Friday, May 27, 2011

L'Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine: fragrance review

Mandarine by L'Artisan Parfumeur began its "career" under a different guise: a limited edition bottle for summer 2006 under the name Mandarine Tout Simplement (i.e. Simply Mandarin), along with the regular line launch of Fou d'Absinthe, based on absinth. Mandarine is recently re-issued in the regular bottles of L'Artisan, in 50ml/1.7oz size, so it's fitting to give it a review.

Extremely true to the mandarin fruit, succulent and fresh and tart, Mandarine by L'Artisan Parfumeur is really as if you have piched your nails on the rind of a ripe mandarin, juice dribbling down your fingers, the tartness almost spritzing you in the eye. Then it fans out into a little indeterminable wood accord, of which cedar seems to be the main note. It's pretty simple and unadorned by weighty accents.
The succulent, lightly peachy-bubblegum note that you might detect after a while is due to frangipani. Nevertheless, this is not at all a floral perfume by any means, nor a floral fruity either. It stays resolutely within the realm of fruity woody. As soon as one sprays Mandarine one is transported to a sunny place, with a bowl of fruits on the porch and a summery frock on. Sunglasses optional : this is a friendly , not aloof scent at all. Rather sweet, but the tartness keeps it from being cloying.

Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti is known for her unusual watery creations that are far from the "marine" type of frags so typical of the 90s (witness the watery ambience in Navegar or her Preparation Parfumee for Andree Putman) and her beloved dough/yeast note (as in the cucumber-watery lilacs of En passant ), but here I can detect none. That's a good thing to me personally, because sometimes they ruin the perfume for me.
Mandarine makes you go "ahhhhh" at first sniff , but then it disappears suddenly. I have no trouble with most L'artisan fragrances and their staying power (I regularly wear Premier Figuier, Timbuktu,Oeillet Sauvage without problems to give you an idea), but of course citrus and hesperidic notes are volatile to begin with, hence the swift evaporation. For those who complain about short-lived staying power, that might be a concern. Now that it comes in a 50ml bottle, it would be a "killer" to have in your bag and spray away at the first opportunity.

More info on availability &shopping on the L'Artisan site.

Which is YOUR preferred fruity fragrance for summer? 

Painting of Mandarins via Sadie e Valeri blog


  1. I am intruiged by this one. But I do have a love/hate relationship with citrus. But I do have an issue with L'Artisian's staying power or any eau de toilette's staying power (my skin has the tendancy to eat them).

  2. I suppose you won't really fall in love with this one then. It's very realistic, very pleasurable but assuredly short-lived.

  3. 30 Roses14:34

    I saw it at L'Artisan at Bendel's in 100 ml bottles for $100.

    This bottle is still smaller than the original release, which was a 250 ml bottle with atomizer bulb attached, priced at $125.

  4. I don't generally like citruses although you reminded me that it's the time for pulling out my bottle of Nina Ricci's Bigarade, not suitable for the hottest of summer but good for the mellow days.

    But, yesterday I got a bottle of Iris Ukiyoe, which is discreet and pleasantly cooling, and then I have Shiseido's Tentatrice and Dignita, powdery florals with some resiny bit to keep them together. And good old Nina Ricci's Liberté Acidulée. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this because it indeed smells of tomato flower and I'm nastily allergic to tomato pollen but... hey.
    In general I wear my heavy leathery and incensey stuff even in summer, though.

  5. Anonymous22:02

    I just purchased a bottle of L'Artisan's "The Pour un Ete", another of Olivia Giacobetti's scents and I am in love with the light, floral scent of jasmin tea. It has more staying power than many of my warm weather citrus fragrances. It's become my new favorite for summer!

  6. I've been loving Hilde Soliani's Il Tuo Tulipano. For summer fruity fragrances, I also love the original Juicy Couture, Eau de Sisley 3 (YUM), Clarins Par Amour Toujours, and Nicolai's Eau Turquoise!

  7. Ah, the price for the 100ml is even better ml per ml. Thanks for the info.
    Yes, I recall those special editions were enormous!

  8. L,

    stick on your Bigarade for dear life, it's exceptional (like most of the old NRs are!~)

    I recall Liberte Acidulee very well: the tomato leaf touch was so unique at the time! (I think it was influenced by Goutal's and Doyen's Folavril). The Iris Ukiyoe has a grape-y thing going on, or is it just me? ;-)

  9. L,

    forgot to say my favourite incense for summer wear is Passage d'Enfer; I can wear it even in the hottest of days with absolutely no problem. Not the densest by any stretch of the imagination, but very cooling.
    I also love Tauer's Incense Extreme (which is also very cool)

  10. Anon,

    great choice! Enjoy!! I find that many of Giacobetti's and Ellena's creations are accused for lack of staying power when in fact what they lack is volume. The fragrance is definitely there, but it's a low hum, not a cry down the corridor.

  11. K,

    talk about a unique take on fruity with the Tulipano! It has a most delectable bitter touch in there. I find it excellent.

    I'm sorely disappointed Eau Turquoise didn't agree with me, though. It's not for lack of trying... :-( Lucky you, enjoy!


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