Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Le Cherche Midi: Scents for Skin and Surroundings

When it comes to scenting a living space, I tend to be rather persnickety. Incense sticks that are too husky, or room sprays that vanish in a matter of seconds will always find their place amongst the clutter in my kitchen bin, toute suite. Nine times out of ten, you get what you pay for, which often makes shopping for ambient perfumes a very expensive exercise.
Fortunately, a breath of fresh air on the luxury perfume front is artisanal fragrance house Le Cherche Midi - whose innovative series of perfumed products are set to position them as heavyweights on the international market. This house, whose roots extend back to the charming Left Bank of Paris, is proof positive that exceptional value for money does not necessarily compromise quality. Winning the 2008 Best Off Main Awards for Most Luxurious Candle Line and Best Gift over $50, Le Cherche Midi was also named as a finalist for the 2008 FiFi Awards for Interior Scent... all accolades that in my opinion, have been rightfully bestowed.

Working with a number of world renowned French perfumers, Le Cherche Midi created a series of complex and sophisticated fragrances d'ambience, each of which bear no name. Instead, each has been assigned a colour and a number, leaving the customer the opportunity to interpret and respond to them in their own way. Surprisingly, their skin-safe fragrance mists are intended to be worn on the skin, as well as used to scent your surroundings.

I was recently furnished with a number of products from the LCM range, each of which are beautifully presented in hand-crafted wooden boxes, with pure silk linings. Of particular note, is their unprecedented "Fragrance Cube" reedless diffuser - a patent-pending product that does away with fussy reed-flipping and potential messes. (A dowel plug dipped into the alcohol-free fragrance draws up the fragrant oil and diffuses it through the solid wooden top). Here in Denmark, as the days darken by 4.30pm and the temperatures barely peer above zero, our home, unfortunately, rarely has the opportunity to be aired. In the last few days since opening the Fragrance Cube, our living space has been discreetly perfumed and we are conscious of a distinct aura of "clean and comfortable" that has permeated through.
BEGONE, gruff, gravelly incense! BEGONE, I say!

And now, a few of my impressions about the scents themselves:

01 - Aquatic/oceanic "sporty" accords of bergamot, lavender, mint and oakmoss.
05 - Grassy greens, laundered sheets: pine, galbanum, tonka beans.
09 - Oriental candied cashmere: lemon meringue, indolic florals, amber, patch & vanilla absolute.
14 - Dewy spring orchard: mandarin, blackcurrant and blushing peonies
20 - Dank earthy cedar: bergamot, black pepper, amber, cedar & sandalwood. Think: Terre d'Hermés.
21 - Warm spicy wine: cardamom, saffron, blackberry, carnation, cinnamon, leather
57 - Cool spring garden tea-party: white tea, cherry blossom, vetiver, white moss, vanilla
CT01 - Damp autumn underbrush: cypress, fir, sage, pine, aged vetiver.

Sorcery of Scent Giveaway!

2 very lucky readers have the chance to win a full set of all 8 Le Cherche Midi samples so they can try the line.
Simply comment on this post, and tell me which of the scents above appeals to you the most and why. Be sure to enable your contact email address, so you can be notified if you're a winner!
2 winners will be selected at random, and their names published here in the weeks to come.


RML- Being More Through Having Less said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

57 sounds interesting because I don't think I've ever seen all of these notes together.

Scott said...

Thanks for this review, I have been looking for a home fragrance. The only one I have found which I like is Costes, in the original red bottle, but after a whole year of Costes I'm up for something new. Please enter me in the draw. I'm also intrigued by the woody wick (okay, stop snickering).

Ines said...

Oh, giveaway! :)
I think I'd like the best warm spicy wine (which I love in the original sense) and after that the dank earthy cedar (reconnecting with the earth).

Roberto C said...

This sounds interesting, please enter me in the draw.

Roberto C.

Roberto C said...

Oops I forget to mention the one thesounds more interesting to me and it is # 20 Dank earthy cedar: bergamot, black pepper, amber, cedar & sandalwood, sounds like my kinda scent.
Thanks again!

Roberto C.

michelle said...

I think i'd like 20 the most, for a person to wear. For the house, 5 sounds wonderful. Actually, they all sounds lovely. Please enter me in the draw.

Thanks so much!!!

Anonymous said...

CT01 sounds perfect for me, it speaks to my favorite autumn diversion of wandering through damp forests. I love the presentation of these scents. It seems I see reed diffusers in every home I visit; it would be fun to go reedless.


margofandango said...

I liked the sound of number 5. It reminded me of Christmas Eve, when I was a child. Going to bed on the most magical night of the year.

With the smell of freshly laundered sheets, pine and the spices.

Scott said...

Ooops, forgot to say which one(s) appealed to me most. No.s 20 and CT01, love the damp earthy vetiver thing. Thanks.

Federica said...

Thank you for pointing out this, it's very interesting!

The ones that appeal most to me are 20 (bergamot, black pepper, amber, cedar & sandalwood) and
CT01 (cypress, fir, sage, pine, aged vetiver)
Also the fragrance notes for 01 sound very pleasant, but the "aquatic/oceanic" description makes me suspicious, since I usually cannot stand "aquatic" perfumes.

Naturally, one would have to smell them - so please enter me in the draw :-)

Federica ( federica @ mmp . it )

Arachne said...

Warm spicy wine has my name embossed on the packaging, I'm sure. :D I mean, cardamom AND saffron AND carnation AND leather?
The reedless diffusing concept sounds fascinating and certainly provides a cleaner look to the whole thing. Colour me intrigued.

Alexander Greene said...

CT12 sounds wonderful- I spent a lot of my childhood in Italy and the macchia in autumn is wonderful- we used to rummage for porcini mushrooms and I have the most vivid memories of coming out of the woods with a basket full smelling sappy.

petruccijc said...

Thanks Dimi. I have been wanting to try this line, now I definitely will - especially 21!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'd love to try these. If the scents smell as good as the packaging looks, this company will do just fine. CT01 is especially appealing, but some others sound good too. I love smells that remind me of walks in the woods: delicious! Thanks,

Cynthia said...

hello, 09 interests me the most. i like all the ingredients individually, but I can't quite imagine them together: thus, I'm curious. Thank you and please enter me in the draw.

cynthia said...

Forgot email!