So, my friend Terri was nice enough to send me a sample of a fragrance she has been working on called Sucre et Fleurs (sugar and flowers), and I thought it would be a good time to bring back my favorite style of review: Seconds on the Clock. If you don't remember or were not around when I used to do this, the idea is simple: I write a little sentence or two on what I am getting out of a fragrance in few hour long intervals, then sum up the experience and offer a rating of sorts at the end.
1:50 p.m.: Upon application, my first thought was baby wipes. Maybe I'm tainted by too many cousins and relatives having kids lately and thus the smell of baby wipes is around me far too often, but this is really what I smell off the start. I get some powder and some soft florals but that's about it.
2:00 p.m.: After letting it calm down a bit, I am getting a lot more from this already. I am detecting a nutty note which after looking at the notes list I can tell is pistachio alongside some honeyed white florals (jasmine mostly with lily as well). It isn't the most original opening necessarily as I am still getting that baby wipe/newborn room kind of powdery smell, but I think that is partly due to the vanilla that is very prominent on the inhale. We'll see how it settles further in an hour or two.
3:00 p.m.: Thankfully that odd scent association is gone, and now I am left with a very pleasant pistachio/honey/jasmine combo that smells just slightly chemical but not in a "fake" way like some designer scents laden with aroma-chemicals are. Think of it more like a plastic/waxy vibe. The cedar wood/vanilla base is featured in this composition (I have worn the base by itself before and it was great!), and it really serves to curb the overly powdered opening.
4:45 p.m.: The fragrance has transitioned into the cedar/vanilla base almost entirely now. While there is some lingering jasmine the vanilla is now much more noticeable, with just a hint of dry cedar as an underlying note to help things not come off as too saccharine.
6:30 p.m. I'm surprised with how little that I sprayed that this is still going on. At this point though the fragrance has become entirely about that cedar and vanilla dry down with just a touch of florals (I feel like I've said that before). So, I'm going to call this one. I can imagine longevity will be perfectly suitable given how long it has lasted with two small sprays on my wrist.
So, this is definitely a scent that is a little out of my comfort zone, mostly due to the fact that I don't own much in the way of florals, and from the name at least, I expected it to be another super sweet take on the candied florals that litter the genre. That was not the case here, and instead what I received was a much more restrained, simplistic fragrance that does not try to do too much. I can see this being a welcome addition to a wardrobe for when you want something a bit floral but do not want to go full soliflore. The opening is kind of a turn off for me, but I have a feeling that given some time and additional wearings I would get used to it and my scent association would go away. I hope that the little bit about baby wipes does not turn anyone off, because again fragrance is a very personal thing and just because that is what I smell does not mean it is what you will smell.
Once everything dries down I like the fragrance a lot more. I find it clever of Terri to use pistachio, a note I've never really experienced in a fragrance before in place of something like Tonka bean to offer that roasty, toasty mid note. I'm also admittedly a big fan of jasmine in fragrances and I'm not sure why. It is just dirty enough to not be so squeaky clean all the time, almost akin to when lavender is used well in a fragrance. It stops smelling like laundry and creates a new association.
I'd like to also address the fact that she uses the term "sucre" for sugar here, which gives me at least some expectation that it will be a sweet fragrance, and in a way it is. But, it's not cotton candy/white chocolate sweet, nor is it cloying unless you get up close and sniff for a while (I feel like any fragrance would get that way if you did that!).
While I feel like this might have been intended for women to wear, I do feel this works perfectly well as a unisex fragrance as long as men are okay with some florals to go along with their vanilla. While this doesn't stand out from the group of vanilla-centric scents I've smelled recently in terms of quality (of the vanilla), it serves its purpose well enough.
Overall I like this fragrance, especially from a relatively new perfumer in Terri. I think she definitely has a lot of potential and I look forward to trying her stuff in the future.
If you are interested in getting your hands on some Sucre et Fleurs, check out Terri's Facebook page "Decadent Decants." Pricing is an absolute steal at $12 for a 15mL bottle.