Caudalie Parfum Divin : Perfume Review

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“If you like Huile Divine, you should try Parfum Divin,” said the red lipsticked Caudalie sales associate at the local pharmacy, looking bored as she enumerated its features, carefully folding her manicured fingers one by one–trendy scent, big sillage and the fact that it smells exactly like the dry oil.

caudalie

Since Caudalie’s Huile Divine is easily as fragrant and tenacious as any perfume, I didn’t understand why the last point was a draw. Wouldn’t it make sense just to buy the dry oil and have not only the perfume but also a terrific skincare product? But what the beautiful Caudalie rep didn’t mention was that Parfum Divin follows the same idea of Nuxe’s Prodigieux, Le Parfum–take the aroma of the cult favorite dry oil and turn it into perfume.

Creating a successful perfume for a body care product takes considerable effort, since adapting the aroma to the oil base is more more complicated than diluting it in alcohol. Caudalie partnered with Jacques Cavallier of Alexander McQueen KingdomStella McCartney Stella and Yves Saint Laurent Nu fame to create the fragrance for both the dry oil and the perfume.

Unfortunately, going from oil to perfume doesn’t seem to be easy, as Prodigieux, Le Parfum demonstrated as well. Like Nuxe’s effort, Parfum Divin doesn’t tempt me, a loyal dry oil wearer. The perfume starts on a sharp, plastic-like note, and if I close my eyes, it can easily be mistaken for a shower gel or shampoo. The noble essences like Bulgarian rose absolute and Moroccan rose essence, about which the press release goes on in some length, might be there, but all I smell is a persistent synthetic wood that tingles my nose. Eventually, it’s diluted by the neon bright rose, for which no real roses have suffered, and sheer, lemony jasmine.

If you wait an hour or so, the rest of the fragrance becomes pleasant. The sharpness recedes under the layer of caramelized vanilla and fluffy musk that smells like freshly washed sheets. A hint of green fruit adds a bright, juicy note, while the rose leaves a tinge of honeyed warmth. Parfum Divin doesn’t smell like some heavenly ambrosia, but it’s not entirely dull either.

The only question is whether it’s worth it. 50 ml of perfume will set you back 43 €, while a similarly sized bottle of oil is only 15 €. The oil has a sophisticated aroma of woody roses and vanilla, and it lasts so well that wearing any perfume on top of it would be superfluous. I’m personally skipping Parfum Divin and instead putting my money towards Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir and lip balms.

Parfum Divin includes the notes of rose, pink pepper, musk and vanilla. Available at pharmacies in Europe, and Sephora in the US. 50 ml/42,60 €

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40 Comments

  • Patricia: Huile Divine is so lovely and housed in such a beautiful bottle that it has a permanent position on my nightstand. Although I usually wear it at bedtime, there is no reason not to bring it out during the day and I will start doing that.

    (And I’m a big fan of the lip balm, too!) Sounds like l can skip the Parfum Divine. June 26, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I love the oil, and I’ve alternated it with Nuxe. Parfum Divin is at every single pharmacy right now, so I was curious to try it. I think I will just stick with Caudalie’s skincare and fragrant oil. June 26, 2014 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Merlin: Think I will stick with the oil since I like its scent but perhaps not as much as I like the scent of my perfumes, anyway!

    I was just wondering about the wooden lid of the oil. It seems not to hold onto the bottle but just sit on top rather uselessly. The others on the shelf all looked the same when I bought it at the airport, but I don’t think its available where I live so there is no way to inquire…

    I love the round bottle and probably chose it over the Nuxe just because the Nuxe was more angular, lol! June 26, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

    • Victoria: My lid fits tightly and doesn’t fall off, but my bottle is about a year old. The testers at the store don’t have the lids on, but I will pay attention next time I see the testers. The bottle is definitely more comfortable to spray. June 26, 2014 at 1:56pm Reply

