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Launched : 1999
Group : Floral
I collect miniature and full sized fragrances including rare or discontinued editions which have a special place in my collection. One of these is Christian Lacroix's signature scent created by nose Sonia Grosjman responsible for many lovely and highly feminine creations such as Paris (YSL) or Trésor (Lancôme).
What attracts me most in the packaging is its unusual, bright red fabric box adorned by the white Christian's Lacroix emblem, the famous emblazonment of the design house. The bottle itself is a clear glass in a form of a conch or seashell. The bottle is undoubtedly a unique, imaginative and decorative piece that can be a lovely addition to any perfume collection.
Top notes : tarragon, peach, rosewood, magnolia, mandarin
Straight after appplication, I'm met with a sunny, fresh and aquatic scent that evokes the dewy air on a summer morning. I instantly detect a herby, sweet grass-like element that comes with a touch of bitterness and a dill-like aroma similar to green anis.
A few minutes later a hint of warm and earthy spicy note hits my nose that reminds me of the mixture cardamon, cumin and clove. This is offset by a freshness of fruit, possibly orange that gradually blends in with the emerging softer, flowery and powdery heart.
Heart notes : freesia, jasmine, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley, daffodil, hyacinth, carnation
As times goes by, the fragrance becomes more floral and powdery as a beautiful bouquet of sumptious flowers make their appearance. Some of the top notes survive well and add a fresh, green touch to the composition, notably tarragon and orange. The florals still manage to come out on top and create a warm, sweet sillage of sunny, citrus tinged jasmine and mainly ylang - ylang to my nose.
Too complex and blended to perfection, what little else I can discern fom the accord overall is actually lots of lots of honey! It's a sort of strong, aromatic wild honey packed full of floral and herby elements and a generous amount of earthy spice. The composition gives out a steady, medium sillage easily detectable at arm's length even after 4 - 5 hours that despite its richness and complexity never becomes too heady or headache inducing.
Base notes : sandalwood, tonka bean, benzoin, vanilla
About 6 - 7 hours later, as the last dregs of the honeyed florals and herby spices disappear, the fragrance changes again. The muted white florals resting on a woody base is reminiscent of the discontinued Birmane from Van Cleef & Arpels, luckily without the distinct soapiness of it. Christian Lacroix also carries the same structure minus the characteristic woodiness greatly sweetened by the emerging vanilla. The result is a lightly spiced and powdery floral vanilla underlined with a soft, woody amber base that gently caresses the skin in the final few hours.
Unusual, but draws on the herby start of classics, Sophia Rosjman has created another very feminine and exuberant juice impossible to imitate. Light and natural, yet long-lasting with a lovely, rich consistency I'm loving wearing Christian Lacroix for Women now at the beginning of September. It's like the ray of sun warming up the cold stone buildings in the morning.
Packed full of Medditerranean goodness, the perfume is meant to evoke the early and late summer days in Provence which I can absolutely certify by. The excellent raw materials and quality blending speak for themselves and whilst airy, the fragrance feels extremely complex, something that is expected from the number of ingredients.
I understand this fragrance is unusual and will not be liked by everyone. It dares to be different which itself gives its strength and power to seduce. Seemingly incoherent, Lacroix's signature scent is at the same time green, floral, sweet herbal, light yet dark, bitter and woody, honeyed and vanillic. Something that should end up in a mess yet the different profiles blend in beautifully in a sort of a marmite aroma that you either love or hate.
Christian Lacroix for Women should deserve to be known by a wider audience and be more available. I'm a die-hard fan of rich orientals and do not really care for predominantly floral or green floral ones. Yet Christian Lacroix's signature perfume captured my heart and I hope to remain hooked on such a rare and wonderful creation for long.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Becoming rare nowadays so check on eBay or Amazon from time to time where it's currently available from private sellers at around the £40 - £70 depending on size. I got my 75ml Eau de Parfum from a private collector's website for a sweet $35 a couple of years ago.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk