Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Idole de Lubin

Much has already been written about this new scent, the 466th from the centuries-old Paris house of Lubin. Founded by Pierre-Francois Lubin in 1798, the house of Lubin quickly gained renown in Paris. Lubin scents were worn by Empress Josephine and Princess Borghese - Napoleon Bonaparte's sister. Lubin fragrances made their way to America in 1830 but seem to have faded between then and now. The creation of Idole, however, may be just what was needed to conquer the New World again.

Created by Olivia Giacobetti, Idole is truly a wonder. This scent was created to evoke travels in wondrous, faraway places. I can't pick just one place. One moment I am lying under the stars in the desert, with a nomadic tribe, a sweet-wood fire and air much cooler than I expected after the heat of the day. In another moment I am in a bazaar, with the scents of cumin, saffron, woods, leather all swirling around me. Another sniff brings me to the edge of the jungle, with its fecund mysteries - beauty and danger. By the drydown, I am back home in my imaginary library. I am surrounded by the scented souvenirs I picked up in my travels, looking through photos in my big leather chair by the fireplace, with my very own ebony mask hanging on the wall.

Listed notes: Rum absolute, bitter orange peel, saffron, black cumin, doum palm, smoked ebony, sugar cane, leather and red sandalwood.

If Cumin in a fragrance scares you, don't fear it here. It must be the particular type of cumin in Idole (black cumin) that does not give the sweat accord. This is a very soft cumin, almost a hint of fresh cumin from a distance, carried on a sea breeze. The sandalwood is simultaneously sweet and powerful, a note that touches your heart, yet you don't quite understand why. Rum and bitter orange in the beginning are stunning and immediately transport you to another world. Leather in the drydown has a comfortable air of old money.

When I first tried this fragrance I thought it might be better suited for my husband - all the woods and rum felt just a tad masculine to me, but the more I wear it, the more I love it. This is a fragrance for a woman who is sure of herself, a bit worldly and sophisticated, and maybe on the intimidating side. Or for a woman who just wants to smell like that.

Olivia Giacobetti's fragrances include some of my favorites: L’Artisan Dzing!, L'Artisan Safran Troublant (another masterful use of saffron) and several other amazing L'Artisans. A few for Diptyque, including my favorite Philosykos, Hermes Hiris and many more. For a more complete list, visit Now Smell This: Noses.

Idole de Lubin is now available at Luckyscent in Los Angeles and online, Beautyhabit online and Luscious Cargo, in New Smyrna Beach and online.

Many thanks to Colombina of Perfume-Smellin' Things, Robin of Now Smell This, Victoria of Bois de Jasmin and M. Giles Thevenin of Lubin.

Today's Fragrance: Idole de Lubin.


Anonymous buleria said...

Okay, let's talk about the bottle. I've only seen a lot of "great bottle", "gorgeous bottle" comments out there, but haven't seen anyone address the confluence of the bottle design and the name of the perfume. Idole. That's idol. Liquid Idole all poured into a bottle mimicking an African statue. Is it my imagination or do not the bottle and scent entirely indulge in Eurocentric fantasies about the dangerous exoticsim of the non-European world?
Just asking?

1:55 PM, January 31, 2006  
Anonymous buleria said...

I should add that it isn't the bottle design the gets to me, it's the name of the scent appended to the bottle design. Idol in this context has a long history of the pejorative.

(I know I know I'm being over sensitive here.)

2:01 PM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger PFG said...

Here's how clueless I am. The exact design of the bottle hadn't even registered on me until I read your comment (above). Wow, crazy how well I tuned it out. But the design is there, and registers subconsciously even for dolts like me. Related, I'm reading a great book by Jean Kilbourne called Can't Buy My Love (previously published as Deadly Persuasions). Her focus is more on the impact of advertising on attitudes towards women, relationships, love, and self. Your observation is interesting and reminds me of some of Kilbourne's critiques.

6:52 PM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger risa said...

it might be just me, but when i first saw the bottle i thought of Easter Island, not Africa (even though i know the fragrance is supposed to evoke a variety of places in Africa and the Indies, east and west).

regardless, every culture has a habit of fetishizing the unknown other, but a culture will also cannibalize itself for separative icons. americans fetishize all sorts of things, from the spiritual aspects of the Native Americans to the sex life of pandas, but they also turn their own flag into a fetish. it doesn't surprise me that a scent that it supposed to evoke the smells of the lands of colonized peoples ends up with this kind of treatment. Euros aren't the only ones guilty of this treatment; it's just a symptomatic habit of a culture going from xenophobic to intrigue.

i do like the choice of the boat iconography, though. ;)

9:50 PM, January 31, 2006  
Anonymous Jonniker said...

Ellie really opened my eyes to the obvious, I gotta say. The whole time - and this is ridiculous - I was thinking of indoles, like that poopy smell of jasmine and expected a fecal scent. So I've had zero desire to even take a whiff of it.

Your review, however, has me thinking otherwise.

10:59 PM, February 01, 2006  
Blogger cjblue said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody!

Buleria and I have had long conversations about this and my contention is that the scent was created as a tribute and celebration of the sensual experiences of other lands. Calling it Idol, I will agree, is a bit over the top. I would hang an African mask on the wall in my house as a celebration of other cultures or because I find beauty in the meaning. I would not, however, call it my new Idol.

PFG: I have not read the book you're referencing, but I would like to say that I'm not sure this fragrance is being marketed specifically to women. If I had to pick a sex for this fragrance to be specifically marketed to, I'd say it's on the masculine side. Since I have never seen any ads for it, other than the description on the website, I'm guessing it's being marketed as a scent for anybody with a bit of wanderlust.

There are some fragrances that offend me with their marketing - Flowerbomb, for example (which, incidentally, buleria and I disagree on) and a whole lot of celebrity scents (Paris Hilton, Britney Spears). There are some that are just awful on me but have a glorious bottle (Lolita Lempicka).

Where was I going with this? Dunno. Thanks for reading!

11:18 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

ITA with buleria. When my bottle arrived I was taken aback at the little beaded necklace and the whole primitive-African vibe. Would feathers and a peace pipe make it "American Idole?" Kidding. The juice, though, I like. I'm still a bit sensitive to spices (pregnancy), but I think I'll love it come fall, and I too think it would smell fab on a man.

1:26 PM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger cjblue said...

ROFL, American Idole!

2:44 PM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger PFG said...

Hey cjblue,
I need advice. Smells for A___. I think he's fond of citrus and sandalwood. Although there is an art of shaving sandalwood that smells, well, it makes me gag a bit. It's not overpower, just there's this one thing in it that gets me somewhere between my throat and just behind my eyes. See, this is why I don't do the scent thing, btw. I think I have a bit of synesthesia.

Anyhow, if you or any of the lovely and olfactorily talented visitors to your blog help me pick out a smell for the fella, I'd appreciate it.

10:51 AM, February 06, 2006  
Blogger PFG said...

Oh wait, hey I just have to do this.

Did'ya watch the game???

bwa hahahaha.

10:52 AM, February 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't even notice that the cap was a mask. D'oh.


2:02 PM, February 06, 2006  
Blogger Chic Alert said...

I have to say that I missed the mask too....lol.

12:48 AM, March 19, 2006  
Blogger Justin said...

this is my favorite cologne.

8:07 PM, August 29, 2009  

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