Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Lab on Fire - What We Do in Paris is Secret (perfume review) + a kitty story.

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! Mine was a little rough for a couple of kitty-related reasons, but the biggest one was related to Puff (the other I'll save for another post someday). 

Puff, my purely indoor kitty, stealthily escaped the house (unbeknownst to us) on one of our 2 trips out, and remained missing for at least 5 or 6 hours, if not more. In fact, we only realized he was gone because we bought a new cat condo and he didn't come out when we were rounding the kitties up to show them. After searching the house up and down for an hour or two we conceded to the idea that he must have gotten out. We searched the yard, drove around the neighborhood, posted signs, and visited the neighbors with no luck. All the while I watched the snow fall. I fretted, wondering how I was going to see a white cat in the snow, and worried about the falling temperatures - yesterday's low was supposed to be 5 and the wind has been howling all winter. (To be fair, Puff is built like an arctic kitty - covered in fur with tufted paws, so I was thankful for that.) Then I watched it get dark, wondering how I would see Puff in the dark. Every 20 minutes or so I went around to all of our doors and stepped out, calling out for Puff and shaking a treat bag, hoping he would come out. Finally, on my rounds around 7:30pm, I heard the faintest sound and I wasn't sure if it was a kitty or the children playing in the snow around the neighborhood but repeated callings revealed the tiniest of muffled meows, and I searched around the back deck where I found Puff huddled between storage baskets and the house siding. He wasn't there earlier, so I guess perhaps he had heard me calling and found his way back. Fortunately, he was found - a little dirty and hungry but safe and in my arms. So, today's review is dedicated to my sweet sweet Puff! 

fluffy Puff - a sweet gourmand kitty if there ever was one!
p.s. he has lost weight since I transitioned the kitties to a raw diet, so he's actually quite svelte now.

I've been wanting to try A Lab on Fire's What We Do in Paris is Secret since early in my perfuming days (which admittedly was only a five or so months ago). I think I was mostly drawn to it by the name. I've never been to Paris, and even if I had, I doubt I would be privy to the exclusive or secretive happenings that I imagine when I hear this name. I had no idea what to expect, but I honestly didn't expect a sweet gourmand. I also didn't expect to be trying SO MANY gourmands. I guess that's what I get for not looking at the notes!

When I first applied What We Do in Paris is Secret, I was struck by how familiar it smells. Soooooo very familiar! It reminds me of something that was popular and prevalent back when I was in junior or senior high school or so, but unfortunately I can't place it.  CK in2u? Hugo Boss? Hugo Boss Deep Red?  Whatever Jean Paul Gaultier I had?  GAH it's so frustrating! If anyone can enlighten me, I'd be ever so appreciative...

The very beginning of What We Do in Paris is Secret feels really plush but light, like a large dollop of thick whipped cream or vanilla mousse. Or a Puff.

It's voluminous, it's honeyed, and it has the presence of a whole table of desserts. And then, for a few brief moments the thick gourmand recedes like an ocean wave, unveiling a light and delicate almond that is so singular and crystalline and pure it feels like a ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds. Then the gourmand cloud returns, bringing with it a tinge of sharpness. For some reason, this sharpness makes What We Do in Paris is Secret feel a bit masculine to me. (It's also what makes it smell so darn familiar...)

The drydown is a deep vanilla with a touch of salt, a speck of sharpness and a tinge of rubber. It reminds me a bit of the drydown of Havana Vanille/Vanille Absolument. It's warm and inviting, and I could see What We Do in Paris is Secret being another winter time winner.

Although I didn't love this one the first time I wore it, it has grown on me a bit with repeated wearings. It's a sweet gourmand that I can actually handle (a stark contrast to Or du Serail, for instance). I especially love the almond note - it reminds me a lot of L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil, which also smells lovely. 

Overall, What We Do in Paris is Secret is a pleasantly rich gourmand, but for me it skews a bit too masculine and is still a touch sweet for my tastes. Perhaps its the honey. Maybe I'm just not a big fan of honey as a note... Nonetheless, if you're a fan of honey and vanilla and sweet gourmands, this could be a home run for you!

