Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Boucheron Place Vendome-Review

Boucheron Place Vendome is the sweetest perfume I own. If I pulled a cake from the oven and my kitchen smelled like this, I'd be rather pleased. On my person, I'm conflicted about Place Vendome-do I really want to smell like a vanilla cake with a side of candy floss? Intellectually I don't think so yet there's something about this fragrance that works, in very small amounts.

I should say from the outset I'm not a Boucheron perfume devotee, though my son is in love (the serious, "buy the largest bottle they have" sort of love) with Jaipur Homme. This was a blind buy for no other reason than I thought the bottle was attractive, and there was a gift of a companion body lotion. Interestingly, the body lotion is magnificent. The effect is just slightly less sweet, and it has a beautiful shimmer on the body without looking like glitter. It is a good product, and has been working miracles on my dry skin. That said, I tend to use it at home, at night when I don't need to inflict it on anyone else (Mr. ETB has little if any sense of smell). Would I layer the lotion with the perfume? Not unless I was conducting an experiment to see if you could cause olfactory diabetes. If a fragrance could make your teeth hurt, Boucheron Place Vendome is it. Honey and praline are listed notes, if that gives you a better idea where it is heading. Throw in some benzoin and rose and it gets a bit sickly.

The silage is moderate with Place Vendome, but it dissipates quickly. In fact, go ahead and give it a good spray because a couple minutes later it will be so close to the skin you'll need to keep sniffing your wrist to see if it is there. I can't imagine anyone taking offence to Place Vendome in an office environment as it isn't immediately recognisable as perfume. People might however, start looking for doughnuts. Place Vendome lasts reasonably well, but I wanted to reapply after a few hours as the best part of the fragrance is in the top and middle notes.

Still, there's something else in there beneath all the sweetness. The citrus? The cedar? Pepper? I have no idea, but something starts developing about twenty minutes in that has me continuing to sniff my arm, even if I'm resisting the desire to lick it as well. After a bit, I recognise it.

When I was but a wee nipper, "knee high to a grasshopper" as we say in the midwest, I lived in a diabetic household. This was tragic for a small child because saccharine candy tastes horrible, and it is hard, and sticks to your teeth funny with that weird citric acid aftertaste of grapefruit. Maybe that would satisfy a forty year old diabetic, but as a child it was terrible. The one place where I knew there was sugar to be had was at the grocery store. Dominick's supermarket had lollipops at all the departments and at the check out for children. They were small, flat, and had Dominick's printed in blue food colouring on them. It was a popular game with children to place the pop quickly print side down on your tongue to make a sort of food colour tattoo when you stuck out your tongue. Anyway, they were all the same flavour, but I adored the green ones and Vic the butcher saved them for me. Each week he'd present me with a bouquet of green lollipops. Years later when I was a university student working at Dominick's I had a cup of pops sitting by my register that I happily bestowed on other children. Dominick's is now defunct, but if you want to know what those vaguely vanilla/fruity lollipops smelled like, you can purchase a bottle of Boucheron Place Vendome. For a more authentic experience, ask an old, Italian fella with a bloodstained butcher's apron to lean over a refrigerated case and hand them to you.  He was a very nice man- I think he knew my mother couldn't cook and was ruining every steak he sold her. I seem to remember him giving her recipes. I want to know what this perfume smells like with burnt lamb chops and mint sauce because I can *almost* capture it in my mind. If I really focus, I can *almost* remember what the pops felt like clanking against my teeth, and the sound they made.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should note that I also had the store manager at the A&P trained at the ready with candy. At that store, it was a blue raspberry Charms pop, though the best part of shopping there was being permitted to help sort the bottle return up front whilst my mother shopped. For the youngsters-soda used to come in returnable glass bottles that you brought back in a carton to the store for your deposit. Nice people rinsed the bottles, but most people weren't nice, and I was often  covered in soda by the time we left the store, but as I was going to eat a Charms pop anyway,  I suppose my mother decided  "To hell with it" and just gave me a bath when we got home. I don't recall the Charms pop smelling of anything.

It didn't surprise me to read that the nose behind Boucheron Place Vendome was the same person that did that abomination of a perfume, Angel. I understand that I am alone in my hatred for that fragrance, and that it is widely accepted as being a masterpiece. Place Vendome isn't a crime against perfume, but it is awfully sweet, like Angel. Unlike Angel, there's something else there making it feel like a perfume with a bit more to experience than honey. It is fleeting, but nonetheless there. It feels a little sad, and tricky to pin down for more than a second or two. I suppose most of the fragrances I'm drawn to remind me of something, whether it was the newsagent's, or the butcher's counter at the supermarket. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but perfume for me is more than something that smells nice. Plenty of things smell nice-hell, the cheap Yardley soap I use smells nice, but what drives me to part with money is rarely what would be called, "nice." I need perfume to take me somewhere, evoke something, give me something to experience with my nose and my brain. I'm not in love with the overall effect of Place Vendome, but at home, at night, I find it to be a happy, calming fragrance. I would absolutely scent my sheets with this, or spray it into my shoe storage cupboard which gets musty (thankfully without smelling too horribly of feet). Wear it out and about in town? Maybe, but only on a cool day-it would be suffocating in heat and humidity.

