Friday, November 23, 2007

Tigresse by Nicole Lenzen & Yosh : Perfume Review

Tigresse is a bridal atelier (originally based in San Francisco, now relocated in New York) that specializes in custom-made bridal wear, evening gowns and accessories with a twist: The style is non-traditional, modern and innovative. About a month ago I emailed Nicole Lenzen, the founder and designer of Tigresse, asking for a sample of the homonymous Tigresse perfume, explaining that I wished to review it on my blog if I liked it. A couple of weeks later, a packet arrived at my house containing two tiny samples and the press release. I didn’t have to open the samples to know what the perfume smelled like: Even though the vials were intact, the lovely scent was so strong it had permeated everything. Even though the samples are tiny (a few drops in each) the sample I’ve opened has lasted me for several tests – the tinsiest of dabs will do!

Tigresse was created in collaboration with perfumer Yosh Han (Ginger Ciao, Kismet) and as is the case with all Yosh perfumes, contains no alcohol, just perfume oils and natural essences. This is one of the most beautiful, innovative, fruity-floral scents I’ve ever smelled. Yes, as you know I am not a big fan of the genre, yet this is one of the exceptions. There is no fake, plastic smell. There is no cheap undertone. This is not a light, agreeable little fragrance. There is no hint of the generic to be found here. You will have to forgive my lyricism: The opening of this fragrance truly smells like strong rays of sunlight bursting through the canopy of an exotic forest. Then the sun gets stronger, brighter. There is this sense of beautiful, clean warmth, like sun-warmed freshly washed hair. The fruity top notes are infused with the freshness of peppermint, and smelling close, the peppermint is feisty enough to actually free the nose and be felt on the back of the throat in the most refreshing manner. The dusty earthiness of pomegranate pulls everything together, bestowing a dry, tangy feel to the perfume. The heart of the fragrance is a most intoxicating lily scent, which if I am honest, smells to me more like a Japanese lily, with its strong, uncompromising scent, than a tiger lily. As time passes, Tigresse becomes more and more honeyed, without ever once stopping to bloom on the skin. If anything, it deepens, becomes more complex with the passage of time. It becomes –amazingly- the gorgeous, sweet scent of flower nectar, golden and lucid, like the precious drops hanging from a thousand stems gathered just for the sake of scenting one’s skin. This is what I love most about Tigresse, this sense of having found true, honeyed nectar, captured so beautifully I can practically feel its sweetness on my tongue, like a child, carefully pulling the stamen of a honeysuckle blossom and tasting the heavenly, precious droplet. If I had to choose only one word I could use to describe it, it would be vibrant. Everything about it seems brightly colored, three-dimensional and improbably real. It is as deeply exotic as the jungle and at once pure, like an unexplored beauty.

Official Notes: Pomegranate, Tiger Lily, Fig, Sweet Pea, Peppermint and White Ginger.

Since Nicole was kind enough to send me two samples, I want to offer one of them to you, my readers. Please let me know in a comment if you would like to be entered in the drawing. Results will be posted in a week’s time, next Friday.

Tigresse retails at 55$ for 15ml. and can be purchased at the Tigresse website, Luscious Cargo or alternatively at the Brown Eyed Girl Boutique in San Francisco.

Images: www.tigressefashion.com and commons.wikimedia.org


17 comments:

parisa said...

Hi Divina,

As a huge fan of pomegranates (the fruit), I've had zero luck with scents that contain this note so I would love to be entered in the draw for Tigresse:).

Divina said...

Hi Parisa,

Like you, I love the fruit but have not had much luck with pomegranate scents either. I have so far pretty much been disgusted with everything I'd smelled containing the note. Tigresse is definitely an exception though, I am happy to say. I love it!
You're in the drawing of course. :)
Thanks for commenting!

Linda said...

Dear Divina,
What excitement! I was taken on a journey with you in your description on this fragrance. It sounds absolutely lovely - I don't know, could a fragrance be described as "cheerful"? That's what it sounds to me... Optimistic and perfectly fitting for mood lifting in November (dismal right now).
Please could I be entered in the draw?
Best,
Linda

italian girl said...

Hi D. You got me hooked right after "strong rays of sunlight bursting through a canopy of an exotic" forest.
Please enter me in your drawing.

Ciiiaaaaooo

Anita said...

I have yet to smell a pleasant pomengranate note, but your description of this scent has piqued my interest. Such beautiful descriptions! Please enter me in your drawing :)

Janet said...

What a beautiful review. I have never been fond of lily much less mixed with peppermint(!) but your review made it sound lovely. "Honeyed nectar" would be a perfect fragrance for a wedding or special occasion. Or wearing to bed...

Janet

queen of caffeine said...

this sounds as surreal as all of her scents...I purchased Stargazer from her at sniffa Takashimaya and she signed my bottle, a lovely woman who is a genius with oils...inclde me in your drawing!
your words paint lovely pictures for my nose...

qeen of caffeine

Flora said...

I would love to be entered in the draw for this one - I am ALL about lilies, and pomegranates too! Your lovely review is very enticing.


(One thing - I know "tiger lily" sounds picturesque,which is probably why it is listed that way in the notes but actual tiger lilies have absolutely no scent at all. If it is a true lily scent it is something else. I grow a lot of lilies, so I know.)

Divina said...

Dear Linda, it's funny that you mention the word "journey". That is exactly how I felt when I was writing the review: like I was on a journey, through a tropical forest, with frequent clearings full of flowers where the sun shines bright and hot.

Divina said...

You're in, Italian Girl!

Divina said...

Anita, maybe this is the one that will change your mind :) It certainly was for me...Which is good, because I *really* wanted to love pomegranate in a fragrance and couldn't before.

Divina said...

Janet, I must admit, the strong peppermint in the beginning is very strange! But that is part of the charm for me.. This is a strange beast!

Divina said...

Queen of caffeine, thank you so much for your kind words! You got it: This is indeed absolutely surreal. I found myself thinking a couple of times, that this is not really a fragrance to spray and walk out the door..forgetting all about it. No..this is more of an experience. It is so vivid, so peculiar. You can't ignore it.

Divina said...

Flora, thank you for clearing this up - now I don't feel guilty anymore for pointing out that to me it smells like Japanese lilly! You are of course in the drawing :)

Jenavira13 said...

Enter me in the draw for this too. I like everyone else it seems have had a very hard time with finding a good pomegranite note. Sounds like a very interesting combo.

TMH256 said...

Sounds lovely!! Amazing, actually. Your descriptions are so beautifully vivid. :-)

Divina said...

Jen and T, you're both in the drawing as well. Thank you for commenting!