Do you love carrots? By which I mean, of course, do you love carrots in perfume? Because if you don't, move on, nothing to see here today. I Love Les Carottes is one of the three fragrances in the We Love New York collection from French organic line Honoré des Prés, and they're not kidding about the carrots. Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti reportedly spend some serious quality time with carrots while developing this one:
With this comforting wonder, Olivia has initiated, with love, by cooking, freezing, and cooking again the carrots from organic farmers in the streets of Harlem and by crossing the crudity of the carrot juice. She is moved by this olfactory dietetic. This experimentation has led her to write her own recipe book : blending the seeds thinned out from the carrot flower which still smell of the divine, natural, odour of the earth, combined with the mild orange tanginess of the Caribbean, imbedding the seductive scent of vanilla and the secretive essence of orris butter.
And of course, fans of Ms. Giacobetti's work will possibly remember that she's done carrots before, with the nearly-forgotten Fleur de Carotte for L'Artisan Parfumeur, and then again in the top notes for my old favorite Hermès Hiris.
In I Love Les Carottes, the carrot note is front and center: this is easily the most carrot-y of the three. The opening is crisp and smells like a carrot martini with a twist of citrus peel. Later, it's softer and earthier and more iris-y, a little darker, and still pretty darned carrot-y although you'll also catch bits of turnip and possibly other root vegetables lurking about. You will either love it (I find the smell nearly addictive, and will add that it's a marvelous background fragrance for reading in bed) or hate it (Kevin said it smelled like "some body fluid you'd inhale in a vet's office" or "some drainage from a corpse" — consider yourself warned).
It is unisex (society at large has not yet found the need to assign a gender designation to the smell of carrots) and reasonably long lasting for a natural perfume (don't expect it to last all day).
Honoré des Prés I Love Les Carottes features notes of orange, orris butter, vanilla, patchouli and benzoin. It is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, $98. For buying information, see the listing for Honoré des Prés under Perfume Houses.