Lancôme Trésor in Love (2010): The Scent of Better {Perfume Review}


T-letter-tss-quaint-B.jpgTrésor in Love by Lancôme is the latest flanker to Trésor (1990), which is by now considered a "modern classic." It's survived the ebbs and flows of the perfume market and women still identify with its apricot-y, peach-y rose. Created originally by perfumer Sophia Grojsman for herself, it is considered an innovative perfume which gave pride of place to the linear structure in fragrance, i.e., one that tells you from the beginning how it will smell from start to end, with no or little surprise.

Trésor was an instant hit judging from the sillages that filled the streets of Paris at the time in great part thanks to the neo-romantic style of the advertising campaign, and it still does today as this is one of the most frequent feminine trails I encounter. Paris, the mythical city of romance par excellence for many, was made a focal point of the advertising campaign with a radiant Isabella Rossellini lending her luminous charm to the perfume. 20 years later, Trésor in Love is out and symbolically fronted by the daughter of Isabella Rossellini, Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann. The jus as well as the bottle have been adapted to "speak" to the women of today and refresh the image of the perfume, a necessity if one is interested in longevity. Chanel showed the way by repainting its own building with fresh paint with Eau Première, a 21st century version of Chanel No.5... 


The new version is signed by perfumers Dominique Ropion and Véronique Nyberg. Notes are: nectarine, wood, cedar wood, a rose with a luminous jasmine character, bergamot, tart pear, peach, violet and Turkish rose.

Compared to the EDT and EDP of Trésor, Trésor in Love opens on relatively tarter and fruitier notes as well as an even more pronounced impression of the white musk called Galaxolide which famously makes up one of the four main building blocks of the fragrance with Iso E Super, Methyl Ionone and Hedione. Think the powdery scent of Bouncer sheets. One recognizes the delicious plummy apricot, iris and heliotrope accord of the original Trésor but as if it had been excised of any heaviness. This is not to say that the perfume is as transparent as the pale pink juice in the new elongated bottle might suggest. It is actually round and substantial, with a wittier lilt to it. The almondy nuance of heliotrope also seems to be more accentuated, but remains subtle. The perfume mellows down, becomes rounder and woodier with the cedar wood and offers a pleasant, real-yet-non-cloying syrupy texture smelling of a rose-amber-vanilla accord which is sweet but also slightly salty.

One problem that interests me very much in fragrance-making is how much perfumes benefit from the progress of fragrance technology. Overtime, formulas appear tighter, more precise. Once contradictory propositions like freshness and lastingness become possible. Diffusion is masterfully controlled and seamless etc. In the case of Trésor in Love, I would say that this is exactly what takes place to my nose. The EDP and EDT versions I have of it which I purchased in the American market a few years ago, suddenly "stink" next to it, a problem which often happens to me when I compare the old with the new (see Windsong.) We are clearly faced with different codes where in particular we have become more demanding vis-à-vis good fresh citrus notes. They are here, bringing a welcome citrusy twist, as in Eau Première. At the same time Trésor in Love does not forsake all idea of depth and is in fact quite resinous in feel.

It is a very lasting fragrance, with impeccable diffusion. The next day it smells of an apricot and nectarine compote, in a good way, with a measure of seriousness thanks to the woods. Mercifully, I do no smell the awful for me note of Nectaryl which I detect aplenty in the EDP version of Trésor, a lifeless and artificial-smelling note of nectarine by itself. This modern adaptation turns out to be an improvement.  

My conclusion? Huzzah for progress, at least to this nose!  

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