Lancome Hypnose : Perfume Review

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Mango_sorbeta

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. …

Hypnose_1

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.

Please see other Lancôme reviews:
2000 et Une Rôse
Climat

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34 Comments

  • Marina: Safe choice! That’s it, you expressed exactly what I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I thought their 50th scent would be something a little more…I don’t know…unusual, with lots of oomph :-) January 12, 2006 at 8:58am Reply

  • Victoria O: Wow, this just happens to be what I’m wearing today. I just recieved by mail yesterday. I was surprised it does have a bit more oomph than I was expecting, therefore I like it better than I thought I would. It is nice and should do well in the mainstream market.

    And of course I adore the bottle and the color of the juice! January 12, 2006 at 9:37am Reply

  • Denver to Paris: I liked it too, when I sampled it at Nordstrom two days ago, but elected to pass it up because it lacked daring. While pleasant, there’s nothing unusual or disturbing about it. It reminds me of a sweeter version of the drydown of Guerlain’s L’Instant, which smells quite troubling and odd next to Hypnose.

    Glad you reviewed this, V. When I sampled it this week, I wondered what you’d have to say about it … and now I know! January 12, 2006 at 9:56am Reply

  • linda: I sampled it at Nordstrom’s over the weekend and it was nice but not unusual. I don’t like anything too fruity or too sweet but Hypnose was pleasant. January 12, 2006 at 10:46am Reply

  • linda: V, I also tried Magie and I liked it way better. Are you going to review it? January 12, 2006 at 10:48am Reply

  • Robin: Looking forward to trying this one eventually, although your review is not exactly going to send me rushing to the store, LOL — but perfectly true that sometimes lovely & pleasant is enough. It is with plenty of things in my own collection :-) January 12, 2006 at 11:43am Reply

  • Cait: Hmm,
    This sounds like something I might like that would provoke lots of nose rubbing and exclamations of “Ugh! Guayaba!” in my house. Any tropical accord seems to provoke this reaction.

    In spite of the revival of the old scents like Climat, etc… I never think of Lancome perfume as daring or innovative. I will definitely try this, as I do like maracuja and guayaba. January 12, 2006 at 12:54pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I agree! For the 50th fragrance, I would have expected something more innovative. And hence my ambivalence–it is nicely done and very lovely, but those looking for unusual should seek it elsewhere. January 12, 2006 at 1:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, oh, the bottle is lovely! I always loved those twisted Magie bottles, and in fact, I was a bit disappointed to see it released in the rectangular bottle.

    I suppose that like Marina articulated, I was hoping for a bit more daring than what it turned out to be. January 12, 2006 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Christine: At least it is better than that horrible Attraction. Sorry if anyone here likes Atttraction. :( January 12, 2006 at 1:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Denver, interesting observation about the similarity to L’Instant, because I thought so too, except that the fruity notes of Hypnose made the entire composition lighter and easier to wear. L’Instant is liable to overwhelm me with its sweetness and richness, even though I like to wear it from time to time, when in certain moods. January 12, 2006 at 1:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Linda, yes, I must say that the vetiver was a nice touch to dispel the sweetness. Otherwise, it definitely would not have been as wearable for me. January 12, 2006 at 1:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, Magie is very different, and I like it too. I should review it one of these days, as it has been one of my favourites at one point. January 12, 2006 at 1:09pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, you might like it actually, because the tropical fruit notes are pleasantly tart. I generally cannot bear too much fruit, but I discovered that I like anything that is redolent of mango or passionfruit. Its sweetness level is not too far from MPG Bahiana, even though Hypnose is more vanillic. I would be curious to hear your thoughts. January 12, 2006 at 1:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, I also like maracuja in fragrance, even if it is just a suggestion. Here, the top notes are sort of in between flower and fruit, and it is quite nice.

    I think that Lancome has offered some very interesting and innovative fragrances in the past (Magie Noire and Tresor come to mind in particular, especially since Tresor was the first fragrance of the monolithic, rather than sequential type). O de Lancome is a lovely classic chypre (rather than what can be classified as such these days), which I would highly recommend if you like that genre.

