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Fille en Aiguilles - Just smells good! - May 26, 2010 New Fragrance Listing

One of the reasons I am drawn to niche perfumes is that smaller perfume houses, perfumers and indie brands don’t have to bow to the tastes of the mass market. They are free to take chances, to explore. It’s interesting to see what happens when a perfumer can use their talent, knowledge, skill, experience and any ingredients they like to make something they want to make - something truly unique.
 
The results can be the smell of a tiger hunt, and intimate encounter, a morning in a garden. Some are beautifully crafted, complex creations that prove there is a higher power. Others are more daring, less structured, perhaps, and definitely court the dark side. Whatever the intention, whether a fragrance ‘succeeds’ or not, it is what you experience from smelling that scent on your skin that gives a fragrance value.
 
And so the rule is: it doesn’t have to smell pretty, but it does have to smell good. Following this, a fragrance can give pleasure without having to wear it.
 
I have samples stashed all over the house and every once in awhile I pick one up give it a sniff and think, ‘This is gorgeous – I love this! Why don’t I wear this more often?” That rediscovery can turn my day around. The same way that catching a whiff of lilac on a gentle breeze can.
 
Now, I admit to being a bit of a niche perfume slut – I have broad tastes and an open mind, but that doesn’t mean that I am a fragrance slave. I have standards. And, over time, I’ve learned which houses I like the most and developed my own list of perfumers I track, just to see what they are up to. One of those houses is Serge Lutens and one of those perfumers is Christopher Sheldrake.
 
Sheldrake has created perfumes for Avon and Chanel, among others, but most of his work is done for Serge Lutens. My latest crush is Fille en Aiguilles - Girl in Needles – hmmm. I’ve mulled the meaning of the name over and over and I have to tell you: I’ve got nothing.  On to the juice.
 
Deep brown in colour, Fille en Aiguilles opens up with medicinal, resiny, pine and camphorous, earthy vetiver. But this isn’t the cold, astringent pine scent of cleaning products or cheap air fresheners. Nope, the pine in Fille is slightly sweetened with a note of dried berries and then warmed with frankincense and spices, especially cumin.
 
Sounds OK, but what makes this FBW, is that the beauty of the pine note is enhanced with vertiver and fir rather than tempered or tamed by them. What you get isn’t a suggestion of pine, but a clearing in a conifer forest, warmed a little by dappled sunlight, with a carpet of pine needles beneath your feet and in the air the faint smell of dried wild berries. Never heavy-handed, Fille en Aiguilles is warm, woody, glorious green and hauntingly beautiful. It just smells good.
 
Today, we're adding Fille en Aiguilles, to our Decant Store. Decants  are $6.00.