As the year draws to a close, I am desperately trying to clear out my massive backlog of untried or partially tried fragrance samples. Unless something is so horrible that it necessitates instant removal (i.e., a scrubber), my practice is to try everything at least twice, and if it warrants a review (that is, if I can think of something to say about it) I usually give it 3-5 tries. But there are many fragrances that just don't capture my attention one way or another on the first try, and they tend to spend months in the purgatory of the "try again some day" basket. Such was the fate that befell L Eau de Parfum, the fragrance inspired by the Showtime series The L Word and launched by Apothia earlier this year.
L Eau de Parfum was created by perfumer Yann Vasnier and includes notes of angelica, juniper, cardamom, violet leaf, Florentine orris butter, vetiver, sandalwood, musk and crystal amber.
I am not sure why L Eau de Parfum failed to move me on the first try; it is a lovely rendition of iris, one of my favorite fragrance notes, and Yann Vasnier also created another beloved iris: Divine's L'Homme de Coeur. The two share some notes (angelica, juniper, vetiver) but the L Eau de Parfum is a considerably softer, less masculine scent, not quite so brisk as the Divine. It starts with a nice burst of spiced green citrus that vaguely recalls yet another beloved iris, Curated by Colette's Three AsFour, but without Three AsFour's fizzy, high-pitched quality. The dry down is much milder: iris over pale musky woods with a touch of amber.
It is earthy, but not the buried-underground earthy of The Different Company's Bois d'Iris. It is not quite cool, not quite warm, but somewhere in between, and once it settles it stays relatively close to the skin. I should think either sex could wear it quite easily. Nicely done, and well worth a try for iris lovers.
Kudos to Apothia, by the way, for offering all of their own scents in 15 ml bottles. If only other fragrance companies would follow suit, I'd buy a lot more perfume than I do. The L Eau de Parfum is $30 for 15 ml, $75 for 50 ml, and samples are available for $5 each.
In the interest of full disclosure, please note that Apothia is an advertiser on Now Smell This.