdery as one would expect from an aldehydic fragrance, as it is reminiscent of cashmere. Cashmere softness that caresses the skin and holds its warmth is the association that the dry down of L’âme Sœur brings to mind.

Fragrances and samples are available from Divine and Luckyscent.

Mary Cassatt. At the Theater.. 1879-1880. Pastel on paper. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Abcgallery.com

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20 Comments

  • parislondres: Lovely review of this gorgeous perfume dear V! I love this and have been wearing it quite a bit lately. I think this is possibly my favourite perfume from Divine. Yann is a brilliant nose and I look forward to reading the interview tomorrow.
    Have a super day!

    xoxo September 5, 2005 at 3:42am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, a lovely review that has made me pretty curious about the Divine perfumes – I haven´t smelled one of them yet, but I think I should try to do it 🙂 September 5, 2005 at 7:29am Reply

  • Laura: I’ll have to find my sample and really try this one. I’ve been curious about this perfumer for a couple of years. Such an odd location. September 5, 2005 at 8:50am Reply

  • Robin: Wonderful review, and I really must try my Divine samples one of these days! Can’t wait to see the interview. September 5, 2005 at 9:07am Reply

  • Annie: Gosh…This sounds lovely.
    I will have to try to get a sample. I am a sucker for rose fragrances.
    Have a great holiday everyone! September 5, 2005 at 9:25am Reply

  • Anya: Sounds wonderful V, right up my alley — aldehydes and ambergris and florals, lol. The Divine Bergamot is well made and delicious, so I must check out more of this line. September 5, 2005 at 9:42am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, it is a great fragrance, and I am glad to know that you are enjoying it. Yann created some very interesting fragrances, and I am looking forward to reviewing them this week.
    xoxo September 5, 2005 at 11:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, their customer service is impeccable, and I think that you will enjoy their fragrances. Let me know what you think. September 5, 2005 at 11:47am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, the location is unexpected, and I have been very impressed with everything I tried. Would love to hear your opinions. September 5, 2005 at 11:48am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, thank you! The range is very diverse, but I would say that L’Ame Soeur is my second favourite after L’Homme de Coeur. September 5, 2005 at 11:53am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Annie, it is a beautiful elegant fragrance. I can imagine you liking it very much. I am too a big fan of rose anything, although here the rose is pretty well blended. September 5, 2005 at 11:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anya, I wore your ambergris tincture last night, and it is amazing. I think that L’Ame Soeur will definitely please you, especially since you love aldehydic florals. I apologize for not labeling my vials correctly–Divine Bergamote is by The Different Company, created by Jean Claude Ellena, another great composition. I knew that you would like it! September 5, 2005 at 11:56am Reply

  • Katie: I love Mary Cassatt’s work, and you selected one of my faves. This is one that I think shows how aware she was of the work of her contemporaries, even though she didn’t receive the respect she deserved from some of them. Beautiful piece of art.

    I look forward to your interview tomorrow, and you enjoy your Labor Day, too! September 5, 2005 at 2:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, I am so glad to see another fan of Mary Cassatt’s work. She has a unique ability to capture the light, in ways that are in spirit of Impressionism, yet have their own uniqueness. This piece is one of my favourites. I thought that it captured the essence of L’Ame Soeur really well–a nod to tradition, yet with its own special touch. September 5, 2005 at 3:00pm Reply

  • Atreau: Oh I’ve never tried that one but it sounds right up my alley! September 5, 2005 at 7:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: S, I think that you will really like it. Definitely, give it a try! September 5, 2005 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Diane: I’ve been curious about this line and the perfumer for a while and finally dug out my sample the other day. Well, this one is just beautiful. I love the way the aldehydes are executed, which surprises me, as I’m not big on aldehydes, though I’m beginning to learn that as long as the notes are superbly rendered, I’m completely game–musk, patchouli, cumin, aldehydes, and so forth, all of which I thought were not to my general liking.

    Waving to fellow Cassatt fans! I love her work as well and V dear, you selected one of my favorites pieces as well. I also find the Japanese influence in her work fascinating. A favorite is “The Letter,” which is simply a gorgeous piece. September 7, 2005 at 4:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, I love “The Letter” as well. It is such a beautiful painting, which makes me want to stare at it for hours. You reminded me about it, and I just dug out my art album to take another look at it. September 7, 2005 at 8:00pm Reply

  • Gían: I’ve just recently discovered the Devine line- they were included as manufacturer’s samples in a Luckyscent order- I was completely struck by the exquisite drydown of the line’s eponymous scent “Devine”. After the intense blast of aldehydes fizzle off you are left with a deliciously creamy floral bouquet with just a touch of fruit. It clings quite tenaciously to fabric- in fact I didn’t even realize what it was I was smelling at first one night after slipping into bed & smelling something amazing on my sheets. It turns out I fell asleep before the drydown developed the night before after dabbing myself with “Devine” as that evening’s perfume sample to explore. Devine indeed… I’d love to know your take on it, especially on the drydown. November 14, 2014 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that the original is superb, and you described it so well. It has a classical spirit, but it doesn’t feel dated or too retro. November 24, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

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