Sunday, 27 February 2011

Lubin L'eau Neuve Figaro

I have samples of all the (fairly) recent releases by Lubin. Confusingly, they are all called L'eau Neuve, but each ends with its own name. Two of the releases, Bluff and Itasca, are fairly typical masculines, and not hugely interesting, in my opinion. Inedite is meant to be the most feminine in the lineup but didn't strike me as such. It turns out that I liked it the most.

Figaro, the fourth, is loosely based on fig and strikes me as the most original of the group, albeit not entirely my cup of tea. The blurb from my carded sample states: "Bold and seductive like Figaro from Beaumarchais's plays, Figaro by Lubin takes liberties with conventions much like the character who inspired it. The heart is a counterpoint of vetiver and fig brightened by notes of apple, clover and plum. Cilantro (Coriander) evokes the green of nature and seaside pines, mingling with ocean breezes. These woody, amber tones finally give way to vetiver, sandalwood, tonka bean and benzoin balm base notes."

There are two things I can say about Figaro. Firstly, if you are expecting a fig fragrance in a similar vein to Philosykos, for example, you will not find it. In fact, if I hadn't known this was a fig scent I would never have guessed it. To be fair, from the notes above it is clear that there is a lot of other stuff going on, rather than fig as the main player. Secondly, Figaro is woody. Very woody. But I don't mean a big, bold masculine wood. When I think about it in more detail, it came to me that actually, if you had to chop down a fig tree and smell the cut wood, this is what it might smell like. So there is a kind of figginess to it, in that sense.

I'm not sure if I detect clover, apple or plum, but there is an oceanic-ness about Figaro that luckily does not paint a scene of water or freshness. In feel it is more like a salt-laden breeze, without much salt, if that makes any sense. This is by no means a fresh fragrance, nor is it light. Yet at the same time it is not a heavy, rich scent either. Although vetiver is mentioned quite a bit, I never really detect much of it either. I do find the woodiness smells slightly creamy or milky, like fig can do, but I suspect this could be the combination of sandalwood, tonka and benzoin.

So I said earlier that Figaro is not entirely my cup of tea. That is true, but this is by no means a boring fragrance. In fact, it is rather quirky and interesting and like I stated, by far the most original of the four new releases by Lubin. I would certainly suggest at least sampling it. You could even be pleasantly surprised.

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