Hi Crew, L’Esprit Libre is one of two new releases from Divine this year along with Divine Intense, which doesn’t appear to be for sale on their site yet. Both crafted by the incredibly prolific Yann Vasnier, 91 named fragrances on Fragrantica. The email dropped into my inbox announcing the new arrival, and before I was even able to think it was checked out and on its way to me. All thoughts of lockdown business collapse, lack of funds and any skerrick of rationale deserted me. It wasn’t even a late night event, suddenly I’d bought it and L’Homme Sage, which has been on my list for years. Excitingly, they arrived in the mail this week. I’ve been lovingly looking at the pristine corrugated boxes in cellophane but decided it was time to open L’Esprit Libre up to share how it smells. It’s so rare for me to feel this kind of excitement about a new release.
L’Esprit Libre by Divine
According to the Divine site:
A light breeze, green and mellow with bergamot and green mandarine, then suddenly when you’re least expecting it, a ray of peony and magnolia. At its heart, a blue twinkle of iris, talc and earth, with essence and butter of iris and a leisurely finale of musk and ambergris.
WOW! Remember in the early 2000s and the world went mad for sheer feeling, radiant fragrances that had amazing projection and longevity like Elie Saab and SJP Lovely? They were almost always done with a white floral at the heart. It was like the logical next step from those enormous 1990s sheer/huge aquatics like L’Eau d’Issey and Aqua di Gio. This L’Esprit Libre feels like it’s the next progression in the story.
The citrus opening is sheer, tart and intoxicating. It starts icy cool and by the time the heart has arrived has warmed considerably. The peony and magnolia are only very peripheral, amorphous nods during the opening but make a more definite appearance well into the heart, but what does shine is an unmentioned woods note blown on the breeze. I’m wondering if it’s part of the dry rooty iris that feels sliced open as you pulled it up with earth still attached. (Edit: Amusingly, in today’s wear I have it on the back of both my hands and they both smell quite different. Left is much soapier and more floral, right features dry woods.) I’m surprised that there isn’t a mentioned green herbal note or a woody one. Maybe it’s a basil and an angelique, generic sawdust. These are what my brain keeps telling me but I’m not convinced.
L’Esprit Libre smells like a completely new direction for the Divine Parfums crew. Through the heart I definitely get the idea of breeze, or sky, or even that joyful feeling of being outdoors in the sun on a cool, breezy day. This is no loud 1980s showstopper, but it is wonderfully noticeable; I’m wondering if the more I wear it the more I can notice it? Maybe the more nuance I pick up? There’s something quite space age about it.
The ambergris is not a fecal, salty, bilge water adventure. There’s no hark to Womanity. It’s a sea breeze, not on the shore but maybe on a restaurant verandah overlooking thew sea, just a little up the hill.
For such a sheer fragrance the longevity is excellent. Projection is amazing for over an hour before it softens considerably.
Does L’Esprit Libre sound like something you might like?
Yes. I wanna try it. I will. xxx
Val, I can TOTALLY imagine this working for you.
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The only perfume from the line that I tried so far is their original Divine. I like it and still think that I might go for it one day. So, based on that, I’m mildly interested in the brand and would like to try the whole line. Though, anything remotely aquatic is not something that I would expect to like. Womanity is much closer to my liking than either L’Eau d’Issey or Aqua di Gio.
I’m surprised at how few responses this post got. I understand, that this brand isn’t widely presented in the US. But it looks like our EU readers aren’t that familiar with it either.
Yeah, I think Divine is just not weird enough to grab the attentions of the perfumistas style of on the edge living.
What’s important to me is a job beautifully crafted. I think they do that very well. Perfectly poised perfumes.
I am not normally an aquatic person either, but I would happily give this a spin. I did love your line: “The ambergris is not a fecal, salty, bilge water adventure.” That’s reassuring!
Hey there Vanessa,
Yeah, this is the air version of aquatic. Less intense, less wet and less obnoxious. I think it’s definitely worthy of attention.
HA! Glad to reassure.
PS Welcome back to blogging. I loved your come-back post.
Sheet, tart, and intoxicating? Icy cool?
Absolutely! Must try and get my hands on a sample.
I think they might do samples on the website.