Oriza L. Legrand samples

I was going to do my usual history-in-brief, but I think I’ll just link to the Fragrantica info on this perfume house, and get straight on to the frag reviews. My sample set came with seven scents, really nice sturdy 2ml sealed glass spray vials, and then I managed to scrounge up a couple more in the standard decant service 1ml dabber vials. Deep breath. Okay, I’ll start with the ones I didn’t hate and proceed from there.

Small historic church interiorReve D’Ossian – The name makes reference to Ossian, the purported author of a cycle of epic poems in Gaelic (really the 18th-century work of James MacPherson), and the notes are aldehydes, incense, pine, cinnamon, benzoin, elemi, tonka, guaiac wood, opoponax, balsamic notes, sandalwood, leather, labdanum and musk. Longtime readers will look at that list and think, Okay, Mals is gonna definitely hate this. I thought I would, too. I don’t. It might be my favorite of the nine I tried – not that I’m jonesing for a larger amount of it, but I enjoyed wearing it. It does that cool-and-meditative thing that incense does, and when it softens into the basenotes it gets comforting. Not ground-breaking, quite linear, but it holds a feeling of quiet, expansive equanimity for me.

Heliotrope Blanc – I’m iffy on heliotrope, too. (Never once has perfumery heliotrope ever smelled like the plants I had growing in the front flower bed – those smell like jelly doughnuts! – but often will go very powdery or Play-doh-y.) This one is powdery, but pleasant nonetheless. Did I love it? Nope. Notes are orange blossom, heliotrope, violet leaf, almond, mimosa, iris, musk, rice, benzoin and tonka. I tested this on one wrist, with Parfums de Nicolai Kiss Me Intense on the other, and KMI was far more to my taste.

Marions-Nous – The silly name means something like “let’s get married,” and of course it is a floral bouquet – with aldehydes, orange blossom, hyacinth, rose, carnation, ylang, iris, jasmine, cloves, tonka, civet, musk, and sandalwood. The preponderance of orange blossom in there pretty much guarantees its resemblance to scented soap to me. I mean, it’s nice soap. Nice soap is better than most of the rest of this fragrance line, IMHO.

Relique d’Amour – okay, I didn’t hate this one either, though I didn’t mind it. It’s faint lilies, incense and a cold stone effect, but there’s also a hint of old vasewater and celery in there too. Official notes include: fresh herbs, pine, white lily, powdery notes, pepper, oak, incense, myrrh, elemi, musk, moss, waxed wood. I wished to pick up the “waxed woods” note, but didn’t find it.

From here it gets much, much worse. #sorrynotsorry

Oeillet Louis XV – Y’all know I love carnations, except when they go bitter-soapy. This one is bitter, soapy, AND powdery, on top of cloying honey sweetness, and I really hated it. Official notes are carnation, pink pepper, mandarin, honey, white orchid, iris, rose, clove, rice powder, musk, woody notes. The topnotes are okay, and from there it keeps devolving further into OMG why did I put this on my skin? gedditoffme.

marcy_borders_c0-17-640-390_s885x516Jardins d’Armide – I suppose it’s not all that weird that a company that used to make scented wig powder should feature powder in its modern creations, but this thing is OTT powdery. We are talking baby-powder BOMB, people. It starts off promisingly enough – I get the heliotrope right off the bat, and there’s a nice rose-violet, and then five minutes later I’m blinking from a Dumpster’s worth of powder. Remember the picture of that lady who was covered in dust after the World Trade Center bombings, and who died of cancer last year? (Prayers for her family.) That’s how I feel wearing J d’A. Official notes are rose, powdery notes, orange blossom, orris root, violet, carnation, wisteria, honey, almond, tonka bean and musk.

oh heck noHorizon – I didn’t expect to like this “oriental fougere”, and I sure didn’t. Petitgrain, tangerine, marmalade, rose, cognac, amber, tobacco leaf, cacao, almond, oak, patchouli, benzoin, ambergris, white tobacco, vanilla, honey, leather and peat.  Sounds great, right? But on my skin, it’s a big ol’ slug of patchouli and sweated-out booze, and it smells like poor judgment – not just no, OH HE** NO.