    By the way, have you tried Nahema? It has a lovely maracuja note paired with rose. January 12, 2006 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Cait: I never noticed maracuja in Nahema. Must retry. Ok, ok, you are correct that those older creations of Lancome are worth their salt. It’s funny about Tresor. I never experienced it as monolithic. I liked it, though I no longer wear it these days. January 12, 2006 at 1:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christine, I agree! I much prefer Hypnose to a number of Lancome recent releases. January 12, 2006 at 2:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, yes, Tresor’s main accord is comprised of just four ingredients and there are some ornamental notes to add depth and complexity, but in those four ingredients is the entire character of the composition. It was the first of its kind, very much contrary to the classical tradition. January 12, 2006 at 2:50pm Reply

  • julien: I am sorry about this perfume but i hate it.
    Not the top or middle notes,wich are rather fruity and pleasurable.
    The real thing is i despise the drydown wich reminds me Jungle elephant:odd powdery vanilla with strong spices.
    Really hate it.

    Nice review.
    Thanks.
    j. January 12, 2006 at 4:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I do not find it obviously spicy, although I admit that I do not mind Kenzo’s fragrance at all, even though I would not wear it now (some negative associations).

    What do you think of Nina Ricci Love in Paris, by the way? January 12, 2006 at 4:39pm Reply

  • julien: I don’t remember very well this one.
    I am not very interested on the ricci perfumes except signoricci and l’Air du temps.
    But if i don’t make any mistake i guess it is a floral,really young and pleasant but nothing more. January 12, 2006 at 8:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I was asking since I could not remember it that well. Thank you! I will try it again, but I am not in a rush. January 12, 2006 at 11:51pm Reply

  • Veronica: Smelled it yesterday. All that came to mind was “eh”. lol January 13, 2006 at 2:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: That is a telling impression, isn’t it? :) January 13, 2006 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Veronica: Hello V. You have no idea how relieved I was when I got toward the end of your review.

    I wasn’t very eloquent, was I? I have to be true to myself. I can say things nicely, but half the time, I’m sort of…..well, my nickname is “Vern”.

    I spritzed the Hypnose on my wrist and it was sort of odd. I’d like to smell it some more, mostly because I want to see why I thought the sent went “off”. It felt like there was some conflict of ideas. It should have gone more in one direction. One way or the other. It was interesting in that it almost went somewhere and I want to figure out where ::I:: would have liked to have taken it.

    But hey, I thought that “Napoleon Dynamite” should have gone even further off the top.

    Vern January 13, 2006 at 7:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Veronica, sometimes those initial impressions are the best indicators. I like Hypnose ok (better than most of the fragrances of this sort–fruity-floral, sweet, vanillic), but I do not find it to be particularly unusual. The fact that the company chose it for its 50th anniversary indicates that they are playing safe. January 15, 2006 at 2:05pm Reply

  • Sonia: I finally had a chance to smell Hypnôse yesterday and found it to be just as described in the review,it is amazing and so soft..I wear Hypnotic Poison and found it neat to see that it is the same perfumer.
    I asked for a sample vial but i will purchase the pretty bottle very soon! March 22, 2006 at 6:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Sonia, glad to hear that you are enjoying it! I also love knowing the perfumers behind each fragrance, because I discover that I am drawn to their creations. Love Hypnotic Poison! March 23, 2006 at 11:23pm Reply

  • Jason: I wonder if you tried the edp or the edt? I preferred the toilette, as it seemed to balance the vetiver and gourmand/sweet notes well, whereas the eau de parfum seemed too gourmand? Actually, now I’m not so sure – perhaps I have them the wrong way around! November 17, 2006 at 2:57am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Jason, I am fairly certain that my samples was the EDT. It was definitely not as heavy and sweet as the EDP. November 17, 2006 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Snoo: Wonderful detailed description. I can’t wait to get the perfume on Thursday, you seem to be really pleased with this perfume. December 10, 2006 at 12:50pm Reply

  • BGfan: The EDP is in happier hands now. Loved the opening notes, but I absoultely hate the drydown, there is something reeking of synthetic that simply doesn’t belong… May 24, 2007 at 3:08pm Reply

  • Nas: Hi V. Hypnose is really mild and marvellous. I’ll recommend it for anyone interested in the mild and light fragrance December 26, 2007 at 6:45am Reply

  • Sebastiaan: Hi V,

    Great review, what do you think of Hypnose for Men?

    Thanks! March 21, 2013 at 9:09am Reply

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