Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger recently released a new collection entitled Collection Capsule. The collection contains two unisex perfumes of gorgeous quality--Liberté Bohème and Poudre de Liberté.
I just had to mention, before I get on with the reviews, that what I love about this house is that nothing they create smells like chemicals. That is not to say that they don't contain synthetics. I don't know for sure. The bottom line is that their fragrances evoke a sense of naturalness that I personally find very addictive. After falling hopelessly in love with Violette Sacré, I was excited to have an opportunity to try the new duo.Liberté Bohème
Head: Basil, Tarragon, Green Tomatoes.
Heart: Jasmin, Rose of May, Nenuphar.
Base: Sandalwood and Musk.
Liberté Bohème is a vibrant, green floral that is on the sweeter side. This perfume seriously makes me nostalgic for some of my oldest childhood memories. I grew up mostly in the city, but there was a brief couple of years when we lived in the suburbs. We had scorching hot summers but we had shaded green lawns, a deck in the back, a flowering magnolia tree in front, and lots of space to run around and play. I swear that Liberté Bohème is the exact scent of the front lawn while my dad mowed it. I can hear the sound of the lawn mower so clearly when I smell this, and I can see and smell the piles of freshly cut grass scattered all over for my dad to rake up. So it evokes childhood memories from a time when I would describe my life and my spirit as feeling totally free; unencumbered by life's responsibilities; not yet jaded by perceived failures nor broken hearts.
I hate to compare Liberté Bohème to another perfume, but I want to give a reference point, as it is not the type of green that I encounter often. I feel that Hermes' Un Jardin Sur le Toit (my favorite of the Jardin series) is the perfume that comes closest to Liberté Bohème. Both perfumes have sweet pink roses in common, my absolute favorite type of rose scent. Both perfumes are green, but Liberté Bohème seems strictly green, while Un Jardin Sur le Toit smells like a combination of fruit, roses, and tangy citrus along with the fresh green notes. As a matter of personal preference, I prefer Liberté Bohème.
Sillage is not huge, not cloying, so it's really clean and fresh for warmer weather. I get about 5 hours of wear before I feel an urge to touch-up. I honestly don't notice much musk nor woods. The perfume wears quite linear on me, but considering the fact that I really like the fragrance from the get-go, I am very glad it does not mutate into anything other than the scent of my carefree childhood.
As I mentioned, Liberté Bohème is truly green. Roses do not overpower nor dominate as I feared they would. There is no sharp hyacinth, narcissus nor lily-of-the-valley to give the perfume a false sense of greenness and tip the balance towards floral. It seems as though all of the "green" perfumes I encounter these days include one of those (potentially and frequently) sharp, screechy floral notes. It is not an evergreen fragrance, either. Liberté Bohème's beauty lies within its ability to remain simply GREEN. I think it's absolutely beautiful, quite possibly the perfect, simple, green perfume. Since it smells so natural, men and women can wear with confidence.Poudre de Liberté
Head: Bergamot, Mandarin.
Heart: Rose, Candied Fruits, Spices, Leather.
Base: Cedar, Licorice wood, Sandalwood and Musk.
Poudre de Liberté sure has a spicy personality! I would put it into the category of spicy orientals like Coco EDT (not syrupy nor cloying enough to compare to the EDP). It is heavy on cinnamon, so if cinnamon is something you really enjoy, you will love it. The cinnamon smells so natural, just like when I open my giant jar of cinnamon sticks to use when I am cooking Indian food. I can never resist sticking my nose close to the mouth of the jar and inhaling the scent.
Spicy perfumes of this type are ones I have always thought of as perfumes worn by assertive, successful women who know exactly how to wield their personal power. Poudre de Liberté takes me back to my childhood. It brings to mind my aunt, the CFO at her company, awfully successful for a single woman in the 1980's. She was someone I admired as a strong female figure. A ballsy, no-nonsense, financially independent woman. Her favorite perfume for some time was Opium. So I don't know if it's just me who maintains this association between spicy, oriental fragrances and strong women.
The element I really adore about this perfume is that I distinctly smell candy--clear, sugary, hard candy. A lot like my memory of rock candy. The perfume on the whole reminds me very much of candied apples. When I was little, I always chose caramel apples over candied apples, but during the precious few times I ate a candied apple, I noticed the coating had a cinnamon flavor infused in it. And this is what makes the perfume smell especially free. I imagine a woman who lives each day with authority over her life, and then you add the aspect of childhood, which is truly (or should be) a carefree time in a person's life. Poudre de Liberté goes in a totally different direction than other spicy perfumes of its kind...because it just doesn't take itself too seriously! It's like a confident woman who can still allow her inner-child to come out and play. This is an amazingly fun, creative twist on a classic theme!
All this talk of cinnamon and no talk of powder yet. Well, a few hours into wearing it, the cinnamon nearly disappears, leaving behind a light powdery scent. And I mean light. This is not a powder keg by any means, so don't buy it expecting What We Do in Paris is Secret or Teint de Neige. It's a surprisingly timid drydown for a perfume that packed such a spicy punch, but I really like the bit of sweet powder in the end.
So again, you have two starkly different ideas here, but I can really feel and understand the message of freedom that they are trying to convey. One perfume reflects freedom in the outside world and the other reflects freedom within oneself. And I have no idea if that was the intention or if my perceptions are the least bit accurate. In any case, I was amazed at how both perfumes evoked vivid memories of my childhood. I enjoyed being in my own mind, living in those memories for a little while. Great perfumes!
WHERE TO BUY: These limited edition perfumes are available at Beauty Frontier, where you can purchase samples or full bottles (and what pretty bottles!).