I bought a L'Artisan perfume set yesterday from Fenwick. You may have seen it or something similar in years past. L'Artisan used to do 15ml bottle sizes, back in the day. I personally think, as a perfume fan, that 15ml is possibly the best size. No 200ml crap for me, thank you.
So, I bought a set of 3 x 15ml bottles of Timbuktu, Fou d'Absinth and Coeur de Vetiver Sacre. There is also a 'feminine' equivalent, but off the top of my head can't remember the set, other than Mure et Musc was included. Considering I paid a 50% off price for the set, I don't think it is bad value for money at all and in fact even at full price it isn't bad at all.
I've written about Timbuktu a couple of times before, and Fou d'Absinth. I like both of them a lot, going so far as to say they are in my top five of L'Artisan fragrances. But what about Coeur de Vetiver Sacre? Looking back at reviews when it first came out in the second half of 2010, the most polite way of putting it is that responses were muted, to say the least. I was particularly struck by a very scathing review by a fairly well-known blogger, whose name shan't be mentioned here. The review essentially said (very edited version by me) that the perfume idea was great, but the execution diabolical, going on to say that the perfumer hadn't really paid any attention to detail, producing an inferior scent, with a poor evaporation curve. Now, I am not a perfume technician by any means, and reviews are subjective, of course, but I felt it was a bit below the belt. Personally, while I don't think that the fragrance is that brilliant, it is certainly wearable and an interesting take on the vetiver theme, with an amber undertone. If I have a criticism, it is that the fragrance is too slight, with minimal sillage and presence, but it smells perfectly decent and I have no qualms wearing it.
I still have a very soft spot for L'Artisan, one of the pioneer niche houses, and no matter what some people think of the line, they have produced some wonderful fragrances over the years. I mean, who can forget Dzing!, Voleur de Roses, Poivre Piquant, Dzonkha, Tea for Two, Passage D'Enfer, Bois Farine, Safran Troublant, Mechant Loup and Patchouli Patch? The list goes on...
And I am happy to be the proud owner of three very wearable small-size perfumes.