No perfume genre is more scorned than the humble fruity floral. Well, actually the world of oud raises a few eyebrows too, but that’s another matter. Fruity florals however, thanks to a billion and one dreadful celebrity fragrant messes, have received a lot of bad press and tend to present themselves as ditzy-sweet hazes (Miss Dior) or sticky-syrup disasters (Lady Gaga’s Fame) rather than anything interesting or well-constructed. But the truth is that, with a degree of intelligence and the application of a sense of humour (see Insolence), a fruity floral can be a very good thing indeed.
Without giving too much away in advance of this review, Lalique’s new flanker to 2007’s Amethyst, ‘Amethyst Éclat‘, is a good fruity floral that feels intelligently composed, and perhaps more importantly, is just so effortlessly pretty in its execution that one cannot help but fall for its delicate charm. And charm is something that this fragrance certainly has by the bucket load.
Created by perfumer Nathalie Lorson (also responsible for the original Amethyst), Amethyst Éclat, is different from the original in the sense that it reportedly “sparkles with the pure, bright exhilarating scent of peony”, taking on a much more radiant and refined character. I’ve only tried the original Amethyst in passing, so what follows is not a comparison of the two scents, but rather a look at Amethyst Éclat in isolation and entirely on its own merits. The result is rather surprising!
“Between Amethyst and Amethyst Éclat, the raspberry, blackcurrant and blackberry accord runs like a red thread… Or rather, like the succulent trickle of juice that seeps between your fingers when you pick sun-gorged berries between the brambles. It is from this luscious garden that Nathalie Lorson, who authored both fragrances, plucked the radiant peony which lights up the heart of her new offering.”
Top: Blackcurrant, Raspberry and Nashi Pear
Heart: Peony, Magnolia and Bulgarian Rose Essence
Base: Violet Wood, Blackberry and Musk
How Does it Smell?
Amethyst Éclat opens bright, transparent and juicy with a veritable pulp of purple, red and green fruit. The softness of blackberries, the sharpness of raspberries and the sweet freshness of pear come together to create a very alive melange of fruit that manages to be delicate and light, as well as big and bold, all at the same time. It’s joyfully diffusive and airy, creating an exquisite trail of radiant berries.
The heart belongs to the kingdom of flowers. Peony and rose are listed as the key notes, and they’re there but their presence is relatively muted. Instead, the purple air of violet and the grey haze of iris reign supreme, creating a zephyr of floral tones that carry with them subtle touches of purple fruits. Its this floral air that makes Amethyst Éclat just so darn attractive.
As it settles into the base, Amethyst Éclat’s bowl of fruit subdues considerably and the wispy air of the violet and iris accord starts to seamlessly merge with an equally airy dose of white musk. Strips of dry wood create a robust foundation for this floral musk, ensuring that all soapiness is avoided and that the fragrance finishes on a plush bed that stays true to its overarching sense of lightness.
Amethyst Éclat is lovely – really lovely, in fact. It can simply described as ‘pretty’, and I don’t say that to undermine it in any way, after all it is expertly composed, but the truth is that it simply is just very pretty. When the world is filled with undigestible cocktails of fruit and flowers, Amethyst Éclat stands out as a fruity floral with both beauty and brains. In short: it’s damn good stuff.
Amethyst Éclat will be available in 30ml (£40), 50ml (£53) and 100ml (£75) Eau de Parfum.
Sample, image 2, notes and quotes via Lalique. Image 1 via teamsugar.com.