Jolie laide is a reputedly untranslatable French expression that means ugly-pretty. It and its old-fashioned sister tag beauté de singe denote the fact that Frenchmen used to find it inexplicable that a woman might exert compelling charm while not being obviously pretty. JL sent me seven samples of oils in lovely tiny roller bottles. They are all named after Nouvelle Vague movies, and merely reading the labels brought back delightful memories of the golden age of French cinema. These are botanicals, i.e. perfumes actually composed using only plant extracts, and I did not detect any trace of the phony “natural” synthetics made by bacteria. Given the constraints of botanicals, i.e. complexity and softness, these are outstanding fragrances, every one of them well put together, rich, comfortable and distinctive without any of the herbaceous stale-bag-salad breath that disfigures so much of natural perfumery. My favorites are Jules et Jim (god bless oakmoss) and Cléo de 5 à 7, a floral leather. Very nice work.
Update: looks like what I got was EdP samples. Generously dosed, in that case.
Categories: niche houses