Maison Lancome Les Parfums Grands Crus Travel Set Haul

The Autumn Perfumes Exhibition took place at Mishref Fair Grounds (Halls 5,6,7,8) during October 24 and was meant to end on November 6, but was extended to November 9 (because… weekend).

At this point, it’s practically tradition for me to check out the Lancome booth (run by Beidoun) during every Perfumes Exhibition and in all honesty, other than that one time (here), my experience with them, for the past few decades, has been nothing short of excellent (here)!

I hit up the Lancome booth because I was flirting with the idea of getting either the original La Nuit Trésor Eau de Parfum (2015) or La Nuit Trésor À La Folie Eau de Parfum (2018), but ended up walking away with this gem, the Maison Lancome Les Parfums Grands Crus Travel Set (foncy, foncy)!

Each fragrance was a work of art, therefore my “reviews” or rather first impressions of each fragrance, is going to be a bit on the longer side, in my attempt to do them justice.

The set came in a small plain white box with gold accents.

The only outer packaging was a clear sleeve. All the info was printed on the actual box itself.

The set contained x4 travel size sprays (0.47 fl oz / 14mL each) of Eau de Parfum from the covet-worthy Maison Lancome Collection!

Unfortunately, just like Mugler, these guys don’t believe in listing fragrance notes (even gave up on listing the notes lol) and instead take a more poetic approach, which means there’s a lot of blather to sift through (which is a bit rich, coming from me lol).

All four fragrances were classified as “unisex”.

Jasmins Marzipane Eau de Parfum stands out with its lively yet enveloping femininity, making its trail deliciously irresistible.

Dominique Ropion blended a duo of the highest quality natural hand-picked Jasmine.

Sambac Jasmine Absolute, gathered at dawn from the first harvests, conveys explosive, green and radiant luminosity, while Grandiflorum Jasmine Absolute from the last summer harvests brings more opulent and animal tones with leathery and fruity accents.

The Almond Wood signature softens the entire creation. Bourbon Vanilla Extract, which exalts the smooth, sensual, spicy and leathery facets of the scent, is accentuated by Creamy Sandalwood, Cashmeran Wood and Musks.

Umm…. what? I feel like the name Jasmins Marzipane and the accompanying description was meant for a completely different scent lol

I was fully expecting an intoxicating gourmand but instead got… a floral.

Surely, that couldn’t be right? I mean, I don’t even know what Marzipane actually was, but whenever it’s mentioned, usually the smell (or taste) was something syrupy sweet. Not to mention the Almond Wood and Bourbon Vanilla Extract which also made it seem like this thing would be much sweeter. That was not the case. This baby was a floral.

Typically, I don’t do florals. Also, I’ve got a hate-hate relationship with real Jasmine (as in, the kind still firmly planted in the ground or on the plant or whatever) because for some reason, my nose translates real Jasmine to “sewage scent” (well, the kind of Jasmine that’s indigenous to Kuwait, at least).

While I much prefer the blatantly synthetic-smelling version of Jasmine that’s widely used in popular fragrances because it was infinitely more palatable, Jasmins Marzipane was the closest a fragrance has ever come to smelling like real Jasmine (local real Jasmine, rather), minus the off-putting “sewage scent”, that I’ve ever come across and I actually found it surprisingly pleasant!

The first time I spritzed it on my wrist, I couldn’t detect any sweetness or wood notes. This thing was straight up true Jasmine on Jasmine (again, minus the “sewage scent”)! Although a floral, I found the scent neither offensive nor headache-inducing. However, I was starting to think that all those people alluding to its “sweetness” in their reviews were bonkers!

Amidst the process of testing Idôle Eau de Parfum (sample I got with this purchase) on one wrist and Jasmins Marzipane Eau de Parfum on the other, it became apparent that the latter smelled significantly sweeter. I could detect the delightful vanilla and sandalwood combo (that I’m very fond of) in the dry down, albeit quite faintly.

