Fragrance / High End / My Favorite Things

Elie Saab Le Parfum Review & A Peek into My Distinguished Scent Testing Process

I’ve only had Elie Saab Le Parfum for two weeks, and I’m already writing a review on it, which is very strange indeed.  Usually, I’ll sniff a fragrance, and then embark on months of soul searching and head scratching and more sniffing.  Finally, when I’m completely fed up, I’ll deprive myself of sleep and write something up at 4 am, when the nonsense just starts flowing.  Because writing about scent, god it’s difficult!  Where is my online scratch-and-sniff feature?  Argh!  Arrrgghh!

But as I said, none of that happened this time.  Thank you Elie Saab and Francis Kurkdjian, for making a perfume that, by some miracle, I can write about without going through a mental crisis.

I’ve already been through the packaging once here.  Suffice to say I think it’s perfect for the juice inside, and is a lovely addition to my vanity.

Elie Saab Le Parfum starts off with a truckload of orange blossom and syrupy honey that almost tickles my nose.  Then the jasmine sidles in, and adds a different kind of sweetness.  It’s funny, because I usually associate jasmine in perfume with a type of coldness (this of course could just be my total inexperience speaking), but even if you stuck this scent in the refrigerator overnight, you’d be hard pressed to find anything cold about it.  There’s something called ‘rose honey,’ and whether that’s honey made from roses or roses blended with honey, I have no idea.  But the drydown has a lovely, rounded honey note with the barest hint of florals, slightly cleaned up by cedar and patchouli.  It’s glowing and radiant and sunny, not sunny as in ‘oh let’s go frolic in a field with unicorns and butterflies,’ more like sun drenched.  If it were a dress, it would be this dress exactly, which just so happens to be designed by Elie Saab.

It reminds me a bit of my beloved Lierac Sensorielle; the two smell nothing alike, but there’s that similar feel of honey-sweet florals, a similar warmth to both scents.  But while Sensorielle is quite mellow, Elie Saab Le Parfum lacks any semblance of shyness.

Sillage is above average, meaning people will be able to smell you if they end up in an elevator or broom closet (just trying to cover every situation here) with you, but you won’t be the person who walks into the room and knocks everyone out with your perfume.  On my skin, this lasts a good 7-8 hours, although I will add that my skin seems to cling to perfume as if its life depends upon it.

It’s not going to please everyone, as it’s just not one of those scents.  I will say that honeyed florals, especially well-constructed ones like this, are one of my favorites (and my mom’s favorite as well.  The second I first sprayed this, she started dropping all kinds of hints about her birthday and Christmas…very well mom, point taken).

I always, always say never to buy a fragrance unsniffed, and that is especially the case for this one.  The split between loving the scent and hating it is pretty even, so it’s something you need to decide in person.

It’s unmistakably feminine, but not girly.  I’ve taken to wearing this every day, because I love the way it makes me feel (and that, for me, is the whole point of an ‘investment scent.’  It’s much more about how it makes you feel than how others perceive it).  A spritz of this in the morning, and I feel sophisticated but not stuffy, elegant and bright and warm all at once.  And I’ll tell you a secret, I’ll occasionally spritz my pajamas while I sprawl in bed at night, making my round through the Tolkien novels, something I haven’t done since Egyptian Musk.  Sometimes you want to feel chic even when you’re dreaming.

There’s a 1.6 oz bottle for $90 and a 3 oz version for $120.  The fragrance also comes in body lotion, body cream, shower cream, and EDT form.

What’s your take on honeyed florals?  Have you sniffed this?  Thoughts?
Also, does anyone else think that dress embodies the perfume perfectly?  And can we gush about Elie Saab’s designs together in the comments?

Full Disclosure: The product in this post was submitted by PR for editorial consideration and review.  For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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31 thoughts on “Elie Saab Le Parfum Review & A Peek into My Distinguished Scent Testing Process

  1. That dress! *faints* I haven’t sniffed this yet, but you have convinced me to! Of course the bottle is lovely, everything Elie is lovely. But they thought of a honeyed floral is intriguing. I have been waiting for your verdict on this so I am excited to run out and sniff and most likely buy. Ah!! It sounds lovely and you did a great job writing about it.

    • I know! Ah, if only Elie Saab dresses were a teensy bit more affordable…
      Go! Run! Sniff! Tell me if you like it :) I’m glad you think so, perfume reviews are usually torture to write. Just about tied with skincare. Maybe a little worse.

  2. I tried a sample of this scent too and I like it. I’m not into floral scents, but this one is well-done, classy and feminine. I haven’t decided whether I’ll purchase a full bottle yet because it’s not the kind of scent I wear often (I usually lean more towards heady orientals), but I’m very tempted. The bottle is beautiful too.

    • I’m surprised (pleasantly surprised obviously) to hear that you like it! It’s kind of like a floriental…but without all the spices LOL. I can see how for some it would be more of a once in awhile scent. Luckily, I think I’ve found my everyday perfume FINALLY.

  3. I love that Ellie Saab collection. It’s dreamy. And I swear I sniffed this and didn’t like it, but this wonderful review (props, MM!) makes me want to go back and give it another go.