  • irem: Tell me about the tenacity of the oil version. Once I got a travel sized bottle of the oil for a tropic vacation. I loved the smell in the heat and the lush greenery and flowers around. It felt right at home among the frangipani. However, back in the Midwest winter I could not stand the smell of the oil. Something in it smelled like worn underwear. I had to wash all my clothes TWICE to get the last traces of the scent out. June 26, 2014 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you don’t like the scent, it’s just about impossible to remove. It really wears like iron! :) June 26, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

  • Ann: I still haven’t tried Nuxe Oil. Is it good for dry skin? I read that dry oils can make skin even drier. June 26, 2014 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: If the dry oil contains silicones, then yes, it might make your skin feel drier over time. But Nuxe doesn’t contain them as far as I know, and yes, it’s moisturizing enough. I use it almost daily in the summer on my legs, and I’ve just received a small tester bottle of sparkling oil, and it’s terrific. June 26, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

      • Marieke: The sparkle is very pretty, but my bottle turned after 2 months. :( June 26, 2014 at 2:56pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s too bad! I much prefer the regular version, but I admit that the sparkle gives a nice sheen. Not sure I would buy a full bottle, but I like using my mini. June 27, 2014 at 4:35am Reply

    • annemariec: It’s funny you should mention that because I have dry(ish) skin and have had no luck with dry oils, and I’ve tried Nuxe, Caudalie and a rosehip oil from local Australian brand called Sukin. In all cases, while the oil is not greasy, it never really seems to absorb properly into the skin and sometimes, yes, my skin feels drier afterwards.

      For me a really good, enriching moisturiser works better than any oil. I mostly use a fragance free one from Aveeno (which is a Canadian brand I think, possibly not available in the US), and sometimes Kiehls Creme de Corps. June 26, 2014 at 11:03pm Reply

      • Victoria: Aveeno is sold in the US too, and I love their body lotions. I do miss it in Europe, so I ask my mom to buy it for me. June 27, 2014 at 4:50am Reply

        • annemariec: Oh good, always glad to meet another Aveeno fan. Maybe I was muddled about the Canadian connection. Maybe that’s Dermaveen, which also does a lot of oatmeal stuff. Oatmeal based products really seem to suit my skin. June 27, 2014 at 6:40am Reply

          • Victoria: I googled, and you’re right, it is a Canadian brand, but thankfully, it’s not kept only to Canada. :) I test drove the moisturizing qualities of Chanel’s fancy Creme pour les Corps, and Aveeno was a clear winner. June 27, 2014 at 7:32am Reply

  • Marieke: I always wanted a perfume that smelled like Nivea cream! June 26, 2014 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for Nivea, but I wonder how good it would smell in a regular alcoholic base. June 26, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

      • Marieke: My other favorite body product fragrance is Ambre Solaire. June 26, 2014 at 2:59pm Reply

        • Victoria: Smells like summer to me, even though I never using tanning lotions. :) June 27, 2014 at 4:37am Reply

    • annemariec: Frederic Malle’s Lipstick Rose reminds me of Nivea Cream, at least until the raspberry note kicks in. I like LR for that reason, although you could buy a TRUCKLOAD of Nivea cream for the price of one bottle of Lipstick Rose. :) June 26, 2014 at 10:52pm Reply

  • Annikky: I kind of see the point of the perfume version: I love the oil and its scent, but sometimes I just want to sprey and then the oil will not do. No doubt it makes commercial sense as well. The problem is that for me, it doesn’t smell much like the oil, except for a brief period in the beginning, and it doesn’t smell good enough to wear despite that. June 26, 2014 at 1:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that it made more sense for Nuxe, which had an established product, but in Caudalie’s case, it’s just confusing. They seem just to copy Nuxe, but they’re not doing it very well. And the perfume just doesn’t smell good. When I first tried it, I assumed that my sample was cooked, because the fragrance smelled like warm plastic. No, it turns out that’s just how Parfum Divin smells. :) June 26, 2014 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Aisha: A sharp, plastic note, huh? I think I’ll pass.