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Clint's 3: vanilla, cream, light


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My rating of What We Do in Paris is Secret: 3 

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation    

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What We Do in Paris is Secret as described by the A Lab on Fire website:

Family: Gourmand, Oriental

Top Notes: bergamot, honey, lychee
Middle Notes: turkish rose essence, vanilla, heliotrope
Base Notes: tonka bean, tolu, sandalwood, ambergris

Perfumer: Dominique Ropion

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Have you tried What We Do in Paris is Secret?  Do you have a favorite A Lab on Fire scent, or a favorite gourmand?



12 comments:

  1. That stinker! I'm glad you found him, I would have been frantic.

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    1. Hi baimao :) Me too - I was frantic, and Walden was also being really loud and fussy which was only adding to the stress levels. About 30 minutes before we actually found him I finally broke down into tears, when I thought about the likelihood of finding a missing cat, but fortunately Clint was a voice of positivity and all ended well.

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  2. Your kitty is absolutely adorable, and I'm so glad he is safe and sound.
    I am not a big fan of honey in perfume or gourmands in general, and I also have never dipped my toe (or nose!) into that line. Thanks for the review - I think I'll pass on trying this one, although the name is cool!

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    1. Thanks Carol - me too. It was such a relief to see all 3 kitties playing on the new cat condo. :) Yes - based on your taste profile, I'd think it very safe for you to stay away from this one, More time for other perfumes!

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  3. PUFF!!! He's adorable, but getting lost in the snow is not good, so glad you got him home safe.
    I remember when wwdipis was all the rage, I don't remember it that well, only that I thought 'is that it?' I had expected more, but then I should know that often it's the gourmands which get these kind of hypes going. And also that I'm not really that into gourmands ;-)
    looking forward to your next kitten story, and more Puff photos.

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    1. Hi Asali! I'm so relieved as well - he's a sweetheart. Yeah, I remember reading so many comments about WWDIPIS and then being a bit underwhelmed. It's not bad... it's just not... amazing. But I think I'm with you on the gourmands. I have a sample of Hedonist waiting for me, and I'm interested to see how that one fares as well. :)

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  4. I am so glad it's a story with a good ending! I have nightmares about Rusty escaping. Puff is so fluffy!

    I haven't tried WWDIPIS. I wasn't actively looking for it ... because of its name. It reminds me a title of the slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer - and I can't get past it. That and the fact that I'm not a huge gourmand fan: I do not mind it completely but won't go out of my way to get those perfumes.

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    1. I too am glad that there is a happy ending to this story! My heart was breaking as I feared for the worst. And yes, he is quite fluffy - and even so he felt cold when I finally found him and brought him in!

      Hahaha, well they talk a lot about scent associations being hard to get past - I never thought about name associations! Fortunately if you're not a huge fan of gourmands, you're not missing out :)

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  5. I am so glad that Puff is OK... what a pretty kitty! All 3 of ours are indoor cats and like you, once my big boy got out. We didn't notice until we saw him at the storm door at the front door crying to get in. He has not wanted to venture out since!

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    1. Thank you, me too! At least he was smart enough to cry at the front door! Unfortunately my Puff is SUPER sweet, but a little on the dumb side, so I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to venture out again. Occasionally my big boy Bear seems interested in going outside. Sometimes I'll let him venture outside into the back yard (supervised), but when he actually goes outside he moves slower than a slug and cries as if we are torturing him even though he is moving about of his own volition. Haha! Kitties, what curious creatures :)

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  6. LOL at Undina's comment about that slasher film - I can see how that would be offputting! I don't care for almond so I doubt I would like this, but I am happy you got Puff back and what a gorgeous ball of white fluff he is - even the svelte version we must now try to visualise. ;)

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    1. Hehe, you don't want to smell like a slasher film?? :) I shall endeavor to post some pictures of the svelte Puff too, because I'm sure curious minds want to see!

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