P:TG review: *** aldehydic woody This combination of dry, talcum-powder wood and a slightly metallic, sweaty cast I find classical in feel and pleasingly aloof, and LT finds nerve-wracking in the extreme. Several fragrances in this vegetal, pale, unsweetened style have come down the pike in recent years, two by Pierre Bourdon (Ferré, Iris Poudre). This one from 2004 (the names means “soul mate”) by young perfumer Yann Vasnier seems both steely and mild-mannered, like a sort of woman you might have known whose soft, maternal build belies an icy manner. TS
(I’m still puzzled by the reference to Iris Poudre as being “vegetal” and “unsweetened.” “Pale” it may be, but in a white-angora-sweater sort of way, and it always strikes me as being fluffy and candy-sweet, due to the lovely benzoin in the base.)
But I digress. L’Ame Soeur, when I first started wearing this decant, struck me as being both fruity and aldehydic. Sometime around 8 months ago, I started smelling a faintly sour, celerylike twist in it every time I put it on. The celery is fleeting, thank goodness, but there is a saltiness to the scent that seems odd to me. I cannot pick out any florals, and the entire fragrance has a slick texture that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The notes, according to Divine’s website, include Bulgarian rose otto, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and ambergris. Unquestionably, there are also aldehydes, and I suggest a bit of vetiver as well. I don’t know if the ambergris note is ambreine, or ambrox, or cetalox, or what-have-you, but it is a salty-soapy note that reminds me quite a bit of Creed’s Fleurs de Bulgarie.
I’m still not sure whether I like L’Ame Soeur or not. I do know that I’d almost always go hunting one of my many other aldehydic floral scents when I want one. There is a strangely sour, salty cast to this fragrance that makes me think of Chinese food gone stale, and sometimes it bothers me more often than other times.
I’ll add a rating system. Scents of Scelf just added one, and it’s fun: pictures of the Harajuku Lovers fragrances, from 1 figure to 5. I’m not that clever, so I think I’ll go with stars or something equally clear but uninspiring… I’ll give L’Ame Soeur 2.5 stars. It ranges from “acceptable” to “below average.” Other reviews of L’Ame Soeur: Bois de Jasmin and Aromascope (brief), both of which are more favorable than this review!
Bottle image from Fragrantica.