Mathilde Bijaoui: 3 posts

Etat Libre d’Orange Bijou Romantique : Perfume Review

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Perfume names can be tricky. Noir leads you to imagine something glamorous and wickedly mysterious. You read Sport on the perfume bottle and before you even smell the top notes, you anticipate sharp citrus and lavender. Based on the name Etat Libre d’Orange Bijou Romantique, which in French means “a romantic jewel,” you’d expect something suitable for women who love kittens and wear far too much pink. I can almost hear Emily Howard from Little Britain saying, “It’s a lady’s perfume, and I’m a lady, you see.”

Now, as a woman who loves kittens—and really, who doesn’t!—and has enough pink accessories to dress up the whole city of Brussels, I don’t mind frilly and girly perfumes. But it’s not fair to call Bijou Romantique a frou-frou fragrance. It has a dose of retro charm thanks to its delicately powdered iris and jasmine, but the earthy vetiver and peppery bergamot give it an elegant austerity. Take a deeper inhale, and you suddenly realize that it’s a sibling of Shalimar, one of Guerlain’s crown jewels and the grandest of grand parfums.

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Lalique Hommage a l’Homme : Fragrance Review

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The combination of violet and oud is like a romance between Doris Day and Cary Grant—one is wholesome and innocent, the other is dark and smoldering. Yet, just as Day and Grant set the screen on fire in the comedy, “That Touch of Mink,” violet and oud can be an irresistible pairing as I discovered through Lalique Hommage à l’homme.

Hommage à l’homme is the newest Lalique perfume created by perfumers Christine Nagel and Mathilde Bijaoui. It’s a masculine fragrance, and while it’s much too virile for me personally, I would gladly smell it on men around me. You will not find typical masculine cologne elements wrapped into the elegant shape of Hommage à l’homme. It’s the fragrance equivalent of a leading man in a classic Hollywood film—dashing, suave, and sophisticated. Hommage à l’homme smells like something worn by Cary Grant, whether he dashes around the French Riviera with Grace Kelly or tries to woo Doris Day with mink coats and champagne.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Tilda Swinton Like This : Perfume Review

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Likethis

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

Recently I found myself wishing for a woody oriental fragrance, where woods take the center stage, as opposed to the gourmand effects. While I love a mouthwatering dessert of a fragrance a la Lolita Lempicka or Prada Candy, I am even more partial to dark, rich blends with dry woody and incense accents. One such favorite is Etat Libre d’Orange Like This. Created in collaboration with the actress Tilda Swinton, Like This is a strange and unconventional blend. It is a cross between the woody richness of Serge Lutens Douce Amère and the smoldering darkness of Donna Karan Chaos, with plenty of its own surprising elements.

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