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Le Lèthè

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LE LÈTHÈ
Viens sur mon coeur, âme cruelle et sourde,
Tigre adoré, monstre aux airs indolents;
Je veux longtemps plonger mes doigts tremblants
Dans l'épaisseur de ta crinière lourde;

Dans tes jupons remplis de ton parfum
Ensevelir ma tête endolorie,
Et respirer, comme une fleur flétrie,
Le doux relent de mon amour défunt.

Je veux dormir! dormir plutôt que vivre!
Dans un sommeil aussi doux que la mort,
J'étalerai mes baisers sans remords
Sur ton beau corps poli comme le cuivre.

Pour engloutir mes sanglots apaisés
Rien ne me vaut l'abîme de ta couche;
L'oubli puissant habite sur ta bouche,
Et le Léthé coule dans tes baisers.

À mon destin, désormais mon délice,
J'obéirai comme un prédestiné;
Martyr docile, innocent condamné,
Dont la ferveur attise le supplice,

Je sucerai, pour noyer ma rancoeur,
Le népenthès et la bonne ciguë
Aux bouts charmants de cette gorge aiguë
Qui n'a jamais emprisonné de coeur.

-

Come, lie upon my breast, cruel, insensitive soul,
Adored tigress, monster with the indolent air;
I want to plunge trembling fingers for a long time
In the thickness of your heavy mane,

To bury my head, full of pain
In your skirts redolent of your perfume,
To inhale, as from a withered flower,
The moldy sweetness of my defunct love.

I wish to sleep! to sleep rather than live!
In a slumber doubtful as death,
I shall remorselessly cover with my kisses
Your lovely body polished like copper.

To bury my subdued sobbing
Nothing equals the abyss of your bed,
Potent oblivion dwells upon your lips
And Lethe flows in your kisses.

My fate, hereafter my delight,
I'll obey like one predestined;
Docile martyr, innocent man condemned,
Whose fervor aggravates the punishment.

I shall suck, to drown my rancor,
Nepenthe and the good hemlock
From the charming tips of those pointed breasts
That have never guarded a heart.

- Charles Baudelaire, translated by William Aggeler

Red musk and sweat-damp golden skin musk with labdanum, golden amber, nutmeg, tobacco absolute, black orchid, and hemlock accord.


Oh, my love... out of all the scents from the Weenie update, I have to say I was looking forward to Le Lethe the most and am instantly smitten. Welcome to the GC, baby!!! The nutmeg and musk were the main "yea!" notes for me, but all listed are generally winners-combined they are intoxicatingly lovely. Wet this is a chewy, rich tobacco incense. Its almost like a more feme version of Old Demons of the First Class. Drying out, the pungent red and sweet, salty skin musk swirl and become only slightly bittersweet from the herbaceous note. It now reminds me a bit of a deeper, less floral the Arbor all vamped up. I'm not getting any flowers here, it just melds with the dark, powdery incense and musk. The amber note really smells like a whiff of Sin, which I am totally psyched about because I cannot wear Sin anymore due to the cinnamon (I get all red, sensitive thing that I am). While she does not scream NUTMEG!!! as I hoped she would, this is an immediate big bottle purchase. My skin loves it. Complex incense, bright without being cheery, sweet, resinous, sticks around for hours, smells amazing right up to the nose (the love bite test) AND you can smell it through bullet proof glass. Plus, it has that tantalizing geekarific cross referencing deal: mythology, Baudelaire, and (perhaps inadvertently) True Blood S4. Wicked.

***ETA: nutmeg has amped in the aging!!! <3 Edited by lookingglass

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Red musk and florals are both wild cards on me. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't - and with florals, it's usually a don't. I'm really hoping that the red musk behaves itself here, and that the black orchid is very understated. The rest of the notes sound great.

 

This is a very dark oil. It looks a lot like Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, etc. in the vial. Smelling it in the vial, it is single note sharp red musk. I was a little intimidated by it, but decided to give it a try on my skin. It is solid red musk at first, but then it blooms almost immediately. I am getting a very heavy dose of floral and red musk. This is much sweeter than I'd imagined it to be. In fact, the longer I have this on, the more potent the bright floral note seems to be getting. The black orchid is amping on my skin and savagely beating the other notes down. I haven't worn a blend with black orchid before, so I didn't really know what to expect - but black orchid apparently smells like soap on my skin. This is starting to smell a lot like a bar soap with hints of spicy red musk in the background and a teensy smidge of tobacco sweetness. I don't think I can stand to let this dry all the way - I won't wear a scent if all the stages don't agree with me. I really wish I had gotten the wonderful incense scent the previous reviewer had gotten; it was what I was really hoping for. :(

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I found the wet stage of this one really...weird; it's like the resins and something sharp (maybe the hemlock?) were dancing around all over the other notes and it was just odd, especially since most red musk blends are OH HAI RED MUSK the moment they hit my skin. As this dries, though...oh wow. It's become a rich, musky tobacco incense with a really nicely noticeable nutmeg note (heheh). The red musk is really very tame here; I can smell it but it's not the dominant note it tends to be. The overall effect is dark and complex and sexy. That opening stage is not quite a dealbreaker but I am going to have to age this imp and see if it improves, because the drydown really is terrific.

