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There are several perfumes in my collection that hold “scentimental” value.  Pomme Poivre by Love & Toast is one of them.  Whenever I wear this scent, it transports me back to my honeymoon in San Diego.

The hubs and I were walking hand in hand exploring the dim maze of shops at the historical and majestic Hotel del Coronado.  We went into a charming perfume boutique and made a bee-line for the Love & Toast display.  (Love & Toast is one of three fragrance lines by Margot Elena.  Her most renowned is Tokyo Milk.)

I spent 30 minutes patch testing my arms while my bored but patient, newlywed husband stood by my side helping me choose which we liked best.  I kept coming back to Pomme Poivre. It was love at first sniff.  Hubby loved it too.  In his own words…”Smells just like my wife.  Beautiful, sweet, interesting, and complex.”

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA.

Fragrance Family:  Floral Woody Musk

Notes:  Vanilla Orchid, White Musk, Jasmine, Ebony Woods

From the Vial: Rubbing alcohol and peppery rubber.  The rubber smell is unusual but pleasant.

Wet on Skin:  As the alcohol evaporates, for a split second I can smell the Jasmine but it disappears into the rubber smell which grows more prominent on my skin. I’m guessing the ebony woods and white musk accord is giving off that rubber characteristic. It has me more intrigued.

Dry Down: Pomme Poivre is linear, with very little development.  Not much transforms other than becoming sweeter as the creamy vanilla seeps into the peppery rubber.  The scent reminds me of Hello Kitty erasers I collected when I was a kid. Think milky-sweet Hello Kitty erasers and fresh ground black pepper.  I know this combo sounds bizarre but it’s surprisingly pleasant and comforting.  At the end of the dry down, it becomes softer and slightly powdery.

Sillage:  Decent projection.  Not a sillage monster.

Longevity:  A good 6 hours. Pomme Poivre is an EDP.

Would I Buy a Full Bottle?  I would buy full bottles for a lifetime.

Pricepoint: $

Season and Occasion: All year round.  I like to wear this scent on dark rainy days or nights out. I can see this as a unisex fragrance, if men don’t mind smelling sweet.

Final Verdict:  Pomme Poivre is a stand-out from the rest of the Love & Toast line. Others in the line were too juvenile and girly for my taste.  Pomme Poivre, however, is a dark smooth vanilla musk only a confident and unconventional woman can pull off.  I’m amazed how a perfume with just four notes can create a complex fragrance.  A fragrance full of juxtapositions, it is sweet but not gourmande.   It’s feminine but not too masculine.  And vice versa. The sweetness keeps the masculine woods in check retaining its femininity. The florals are hardly detectable but each note is equally playing it’s part in harmony. One note does not overpower the other. Accords are finely calibrated.  If you like Bulgari Black you’ll probably like Pomme Poivre.  Some reviewers have said that Pomme Poivre is  Bulgari Black “lite”. Another more precise analogy was “Bulgari Black without the weirdness of greasy car parts.”   To me, Pomme Poivre is personal.  It’s not just an exquisite perfume but the memory of its scent will always remind me of our first moments as husband and wife and the beginning of our lives as one.

For those who want a softer Bulgari Black, sweet-smelling men, and dark vanilla fans.

Love & Toast’s Pomme Poivre:  http://www.loveandtoast.com/products/pomme-poivre-perfume

Next Up: Le Labo’s Vanille 44