L’Artisan Mandarine Tout Simplement : Perfume Reviews



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

The mandarin peel unravels in a loose curl, revealing translucent fleshy segments. The newest fragrance from L’Artisan, Mandarine tout simplement (2006) is an uncomplicated vignette based around the sweet citrus. If I close my eyes and inhale the scent emanating from my wrist, the image of glossy orange spheres is so vivid that my mouth begins to water. The sweet and tart facets are wonderfully balanced, with the composition eschewing the acidic bite that characterizes many citrus fragrances.

Nevertheless, this poem is far too succinct, because after bursting into a mouthwatering firework of citrus, Mandarine tout simplement slowly begins to soften into a somewhat watery floral. It is still quite pretty, especially since the pairing of sweet citrus and floral accents reminds me of a similar accord in En Passant. And then it simply vanishes, as one might expect from a light summery citrus—a teasing glimpse of thirst quenching fruit. …

The lasting power is perhaps not the main reason why Mandarine would not have entered my citrus repertoire. For all of its loveliness, it seems as far too photorealistic and linear. The first few times one experiences it, the story is quite appealing, but quickly its charm is lost, along with the last traces of mandarins. Indeed, some themes require more elaboration, tout simplement.

Mandarine Tout Simplement includes notes of green mandarin, ginger, frangipani, yellow mandarin, red mandarin orange and white cedar. L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances are available at Aedes, Barneys New York, Beautycafe, Bergdorf Goodman, Bluemercury, Luckyscent, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and Theperfumeshoppe.



  • mc: I think you’ll be more impressed with Fou d’Absinthe, Victoria. It’s very good, the best new Artisan release for ages in my opinion. Not particularly unusual, unless absinthe can be counted as unusual these days, when it seems that every bar has several bottles behind the counter, but a fairly true representation of the absinthe note. Some sweet anise takes the edge of the bitterness, unfortunately, but this soon fades (I don’t like aniseed notes in perfume – they make me thirsty by reminding me of drinking Ricard in the sun).

    Base notes are pretty much pure pine. Not lavatory freshener pine, though I can imagine some reviewers will notice this comparison, but fresh pine like those old fashioned men’s colognes like Aramis and Pino Sylvestre(?sp).

    The Artisan flagship boutique beside St Germain l’Auxerrois has a sneak preview bottle behind the counter, if any of your readers are in Paris. April 24, 2006 at 4:03am Reply

  • marchlion: V, I am an unabashed orange fan and have really been looking forward to this, although I’ve heard mixed reviews. You commented on its photorealism. Can you please offer a comparison to L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger? Also, do you have a favorite orange? (Somehow I am thinking it is not your thing!) Thank you. April 24, 2006 at 8:54am Reply

  • Laura: I was disappointed with this one, as you were. I noted more of the cedar than you mention noting, but all in all, it is a very vapid fragrance. Giacobetti and l’Artisan can do so,so much better than this—and have, often. I wonder what caused this misstep. April 24, 2006 at 8:16am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, it sounds wonderful! Olivia Giacobetti must have taken a new route, because I hear that Fou d’Absinthe is rather longlasting and done in a completely new style, which differs from her characteristic transparency. Would you agree with this? April 24, 2006 at 12:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, yes, it does have some cedar, which is a common pairing with citrus. I just did not bother mentioning it, because it charts a somewhat predictable course of development for the composition. I did like the initial few minutes though. April 24, 2006 at 12:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, do you mean orange peel/fruit or orange blossom, because they do not smell much alike. Mandarine (here it is a rendition of a mandarin fruit) is also less astrigent than oranges tend to be and the end result is sweeter than oranges. As for orange blossom, like L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger, it is a white floral with a tart, green facet. There is a subtle floral accent in Mandarine, but the peel and fruit notes dominate. April 24, 2006 at 12:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, oh, it is not like En Passant overall, although one facet of Mandarine reminds me of Giacobetti’s previous creation for Frederic Malle. Overall, yes, it is fairly linear and simple. Even though it is meant to be a simple rendition of mandarin, the end result leaves me wishing for some twist on the theme. April 24, 2006 at 12:53pm Reply

  • violetnoir: V, I love orange and I adore frangipani. Simply adore it!

    After reading your reveiw, however, I’m thinking that this new L’Artisan may be worth testing if and when I see it, but if the lasting power is poor, I will not be buying it.

    Hugs and love! April 24, 2006 at 12:54pm Reply

  • marchlion: Both! 😉 To me they smell rather alike… I mean, they both smell like they came from an orange tree. I assumed, I guess correctly, that Mandarine would be more fruit and less flower, hence more green and less sweet than Fleur d’Oranger. Your less-than-enthusiastic review has not entirely killed off my interest, however. I imagine that, like most things, I will feel compelled to hunt it down and smell it. Thanks. April 24, 2006 at 1:09pm Reply

