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…

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22 thoughts on “Perfume Review: LeLong Pour Femme”

  1. This is on my radar though I reckon I am unlikely to encounter it in my daily round.

    I think it will pack a punch and be some kind of classic, “perfumey” sort of scent. Maybe like Sublime by Patou but with more oomph?

    1. Haven’t smelled Sublime. Have not done well with Patous, generally…

      I wouldn’t say it packs a punch. It strikes me as being too femme for that. Definitely perfume, but not “perfumey” in the sense of, say, No. 5 or Joy. The lilac makes it more fresh and light-hearted.

      1. Sublime is really nice, very “golden”. I have a full bottle that a teacher once gave me but I can’t get the damn cap off…

    1. Well, the rest of us were happy to see him. But only the dog was wriggling in ecstasy. He’s her “person,” you know.

      Startling disconnect between bottle and juice. Which I knew when I posted the teaser, but I was running a small con… for which I am totally unashamed. 🙂

    1. Still have not yet tried Vacances, only sniffed. I was surprised at how *light* LPF is, though; there is a lot of lilac & magnolia, and then a lot of orchid, none of which are what I would call heavy florals. I will have to get Vacances out soon – it is actually 68 F outside today!!! Snow is melting. Can’t try Vacances today, wearing vintage L’Air du Temps for review…

  2. Heh, here I am again, the LPF evangelist. 😀

    So glad you like it, isn’t different from anything else you have ever tried? I have no point of reference for it, it is in a class by itself. Very nice and thoughtful review!

    I have to say that the bottle is better in person – there is something really fun about the way the cap slides on and off. Trust me. (Of course, if you buy the Parfum, you don’t get the huge “tusks” just an actual working clock built into the bottle.)

    1. D, I think you’ve called this one “bombshell-y” and I have to say I don’t get that sexy aspect of it, although I do find it very, very feminine. And it’s so unusual to get those fresh floral notes in a floral oriental.

      Good to know that the bottle is better in the hand. Maybe it’s just the picture that looks cheap; the tortoiseshell top looks more like leopard print in the picture…

      An actual working clock. Just… WHY? Yeah, yeah, timelessness and what-all, but to get any use out of the clock, you’d have to leave the bottle exposed to light on your dresser, which is dumb. Okay, I’m done whining about the packaging. I imagine that the parfum would be rather powerful, given that the edp sticks around very well on me.

  3. The bottle makes me think of Flash Gordon. The 1980 movie. It looks like a button that Ming the Merciless’s daughter would push to destroy a planet. The big one, marked “frappe”, with a row of little ones below it that just bring down earthquakes and tornadoes and flaming hail and minor stuff like that.

    Ming’s own button would be more low-key, probably matte black with acid green neon.

    1. Never saw that one, although I was aware of it. (What I wanna know is, who in blazes would marry Ming? And have babies with him? That mustache, ugh.)

      “The big one, marked ‘frappe'” – thanks for the laugh!

      It does look sort of cheesy sci-fi, now that I think of it. Which is not at all what they were going for, apparently, so I still call it a big packaging FAIL. Luckily, what’s inside is not.

  4. Oh! The smell! It should be a killer femme fatale fragrance with something seriously weird about it. Tuberose, gardenia, civet, musk, leather, and… and… well, what _does_ neon smell like?

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