I officially felt old the first time I reencountered mom- jeans. I wanted to gently tap the young woman’s shoulder and tell her, that mom- jeans didn’t do anything for her figure, and were not even fashionable at the time, hence the name…
Apart from mom-jeans the 90s brought us some amazing and iconic perfumes, (feminite du bois, le feu d’issey etc) but mostly it brought us the beginning of ghostly anemic fragrance and the end of interesting mainstream releases.
I was truly looking forward to smelling the new LUI by Guerlain, which mistakenly I though was a new mainstream release when in fact it’s a 160€ per 50ml -thing! I loved the idea of Guerlain going explicitly gender-bender on us, calling a shared fragrance for LUI. Even the notes read like something I would love: vanilla, clove, benzoin, leather, smoke, carnation and resins. “A universal perfume” is how Guerlain terms it, add to that not one but two superstar perfumers; Thierry Wasser is joined by Delphine Jelk.
The idea of turning a heavy oriental perfume into a skin scent, might be a good one, at least in theory, but in reality, to me, it just smells skimpy. I can smell the clove/ carnation and the soothing concoction of vanilla and resins. Perhaps I can even imagine that the leather takes the perfume away from being too cloying or vanilla-cosy, but more realistically, had I blind-sniffed LUI, I wouldn’t have given it a second chance, too many good carnation/ clove centric perfumes already exist. This one seems simplistic and unguerlain, even if I agree with the many forum voices calling the drydown akin to (a skinny) Bois d’Armenie.
I find that LUI jumps on the niche bandwagon of using as fewer ingredients creating more linear fragrances, which is disappointing coming from the venerable old perfume house.
If diet-oriental scents are your thing, give it a try. It might also be for you if in general you enjoy skin scents and the niche brands which have made it their aim to use a limited molecular palette.
If you like a fuller carnation there’s the magnificent En Avion by Caron, Washinton Tremlets overcosy and quite musky Clove Absolute (think Musc Ravageur goes clovy) and Lorenzo Villoresi Garofano if you like a strong, spicy, Italianate carnation. For another transparent carnation there’s Prada’s Infusion d’Oeillet.
I assume the target groups chez Guerlain consist of all the mom- jeans wearing hipsters who agree that this spectral 90s incarnation (pun intended) is the bees knees. It makes me feel old.