Perfume Review: LeLong Pour Femme

Review coming later on today… The CEO’s been out of town and consequently, things have been busier than usual for me.  He got back last night (the dog is thrilled), so I’ll post this afternoon.

Here’s a photo of LpF – is this bottle not bizarre? Huge comment-fest re the bottle on the Posse when Anita (Musette) reviewed it in December. What would you expect the fragrance inside this bottle to smell like?  I’m thinkin’ Charo…

Image from the Lucien LeLong website.  Here is the official website description of Pour Femme: This unique floral oriental fragrance melds bright mandarin and bergamot, which add a sparkling effect to the rich top notes of magnolia flowers, garden lilac and Kadota Fig Intenscent. The timeless beauty of jasmine, rose de mai, tuberose, ylang ylang, and iris is highlighted with the distinctive signature notes of sharry baby orchid, purple cattleya orchid, and white cattleya orchid. A smooth oriental background of creamy sandalwood, vetivert, oakmoss, and musk completes this fragrance.

Okay, so it’s a floriental – one of my favorite categories.  Typically, florientals (or floral orientals, or oriental florals, or however you want to put it) are rich with heavier florals and round with amber, or vanilla.  Favorite florientals of mine: Amouage Lyric and Ubar, Caron Aimez-Moi and Parfum Sacre’, Donna Karan Gold, Natori, Shalimar Light, Chamade… the list goes on. 

But LeLong pour femme is far lighter than many of those I just listed.  No Charo here at all!  LPF carries in its top notes some lovely fresh lilac, as well as the lemony-creamy smoothness of magnolia.  I confess that I’ve never eaten, or even seen, fresh figs, although I love the dried ones (and prefer Mission to Calimyrna, BTW), so perhaps the Kadota fig note is escaping me.  I’d expect that note to be fruity and sweet and rich, but the first half-hour of this scent is so springlike and fresh.  That’s followed by a heart of very well-blended florals, in which I smell mostly the orchid.  Orchid notes tend to stand out to me in compositions as being more texture than smell – generally floral, but  smooth like satin.  I do smell the classic blend of rose-jasmine-ylang, but nothing sticks out, not even the tuberose.   The base doesn’t seem to contain any of the deep, rich, sweet vanilla or amber or incense that you might expect. There’s some sandalwood (probably the Australian version, judging by its brightness), and it does have a creamy quality that I would have attributed to the orchid notes.  Sharry Baby orchid supposedly smells like a floral version of a really good chocolate bar – vanilla and sweet chocolate, and that may be what’s imparting a light vanilla character to the scent.

I don’t know that I’d wear this in the summer, even though it’s much lighter than your standard floriental; it certainly gets hot and humid enough around here that I tend to put my florientals away for fall.  But I think LPF would be just perfect for chilly spring weather.  I wore it lightly applied to work, but I do think it would probably be more appropriate for evening,  because it’s very, very feminine — downright curvy, if you get what I mean.   It’s beautiful. 

A word about that bottle: somebody at the Posse said, “Flava Flav wearing a leopard-print cape,” and that was so startlingly right that I had to laugh.  The top is supposed to be tortoiseshell, and the clock is supposed to evoke timelessness, but I have to say that although I haven’t touched the bottle itself, just seen pictures, I think the bottle is a Big Fail.  I’m appalled.  It looks nothing like the fragrance smells, and I think the bottle would be a deterrent to purchase.  Which is a shame, because LPF is really lovely, gentle, and feminine.  It feels like a pale-pink off-the-shoulder cashmere sweater: classic, womanly, sensual.

LeLong Pour Femme was released in 1990; no perfumer is accredited by the LeLong website.  It occasionally pops up on ebay, but the LeLong website is probably the best deal available: 1 oz. parfum for $325 (eek), or 50ml eau de parfum for $80 shipped and 100ml edp for $105.  I tested the edp, and it’s got plenty of staying power.  Three little dabs from a sample vial last six hours on me.

Review Report: Flora (Donna) at Perfume-Smellin’ Things, Donna guest post at Aromascope, and Musette (Anita) guest post at Perfume Posse.  That Donna gets around with her LeLong Pour Femme, doesn’t she? My sample came from her, and apparently so did Anita’s.  Donna is a voluntary LPF recruiter, and she’s gotten several of us signed up.  I’m seriously considering getting a bottle to split over at the google group…

Share