Honestly, out of all four fragrances in the Maison Lancome Les Parfums Grands Crus Travel Set, I feel that Jasmins Marzipane was the weakest. It was a full on Jasmine on Jasmine for a steady hour or two, with a faint sweetness (relative to the surrounding scents at the time), eventually turning into an indiscernible skin scent.

To me, Jasmins Marzipane smelled like a feminine (more mature and less girly) daytime floral, ideal for wearing to work or university or afternoon tea with the ladies. It wasn’t long-lasting (at least not on my skin), but its sillage was quite lovely, regardless! While it may not necessarily smell sophisticated, it made me feel sophisticated, while wearing it (out and about, during the day)!

It might just be the novelty factor (new scent), but so far, I quite like Jasmins Marzipane! Needless to say, if you’re a true-blue fan of Jasmine or tend to enjoy florals in general, definitely check out Jasmins Marzipane!

Rôses Berberanza Eau de Parfum assembled by Julien Rasquinet is a blend of two extractions of Damask Rose.

The Rose in Absolute, with its herbaceous accents, softens in the fresh notes of the Rose in Essence. The now magnified Damask Rose finds nuances in the Saffron Accord and the luminous, sparkling essence of Mandarin brightens it.

In the signature, a Spice and Pistachio Accord accentuates the addictive Vanilla Bourbon, Raspberry Accord and elegant, Smoky Oud.

Opulent and generous, this spicy, gourmand floriental draws us into daydreams of oriental markets.

Rôses Berberanza wasn’t just a carnival ride in a bottle… it was the whole freakin’ carnival!

The official description was a bit offensive, but also, not wrong lol Rôses Berberanza was an undeniably traditional Arabic scent!

In fact, it seemed like a cross between Guerlain Les Absolus d’Orient Oud Essentiel (sampled very recently here) and Guerlain Les Absolus d’Orient Musc Noble (sampled much earlier here), in the sense that combined, they shared that same Rose-Oud-Patchouli blend, except Rôses Berberanza was faaar superior, in every way! Rôses Berberanza was what the Guerlain Les Absolus d’Orient Collection wishes it was!

When I first spritzed it on, I was more than a little disappointed by the sour note (commonly found in traditional Arabic scents and typically worn by grandmas) that greeted me. I wanna’ say it was leather, but I didn’t know what it actually was (which would be a recurring theme for me with this particular scent). I just knew that I hated it! I was all set to find someone else to pawn this fragrance on.

Then, something miraculous happened (not being over-dramatic at all lol), it was quickly replaced by an impossibly delicious, mouth-watering, syrupy sweet, Jammy Rose! I’ve come across the phrase Jammy Rose before (mostly while reading reviews of Lush products lol), but never quite fully understood what it meant, until now! Once you’ve sniffed this particular stage, the only way you could describe it was as a Jammy Rose! The scent was practically edible!

As it kept developing, Rôses Berberanza morphed into Ôud Bouquet (wuuuuut)! It was all creamy and sensual wood notes. It was very obvious to me that the two shared similar DNA. This particular stage was just heavenly!

The longer it stayed on my skin, the more it kept developing, each stage quite different yet equally delightful, if not more so, than the one before (I was genuinely excited to see what each stage would bring)! Basically, Rôses Berberanza was no linear fragrance, no siree Bob!

Rôses Berberanza was insane! From the onset and throughout, the notes continuously wrestling with each other for the spotlight, but somehow, the whole thing just worked!

It was a bit all over the place (this thing had everything thrown in there lol), but it was organized chaos. It was… a carnival!

I could quite easily imagine Esméralda (from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) as the embodiment of Rôses Berberanza (even the names are sorta’ similar… I said sorta’)!

Provided it wasn’t in enclosed quarters (because the projection of this baby, not unlike Ôud Bouquet was beast-mode), Rôses Berberanza was playful and charming enough to be worn anywhere and at anytime! I went into this not knowing what to expect (had it not been for the set, I never would’ve even glanced at this baby), but can honestly say I was utterly charmed by Rôses Berberanza!