    I like the scent of Boscia’s Detoxifying Black Cleanser. I enjoy cleansing my face every morning and night now because of it. I don’t think it would make a great perfume though. ;-) June 26, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I didn’t make it too appealing, did I? :)

      I love the scent of Annick Goutal face cream, which smells like rosewater. June 27, 2014 at 4:39am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Ooh, I have to go along with your comments. After testing and smelling Nuxe several times I found it to be a turnoff. Caudalie’s Divine Dry Oil is a keeper and many of the wine based fragrances that I rarely find anymoe were fun to wear but I will seek out the perfume version if anything for curiousity alone. June 26, 2014 at 6:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do try it! Maybe, your experience will be better. I love the scent of oil, so I will stick with it for now. June 27, 2014 at 4:40am Reply

  • JC: to be honest, i’m not a big fan of the caudalie divine oil – too fruity, i prefer nuxe – but i find that these oils have strong enough fragrance that i don’t see the point in making a perfume version, especially since the price differential is so great. June 27, 2014 at 12:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, you’re right, it is fruity. I believe it is meant to capture the scent of green grapes. Nuxe is more of a coconut milk drenched white flossom. June 27, 2014 at 4:49am Reply

  • Michaela Ro: Dear V, can you please tell me which I should chose: Caudalie Oil or Nuxe? I cannot test any, I must blind order so… Which one smells better, with superior longevity and sillage? The price in my country is about the same. June 28, 2014 at 2:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Caudalie smells like a fruity rose, and Nuxe is a classical tropical scent of coconut and white flowers (frangipani). Both are long lasting and tenacious, so it depends what you like best. :) June 28, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

      • Victoria: P.S. I like the texture of Nuxe oil best, because it gets absorbed faster, but I really like the coquettish, fruity scent of Caudalie’s version. June 28, 2014 at 10:05am Reply

  • Austenfan: I have seen this in most of the pharmacies but for some reason haven’t tried it yet. Perhaps I had your cake stuffing in the back of my mind. I love the oil. I might even prefer it to the Nuxe. Another great dry oil is the 3 fleurs by Lierac, it smells of white flowers and is otherwise just as nice on the skin as either the Caudalie or the Nuxe. June 29, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve smelled it, and you’re right, the fragrance is very interesting. I haven’t tried the oil more than a couple of times, but I’ve already decided that it will be my next purchase after I’m done with my bottle of Nuxe. June 30, 2014 at 3:23am Reply

      • Austenfan: You might want to see if it isn’t offered at a discount in France at the moment I saw a lot of pharmacies offering discounts on Lierac.
        Another oil that is quite nice is the Sanoflor one. If my memory serves me right it smells a bit like Nuxe oil with some citrus added. June 30, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you, I will check when I return.

          Sanoflor products are excellent too, and I have a travel sized tube of their body lotion in my purse right now. June 30, 2014 at 4:39pm Reply

          • Austenfan: I am only familiar with their floral waters which are good. Have looked at their “creams and potions” in pharmacies but so far haven’t purchased. I undoubtedly will though, at some point. July 1, 2014 at 12:07pm Reply

            • Victoria: The tiny sizes are hard to resist. :) July 1, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Yes, and I love their packaging, which shouldn’t be a factor but is. For me more with skincare than with perfume funnily enough. July 3, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

                • Victoria: I hear you! Well-done packaging is even more important when it comes to skincare for me, and not nearly as much for perfume. For instance, I love pumps rather than open-mouth jars. July 4, 2014 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Daisy: I use the Huile Divine daily and love the scent. I was super excited about this, but now less so. I still want to smell it but will temper my expectations. July 1, 2014 at 12:34am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s still good to try it, especially if you enjoy the scent of oil very much. Maybe, it will work better on you than it did on me. July 1, 2014 at 5:49am Reply

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