Apothia L Eau de Parfum : Fragrance Review



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

Apothia L Eau de Parfum is the chord of iris fading into the green musky sweetness. Iris is the scent of chill, and its fascinating interplay of rooty and floral facets finds a range of expressions in the perfumery, from the smooth richness woven into the emerald tonality of Chanel No. 19 to the rooty iciness pervading Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. In contrast to the melancholy aura of many iris based compositions, L Eau de Parfum explores the brightness of iris, enlivening its proud stance with a scintillating spicy ornamentation. As much as I love the aloof elegance of many iris perfumes, the unsentimental and vibrant iris is always a welcome encounter, especially given the fact that such explorations are relatively rare.

For those familiar with Divine L’Homme de Coeur, L Eau de Parfum will be a very interesting discovery, since both of these iris perfumes were created by Yann Vasnier….

The iris is rendered as vegetal, much like its elegantly fresh variant in L’Homme de Coeur; however while the latter allows the note to retain a silvery hue, much like the thin crisp foil shrouding the half-opened iris buds, L Eau de Parfum is accented with the ambery sweetness and the green radiance.

The soft musky drydown rounds out the crushed stems and petals effect, retaining the subtle verdancy against the muted backdrop of amber. Although L Eau de Parfum is marketed as a feminine fragrance, it eschews the obvious sweetness or floral richness in favor of transparent green notes. Even the more substantial base accord does not overwhelm the delicate floral vignette of the heart. While L’Homme de Coeur will always retain its place among my favorites, L Eau de Parfum is definitely a fragrance for those with a penchant for iris rendered in a manner that is anything but conventionally feminine.

L Eau de Parfum was inspired by The L Word, the Showtime series, and from what I understand the viewers of the show were asked questions that subsequently contributed to the creation of the perfume. Apothia L Eau de Parfum includes notes of angelica, juniper, cardamom, violet leaf, Florentine orris butter, vetiver, sandalwood, musk and crystal amber. The fragrances and samples are available directly from Apothia.

Please see reviews of other iris focused fragrances:

As4 “Curated by Colette” Three as Four Parfum
Caron Narcisse Blanc
Cerruti 1881 Collection
Christian Dior Homme
Frédéric Malle L’Eau d’Hiver
Frédéric Malle Iris Poudré
Guerlain Attrape-Coeur / Guet-Apens
Guerlain Après l’Ondée
Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
Guerlain L’Instant Eau de Noël Iris Millésime
Lanvin Arpège Pour Homme
The Different Company Bois d’Iris

Photo: iris in the snow, from www.srgc.org.uk/ bulblog/050203/log.html



  • Victoria O: Nice review, it’s on my list!
    :O) February 20, 2006 at 3:17am Reply

  • Judith: Wonderful review! I sent away for a sample a little while ago, and now I can’t wait to get it! I take it you still prefer l’homme de coeur? February 20, 2006 at 9:19am Reply

  • Marlen: sounds wonderful, thanks for the review, V! February 20, 2006 at 4:56am Reply

  • Marina: Bright iris scent sound wonderful -and different! Now that you mentioned that they sell samples, I will finally get to know this line 🙂 Thank you for enabling 🙂 February 20, 2006 at 8:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, if you like iris and amber, you would love this fragrance. I would be curious to read your review! February 20, 2006 at 1:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marls, I actually think that a man can easily wear this fragrance. It is not overly feminine and perhaps even rather unisex. February 20, 2006 at 1:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I have ordered already several times from Apothia, and in every single case, the package would arrive within days. Very good service. Samples are $5 for a large deluxe size, so I definitely recommend trying L. February 20, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, I love the brightness and dryness of L’Homme de Coeur. It is a very special composition, and I cannot imagine being without my bottle. However, L Eau de Parfum is a great fragrance for those days when I would like something a touch sweeter. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on it. February 20, 2006 at 1:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, do you see it as “alternative lifestyle fragrance”? I would not have made the link, if it were not for the original inspiration of the show (which I admit I have not seen, but I have heard and read about it). I like the fact that as a feminine fragrance, L has a restrained aspect about it. I would agree that it has a masculine touch within its structure. February 20, 2006 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Linda: Sounds like a winner! You know, I began to love iris. Today I am wearing Iris Silver Mist thanks to you. 🙂 February 20, 2006 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Robin: Great review, V, and very much looking forward to trying this one. Is the cardamom pronounced? February 20, 2006 at 3:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, you should definitely try it. It is really lovely. February 20, 2006 at 4:33pm Reply

