The picture tells it all for me. Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't know that Laura Mercia has a perfume line, or two, if you split it into the main line and the gourmand line. I'm not into makeup, but every time you go to a good department store anywhere in the UK, you are bound to see a Laura Mercier concession and that was all I knew. Then I read a review about Minuit Enchante and how nice it is, so I thought I'd have a closer look the next time I went into one of my local department stores. Well, Fenwick doesn't seem to stock Minuit Enchante, but they did seem to have most of the rest of the line. Now it seems that Laura Mercia perfumes are marketed mainly at women, so instead of spritzing at lunchtime, for fear of disturbing work colleagues, I sprayed a number onto paper strips. So my initial impressions as jotted below are not based on proper wearing. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by what I tried. Admittedly some were obviously feminine, but there were at least a couple that I thought could be easily pulled off by a man.
Ambre Passion Elixir - this is my initial favourite. As the name amply describes, this is amber from top to bottom, no question about it. Amber is evident from first spray and it is a lovely amber which, to me, is in the style of Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens. It's not quite as herbal and intense, but even so, it does bear more than a passing resemblance and I liked it a lot. I need to test it on skin now and see how it develops.
Vanille Gourmande - this is a lovely little number that seems to have some tenacity; It sprays quite dark on paper. This isn't overly complicated, but starts with some florals (lily and heliotrope) and the vanilla is joined by amber and sandalwood later on. There is just a touch of smoke or incense in here to prevent the vanilla from becoming too sweet and cloying. I'm reminded quite a bit of Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal, although less smoky.
L'heure Magique - this was quite feminine, and it reminded me a little of Kelly Caleche, with a subtle leather note. It also smelled quite musky, in a clean, slightly powdery way.
Eau de Lune - this was the most overtly feminine of those I tried, and seemed to me like a very nice, subtle, fruity floral. It was fairly restrained and also a bit powdery. Definitely not me, but I'm sure many women would like it.
Neroli - this one surprised me the most. I was expecting it to be a straightforward orange blossom scent, and in a way it is, but I was amazed at how strong and indolic it opened. It reminded me very much of Serge Lutens' floral style, with amped up but very pure flowers and the two most obvious associations are with Fleurs d'Oranger and Fleurs De Citronnier. It lasts incredibly long on paper; I can still smell it clearly well over 24 hours later. I really like this one too.
I'd be interested to find out if anyone has tried Laura Mercier and what you think of the line. I thought that for a line that specialises in makeup, its fragrances were very well-executed and quite interesting.