One of my favorite fragrances in the entire world is Keiko Mecheri's Genie des Bois. The fragrance notes are, mysteriously, only violet, cedar and exotic woods. I would add cinnamon to that list, but perhaps they count that as an exotic wood. The cedar in this simply sparkles-it is spicy, it is fresh and vibrant. The violet is sweet and powdery, the perfect counterpoint to the strength of the cedar. When I wear it, I feel as though I am sitting in a forest surrounded by purple flowers. It transports me.
Some have said that it is a knock off of Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. It may be-but frankly, I don't care, because I think Genie des Bois is 10 times better than Bois de Violette. Lutens' cedar and violet creation features a much heavier cedar. It doesn't sparkle like Mecheri's, and the violet is not sweet, but rather green. The result is far less interesting to me, because the notes don't dance around each other like Mecheri's do. Add to that the fact that Lutens' Bois de Violette is not sold in the US and is oodles more expensive if you actually manage to find a way to buy it, and I think I make a quite convincing case for Genie des Bois' superiority.
You can buy it at www.luckyscent.com or http://your-cosmetics.com for $80.
UPDATE 1/31/2008: They've redone the bottles and are now charging a ridiculous mark up-$115. It's worth shopping around to see if you can find a place that carries the old stock for less. Ebay is worth perusing.
Based on the name, I expected Keiko Mecheri's Osmanthus to be a soliflore. It's not that at all, however. Rich, golden, apricot-y osmanthus is certainly present in this fragrance, but it is balanced by exotic, powdery datura and vibrant, lush tuberose. It is a trifecta of goodness. It's also a lot like Serge Lutens' Datura Noir. Not exactly, however. Whereas Datura Noir is dominated by datura and coconut, Keiko Mecheri's version pays greater homage to osmanthus, and there is nary a coconut to be sniffed. This is sunshine in a bottle, and I'm going to have to have it. Ebay, here I come.
When I heard that Keiko Mecheri-maker of one of my favorite fragrances of all time-was doing an iris scent, my wallet went off on its own and hid in the fridge. Because iris is one of my favorite notes. And now the two are meeting and I'm so excited, but also a little frightened.
And now I've sampled Iris Pourpre. And I freakin' love it. There are a growing number of iris scents out there, but this one is certainly original. It's a brighter iris than I'm accustomed to-iris usually lends a fragrance an earthy, mysterious air because most people don't know what iris rhizomes smell like. Iris pourpre has all the wonderful powdery rootiness that you expect from an iris note, but with an unexpected pop of sweet, tropical ylang ylang. It sounds like it would be an awful combination, but it's wonderfully blended and it works very well. It's really an very simple scent - the two notes I mentioned are pretty much the sum of its parts. But the simplicity in this case is masterful. I need this fragrance. I need it now.
If you like Christian Dior's Cologne Blanche and Serge Lutens's Datura Noir, you simply must try Keiko Mecheri's Datura Blanche because it smells like a combination of the two. Datura Blanche has that haunting, alien quality I've found in all the datura fragrances I've tried, heightened in this case by a bit of plasticky tuberose. It would be the most coldly industrial floral note ever if not for the soft, powdery vanilla, heliotrope and almond blend that accompanies it. It is mildly sweet and heartily interesting. This is the second of the latest round of Mecheri releases I've sampled, and I'm very impressed.