With that being said, this was definitely not a “safe buy”, not even for rose fragrance connoisseurs. While it was a syrupy sweet powdery rose, there was an underlying pistachio note (thanks to Elie Saab Girl of Now Shine for exposing me to pistachio and helping me learn how detect it in scents) that might be off-putting to some. The sour note goes away eventually, but at the start, it cuts through the sweetness, which makes it a bit polarizing.

Honestly, had I sniffed it in-store, I immediately would’ve passed it off as a grandma scent (because of the sour note at the very beginning) and moved on, so try (giving it ample time to settle) before you buy.

Santal Kardamon Eau de Parfum is an ode to rich sandalwood, accented with spicy undertones.

Amandine Marie had in mind to blend a Whipped Cream of Sandalwood with a Liqueur of Cardamom to create a very fresh, gourmand assemblage that’s startling and modern, with a deeply textured spicy woody signature.

Sandalwood Distillate and Sandalwood Essence were mixed together, then swathed in Green Cardamom creating the signature of the fragrance.

I was actually on the hunt for Ôud Bouquet when I stumbled upon the equally covet-worthy Santal Kardamon (here) and was even given several fragrance samples at the start of the year (here), which further ignited my ever-growing obsession with Santal Kardamon!

The name pretty much says it all! Santal Kardamon was the most perfect blend of cardamom and sandalwood, two of my favorite notes in a fragrance! There’s absolutely nothing I don’t enjoy about this scent! It’s both comforting and sensual, at once!

Santal Kardamon had some citrus-y notes and some vanilla (warm and boozy) in there, and green notes (not lush green, more like masculine green), but they’re all perfectly happy to stay seated in the background, letting the cardamom and sandalwood (the stars of the show) take the stage. To me, the whole thing came across as extremely well blended!

The dry down was simply exquisite! It was all warm and cozy with comforting wood notes and intoxicating sandalwood that at some point veered into Ôud Bouquet territory. Again, it was quite clear to me that they shared similar DNA. However, while Ôud Bouquet and Rôses Berberanza were “beast-mode” from start to finish, Santal Kardamon was more of a slow burn. It started off pretty mellow, but gradually got stronger and dare I say lovelier, as time went by.

That’s not to say it was a weak, because it definitely wasn’t. It was just… less obnoxious and more mellow than Ôud Bouquet and Rôses Berberanza. It lasted forever on my skin (even after I’ve attempted to wash it off, it’s still there) and the sillage was quite frankly, sublime! The cardamom comes and goes (I get random whiffs on and off), but the gorgeous sandalwood lasts and lasts and lasts!

Santal Kardamon was everything I’d hoped Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger could have been (sampled it in-store recently and was sorely disappointed). Santal Kardamon was just so wonderful! I don’t understand why more people are not losing their minds over Santal Kardamon.

While Jasmins Marzipane and Rôses Berberanza felt more feminine, Santal Kardamon felt more masculine, to me. The liqueur does make it smell all warm and boozy, but despite the sweetness, this fragrance seems quite manly, like something an older distinguished gentleman would wear. In fact, Santal Kardamon was totally giving me Guerlain Absolus d’Orient Cuir Intense Eau de Parfum vibes (recently sampled here) in the sense that both of them were cozy and comforting fragrances.

Personally, I love Santal Kardamon! It’s a little sweet and a little spicy and a little nutty and very woodsy and just so… chill! It’s downright addictive! I’m going to be spritzing Santal Kardamon on all my coats, jackets and scarves, and enjoying the life out of this baby, all winter long (… or until I get sick of it lol)!

Try it. Love it. You’re welcome.

Ôud Bouquet Eau de Parfum is a narcotic and sensual rose.

Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, renowned for his subtle creations, blended a trio of bold woods composed of 20-year-old Oud Wood and smoky Guaiac Wood, softened by the enveloping sweetness of Copahu Wood.

The Praline Rose Signature, crafted from Centifolia Rose Absolute, Vanilla and Praline Accord, gives it an enigmatic and infinitely seductive power.

