Designer fragrances often come with a fantasy, and Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Parfum ($90 to $120) offers one that's immensely appealing. Who wouldn't love the photo of Anja Rubik, a wind-bown urban princess wearing a gorgeous gown designed by Elie Saab?
As a rule, my reaction to "just another department store fragrance" would be a huge yawn. Lately, though, I've discovered that a few of them are glorious. I had a "love at first whiff" reaction to Elie Saab Le Parfum, and my love has grown in the couple of weeks I've had it. Elie Saab's intent is to glorify women, to inject beauty into women's lives. Even if we don't have the means to purchase his glorious haute couture, his first fragrance is accessible.
Elie Saab Le Parfum is housed in a heavy glass bottle that's as exquisite as Elie Saab's evening gowns. Tasteful, elegant, and chic, the bottle was created by Sylvie de France. It conveys a resolutely modern beauty.
The fragrance was created for Elie Saab by the masterful perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who describes the fragrance as a light, woody floral. Orange blossom provides the centerpiece, tempered by cedarwood, which gives it a lovely softness. There are two jasmine absolutes among the notes: jasmine sambac and jasmine grandiflorum. They add a glorious depth to the orange blossoms. A white honey rose completes the floral design. The cedarwood heart is blended with patchouli, which absolutely stunned me. As a rule, I flee from patchouli. There are no sharp edges in this one. I'm stunned. I think I finally found the patchouli that appeals to fragrance mavens.
A video at this link describes the fragrance as an "ode to light," to a sun that's almost white in its gold brilliance - an intensely feminine, modern, and radiant fragrance. On my skin, it's a bright, fresh floral. It's as soft as a summer garden, yielding its scents to a light breeze that wafts a floral bounty through my windows. Elie Saab Le Parfum reminds me of the intoxicating scent of the fragrant hostas that I planted against my screened porch. When they bloom, it's hard to leave the porch as their white flower scent comes my way.
I knew when I finished this feature that The Non-Blonde was publishing her impressions last night. I refrained from reading Gaia's feature until I finished writing mine. Her always-extraordinary fragrance descriptions are unforgettable. You must read her review. We are both enjoying Elie Saab - for many of the same reasons. I think you will too.
I purchased my bottle at Neiman Marcus. I know it's available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Photos courtesy of Elie Saab