Remember my anticipation over Parfums MDCI La Belle Helene, how enthusiastic I was because it was reported to be an pear/osmanthus/licorice/wood and that sounded ideal?
|La Belle Helene: the little marble head means it's classy.|
Well, today is the day and La Belle Helene turns out to be an overly sweet, fruity thing of no real interest. It's pleasant, like most sweet, fruity things are pleasant, but it falls a little short even within its unambitious category. Except for its price: it's tops when it comes to price. Though even there, if I'm going to blow a month's perfume allowance on one sweet fruity thing, I'd do better blowing it on Indult Manakara.
I'm glad I didn't purchase this, which is mostly thanks to your initial unenthusiastic response (you said it was so forgetful, you'd forgotten to tell me you had tried it, then promised to try it again before forgetting to try it again, or maybe you did try it again and forgot to tell me you had tried it again). Because if I had purchased it, I would've felt guilty over the price and probably tried to convince myself that I liked it, wearing it over and over, saying unconvincing things ("I like it a little better now that I understand what Bertrand Duchaufour was attempting" or "the licorice wood really starts emerging in hour four"), and feeling an underlying sense of self-betrayal the whole time. Thankfully, I dodged that bullet.
I do remember your enthusiasm! Based only on the description, you said “It's like something I'd create.” Y'know, I've had my LuckyScent samp of La Belle Helene in my "in-tray" (my Sniffapalooza souvenir nylon lunch bag) since forever, always thinking "I need to try that one again so I can report more thoroughly to Dan -- he might love it!" But there were always perfumes I wanted to smell before I tried that one again. Your dismay finally roused me to put some on -- and yep, it's unambitiously sweet and fruity. And dull. It's not bright and crazy and POW fruity peach and anise like Annick Goutal Le Mimosa, fr'instance.
The funny thing is when I wrote that bit about the licorice wood emerging in hour four, I hadn't yet made it to hour four. (Or hour three.) But soon enough it did emerge, and the perfume turned less sweet and more into a kind of subtle, sophisticated Lolita Lempicka, though somehow not as good as "subtle, sophisticated Lolita Lempicka" makes it sound.