I have to say that I’m becoming more interested in natural perfumes and am learning to appreciate the differences between scents that aren’t amplified in the same way as those with synthetics. The trend towards eating natural foods and living more simply also means that perfumes such as the La Fleur by Livvy collection will have a growing audience from consumers looking for less mass produced fragrances that play up their natural credentials. I’m interested to see what happens in this sector as over time I believe that more people will come to appreciate perfumes in this category. The natural perfume realm seems to be just as varied as any other. Some ranges smell not that dissimilar to those that use a mix of natural materials and synthetics, while others smell overtly natural and quite different to those I’ve encountered before. Some ranges have strong branding and marketing while others have more of a low key, DIY ethos.
La Fleur by Livvy is a range of natural perfumes created by Olivia Larson in 2013. Olivia works with plant based materials to create her perfumes and is based in Colorado. Her childhood was spent in India and I believe this has given her an interesting mix of influences and an East meets West vibe in her creations. To read more about Olivia, please click here where you can find out why she is drawn to using natural materials, her influences and other snippets.
Overall Olivia’s perfumes are soft and seductive. She has a love of flowers, thus the naming of the range and most of the perfumes include ‘fleurs’ in their title. I have spent time smelling these fragrances to appreciate their vision and range. They are quieter and softer than the perfumes I am typically drawn to, so it did take me a while to get my head around the difference. There’s a delicate sensibility across the La Fleur by Livvy collection and if you’re accustomed to scents that are very strong you may not appreciate the tone at first. However once I was more attuned to the range I found there were perfumes in the collection that I really enjoyed. I also have a clear favourite.
So without further ado here are my Quick Sniff impressions of the La Fleur by Livvy range :
Forbidden Love : Year : 2015 : Notes : Top : Lily Absolute, hints of White Lotus Absolute and Orange : Heart : Organic Cypress Leaf : Base : Tobacco leaf Absolute, Agarwood, Vanilla and Benzoin : Other : Green Tea, Imported Sake from Japan and Vodka
“I see her silhouette as she gracefully floats in Zori. Her obi tied in a simple knot. The nape of her neck is exposed as she turns around the corner at the street lamp. She has no idea that I wait for her passing each night on her way back from the tea house. Her kimono smells of a rich scent; a combination of orange blossoms, vanilla and lilies laced with tobacco. The Cypress trees and full moon heighten my senses. At that very moment a gentle waft of burning incense catches my breath from temples nearby. I am in love with her but she can never love me back for it is forbidden to love.
Forbidden Love has a lovely lilt and a tone that verges on the melancholic, although I suspect I’m rather susceptible to the lovely tale above, of a Japanese man filled with a sense of longing, viewing a Geisha from afar and smelling her scent. Forbidden Love is a very gentle fragrance but has a unique character that for me is the most distinctive in the range. The scent is unusual yet subtly captivates. The lily, vanilla and orange combine to create a sweetly ripe scent. Other notes counteract this somewhat with the smell of cypress, a hint of tobacco and an enigmatic green tea and sake effect. Forbidden Love is my favourite perfume in the range and as it was made in 2015, two years after her initial creations, it seems that Olivia is starting to spread her wings with this perfume. It seems more intricate and layered and a step ahead. All in all, a really lovely perfume that also stays on skin well too.
White Lotus : Year : 2015 : Notes : White Lotus absolute, Vetiver, Tonka bean, Hennessey Cognac
I really like this perfume. To me the white lotus smells like an aqueous coconut milk. This has a light hearted sweetness with the tonka but is not entirely sweetie pie due to the cognac. White Lotus is a feel good perfume for relaxing on a summer’s day when you can feel the wind in your hair and the world seems like a great place. It has a bit of a beach vibe and I picture wearing this near sparkling azure water with flowers in my hair.
Fleur de Mystere : Year : 2013 : Notes : Sandalwood, ylang ylang, vanilla, geranium, rose, bergamot, patchouli
This is Olivia’s favourite in her range and there’s a strong hit of bergamot up top that introduces the perfume. Fleur de Mystere smells clean and fresh before the florals enter the scene. There’s an assertiveness to the rose, geranium and patchouli that creates a strong central force. Fleur de Mystere has a very calming, relaxing and spiritual feel and I imagine wearing this to a yoga class and having a zen moment or two.
Fleur de l’Amour : Year : 2013 : Notes : Rose, Strawberries, Chocolate, Champacca, Sandalwood
Here we have an unabashedly pretty fragrance with a touch of the sensuous. Fleur d’Amour is very smooth yet sweet with a delicious champacca note over a passionate rose. I’d describe it as a carefree scent and one of those perfumes that I would have wanted to wear when I was younger if I’d even known about perfume back then.
Fleur de Seduire : Year : 2013 : Notes : Myrrh, Frankincense, Jasmine
This is a floral oriental and when reading the notes, this is the perfume that I was first drawn to. Fleur de Seduire smells resinous and sumptuous at first sniff. It has a leathery feel with dashes of cinnamon and tobacco and let’s not forget the jasmine. It’s not of the indolic variety but of a more gentle persuasion. There’s a warmth and strength to Fleur de Seduire that becomes more obvious as it warms on skin. Very nice.
Parisian Affair : Year : 2013 : Notes : Vanilla, Lilac, Champaca, Pine and Cognac.
Parisian Affair conjures a Monet watercolour with multicoloured, slightly abstract tones. It’s a joyful floral with a sophisticated feel. There’s something a little astringent over the florals and the cognac adds presence and strength. Parisian Affair also stays on skin well and feels rather grown up.
Fleur d’Aspiration : Year : 2013 : Notes : Sandalwood, Bergamot, Frangipani flowers
The sandalwood and frangipani produce a very distinctive and gorgeous scent. There is a lovely natural vibe to this perfume, maybe a little hippy but it’s very pretty and the more I wear this perfume, the more I like it.
Puck’s Potion : Year : 2015 : Notes : Oakmoss, Cassis, Lily absolute, Tonka bean
Puck’s Potion smells rather strong when I sniff the sample. On skin though it comes across lighter and has a delicate spice in there that you would not guess from the notes. It’s playful and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still has the lovely lily in here to keep floral lovers happy.
Fleur d’Innocence : Year : 2013 : Notes : Vanilla, Orange, Bouquet of fresh flowers
Fleur d’Innocence is ripe with orange and rather charming, although very light on me. I’d recommend this for someone who is drawn to youthful, insouciant styled perfumes and I have to say that the name seems entirely appropriate here.
For where to purchase : Please refer to the La Fleur by Livvy website where you can buy the perfumes in a variety of sizes and bottle options, starting from $US15 for 5ml and up to $US 40.50 for a 30ml bottle. Sample sets are also available for $US15.
Notes : Images : All La Fleur by Livvy except photo of Olivia Larson from Fragrantica : Featured Image from Megan In Sainte Maxime using a Tim Walker photo of Stella Tennant from Vogue UK.
Disclaimer : Perfume samples from La Fleur by Livvy. Opinions my own.