For a nice change, the fragrance I'm reviewing isn't challenging to wear. That's a definite oddity in my collection as I tend to gravitate to the strange in perfume as with clothing. Sometimes a person just wants to smell nice. Nice is of course subjective and one person's nice is another's migraine (I'm looking at you, Angel) but it would take some determination to find something offensive in Comme Un Evidence.
The striking thing about cuE is the lack of sweetness. The tendency for modern florals to be sugared up can make it difficult to find something with rose that doesn't veer into cake. Even fragrances that aren't outright gourmands, still seem to nod in that direction, so it was a genuine surprise to find something launched in 2003 that isn't competing with the various candy floss scents of the era. If anything, cuE reminds me of a stripped-down Laura Ashley No 1 which was itself out of place in the 80s.
One of the more interesting liqueurs I put up over the years was rhubarb based. It tasted alright, but drinking it alone was a challenge as it evoked a combination of dirty fish tank, and grass clippings. Mixed in a cocktail, the smell dissipated, but alone it was hard to stomach. I feel the same about rhubarb notes in perfumery. Used judiciously, they can enhance green and fresh notes as done in cuE where the lily of the valley and oakmoss temper the mouldy aspects. You get a very soft effect, that could be described as powdery mildew, were that not a real thing that afflicts gardens in humid climates. Anyway, the rhubarb is well behaved and I applaud Annick Menardo resisting the temptation to throw fruit or vanilla at it turning cuE into a pie. I enjoy rhubarb pie, but I wouldn't want to smell like one.
The note pyramid for cuE is so small it is hard to believe it works as well as it does. As with most things, balance plays a role. Yes, there's white musk and patchouli in there but neither make their presence individually known. I tend to associate white musk with household cleaners and fabric softener because it is used in such quantity in those products. cuE doesn't smell like Snuggle.
Violet leaf is used to great effect in cuE. It is fresh smelling and green without evoking a barber shop. Maybe that's part of the magic with cuE-it is green without ever being fougere, clean without being ozonic, and floral without being gourmand. Unbelievably, it still manages to have decent projection and it lasts for hours on both my skin and clothing.
The marketing seems to suggest it is a romantic fragrance to wear with an organza dress walking on a beach at sunset. I don't get that. I get more of a daytime vibe, pretty without being too much. Could just be me, but then I'm landlocked in the middle of the United States so what the hell do I know about romantic sunset walks on the beach? A sunset walk along the Platte River would only get you eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Notes:Lily of the valley, oakmoss, rose, rhubarb, violet leaf, patchouli, musk. The rose is a very green rose at that.
My younger self enjoyed the offerings from Yves Rocher, but over the years I've lost interest. No reason really, other than there's so many companies out there and I sort of forgot about them. I don't think this will be the spark that has me tracking down vintage bottles of 8e Jour, but if I see a random Rocher in a thrift shop, I'll probably give it a try based on the quality of this one. A quick look online shows at least a dozen flankers, so this must have been a successful fragrance for them. I can see why. Sometimes, you just want to smell nice.