  • Cait: I love this one. It is quite a bit warmer due to the fireworks of the basenotes, which I see as the addition to the scent along with the iris butter. As I commented when I reviewed this one, the interesting thing will be to see how many mainstream women are willing to buy an “alternative lifestyle” scent. Based on how great this is, I should hope people overcome their prejudice. I love both L’homme de coeur and L. February 20, 2006 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Katie: ACK! Yet another positive take on L! Gah, I AM going to have to try this sooner or later. Thanks V. February 20, 2006 at 2:11pm Reply

  • Cait: I guess I don’t see the fragrance as inherently lesbotical, though it is being sold with a name that associates it, so I wondered whether mainstream women would go for it. I haven’t seen the show either, I admit. As for the perfume, I shall utter my most articulate: YUM. February 20, 2006 at 4:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, glad to hear that I was able to sway you. 🙂 Iris is one of my favourite notes, and I am always looking forward to trying fragrances exploring it. February 20, 2006 at 4:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I think that you might like it, especially since you love L’Homme de Coeur. Cardamom is fairly obvious to me, although it fades in the heart. February 20, 2006 at 4:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, L is also the new name for Lolita Lempicka fragrance. Interesting that you brought up the connotation issue, because I did not even think about that. Perhaps, I was too absorbed into the fact that it was another iris fragrance by Yann Vasnier whose work I really admire. February 20, 2006 at 4:39pm Reply

  • violetnoir: This sounds lovely, V. I will have to test it soon.

    Hugs and love! February 21, 2006 at 11:28am Reply

  • Tara: Oh dear, I sense a major lemming. I love L’Homme de Coeur and iris scents in general! February 21, 2006 at 7:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, please let me know what you think!
    Lots of hugs. February 21, 2006 at 2:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, I would imagine you enjoying L very much! Do post your thoughts when you try, please. February 22, 2006 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Miriam: I’m sorry, but “Lesbotical”? Is that even a word? Why not just say “lesbian”? Though I prefer to use the term “Sapphic” . . .

    I do confess to finding it a bit strange that one perfume could be inspired or created with the L-Word show in mind– considering that the show has so many different and diverse characters. I find the show very tiresome, although perhaps this is because it’s really more about fashion and style than drama. However, I think I would love this scent– it sounds like the best bits of Ormonde and Hiris combined. February 23, 2006 at 11:19pm Reply

  • Miriam: PS to Cait– believe it or not, a large number of lesbians would consider themselves “mainstream.” February 23, 2006 at 11:20pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I would imagine that you might enjoy it, although the amber here is much sweeter and more trasparent than its counterpart in Ormonde. February 23, 2006 at 11:43pm Reply

  • Nancy: I’m a bit late in trying out the Apothia scents but, I must say that I’m really enjoying If and L. I’ve already picked up If in the oil and the perfume. Of course, I do seem to be going through a wild perfume oil period right now. I’ve also become addicted to Minnie Wilde’s Magic and I’m wishing that she made it in a body lotion as well as the perfume oil. I just received all of Sue Bolton’s oils and I’m test driving the Luv today…..and yes, I love it. I do have Kai and Child as well as Sage Machado Coral and Pearl. I don’t know what it is about these oils that’s making me so crazy but I just can’t keep my hands off of them! Being a perfumista isn’t easy, is it?! 🙂 Nanc August 30, 2007 at 10:59pm Reply

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