L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Hiya ULG, L’Artisan are one of those houses that many perfumistas had as a gateway to the rest of the world of perfumery. L’Artisan Parfumeur was established in 1976 by Jean Laporte making luxurious ambergris scented balls. He stayed till 1982. Interestingly, two of the first years perfume releases (1978) are still available; L’Eau d’Ambre and Mure et Musc. Over the years they have been incredibly groundbreaking. The first blackberry, fig, mimosa and others. Several have gone on into fabled history like Iris Pallida, La Haie Fleurie du Hameau, L’Eau du Navigateur and who can forget the fragrance made for a NYC store that started its own brand; Aedes de Venustas. Through the 21st centuries early naughties and teens they were available at almost every large department store. They have the added bonus of being slightly weird but extremely wearable, perfect for the newly minted perfumista. I have a whole box dedicated to them in my collection but only a few get year round, reach for a lot, wear. I thought it might be nice if we had a look at these easy go-to scents from a brand that I hope will see a new lease of life under their current owners since 2015, Puig.

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Honestly, I was quite surprised at which bottles were most empty. A couple that I really adore seem to hardly have been used at all. So I picked the bottles with the most air in them, that seemed fairest. One day I’ll do a favourites from the line post and the outcome will only have a couple of crossover perfumes.

lartisan-parfumeur-portias-most-worn

Al Oudh

You know when the L’Artisan hands touch anything it’s going to be a smooth and classy version of whatever it is. Add in that this is a Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance. Al Oudh was a 2009 entrant into the oudh race. Just before I found you all on the scentbloggosphere. So when I hit the blogs it was a big, talked up fragrance along with Vanille Absolument (a rerelease of Havana Vanille) and Côte d’Amour (their first stab at all natural). A sweet and spicy look at the oudh/saffron/rose/patchouli combo that stays sheer and elegant, even though it has a lovely dirty/medicinal hit of oudh.

Bois Farine

Jean Claude Ellena created this 2003 beauty. I bought my bottle second hand and already there was juice missing to the top of the title. Powder, woods, iris and I don’t know how there are not sugar and almonds in the mix. In deepest dry down ALL I can smell is those sweet, puffy, almond horseshoe biscuits. It’s uncanny. Clearly my nose smells stuff ay out of whack sometimes but I really don’t care. Part of what I love about this beauty is it’s gourmand hints as it dries down.

Caligna

This is my favourite fig from the L’Artisan line up, created by Dora Baghriche. I love its more aromatic and herbal take on fig. Still creamy but with so many more interesting bells and whistles. Sage, citrus leaves, pine and ambroxan make for a very modern look and yet they also make it seem thoroughly reminiscent of the mid 20th century mens cologne fragrances. It’s an interesting mix that really captures my nose but could fit any time or place and any gender. That’s probably why I wear it so much. Also, it’s less OTT than Premier Figuier.

L’Eau du Navigateur

This was released back in 1979 and had gone through some heavy reformulations before I bought my bottle mid 2010s. At the time I’d only read about it in reverent tones and never seen a bottle. One day at a sale I saw one bottle left, didn’t even ask if they had a tester, I just bought it then and there. So happy I did. A Jean Claude Ellena from his earlier, heavier, more note filled days. Here we have a wooden spice boat on the seas, filled with cargo, deck hands, briny winds and the million other smells of sailing. Just close your eyes and live in this cleaned up fantasy of travel in the spice trade.

Poivre Piquant

This foody trilogy was released in 2002. Piment Brûlant, Poivre Piquant and Saffron Troublant are odes to Bell peppers (chilli), Peppercorns and Saffron. Almost photo realistic recreations of the named foodstuff that open each perfume. Poivre Piquant is pepper but wears like a zingy mix of black and pink peppers, drizzled with honey and sweetened to a liquorice deliciousness by dry down. Pepper lollies! Can you even imagine? It sounds as weird and out there as a fragrance could be but mercifully it’s all done in the cool, smooth, low key Duchaufour/L’Artisan style.

Seville a l’Aube

This is my second bottle of Seville a l’Aube. The Perfume Lover book by my buddy Denyse Beaulieu changed the way I viewed perfume creation and I fell in love with her wild and wicked ways. Though the fragrance itself is not sensual I always feel infused with her free spirit and zest for adventure when I wear it. Oranges, smoky incense, white flowers and honey mix together in an overwhelmingly ripe fragrance that tells the story of a romantic adventure remembered and brought to life by Bertrand Duchaufour. What’s not to love?

Tea for Two

When Tea for Two was first DCd in 2013 the Perfume Posse crew organised a Bus Tour through LA to some of the major fragrance venues. I was SO BUMMED about missing out on a bottle and begged the crew at Beauty Habit to give me their tester. As we were leaving they ran after the bus, stopped it and gave me the tester. This unbelievable fragrance. Smoky, incense laden, rich milky chai tea. Olivia Giacobetti masterfully arranges a fragrance rest stop in an Indian backstreet where the chai wallah has your tea at the ready. It’s sweet, milky, spicy and has the slight smell of frizzing electrical junctions, incense smoke, dusty streets and humanity.

I have at least a dozen more bottles of L’Artisan in the cupboard. Some of them I love infinitely more than these few yet these are the ones I reach for most.

What are your Most Worn L’Artisans?
Portia xx

32 thoughts on “L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

  1. Wow, I wasn’t aware that Mure et Musc was so old! To me it always felt like a modern fragrance.
    Dzing! and Caligna are definitely my most worn L’Artisans. Dzing! in the cool weather and Caligna right now, when I long for summer during springtime. I wish I had bought more from L’Artisan while it was available because nowadays I appreciate their quality more than before.