Forest StagChypre Mousse – this is the reason I bought the sample set. I blame Kafka for this one; she is my Mostly Evil Scent Twin, but every now and then we have congruent tastes. I was expecting something like vintage Coty Chypre, or even original Miss Dior (which is an acquired taste, to be sure): green notes, moss, woody notes, and labdanum, a veritable Bambi’s Forest right there on my wrist.


garbage forestInstead, I got this pile of garbage right in the middle of said forest. Yes to moss and a hint of galbanum, but also tons of dirt and garbage atop it, with the sour fizz of rot over all. It gives me enormous stonking headaches every time I try it, and terrible nausea. Every member of my family recoiled from me with horrified expressions, so it wasn’t just my sniffer. Sprayed on paper, I pick up fleeting impressions of various woodsy things – wet fern, mushroom, raw chestnut, something sweet like pipe tobacco, and was that mint? – amid the overall greenness. On my skin? Awful. Indescribably awful. A decomposing mess.

But the worst disappointment for me was Deja le Printemps. Described as a gentle green floral, it seemed like the one most up my alley, and I didn’t check the notes list (mint, orange blossom, chamomile, fig leaves, clover, mown grass, lily of the valley, galbanum, musk, vetiver, cedar, moss) before trying it on skin. You saw it in the list, right? It’s there. I should have known: those blasted fig leaves.

It looks so innocuous, doesn't it? NOT.
It looks so innocuous, doesn’t it? NOT.

I’ve never experienced live fig trees or eaten fresh figs (I love the dried ones, which are the only ones you can get in this temperate zone), so I do wonder how I’d react to this bitter, acrid green scent in the wild, so to speak. I don’t usually mind sour, pungent notes like blackcurrant or grapefruit – but fig leaf just does me in. I hate it. I could not wait to get Deja le Printemps off my skin. I stuck it out for two hours, and then just could not stand it any more. The galbanum in this thing was pretty and soft, and everything else just lovely, but that (@*% FIG LEAF… I’m still mad about it.

Oriza L. Legrand’s range includes sixteen fragrances; I tried nine. I might be interested in giving Muguet Fleuri a go, and I wouldn’t turn down a shot at Violettes du Czar either, if I didn’t have to buy it. I don’t know how different Royal Oeillet is from the earlier rendition of Louis XV or whether to bother with it. However, I have zero interest in Villa Lympia, Vetiver Royal Bourbon, Foin Fraichement Coupe (perfumery hay absolutely never smells like hay to me) or Cuir l’Aigle Russe.

I am now sending my Oriza samples off to a new home, where I hope they’ll be welcome. How have you done with this house? Like it, love it, hate it?


13 thoughts on “Oriza L. Legrand samples”

  1. Hi mals! Heh, just recently tried this house myself, and got similar results. My scribbles:

    – Foin Frechemont Coupe: scrubber. Green, menthol, mint, no no no.
    – Reve d’Ossian: Church incense, aldehydes, pine, light and airy. Also my favorite, but also not something I need to buy a FB of.
    – Relique d’Amour: Liked this one, didn’t get vasewater (usually an instant deal-breaker with me. See Ostara.) But longetivity was about nil.
    – Deja le Printemps: I like fig but this one was pretty dull, and gone in no time.
    – Horizon: Patchouli bomb on me as well, with chocolate. SL Borneo does this gig better.
    – Vetiver Royal Bourbon: ‘Bourbon’ gone in a flash, vetiver pretty generic.
    – Chypre Mousse: Heh, got suckered here too. Man this was bad. Dirt, rotting herbs, sour, very odd.

