Lanvin Rumeur : Fragrance Review



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.



  • Nick: I wonder what would happen if they bottled the 1934 scent, with no reorchestration, and sent it out into the world with this new bottle and advertising. If you didn’t tell the modern consumer that it was a 30s composition, might they like it, love it, and the scent become a run away success?? Or is it just us perfume lovers who love the 30s?
    Perhaps I am not wondering, but rather fantasising…
    This new composition does sound interesting, though… August 24, 2006 at 5:54am Reply

  • marchlion: I keep trying to get my hands on the original, to go along with my vintage My Sin and Arpege (and Scandal on the way, I hope!) But I totally agree that this is a welcome change from the fruity-floral releases. It’s quite nice judged on its own merits, although I don’t like it as much as the current Arpege (or Arpege PH, for that matter.)

    Hope your move went well. August 24, 2006 at 6:46am Reply

  • chaya ruchama: Lovely bottle, pretty, but a far, far cry from the leathery dark chicte of the original… I wish they would just find a new name, especially when the new one is NOTHING like the first!

    I have a large vintage, and I own enough muguet type frags as it is.
    You write divinely [as always].

    Hope your new digs will soon feel like home, dear Zigeunerin! August 24, 2006 at 7:34am Reply

  • Laura: Another lovely-sounding fragrance,especially if the magnolia is discernable! August 24, 2006 at 5:17am Reply

  • Bela: The original Lanvin was my mother’s favourite perfume. I own a bottle of it (sent to me by a lovely friend, a few years ago). It’s a wonderful fragrance – in no way outdated.

    You make the new Rumeur sound very attractive, V, but I think Lanvin have been dishonest: since it has nothing to do with the original, it really shouldn’t bear its name.

    They’ve closed down the fashion side of their operation, haven’t they? It’s quite obvious the current Lanvin label has nothing to do with the original either. August 24, 2006 at 6:40am Reply

  • Bela: Oops, meant, ‘The original Rumeur was my mother’s favourite perfume.’, of course. August 24, 2006 at 6:42am Reply

  • Robin: Will I like it? August 24, 2006 at 12:43pm Reply

  • Marina: The old Rumeur swept me off my feet the moment I smelled it. So much va va voom there, amazing scent. Clearly the new one is going to be nothing like that, but I can certainly appreciate romantic loveliness. Thank you very much for the review! August 24, 2006 at 8:58am Reply

  • Elle: As always, a gorgeous review and I must try this scent, but, like Bela, I just wish they had not called it Rumeur. I had been hoping for a reworking of it the way Piguet has respectfully reworked their classics. This may be a truly beautiful scent, but it’s just not related to the original Rumeur. However, it is a great name and maybe they figured that only a limited number of people would remember the original, so why not take advantage of having rights to that original name. Well, whatever the case may be, I do look forward to sampling this and will just mentally rename it for them. 🙂 August 24, 2006 at 1:13pm Reply

  • ambroxan: Rumeur is not so bad. But I tried to do like the model and hold the bottle by the ring. I almost broke the flacon.
    Concerning Soir de Lune, the scent is particularly awful. For me it’s ‘un ratage’. Mighty, naughty, no elegance or poésie. Very 80’s like (dark chypre fruity). And pretentious : > 70 € the 30 ml. But practical to get a seat in the subway when it’s full. August 24, 2006 at 1:20pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Laura, seringa is the most dominant floral note to me. Overall, it is very pretty. August 24, 2006 at 1:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, I would guess that to the majority of the fragrance consumers it would definitely have an old-fashioned feel. However, if you like dark fruity chypre, you will enjoy the original Rumeur. August 24, 2006 at 1:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Bela, it was Rochas’s fashion division that got closed recently by P&G. Lanvin is still quite vibrant, and I think that Elbaz was able to pay homage to the traditional Lanvin spirit. I do like his collections.

    As for the name recycling, I have to agree with you, on the one hand. On the other hand, knowing how complicated the acquisition of rights to a new name tends to be, I do not fault Lanvin for choosing to go down the easier road. At least, the fragrance is interesting. August 24, 2006 at 1:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Bela, I also heard that Rumeur is similar to Sikkim. Do you think that it is true? I have not tried Sikkim recently, so perhaps, I should revisit it after I am done unpacking. August 24, 2006 at 1:39pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I will always be partial to Arpege out of the current Lanvin lineup. It is an example of a very successful reorchestration. August 24, 2006 at 1:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, indeed, it cannot be more different. There are some classical elements about it, but overall it is definitely much more in the NR for Her range than in the chypre family. August 24, 2006 at 1:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, I have been wearing it over the past 2 weeks, and it has grown on me. It also projects well. August 24, 2006 at 1:42pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, it has a nice woody-musky base, supporting and tempering the floral heart. August 24, 2006 at 1:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, somehow, it does not seem like something you tend to like. Still, you may surprise me yet again. 🙂 August 24, 2006 at 1:44pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I also hoped for the reissue like Piguet has done, but alas… Actually, I am wearing the new Baghari today, and it is quite alluring–a classical aldehydic floral bouquet, a la Le Dix or L’Interdit. The top notes is where the biggest difference from the original might be observed, but the heart and the base do not seem to be too removed from the original 1950 version. I will compare them side by side later. August 24, 2006 at 1:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ambroxan, I am not sure what it is like in the Netherlands, but it will take much more than Soir de Lune to get a seat on NYC subway. August 24, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • violetnoir: V, how was the move? It’s so good to “see” you. :):)

    I am going to test this, but I don’t think I will like it. I mean, who needs another Narciso Rodrigues? And to be honest, I tend not to like magnolia in fragrances. Magnolias smell magnificent. Magnolia notes in fragrances usually don’t smell so great to me.