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  2. Difficult question, since I give all my L’Artisan scents some wear during the year. I love the brand! Right now, I would say that Un Air de Bretagne, Saffran Troublant, Drole de Rose and Couleur Vanille are the most worn. I have become addicted to Couleur Vanilla, wearing it almost every day after a got a decant recently. I see a full bottle joining my collection in the next couple of weeks.

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  3. That’s a good list you have. In hot Texas summer The Pour Un Ete is one of my most worn fragrances. The fresh citrus tea like cloud of scent with just a hint of jasmine is so refreshing. I also love my mini bottle of Safran Trublant. And I also like the Premier Figue, as I like my fig very figgy, milky and green.

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  4. Hey Portia
    Great post.
    I’ve owned so many of their bottles over the years. Now my most worn is Passage d’Enfer but I also love the reissued Fleur d’Oranger. Wish I owned Safran Troublant and Dzing! Not to mention Vanillia.

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    • I didn’t know they’d re-released Fleur d’Oranger Tara. We don’t have a stockist in Oz that I visit. Since that gateway closed I’ve only been sniffing in the Paris store and sometimes we get to smell a couple of the new ones at distributor season launches.
      I thought I’d bought a Saffron Troublant recently but can’t seem to find it anywhere.
      Portia xx

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  5. I love LAP! I have been wearing some : Fleur de Liane, Jour de Fete, of the most pedestrian ones-L’eau de L’Artisan, Safran Troublement, Dzing! and L’ete en Douce. They’re weird and wonderful and subtle. Why do people think of Dzing as skanky-I think it’s gorgeous and easy to wear :)

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  6. Most worn are Dzongkha (the very most), Saffran Troublant and Traversée du Bosphore. I have a bottle of Jatamansi which I sometimes wear.

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  7. I have and love so many L’Artisans, but probably wear Dzongkha, Safran Troublant, Tea for Two, Seville à l’Aube, Voleur de Roses and Traversée du Bosphore the most. Such a great house.

    And that 2013 bus tour was THE BEST! Must do it again some day.

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  8. My path into the niche Perfumeland came by L’Artisan brand much later than for most, probably that’s why this brand has never become “my.”
    Nevertheless, I have several perfumes in my collection. And since even my mostly loved/worn perfumes usually take 5-10 “wears” per year, I can’t even try to determine the mostly worn L’Artisan perfumes. So, I’ll mention those that I own:
    – Tea for Two is my absolute favorite, and I would repurchase it if I finish the bottle I have.
    – I really like Traversee du Bosphor, I’d call it my #2 from the brand, but I didn’t buy a bottle before the reformulation, and now I’m not sure if I’d still like it. So, just a decant for me for now.
    – Premier Figuier Extreme I bought mostly for the limited edition fig bottle. I didn’t mind the perfume, but the last time I tried it, I think it started turning, so it’ll stay for me as a cute bottle.
    – Today I’m wearing La Chasse aux Papillons. When I was choosing it in the morning, I didn’t remember the topic of your post, but I’m sure it affected my choice subconsciously. I like it but don’t love, and I don’t think I’d re-purchase it.
    – I got L’Eau D’Ambre Extrême only because, while I liked it, it was available in 30 ml bottle for a song. But I have many much more exciting ambers in my collection.

    That’s it. I tried several others (well, many others), but none of them became “must have” for me.

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    • YAY for T42 Undina,
      I’m so glad we both love it. What a perfume!
      Yeah, I think L’Artisan probably works best as a gateway because so many of the things they started have been done more interestingly or in a more modern way. So a modern perfumista will have smelled things that push the envelope much further, and sometimes even better.
      Portia xx

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  9. Hey Portia! Glad to know you’re doing great!

    I always think of you when I see Seville a l’aube: you used to mention it quite often on APJ. Surprisingly enough, I still don’t know this house very well: of all your favorites I’ve only tried Tea for Two, – a stroke of genius as it often is the case with Giacobetti perfumes (I don’t have enough data to say “always”, but it seems plausible). I only own Dzing! (two bottles, though) and Voleur de Roses. I’ve wanted Mure et Musc (original and the Extreme version), Passage d’Enfer, and Rose Privee, maybe it’s time to go search for a bargain. Thanks for the reminder!

    XX

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    • Hi there Diana,
      Yeah, I went through the first bottle of Seville a l’Aube in record time. I did share quite a bit of it in decants too though, so it wasn’t all me. This bottle is competing with so many other fragrances though it’s hard to imagine wearing anything as much as I wore it.
      Good luck on the bargain hunt.
      Portia xx

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  10. My first “niche” fragrance was a bottle of Mechant Loup. The ones I wear these days are Timbuktu, Seville de l’aube, and the last few mls of my favorite L’artisan, La Haie Fleurie.

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  11. Eeek, my previous comment became a reply to someone else’s so I am repeating it again!

    I don’t wear them often but really should:
    – Seville a l’Aube
    – Safran Troublant
    – Tea for Two
    – Couleur Vanille

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    • Is it a problem that you just have too much perfume Hajusuuri, or that they don’t fit any specific moment in your mind? Sometimes I assign a fragrance to an event, like vintage Shalimar extrait for cleaning. That way I know I will wear it. Not every time but quite a lot of cleaning is done smelling like a gazillion $$$$$
      Portia xx

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  12. Pingback: Saturday Question: What Was Your Starter Brand? – Undina's Looking Glass

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