One of my favorite summer perfumes is both a typical example of modern musky-floral perfumery and also shows a really interesting textural contrast that I rarely find in that genre. Le De, the recent reedition of the vintage Givenchy fragrance from 1957, is a study in delicacy.
I won't say the opening is an aquatic lily of the valley and jasmine combo, because I don't want to turn off those, like me, who loathe aquatic fragrances, but it's a bit... dewy. Yeah, dewy! No sharp lily of the valley topnotes here. The perfumer has, obviously with some synthetic slight of hand, muted the white flowers so they evoke a humid summer morning.
What is intriguing, though, is that the dewy floral quality is contrasted by a gently raspy coriander note that is just my favorite thing ever. It's all quite simple and dries down to a low-key musky sandalwood. I love it on days when I want something undemandingly lovely. It's a mental health day in a bottle. In fact, I'm wearing it today while playing hooky from work, hiding out from mental effort and the 100-degree weather, napping in front of the TV, on which I'm playing favorite comfort DVDs like Jeeves and Wooster and the latest Harry Potter. I have to admit, some times I'm just not equal to vintage Rumeur or Cabochard! Today is one of those days.
I'm curious, though (aren't I always?) about the vintage Le De and how it compares to this reedition. I haven't smelled the vintage, and if you have, I'd love to hear what you think. Is it worth seeking out? No wait, on second thought, don't tempt me!
Top notes are coriander and lily-of-the-valley; middle notes are jasmine, ylang-ylang and bulgarian rose; base notes are sandalwood, vetiver and incense.