1. It’s really cheap
2. It smells a bit like Chanel No 5 (Me and 27 Fragrantica reviewers can’t be wrong)
3. It doesn’t smell cheap
I could end it there, but Coty L’Aimant is so much more than a passable substitute for Chanel No 5. L’Aimant is a perfume I can never wear since it was my late grandmother’s signature scent. Even in her seventies, she was classy and always smelled lovely. Peppermints, Lavender and L’Aimant. Sometimes a whiff of menthol in Winter.
It’s a perfume that I would love to see more people wearing. It’s old fashioned, yes, but you could also call it delightfully retro. It’s been around since 1927 and is still popular, so you could call it a classic.
L’Aimant is an aldehyde, although it has such creamy white flowers and a powdery finish that it is sometimes hard to categorise it with other more astringent aldehydes such as Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass or First by Van Cleef and Arpels.
It used to remind me of a slightly gone off old fashioned powder compact, which is in fact how Chanel No 5 smells to me ( I’ve never been a fan but I suppose I’ll have to review it at some point).
The top notes of L’Aimant are: Neroli, Bergamot, Peach and Aldehydic Notes. Personally, I didn’t get even a soupçon of Bergamot. L’Aimant is more peachy and soapy, with the Neroli providing a hint of rich white flowers.
Middle notes are Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang, Rose and Orchid. I can pick out Jasmine and Rose, but the others are a pleasant furry blur, with maybe a prickle of Spicy Geranium
Basenotes are Vetiver, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar, Tonka and Vanilla. I definitely get the Vanilla, Sandalwood and Musk, if nothing else. It is after all, a creamy and warm finish with a flourish of powder puff.
What never ceases to amaze me is that a long lasting perfume of this calibre can still be had for a song. Last time I looked it was under 8GBP for a 30ml Parfum de Toilette spray. A while back, I posted an article called “Good Perfumes Under Ten pounds: Is It Possible?”. I’m amazed I left this out. I’ll just have to do another list. (Look out for forthcoming Top Tens).
I may well be giving Coty L’Aimant a second chance as homage to my late grandmother, who was always such a lady.