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5 minutes in, this is beautiful. While wet it was all sharp orchid and red musk, but in less than a minute the blend mellowed and the other notes came into play. I usually amp red musk, but in this it lends a subtle incense note. The skin musk is gorgeous and I do sense a bit of saltiness as well. So far the amber is golden and not powdery in the least. This is golden and mysterious and slightly floral but not sweet at all on me. If this behaves, I will definitely need a bottle.

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THIS is the Red Musk blend I have been looking for. :thud: I'm so happy this works on my skin: it is just a glorious resin-y red musk with some tobacco and hemlock peeking out. Love this, and I'm so glad to have a bottle. Lust and Hygeia both work on me too (in fact, Lust is one of my top 10 forever), but I can't think of another red musk blend that has worked on me aside from those. This is not just about the red musk though...I think I can pick out each note, but they are so beautifully blended that it is difficult. 9/10 And it's a GC!!! :wub2:

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Sweaty amber and red musk. The musk is glorious....the amber turns sour and sweaty on my skin. :( So glad it went to a new home. :D

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at first it's all black orchid and red musk - purpley and hazy - yay!

then pretty quickly the golden notes and nutmeg come out and really turn this "foody" on me. I smell yummy - but I don't like to smell like food lol

almost a gingerbread-like smell

Edited by Roogna

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Sexy, almost edible strong red musk with incense and nutmeg swirling through it. Reminded me almost of a less foody, more grown-up Eat Me, or a warmer Kabuki minus the fruit. I liked it a lot, but the red musk was by far the star of the show on my skin, with the other components playing minor supporting roles.

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The tobacco absolute is too strong for me in this blend. The mix of warm, heavy red musk and clean skin musk is unusual and pretty, but the tobacco absolute quickly comes out and stomps all over everything, turning cloying on me. Its like sticky-sweet, honeyed tobacco and nothing else in the drydown. It reminds me of my dad's chewing tobacco, which I don't want to smell like...

Edited by Little Bird

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Red musk, dark nutmeg, gritty tobacco. On the drydown, I get more of the amber. This has a dark, and almost wild edge to it.

 

Dark, sexy, warm.

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Red musk usually amps on me like “Whoa! Who bathed in red musk?” But here, it’s super soft. I think the amber helps soften it. Tobacco and herbal notes in the background. Pretty, but soooo soft. In a few minutes, it’s barely there.

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On me, this smells a lot like Gaueko. It's kind of like a mix of nag champa, amber and musk, but with another note in there that is kind of sharp and strident and really doesn't agree with me.

 

On paper, this sounds like it would be perfect, because I love almost all of the notes listed, but it just doesn't work on my skin. :(

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Sweet, musky, slightly herbal and just delicious. Of course, red musk is front and center, the golden skin musk and golden amber seem to warm this up, while the orchid is a nice floral note wafting around. I'm not good at picking out tobacco and hemlock yet, but I'm sure they're in there, maybe giving it that herbal feel. All in all this is warm, roll around fuzzy, and just an all around wonderful scent! I can only imagine this will get better with age. So now I have to purchase a back-up bottle to set away. =)

 

3/13 update: A little over a year later and it's still pretty wonderful. I'm still having to get over the initial medicinal (hemlock I think) phase. But that doesn't last long any more. It's gotten deeper, but it still has that warm fuzzy feel to it.

Edited by claudia6913

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This is one of my new staples and I absolutely love it. Red musk is my favourite perfume note and this blend really packs a punch with it. It's warm, saucy, sultry and sort of... feral. I'm not usually crazy about florals but here they are fine, delicious even. I can see this aging wonderfully and I can't wait to see how it deepens and matures. 10/10.

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This one is incredibly musky! Tons and tons of lovely red musk with an ambery floral sweetness to it. I think this is fantastic! Must be all the musk and black orchid!

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Wet on the skin: lots of langorous yet perverted red musk and tobacco, reminding me of several other BPALs I have tried, especially Horreur Sympathique (the grapes in that made me queasy, sadly). Not bad but not distinctive.

 

A little while later: Slightly sickly and obnoxious tobacco. I always like the idea of tobacco (even though I'm a non-smoker) but perhaps it's a tricky note for me. There is another note peeking through - an intriguing floral that I think must be the black orchid, because it spontaneously gives me flashbacks to trying Tom Ford's Black Orchid. It's a sensual and mysterious floral and I would like it to wrestle through the tobacco more.

 

Drydown: the tobacco is being softened quite a bit by a golden warmth, and there is now a slight spiciness that I think is the nutmeg - mmm.

 

I think Beth has again captured the decadent, beautiful but secretly syphilitic world of Baudelaire, I'll have to try it again and decide whether I want to put up with the overbearing tobacco stage. I'll also shove it under the boy's nose and see what reaction I get ;)

If you like the seduction/repulsion quality of the Baudelaire blends you might like to sniff them whilst reading Black Venus by Angela Carter, who also evokes his world with an extraordinary intensity.

Edited by curlofsmoke

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In the Imp (ITI): Oh, now this is the dark amber that I like. It's exotic and sensual paired with the skin musk. There is a faint whiff of hemlock as I exhale and some sweetness from the tobacco. There is a little bit of the orchid as a sweet floral at the top of this note. Very seductive in the bottle.

 

Wet: Heady, animalistic for some reason, slightly earthy delight meets my nose. The ambers, musk,and labdanum provide a sensuous base for the sweet but exotic orchid and the intoxicating tobacco.

 

Dry: The headiness of the scent has softened, but the combination of musk, amber, and tobacco is lovely while sexy at the same time,

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There is something about the combination of red musk and tobacco that just makes me want to bite my arm - this and Red Lace both have that same deliciousness.

 

Le Lethe is quite heady when first applied and then dries down into a very soft and sexy skin scent. The red musk stays detectable throughout but I definitely get the tobacco, hemlock, and salty skin musk as well as the beautiful black orchid, but nothing ever overpowers the other notes - they swirl together in a perfect dance. Di. Vine.

 

This is gorgeous and I am going to need a bottle for sure. Thank God it is in the GC, I need more NOW! :wub2:

Edited by OctoberGwen

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Bottle: Interesting! A really intriguing blend—and it is a blend, although the red musk is discernable. Red musk is a risk for me. I’m not sure if this one will work, but let’s try it out.

 

Wet: Spicy red musk and amber with discernable nutmeg-tobacco influence. Heady and yummy. Seriously, the nutmeg in particular makes this twist in really interesting ways—hints of foody spice that are tempered by the tobacco and thrown over the general foundation of amber and musk.

 

Dry: Just a really sexy blend—not too dark, not too spicy. Just a hair too "red" for me, but I'll have the husband try it.

Edited by curlsandpearls

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LE LÈTHÈ- a beautiful dark coppery red blood color. Red musk is one of my favorite notes and at first, that's all I get. If it stayed pure red musk it would be fine with me, but after about 5 minutes the tobacco comes out, followed by the hemlock. Together the notes blend with the red musk and tone it down into a dark musky scent. I really like this, and bet it will be even better after it ages.

 

Edited to add that I applied it before bed, and it is very long-lasting. The next morning it was still very apparent. Love this! and have already decided I will need a backup bottle! :wub2:

Edited by Poenari

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Thoughts before testing: I've been on a red musk kick lately, and Le Lethe seemed like the perfect scent to kick off the red musk testing!

 

Wet: Red musk, amber, tobacco; this is surprisingly awesome. Very sexy smelling, very strong.

 

Dry down: Smoky musky floral. The tobacco comes to the forefront here but it's a sweet tobacco. The red musk is amping I think, and turning this very "perfume-y."

 

Dry: By this stage, it's pretty much all red musk and tobacco on my skin.

 

Final thoughts: I really loved the wet stage of this. I can see myself using this in certain situations, but this is definitely not an every day scent for me. It lasted forever though (going on 6 hours and it's still strong!)

 

Edited to add: I did indeed keep the imp, and after a year Le Lethe smoothed out to a drop dead sexy musky-floral-tobacco. This is my go to date night perfume now.

 

Verdict: Upgrading to a bottle!

Edited by Alethia

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It smelled surprisingly perfumey in the imp but is dramatically different on my skin. It's tobacco, very sweet fresh tobacco, not dried. I'm getting a bit of herbal feel, likely from the hemlock. I'm shocked that the red musk is so laid back, I usually amp it (and I love it so win/win). I expect it to bloom as this warms up. Oh damn, something, perhaps the amber, has gone soapy. It smells like someone smoking in a bathtub :eek: I am disappoint.

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Why this still only has 1 page of reviews is beyond me. This is GORGEOUS. If you missed out on Senelion, try this one. It's a close 2nd.

 

The red musk is prominent but not peaked or fiery pungent. Just smoky and lightly metallic.. I think the nutmeg, laudanum, and tobacco absolute are twining with it. The golden amber does an amazing job of smoothing out the edges and I can tell there's a good dose of it in here. Which combined with the skin musk.. this glows warmly and deeply. Orchid sweetens and brings a nice top note that's notable from the rest. Brilliant blend.

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Joined the forum to review this. Out of three orders and about 45 scents, this is my favourite so far. As a guy, I tend to avoid anything floral, but this suits me quite comfortably.

 

Starts off strongly red musky, but that mellows down enough to allow other notes through and it dries to a warm, deep, lustrous, red-gold deliciousness. Mildly spicy but in a rich and rounded way rather than foodie. It's the smell of dark burnished glass that glows red when held up to the sunlight. I will, of course, be wearing this a lot.

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