Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Lanvin Rumeur was originally created in 1934 by André Fraysse, a perfumer responsible for a number of Lanvin classics, from the sandalwood infused floral warmth of Arpège to the incense tinged Crescendo. Rumeur was Lanvin to the core—elegant and lighthearted, suffused with both the warm fruitiness and the intriguing mossy darkness. One could just imagine a wearer of this striking beaded grey taffeta gown trailing a dark chypre veil of Rumeur. …
It was immediately apparent that Rumeur (2006) was not going to take inspiration from Rumeur (1934). However, since Alber Elbaz, a head designer for Lanvin and one of the creative directors for Rumeur, has demonstrated his talent for combining the classical Lanvin romanticism with the edgy silhouettes and the modern elements, my hopes for Rumeur were quite high. Moreover, I was curious to see what Francis Kurkdjian (the author behind fragrances like Narciso Rodriguez For Her, Dior Eau Noire and Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Mâle) would offer as his interpretation of Lanvin look.
Indeed, like Elbaz’s jewel-toned draped cocktail dresses, Rumeur is easy to wear. The effect of warm silk clinging to the skin is conjured by layering the transparent floral accords over a soft woody-musky base and accenting the arrangement with crisp, fruity aldehydes. The subtlety of indolic notes and the gentle sweetness underpinning the floral heart lend a delicate quality to the composition. Oscillating between a flower corsage and a transparent silk dress, Rumeur is marked by the romantic loveliness, rather than the edgy modernism I originally expected. In terms of its character, it reminds me of Narciso Rodriguez For Her, which also conjures the screechy feel of raw silk. Just like I remarked about Sisley Soir de Lune, the elegance of the composition might find resonance among those who are tired of candy floss and pink berries flooding the feminine market this fall. Although not what I would deem dramatic, Rumeur has enough presence to leave an impression.
Lanvin Rumeur features magnolia, white roses, jasmine sambac, seringa, orange blossom, lily of the valley, patchouli, musks, ambroxan. Lanvin fragrances are available from Saks5thAvenue, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.