    Guess we won’t be elbowing up to the Oriza bar anytime soon. :^)

    1. OH LORD I HATED CHYPRE MOUSSE. It was utterly vile.

      I am glad to hear I am not the only one who thought it was horrid!

  2. Mals, you can’t believe how happy I was to read this post! With about 2K perfumes I tried in my life, I think I will still have a finger or two to keep typing after I count other perfumes, to which I had a reaction similar to the one I had to Chypre Mousse. I actually bought a 5 ml decant of it! (it was cheaper than to buy a sample) It was beyond horrible! I couldn’t believe myself so I went and read again all the praising reviews… And then I tried it again… It is totally repulsive on my skin.
    I’m not trying any more perfumes from this brand. But now I’m thinking… maybe I should have written something about it – just to warn others, who, same as I, might fall for all those great reviews? Because yours is the only one so far that describes this perfume close to how I feel. Maybe I will…

    1. Oh, please do write a review. It got *so* much love from other bloggers that I was sure I’d love it. “Repulsive” is exactly what I got. I walked into the living room with Chypre Mousse on my wrist and my entire family stared at me with their jaws dropped. Gaze said, “That is truly awful, Mom, whatever it is.”

  3. OK I did not try the CHYPRE MOUSSE. And thank heavens is all I can say.
    Did try the Oeillets Louis XV and they were that currently flat powder material carnation that does not smell like carnations. Oeillets smells like Johnson’s Baby Powder- only not as nice.

    So far not impressed with this brand. What’s up with these off the mark reviews?

    1. I have to suspect skin chemistry – with CHypre Mousse in particular. I have yet to read someone’s comment on it that was not either strongly positive or strongly negative.

  4. I’ve only tried the leathery one ( L’Aiglse something) and adored it! Loved the old-school feel to it. I need to get the sample set.

  5. Include me in the anti-Chypre-Mousse contingent… I had high hopes for this one, but after a minute or so of mossy green notes, all I got was rusty metal and dank rotted vegetation.

    Like being stabbed up the nostrils with rebar, while floundering through a swamp that’s had a particularly nasty industrial accident.

    I wonder if there’s a synthetic musk in CM that goes totally haywire for certain people (the cilantro-tasting-like-soap effect).

    The other frags in this line were total powderbombs on me as well… though I did like Vetiver Royal Bourbon enough to get an FB (I admit to being a hardcore vetiver fanatic, though). I gave some to a friend, and he loved it; I think the combination of vetiver and mint works even better on a guy’s skin.

    It’s too bad about most of the perfumes in this line; I do love the retro-look labels on the bottles!

    1. Yes, there was a very strong component of rot (vegetation, not animal) with Chypre Mousse for me!

      I don’t like vetiver much myself, so I didn’t bother with that one. But yes, the bottles are adorable, and at the very least there’s no frooty floral sugar musk among them.

  6. I really like this brand Oriza L Legrand. Powder and I are very close friends and so I have a bottle of Jardins d’Armide. Bummer about Deja le Printemps, and how annoying for you to be hating fig when it seems to be everywhere. I also liked some of their others and have a new sample set here awaiting sniffs.
    I too didn’t love Chypre Mousse, but I found it very wearable and liked it.
    Their soaps are divine.
    Portia xx

    1. I really do think skin chemistry plays a huge part with this line. I don’t know what in particular makes the difference, whether it’s just one chemical in there that goes wrong on people, or whether it’s only preferences.

      I like certain kinds of powder – I like powdery rose and violet and aldehydes – but certain other kinds, and I can’t really describe which they are, seem to suffocate me. I did feel very suffocated in most of the Orizas I tried.

      1. Yes, 100% agree. A couple of mates have tried Jardins d’Armide and been appalled at how it smells on them. Others have been as enthusiastic as I am.
        Maybe because they make soaps and powders or it’s a part of their base?
        Bummer when a house is ruled out.
        Portia xx

        1. Who knows? I do know that there are houses I have better luck with and houses where I can only wear a few.

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