“ Brand: Sonia Rykiel / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Parfum / Gender: for women „
Launched : 2006
Group : Oriental spicy
Belle en Rykiel is a relatively modern release done just one year after Woman Eau de Toilette I reviewed earlier. I have a mini of this I acquired a few years back when I was looking for soft, woody orientals with a coffee theme.
The clear, glass and square-shaped bottle comes with its corners rounded off so it gives a feel of softness and sturdiness at the same time. The luminous beige-coloured box - not to be confused with the Eau de Toilette of the same name in pink - has something elegant and understated about it and fits the soft oriental skin-scent theme well. .
Top notes: lavender, mandarin orange, red currant
The first whiffs of Belle are sugary sweet and a bit syrupy in a rather foody rather than a cloying way. There is a lot of sweet cedar (Iso E Super) mixed with cooking vanilla that gives a round and plush feel to the top. I sense a bit of sharpish burst of lavender and citrus lurking around too however this impression is fleeting and powdery sweetness quickly overwhelms it.
Heart notes: coffee, incense, heliotrope
A few minutes later the fragrance develops a light spicy note reminiscent of toffee or café latte flavour as in my Torrente L'Or or Trussardi Inside perfumes that offsets the sugary sweetness and darken the heart a tiny bit. In about 10 - 15 minutes Belle en Rykiel becomes a predominantly sweet and powdery fragrance with woody and somewhat aromatic accents. It doesn't change much in the next 6 - 7 hours and feels a bit linear to me. The coffee note I've been expecting all along fails to develop eventually as well as the heliotrope with its characteristic almondy and caramel-like nuances.
Base notes: amber, patchouli, vanilla, mahogany
At 7+ hours in, the base notes are all about woods and powdery vanilla over a nice, ambery overtone that still gives off a nice, occasional sillage whilst staying close to the skin. The most dominant noteis a dusty and dry sweet cedarwood to my nose which an accord shared by many modern oriental fragrances and is obviously Iso E Super covered up as mahogany. That in itself wouldn't be bad but the thing is it tires my nose out after a while like aromachemicals tend to do. It lasts well into 8+ hours and clings onto clothes even longer.
Belle en Rykiel isn't a spicy oriental in the classic term but an on-trend, mainstream, light, cozy and powdery comfort scent with dominant soft woods and vanilla that's sadly too linear for me. It's nice but is just another contender in the sweet woody oriental game that other releases that have exploited the same theme such as Hillary Duff With Love, Trussardi Inside or Jil Sander Sensations.
It's a tad sweet at the beginning but has an altogether more rounded and fuller composition and more generous sillage than the other three above as well as brighter and fruitier top notes. Trussardi has more of the aromatic coffee note, it's drier and less sugary, shame it burns down too quickly to a skin scent.
To sum up, Belle en Rykiel is modern and sweet without being cotton candy and also soft, slightly woody and vanillic. It would suit those who shy away from classic orientals but still want to experience the genre or just want a cozy skin scent for the office in winter just like you'd wear a fluffy sweater. Longevity-wise Belle en Rykiel is definitely a winner in its genre.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The medium 75ml sized bottle is around the £40 mark on Amazon.co.uk and eBay or other discount sites such as galaxyperfumes.co.uk
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk
Belle en Rykiel is a sensual, oriental, feminine fragrance with top notes of mandarin, currant and lavender flower; middle notes of heliotrope and coffee flower and base notes of patchouli amber and vanilla /