I'm starting to appreciate the sweeter, more floral/powdery perfumes of late, which is a major departure from my standard chypre, and fougere preferences. Blame it on the cool spring that refused to give sunshine, but I'm reaching for things like White Shoulders, Laura Ashley #1, and L'Air du Temps. A few years ago, I wouldn't go near, much less own any of those. I jokingly told Danny I need a bottle of Chantilly to see if I've lost my mind (and sense of smell) but I don't think I'm ready to buy any.

Have you found your tastes in fragrance changing as you get older?


Curtise said...

I am still saying no thanks to sweet, powdery fragrances, I really can't bear them. So I'm guessing this perfume wouldn't be for me!
I remember wearing heavy, spicy/musky fragrances in my teens (Estée Lauder's Cinnabar in particular), which I think I considered to be sophisticated, sexy and above all grown-up... My dad once commented that I smelled awful, which upset me no end (and wasn't perhaps the kindest or most diplomatic thing to say to a teenage girl) but on reflection, he was probably right. I doubtless sprayed it on with a far too heavy a hand, and I expect I'd gag now at the miasma surrounding the 15 year old party-ready me... The reek of desperation and fear, I'd say! xxxx

Mim said...

You're not alone in your loathing of Angel, I hate the stuff. I used to not mind it on other people, but one day decided to try some on in Boots and was surrounded by a CLOUD OF STENCH. A cloud that would not wash off. Now it makes me feel a little sick just to smell it. Only Giorgio is worse, imo, and that too is a CLOUD OF STENCH.

I'm not a massive fan of sweet, but I do like floral and powdery scents - Caron French Can Can is a big fave of mine, and I've got Grossmith Phul-Nana too. But those older ones tend to be richer, less simple than modern florals.

I've been able to wear more leather scents as I've got older - couldn't abide Balmain Jolie Madame (a cheap blind buy) at first, but now sometimes I crave it.

Goody said...

Dad's aren't eager to have their daughters wearing perfume, and growing up. Cinnabar was not a favourite of mine, but it wasn't awful (as I recall). The advertising certainly made it seem exotic.


I'm so glad I'm not alone. Giorgio is a chemical weapon. The old Carons were lovely-thanks for the reminder.

Bibi said...

Not all gourmands are sweet.
I'm not sure what Boucheron's Place Vendome has to do with the 'mythic' Place Vendome. Looking at the note Boucheron's PV seems to be yet another floriental with a few 'trendy' notes thrown in like the praline.
There's a Boucheron jewelry store in Place Vendome (or their was 15 yrs ago when I was there).
I looked at Boucheron's Jaipur pour Homme for my husband, I liked it & the notes had an Indian 'vibe' but done in a very French way. It was too 'heavy' for him, said husband. All he likes are boring 'clean' scents. Sometimes my vegetarian Indian husband is more American than I.
I wear the sweet vanillas of Comptoir Sud Pacifique in the summer because they are done in a very 'tropical', floral way as the 'South Pacific' in their name implies.
Right now in the pre Monsoon heat I am being blasted with the ribald fragrances of plumeria by day & raat-ki-rani by night. I usually wear Indian jasmine scented oil in my hair in some vain hope of calming the humidity related frizz in my hair in this heat. Nothing compliments this 'tropical miasma' in my little Himalayan valley better than MORE tropical scents. My beloved Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Abricot is not completely true to it's name- it also contains the piquant notes of jackfruit & papaya making very it 'South Pacific' indeed (also not 'cake' like at all).
Another fragrance I use in tropical heat is traditional Thai "Nam Oop" which is made from orange jessamine flower, lemongrass, fresh nutmeg fruit, bread flower, heartwood, pomelo, 'gum' trees such as citrus & sandalwood, and Madagascar jasmine.
"Powdery" does not meld with all this tropical headiness in my opinion (Plus those powdery scents remind me of my elderly female clients when I was a pharmacist. Unsuccessfully trying to cover up their urinary incontinence issues with over zealously applied scents, which makes me sad again because I watched them suffer over years through the indignities of old age & illness & ultimately die).
Prada's Infusion d'Iris is a powdery scent you might like & has been deemed a "modern classic"-(I can pick out the iris, vetiver & cedar in it, but it smells like a feminine hygiene product to me- possibly another untoward affect of working in a pharmacy?)

Goody said...


Ah, I forgot about the jewelry-I'm sure Place Vendome is a reference to it, looking at the sparkly bottle, and the gem-like body lotion. Don't let the notes fool you-it is cake and candy floss through and through.

I'm almost sure I just sampled the Prada Iris, and hated it (I'll have to check my list and notes). Vetiver and cedar can go hygiene product quickly if done too heavily, for sure.

I wish I could wear tropical fruit scents, but they just turn sour and disgusting on me-even coconut of all things.