Tuesday, April 16, 2024

La Nuit De L’Homme: A Good Beginner Fragrance and Nothing More

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Anyone with a foot in the fragrance community has heard the phrase “fragrance journey” upwards of a hundred, maybe a thousand, times. However, I believe there’s a reason we gravitate towards that phrase. When you’re passionate about something for years and years, your relationship with it changes dramatically over time. Furthermore, the nature of perfume is made personal through its physical nature. Smell’s strong tie to memory, perfume’s nature as an art that can only be experienced in person, and the intimacy of wearing perfume on skin make our experience with the artform feel especially emotional.

I dove into fragrance a decade ago while I was still reeling from the dissolution of my first serious relationship. Almost every dangerous aspect of perfume drew me in. I quickly became obsessed with researching the tens of thousands of fragrances in Fragrantica’s database, indulging in the retail therapy of acquiring new bottles, and subscribing to the belief that perfume itself would unlock romantic possibilities.

In that context, La Nuit De L’Homme was inevitable. It was well-respected by the more academic reviewers, and hyped to no end by compliment-oriented YouTubers. The biggest perfume reviewer on the planet basically built his channel off the perfume, citing it over and over again as a wonderful fragrance that all the ladies loved. I don’t know if I ever had an honest opinion on the fragrance. I wore it because I had been told it was amazing, and that everyone else would think it was amazing. Even as I sit here ten years later, my 2 oz bottle down to its last few drops, it is challenging to see through that haze of hype.

La Nuit de L’Homme Notes

Top Note: Cardamom

Middle Notes: Lavender, Cedar, Bergamot

Base Notes: Vetiver, Caraway

Despite the sharpness of several of these notes – cardamom, lavender, and caraway especially – La Nuit is surprisingly soft and polite. The cardamom, by far La Nuit’s most pronounced note, is almost a lush echo of a bakery, as if the smell of fresh pastry is wafting down a moonlit city street. This friendliness amidst the darkness – the slightly sleepy lavender, the well-dressed club associations with sweet cedarwood and fresh bergamot – provides a balance of homeliness and excitement. I have often heard people associate feelings of love with feelings of safety. La Nuit’s supposed ‘sexiness’ might actually stem from the inviting comfort at its core.

As I sit here dutifully sniffing my wrist, I think of the massive way my perception of perfume has changed. I remember the times when I used to walk into a department store full of wonder, each bottle a mystery until I’d pull the trigger. I remember the massive, delusional stress of picking out the right perfume for the right party, thinking a wrong choice drive away the person of my dreams. In some way, I miss that stress and the excitement that orbited it. I’m also delighted to have that massive false weight off my shoulders. But the thing I’m happiest about as I revisit La Nuit is that, no matter why I wore it, the perfume is special to me, just because we’ve been around each other for so long.

Ultimately, the loveliest revelation during a perfume journey is that time is an ally to fragrance. Whether we’re talking about dry-downs or vintage batches, perfumes tend to evolve whenever we’re patient with them. La Nuit de L’Homme isn’t a revolutionary fragrance, and it won’t win you a date by itself – no perfume will. Stick with it, and you might find something even better.

You can find a decant of La Nuit here or buy a bottle here.

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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.

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