Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
There are times when one has cravings for a fragrance that merely teases with its mouthwatering associations, almost taking one to the patisserie, but not quite. Lancôme Hypnôse is such a composition, a pleasant sorbet of a fragrance that at first melts lusciously enveloping one in tropical fruit tartness and creamy vanilla, and then fades into the pleasant aftertaste of musky woods.
The frangipani drizzled with peach nectar opening of Hypnôse is layered with green jasmine, the lacy opulence of which serves as a nice counterpoint to the fruit compote in which the composition is liable to drown. The tropical fruitiness is however not overly sweet, and while the accord is not an impressionistic melody, it is not a glassy photorealistic rendition either, remaining between a flower and a fruit mélange. Hypnôse is reminiscent of Sicilian confections of sugar, candied pumpkin and almonds, scented with jasmine water. Just like these candies leave a taste of summer flowers on the lips, Hypnôse retains a touch of floral sweetness as it unfolds into one vanilla foiled layer after another. …
Created by two talented perfumers, Annick Menardo and Thierry Wasser–she of Bulgari Black and Dior Hypnotic Poison, he of Dior Addict and Calvin Klein Truth, Hypnôse is the 50th fragrance from the House of Lancôme, and its sinuous bottle is inspired by the similar bottle used for the Lancôme classic Magie created in 1950. The composition retains the vanilla and vetiver marriage of Magie, and indeed, vetiver provides a cool, delicately earthy facet, which balances out the sweetness of Hypnôse.
Despite the fact that I have been reaching for my bottle often, especially whenever I crave something delicious, but not obviously gourmand, I feel ambivalence about Hypnôse. While it is well-crafted, nicely harmonizing the sparkling fruity-floral top with the warm woody base and possessing a rounded and soft form, I cannot help but feel that this composition was a safe choice for Lancôme, as it does not offer any particularly daring touches or unusual twists. It would not challenge, remaining lovely and pleasant. And granted, sometimes this is all that is needed.
Notes include passion flower, jasmine sambac, solar notes (which means warm and radiant), vetiver, vanilla.
US shoppers can buy Lancôme fragrance including Hypnôse directly from Lacôme website. It can also be found at Nordstrom, Saks 5th Avenue and most other retailers with a Lancôme counter. Discount websites such as Strawberrynet also carry the line.