    What about Crescendo and Scandal? Any chance they will be re-released (but probably re-formulated, huh?)?

    Hugs! August 24, 2006 at 3:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I am still not done with the move. I still need to transport my belongings, but for the time being, there is plenty of work and the transportation has to wait a bit.

    Magnolia is not prominent here, but rather it is the jasmine and seringa that dominate. I cannot say that it is another NR, although they share some similarities. I hoped for something edgier too, but I have to admit that it is a pretty composition. Of course, those who expected the original Rumeur are going to be sorely disappointed to discover that it is nothing like it.

    I am a skeptic about the reissues in general. If Crescendo and Scandal were to be released again, I am certain that they will be nothing like the originals. August 24, 2006 at 4:17pm Reply

  • Ina: Thanks for your review, V.! Sounds like a must try, even though it might be too floral for my taste. August 24, 2006 at 12:18pm Reply

  • marchlion: V — Hahahahahaha on the subway comment! The DC subway is a victim of its own success — during rush hour I don’t think advanced pregnancy, a cane, Borneo and a cattle prod would get me a seat. August 24, 2006 at 4:52pm Reply

  • chaya ruchama: Oh, Vi-
    I’m with you re: Crescendo, and especially Scandal…. but I hold out little hope, I’m afraid. August 24, 2006 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Judith: I do love the original, so I was hoping this might be related, and was very disappointed that it’s not. I smelled it recently, and found it pretty, but nothing that I would wear. The (very) young woman spritzing next to me, however, was positively swooning. I think it will be a success.
    Really interested in hearing more about the Baghari. . . August 24, 2006 at 9:48pm Reply

  • Pat: I am SOOO disappointed that this isn’t the original scent which I loved in the 1960’s. Why use the name if its’ not the same? August 27, 2006 at 12:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, so true! I cannot even imagine what might work. August 28, 2006 at 1:53am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, I treasure my vintage bottles. However, who knows what might happen in the future. August 28, 2006 at 1:54am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, Baghari is definitely in the classical Piguet vein. It is such a wonderful discovery for anyone who loves the aldehydic florals. August 28, 2006 at 1:56am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Pat, the trademark registrations of new names are very expensive, therefore if companies can help it, they either recycle old names or use names that cannot be trademarked, such as the letters (L as in Lolita Lempicka L) or first names of designers (Ralph as in Ralph Lauren). I also hoped that Rumeur will be reissued; however, it appears that Lanvin wanted to create a brand new fragrance under that name. August 28, 2006 at 1:58am Reply

  • Katie: Such a shame they didn’t go for the Lancome angle, and try to bring back the old classic. Oh well, that’s how things go sometimes… Lanvin did it with their Vetyver, too, and while I do like the new, I still wish they’d have simply continued offering the old one and then have sold the new version under a different name. It’s a pity, really. September 5, 2006 at 9:32pm Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    i went back to your review of Arpege, and was inspired to try it beyond the smelling strip. Now, I do not know how I lived without it. LT has called it one of the easier of the floral aldehydes for men to wear. September 6, 2006 at 9:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, you are right. Vetyver suffered from this too. I am disappointed that the name was recycled and pasted onto a bottle filled with something quite different from the original Rumeur, but I have to be fair and admit that the fragrance is quite lovely. September 6, 2006 at 12:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, I am so glad to hear this! Arpege is one of those fragrances that are timeless, and even the reformulation has not diminished its beauty. September 6, 2006 at 12:35pm Reply

  • MiriamSilvana: What a stir this is causing. Clear article anyway. I am glad I tested Rumeur. Though I expected a more couture feel. Certainly, the name and the stir go together. Well, I think it is okay. I don´t know the 1934 orginal and can only compare the present Rumeur to the newer scents around.

    Even as it comes pricey I think Soir de Lune is majestic. Someone in the Netherlands didn´t like it very much. But then I must say this type is difficult for the folks here. (same for Eau du Soir)

    I thought I would definitely get hold of Narcisco Rodriguez until I tried Soir de Lune. Another one I tried recently is Maitresse by Agent Provocateur which is ´deeper´ than the first Agent and pushes Narcisco off your mind, I think. Then L´Insolent from Geurlain has arrived with both sophistication and individual romance or should we say it is more craftmenship?

    In the meantime I just saw an interesting view of Worth fragrances on the Harrods web, link Designer fragrances. A relaunch of Je Reviens and a new scent Courtisane. From the last name I would say it seems to be about ´lingerie´ at the moment. Do they happen to be on your list Victoria? September 22, 2006 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Desert Dreamer: I was SOOOOO disappointed with the new Rumeur.
    I wore it for years, through the mid 60s, and have been looking for it ever since. I heard that Lanvin went out of the fragrence business. I was notified that Rumeur was back, and I ordered two bottles, in case it disappeared again. One for the dark in back of the cool closet. Anyway, the scent is nothing the same, and I am glad to read that so many notice the same thing. I was beginning to think that someone just scratched off the old name, and printed Rumeur on the box, as it does not look very professional.
    Oh, for the “good ol’ days”! 🙂 December 31, 2006 at 1:07pm Reply

  • Lynn: I loved the original scent. I was very disappointed when I received the new version. Would reintroduce the original if only on a limited basis? April 13, 2007 at 5:24pm Reply

  • Lynn: I loved the original scent. I was very disappointed when I received the new version. Would reintroduce the original if only on a limited basis? April 13, 2007 at 5:24pm Reply

  • glowbug: This perfume has awed the people at the place where I work. I have people following me asking what it is, and whenever I wear it , its immediately recognizable and I get thanks from the staff. Its composed of all my favorite notes. Well done, Lanvin!!! November 16, 2007 at 12:13pm Reply

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