    • It’s so dreamy. Every Elie Saab collection is dreamy, it’s incredible. Aw, thanks! I try. Do give it another go, but I think this is a scent most people form an opinion on almost right away.

  4. I remember sniffing this in London and liking it! I’d love to get this one, but I am in love with my hubby’s Tom Ford Tuscan Leather. What can I say, I like smelling like smoke and leather in the middle of summer.

    • That sounds like a divine scent! How does your hubby feel about you stealing his perfume? :P I love the smell of smoke and leather too, I’ve been burning my Slatkin Fireside candle even on 100 degree days….something about that is just comforting year-round.

  5. ooh now I’m a little scared–I recently got the Leirac Huile Sensorielle and it was NOTHING like what I was expecting. White flowers? I don’t think so–it was quite warm and heady—really ambery, which I didn’t like. I love how it feels on the skin though, so it’s kind of a shame for me. :/ But yeah, I didn’t really like being misled by the name. I know my white florals and Sensorielle did NOT smell like jasmine, gardenia, or camellia!!!

    • Sensorielle is quite warm and heady. I do get white florals from that, but not in the ‘big white floral’ sense. To me, it’s white florals backed by a whole lot of creamy warmth. This one is has a much brighter warmth. It is not by any means a clean, fresh floral, but it’s got a radiance to it.

      • Yes, your description is right on the money–I do get a TINY bit of floral once it has settled on my skin a bit, but the background is indeed creamy and warm–2 adjectives which I generally do NOT like to associate with my scents. Still, the Elie Saab bottle is just so gosh-darn pretty that I will def take a sniff next time I see it :P

  6. What a gorgeous bottle! I don’t know if I’ve ever sniffed honeyed florals before but they sound complex yet sweet. :D

    P.S Love you in those hot dresses (prior post)!

  7. Honeyed florals and orange blossom is pretty much the opposite of what I like, but I must agree with Liz––your review makes it sound very appealing! I also laughed at your description of your normal perfume smelling routine, and am very glad this one caused you less mental anguish :)

  8. mmm… I’ve really liked this one every time I’ve sniffed it in stores, but I’m not a huge fragrance person so I hesitate to buy it. But your wonderful description now makes me want to go try it on, get a sample, and sniff the EDT. AHHH!

    • I’m super curious about the EDT. I don’t know how they would make this one lighter without it losing its character…you’ll have to let me know how it compares if you try it!

  9. Well, I love the bottle…but sadly the description of this does not sound like my kind of fragrance – anything with orange blossom ~shivers~ …yea, just not for me. But nevertheless, I’m always pleased to hear other people find scents they love, as it can be a challenge!! And it reminds me to get on finding a fragrance that rocks my world, too!

  10. I love this perfume, I feel classy and well, just lovely when I wear it . . . but. . . .(and this is gonna sound so bad!) can anyone else detect a hint of Charlie Red (you know the nasty cheap teenage girl body spray). I’m certain I can although I’m not sure what underlying scent that might be. Anyway this all just adds to the nostalgia evoked by this stunning fragrance

  11. Ok, I tried this fragrance in a department store a few weeks back, while I was doing so the counter guy said, Oh that’s the eau d Toilette thats fruity, try the Parfum its more floral.
    Now that is something I have never encountered before two varients of the same perfume smelling different Well I loved the EDT _ and didn’t notice the fruity _ which isn’t usually my style (fruity I mean, I already thought it was floral), but then the Parfum _ that was even more divine. I bought both. The EDT if I close my eyes I’m on a surf beach in summer. The parfum says I own the beach at night all year round, and because I own ithe beach, its always a perfect summers night on the beach. Yes both are different but both undeniably the best fragrance I have discovered in a long time. Tres Excellence (however the French spell it). Its the most glamourous, self confident, self-assured, that-everyone-wants-to-know woman, captured in a bottle. This is what she would wear. EDT or Parfum and both.

  12. I am addicted to this fragrance! I am in love with this fragrance, amazing! I get comments from compete strangers nearly every day. I even have people ask me what it is and where to buy it. It definently impresses the gents. I have purchased both EDP and EDT love them both. I am up to my 4th bottle and nothing lasts or tops Elie Saab xxx

  13. I am so in love with this fragrance, and it is my signature scent from now on, whether it be the EDT or the Parfum–both wonderrful! For almost two decades I’ve consistently worn YSL’s Yvresse (originally Champagne), and my favorite many years ago was Le de Givenchy, the original, now so old that it isn’t the same, even if unopened. Yet this one is even better on me, and definitely younger, fresher, more current, and not perfumey. Just natural, yet sophisticated. Love the bottle, too, and carry a small one in my purse, with the lotion.

  14. Bought this at the airport on the way back from hols, got drawn straight to it never smelt ellie saab before but I absolutely love this perfume, I bought the body moisturiser too to make the smell last longer, love it love it love it

    • It’s as sophisticated as any other fragrance I’ve known, yet cool, not perfumey, or “old lady” smelling, which I’d been accused of wearing previously, with famous, good fragrances I’ve had. Leaves you wanting to smell it more, and perfect for all year, evoking a natural or organic impression. It smells rich, costly, but not overwhelming or trying too hard.

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