  • biagio: first of all i have to say that i cant stand at all all the hesperidic effluves maybe cos i was born in sicily and when i was a child i smelled everywhere oranges,lemons,nectarines,cedar today i cant even eat them cos i simply hate the smell.for what concerns l’artisan creation i will not buy at all this last one maybe i will try the absynthe but im so scared about the fact that great part of l’artisan creations have not so much lasting power,the only ones that i really like are voleur de roses and figuier extreme, i hate the idea to spend such a lot of money for fragrances that lasts few seconds on my skin April 24, 2006 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Marina: I have been strangely indifferent to this new L’Artisan, I guess I suspected what you lovely review confirms: that it would be pretty but too linear and rather faint. And now that you mentioned En Passant, the lemming, weak as it was, is truly dead. 🙂 April 24, 2006 at 9:38am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, you should definitely seek it out. It is quite lovely, but I find that it does not last well. Still, if you are looking for something delicate and light for the summer, then you might discover that Mandarine might be just the right thing for that. April 24, 2006 at 2:14pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, it is the opposite from what you assumed–Mandarine is sweeter and less green than Fleur d’Oranger. Then again, Mandarine is a rendition of mandarin, not orange, and the mandarin fruit is by its nature much sweeter than oranges tend to be. I have some mandarin cold-pressed essential oil, and it is delicious and almost candy-sweet, especially when compared to orange oils. April 24, 2006 at 2:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I have not been that enchanted with L’Artisan lately, although now that the spring is here, I am much more interested in their light, delicate fragrances. What seems dull in the cold of winter, turns more interesting in the heat. April 24, 2006 at 2:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Biagio, I agree. I want my fragrance to last for at least an hour. Otherwise, it really seems unsatisfying. Do you like other fragrances from L’Artisan? April 24, 2006 at 2:42pm Reply

  • marchlion: V, that was very interesting. I’ve eaten way more than my share of satsumas and I find them sweeter, but their primary appeal to me is their astonishing juiciness. The mandarin essential oil sounds lovely! However, your report that Mandarine is even sweeter than Fleurs d’Oranger is now killing off my desire… that was plenty sweet enough for me. April 24, 2006 at 2:54pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, do try it. I find it a little bit difficult to compare citrus peel and citrus blossoms, because their smell is different enough and they serve different purposes in the compositions. Fleur d’Oranger is a flower, therefore its sweetness is laced with indoles (plus, the composition is accented with honey), none of which are present in Mandarine. Mandarine is just what it is described as–mandarine fruit. If you are familiar with mandarins, you will know the fragrance right away. It is very juicy upon the first few minutes, but later on it flattens and assumes a floral-woody twist, but the fruitiness still dominates. April 24, 2006 at 3:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, I cannot agree more. Divine Bergamote stands unrivaled for me at this point. I wished for something like IUNX Latin Water, however I have to admit that my interest in it disappears quickly. April 24, 2006 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Tania: Well, that sounds about as I imagined it would go. L’Artisan has been more miss than hit lately (I liked Safran Troublant, not much else of late). I’ve got high hopes for Fou d’Absinthe. Thanks for the review! April 24, 2006 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Diane: Sounds nice but unexciting. And if you think about it: how much pizzazz can you inject into a refreshing citrus fragrance? Maybe nice for sweltering summer heat, but there are quite a few of those that I can’t imagine bumping off, like Divine Bergamote. April 24, 2006 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Robin: What is with this spring, V? It is dismal, dismal, dismal. April 24, 2006 at 8:49pm Reply

  • Cheezwiz: Well, I think I must go sample this one despite the fact that it seems light & inconsequential. I love all kinds of orange fragrances and am curious to see what this one is like! I’m also a fan of many of Olivia Giacobetti’s scents.

    Plus the Mandarine bottle is cute! April 24, 2006 at 9:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I made discoveries of Terre d’Hermes and Sel de Vetiver, so at least, there is something interesting from Ellena family. Overall, I agree with you–this spring did not bring that many gems. April 24, 2006 at 9:30pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cheezwiz, I would still recommend trying it, because if you like Giacobetti fragrances and light citruses, Mandarine might be a very pleasant discovery. April 24, 2006 at 9:31pm Reply

  • mc: Victoria,

    I’m not sure about a completely new style for Fou d’Absinthe as it seems quite traditional to me, but it is a departure in that it is very long lasting and quite heavy – green, woody and spicy – so that’s a change anyway. It’s good.

    A poor spring? Terre d’Hermes disappointed me, I’m still waiting for Eau de Lierre, I liked Fou d’Absinthe and I loved Sel de Vetiver… that’s not bad, is it? Of course there are countless summer editions and fresh editions and painted bottle editions – perhaps more than in previous years – but life is too short to list, never mind try all of these. April 25, 2006 at 4:06am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mike, a change is something I am looking forward to. Many of L’Artisan fragrances are quite ethereal, even the ones that are dark and rich.

    Flankers are getting very boring. If I see news of yet another flanker coming out, I simply ignore them. You are right–life is too short to bother with such things. April 25, 2006 at 2:24pm Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Hello: there is an orange blossom/leather I like very much although it is not talked about much, it’s Arquiste Infanta en flor, perhaps you might like to tryb, it is… December 2, 2023 at 12:19pm

  • A in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Could anyone recommend an orange blossom (more white floral than green) scent for the wintertime? I find myself gravitating to Neroli Oranger by Matiere Premiere, which is so warm and… December 2, 2023 at 5:54am

  • Notturno7 in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: Hi Amy, you might like Private Collection by Estée Lauder. I enjoy it and it’s a lovely chypre. Victoria gave it a 5 star review. I found a bottle of… November 30, 2023 at 6:30am

  • Tamasin in Recommend Me a Perfume : November 2023: I was given a 2mls sample of Arabesque by Ormonde Jayne a few weeks ago when I bought a candle. I actively disliked the perfume when I first tried it… November 30, 2023 at 4:00am

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2023 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy