Dana Raffinée used to be Houbigant Raffinée and sadly I cannot list the differences between the Dana formulation and the Houbigant formulation as I don’t have the old one to compare it to. However, if you’re a fan of Caron Montaigne (rumoured to be endangered) then you may like this rather similar and classic fragrance.
First impressions of Raffinée are yellow flowers and powder. This is probably why it reminded me so much of Caron Montaigne- those were my first impressions of Montaigne too. However if you take away the oranges from Montaigne you are left with pretty much a decent dead ringer in Raffinée. The problem is, it looks like Raffinee’s days are numbered too. In this case, the emergency drill would be to buy the cheapest, which is currently Caron Montaigne , being sold for a song right now over on Amazon.
Raffinée opens with mimosa and spices. There is a hint of hyacinth in there too, lots of dry rooty orris root and some noticeably rich tuberose. The flowers are not soft nor delicate nor dainty. There’s no peony here. The flowers are more blousy and loud and wearing too much make up and trying to look young.
The middle notes are a raft of soapy, powdery spices and this phase seems to last a long time. The base notes segue into a rather brassy evening scent that smacks of the late 1970s. There’s no subtlety here. There’s no delicacy. But I tell you what Raffinée does remind me of, and that’s a Beryl Cook painting, leopard print, cleavage and a dirty laugh.
It’s not fashionable, but who wants fashionable? Powdery, soapy, spicy and rocking a tarty, 70s vibe- if Raffinée was a person we’d be going out on the town tonight.
PS Thank you to my dear friend Lisa Wordbird for the loan of the bottle. She is not rocking a tarty 70s vibe in case you were wondering.