Arpège pour Homme by Lanvin - A Review by Dusan Z
December 30, 2006. 17:51 Glancing nervously at my watch and realizing with horror how late I am, I start cursing myself for always doing things at the eleventh hour. The stride quickens into a run and with the last breath in the chilly December evening I make my way through crowds of rushed people to the doors of the department store. 17:54 “I am sorry, we are closing”, the security guard informs me. “But I have to go in, and the perfume store is still open, look!” Again he apologizes but will not yield. “But it isn’t six yet. For God’s sake, man, let me buy a New Year present for my girlfriend’, I lie shamelessly, ‘it won’t be a minute’. Rolling his eyes, he mutters a curse or two, but opens the door. Victory! I dart into the perfume store and make a beeline for the preciousss. Within minutes I am paying for my New Year gift to me, while the pissed SAs are looking daggers at me. “Yeah, whatever”, I look back, mentally sticking out my tongue and blowing the loudest, New Year raspberry at them. Just for a split second though I wonder if I really should be institutionalized, but the cold wind swiftly dispels this foolish idea. Having spritzed myself with the Preciousss in a dark corner of the street, I give a blissful sigh and step into the frenzied throng, toweringover each and every head on my way home.....
The first spritz of Arpège is a sweet’n’sour cocktail sprinkled with an overdose of dry pepper or a bowl of fruit salad left to ferment by a drowsy group of youngsters who had wanted to quench their thirst upon returning from the beach but dozed off in the midst of eating, leaving the spoons and forks in and beside the bowl. If there is such a cocktail made of mandarins, oranges, ripe plums and sizzling pepper, I would love to know! The boozy pairing of watery mandarin and dry pepper, which calls to mind the opening of Armani Mania sans the sweetness, gives way to an opulent floral heart, but never really leaves the stage. Jasmine comes strolling in, throwing back her long red hair, a confident young woman well aware of her freshly discovered sensuality. She is bright, almost heady and strangely watery, which makes me think of a blast of hedione rather than jasmine. Just when you think this is too much of a good thing, assuming you like jasmine, a silver-clad, slightly metallic Iris joins her misbehaved younger friend (sister?), at first only to reprimand her, but eventually to take center stage.
While the sweetness and wateriness of fruits fades, the floral heart, sheer and scintillating at one very brief moment, becomes dry and almost leathery from a dusting of nutmeg. At this point I am swooning: an undercurrent of Tonka bean begins to pulsate from underneath, sending warm sighs to the surface. This very accord captures (!!!) the heated moment in the foreplay when you are slowly taking off your girlfriend’s stockings which have absorbed the sweet and slightly sweaty scent of skin. Needless to say, I won’t go any further into details.
Patchouli weaves in and out to ground the composition, but patch-haters should not worry as it is very tame. The trail of sandalwood in the drydown is a perfect match for the sweet’n’sour mandarin from the open and except for a short time when Tonka bean erupts to the surface and almost overwhelms the scent with its sweet warmth, the sandalwood is what remains in the end – dry, enveloping and incredibly sexy!
One of my best friends, a perfume aficionado like myself, called round a few days ago. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time and I was eager to show her all my scented acquisitions. When offered to smell Arpège, she first politely commented that is was okay, but on each subsequent sniff she would recoil in disgust and burst out laughing: “UGH, SWEAT!”.
Unlike niche fragrances, Arpège pour homme is widely available at a decent price.
Recommended films: anything with Monica Bellucci.
Recommended listening (who am I kidding): Kylie.