I’d spotted the infamous Ôud Bouquet at our local Sephora last year (here and here), but the tester bottle was always empty and the counter was always abandoned.

Thanks to an impossibly wonderful sales assistant (an angel of a man, really), I finally got a sample of Ôud Bouquet in January of this year (here) and enjoyed it so much that I decided to purchase the travel size version.

After a failed attempt at ordering the travel size online, eventually I managed to purchase x2 travel size sprays from Nordstrom back in March (here). Including the spray from this set, I’ve now got a total of x3 sprays which is almost 50mL worth of Ôud Bouquet! Score!

If you’re interested, I’ve already gone over it in a previous post (here). I won’t go through it again, because honestly… I’m bored of this post now. I just wanna’ hurry up and end it lol

In my eyes, out of all the fragrances that Maison Lancome have released, if you had to pick just one, Ôud Bouquet should be it. Its projection is beast-mode though, so fair warning. However, it’s developed a cult following for a reason. Definitely worth the hype!

My God! Each scent was more delectable than the next! They were all superb in their own way!

I loved the fact that they were in the form of a spray (which typically gives me a better “feel” for a scent) as opposed to annoying rollerballs (which gives me nothing)! For one, the spray gave me the option of spritzing the scents on my clothes or scarves or sheets or whatever else (but don’t do that because these babies are quite rich and will definitely stain your stuff lol). And two, the spray let me control the intensity of the scent, meaning I could spritz the perfume in the air and walk into it, letting it lightly mist me all over or I could concentrate the scent in specific areas (pulse points, etc…). Unlike the spray, you couldn’t do any of that with a rollerball.

Also, the weight and size of these cuties were perfect for popping into any given handbag and carrying around all day! You didn’t have to worry about the caps accidentally coming off (unlike Guerlain Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum whose cap was constantly separating from the bottle, in my handbags).

Best of all, the amount inside was perfect for indulging in each of the scents without having to splurge on the full size! I could acquaint myself with each scent and by the time it was completely finished, could then decide on whether I wanted to spring for the full size or nah. As a bonus, these cuties cost considerably less than their expensive full size counterparts.

All in all, I’m beyond thankful and grateful that I managed to snag this set!

I don’t know how much Maison Lancome Les Parfums Grands Crus Travel Set Haul normally retails for, but I payed KD 35 for it.

Typically, when I can’t find the actual receipt for a post, I’d just crop the debit card receipt (K-net), as shown. Same goes for my other posts that have cropped receipts.

Jasmins Marzipane was released in 2016
Ôud Bouquet was released in 2016
Rôses Berberanza was released in 2017
Santal Kardamon was released in 2018

Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum

To the generation that dreams big: strong women, empowered and outspoken.

To the leaders of tomorrow: daring, pursuing new horizons and paving a new path.

“I always say my idôle is my future self,” says Idôle ambassadress, Zendaya.

I can, we will.

We are Idôles.

Created by three female perfumers, Idôle is made for all women, by women.

Sophisticated yet unapologetically modern, with ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced.

Top Notes: Bergamot (Citrus), Juicy Pear, Pink Peppercorn
Middle Notes: Rose and Jasmine
Bottom Notes: White Musk, Vanilla, Patchouli, Cedarwood

They also gave me a bunch of samples of the new Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum to play around with, unprompted! With their claims of “the world’s thinnest perfume bottle” (meant to be stored flat) and all the controversy and backlash against the “message” of the campaign, I was quite excited to give this baby a sniff!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away by the scent. It was a light, musky powder-y floral, which was nice but definitely not my thing. It smelled so familiar though and I’m positive that I’ve at least sniffed a sample of this thing before (this particular form of “fake” or rather “synthetic” Jasmine, specifically… which I tend to prefer over “true” Jasmine) and it’s actually infuriating that I can’t quite place it, but hey ho. Either way… pass.

Like I said, super stoked that I managed to snag the Maison Lancome Les Parfums Grands Crus Travel Set and got some samples of the new Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum to boot!

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