It may be a surprise to my readers, but not a surprise to those around me, that I can be a bit obsessive compulsive. So in my last posting I started obsessing about Billet Doux by Fragonard. However, I wasn’t obsessing about the fragrance itself, I was obsessing about the bottle in came in. No longer able to control my obsession, I headed back to Old Town Alexandria and Patricks to see if the perfume itself (only tested on paper thus far) was worth buying the bottle.
WHAT I SMELL: Immediately upon application you smell alcohol. I haven’t put on a fragrance in a long time that smelled so strong of astringent. But thankfully that disappeared rather quickly and out came a lightly spicy floral…hard to distinguish initially. It then morphed a bit more and out came a warm and inviting carnation. Very comforting and genteel. Unfortunately, the base came out way to quickly and Billet Doux became a very sweet and long-lasting, strong carnation scent. Carnation and more carnation with a hint of sweet vanilla with no warmth remaining. I am not digging this fragrance at all. In fact, even the bottle lost is luster with the dislike of this perfume. To me, this requires scrubbing.
From the Fragonard website:
Re-created from a historic Fragonard Perfume, Billet doux, pays homage to the most beautiful flowers of the French Riviera: Sweet William carnation, peony and frangipani blended with bergamot, lemon and mandarin on a background of cedar and vanilla.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: What I envision is what a proper, yet simple Victorian young lady would smell like. Not too adventurous and designed not to offend. You should know that Billet Doux means “love letters” in French which to me conjures up pictures of a pressed carnation in a letter to a beau.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BILLET DOUX: sweet, unsophisticated, simple
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BILLET DOUX: The Scented Salamander, Olfactory Obsessed, The Smelly Kitty
BOTTOM LINE: Obviously I passed on a purchase and I realize that I am not the target market for this fragrance. However, if I smelled this on a woman, I would not be praising her for fragrance choice.
- Bone Rating: 2 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Floral
- Classification: Feminine
- Expense: Approximately $70 for 50ml EdP
August 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm
It is a glorious bottle. Too bad it was a disappointment. I am glad you went back to Patrick’s to check it out.
August 6, 2012 at 6:02 am
I look at it this way… I didn’t shell out any hard earned money! Instead I got some Froyo. Much cheaper 🙂
August 5, 2012 at 8:15 am
Haha! Uhoh – at least you were sensible enough to go back for a second try 🙂
I’m not really a carnation fan, I haven’t yet found very “modern” one – even Uncle Serge’s was too dated for me, and the clove note that goes with it – oh mannn, this note needs some work on me.
Hope you’re keeping well Steve! 😀
August 6, 2012 at 6:02 am
I’m with you. No carnation for me Freddie!
August 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm
I’m glad you tried rather than giving in to impulse. 🙂 It is easy for carnation to be overwhelming, so I sat here nodding as I read, imaging this pretty easily from your description. Bullet dodged, right?
August 6, 2012 at 6:00 am
I really haven’t dealt with a carnation note before. After this experience I don’t know if I will want to again. Yes, very much a bullet dodge. Thanks for stopping by Natalie.
August 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Aww! I was so hoping it would work out. I’m still in love with the bottle. It reminds me a bit of the Guerlain Shalimar bottle.
August 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm
I thought it was sweet too, but then upon closer inspection it wasn’t all that special Kay. Don’t worry, we’re not missing anything!
August 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm
It’s funny that the bottle itself (as well as the name) did nothing for me. But your scent description made me want to test it. I think I like carnation as a note. Not enough to run to TPC for a sample but enough to try if I ever come across that perfume at a store. But I’m glad that you didn’t make an impulse purchase with this one: you sound very disappointed even without a wasted money effect 🙂
August 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm
U – I wouldn’t think of you as a carnation girl. Maybe this is just the wrong carnation. It’s not a note that I am real familiar with. As for the disappointment; no, I’m not really disappointed in the fragrance as much as I am about not finding an excuse to spend more money on a fragrance!
August 8, 2012 at 4:30 am
But the bottle is nice, like a chalice
December 20, 2012 at 3:59 am
Interesting review, and you are right, the bottle is so tempting! I happen to love carnation, though it’s not a terribly popular note. The best one to tell whether you really like it or not is the CDG Series 2 Red, Carnation. http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/detail.asp?itemid=21803
It’s full of eugenol, rather spicy because of it and quite marvelous. Getting Billet Doux from my other half for Christmas (blind buy), will report back!
December 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm
This was my first real introduction to Carnation.. I admit I had some issues. I’ll have to give the CDG a try…i like the fact that it’s spicy! Congrats on your present. I look forward to hearing what you think! Thanks for stopping by Lila!