jeudi 19 avril 2012

Prodigieux, le parfum by Nuxe: Saint-Tropez in a bottle



It used to be the other way around: popular perfumes would be knocked off by functional products. Then cosmetic scents started trickling up into fine fragrance. But to my knowledge, Nuxe is the first skincare brand to translate the smell of its cult product into a fine fragrance.

Pretty good call, actually. For the past two decades, Frenchwomen have been slathering their body and hair with Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse, and for good reason: in its square glass bottle, this moisturizing oil is chic enough to look like a fine fragrance to start with, and above all, it smells like endless summer.

Prodigieux, le parfum, was composed by Serge Majoullier (Mane) who also worked on the scenting of L’Huile. The notes given out by the press release are bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, rose, gardenia, magnolia, vanilla, coconut and a mineral accord. The scent is mainly the same tiaré-frangipani blossom-coconut accord as L’Huile, with a touch of soapiness from the magnolia. It also, oddly, manages to reproduce some of the fattiness of the smell of its template. I'd place it in the same ballpark as Roberto Cavalli for Her, which also has the static, oily spicy lactonic floral smell of an upscale tanning lotion with SPF2.

Prodigieux, le parfum will certainly go down a tropical storm with Nuxe aficionadas, especially since it can be picked up along with the peerless skin and hair care products sold in French pharmacies, and favored by many Frenchwomen. Hundreds of slightly over-tanned, sexy Saint-Tropez beauties (or wannabes) will doubtless be wafting it next summer in the beach clubs.


Illustration: Romy Schneider and Alain Delon in a still from The Pool by Jacques Deray (1968)

20 commentaires:

  1. I am a sucker for these types of scents (have been sneaking whiffs of that Roberto Cavalli, must be the rotten weather we're experiencing making me LONG for sun and warmth) and love Nuxe oil too so this is a no brainer, at least to try. Though as I also have a bottle of the original Azuree Soleil I suspect I will be able to resist buying. Alain Delon. Too pretty. Nicola

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  2. Nicola, I agree there's something pretty irresistible about a straightforward tropical (this one's cheaper too, retailing at €45 for 50ml). I did try the Cavalli on skin but since after a while it just kept repeating itself I was tempted to slap it out of its tiger-print dress. Prodigieux is a little less relentless in that department.
    And. Yes. Delon when he was a baby...

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  3. I'm with Nicola. This sounds gorgeous, I'm a sucker for beachy tropicals (coconut and white florals - what could be better?) and I do love the scent of the Prodigieux range.

    But since I've already got the TF Azuree oil spray and a mini of the Huile I should survive without the perfume :)

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  4. Parfyremad, quite right, it's not as though there were a dearth of beachy tropicals. The plus about this one, apart from being geared towards Nuxe fans, is that it can be picked up at the same time as aspirin!

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  5. Denyse
    What a great photo of La Piscene, so languorious, but gripping and beautiful. If only they would release Le Samourai in the uk.

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  6. Chris, I haven't seen the film for quite some time now. Romy Schneider was incredibly moving in it, as always. And though Melville isn't necessarily my all-time favorite filmmaker, I have seen most of his work. Not big on dialogue, was he?

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  7. Denyse
    Romy Schneider was just an angel, So beautiful. I have waited for La Piscene and The Conformist to come out since DVD'S were invented in the 1990's(La Piscene came out last november and the Conformist this feb). I have not seen Le Samourai since the late 1980's . From what i can remember, Delon had about 27 boxes of 200 Gitanes
    piled on top of the wardrobe in his grotty room. Just that scene alone would give the film an x certificate these days.

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  8. They were so brilliant in this film together. So well matched in looks as well.
    Watched it years ago. This one was by Jacques Deray wasn't it?

    You know I buy almost all of my skincare in French pharmacies when on holiday there, but I have never tried any Nuxe products. They seem to have some nice stuff, so on my next visit to France I will have to try the Nuxe. The fragrance sounds nice.

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  9. Chris, remember when Dior had to photoshop the cigarette out of Delon's hand for that Eau Sauvage ad? Because of the French law on tobacco advertising, Jacques Tati's trademark pipe was also blasted out of M. Hulot's mouth... And Sartre lost his fag as well. Absurd.

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  10. Austenfan, yes, it's by Deray (whose filmography I'd be hard-pressed to quote apart from that, though).
    I'm a big aficionado of French pharmacy brands -- La Roche Posay, Avène, Furterer, Phyto... Almost nothing but, in fact. It's been a long time since I've bought Nuxe: I like the way they're scented, but they interfere with my fragrances.

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  11. The only other one I remember is Flic Story with Delon and Trintignant.

    The most moving role I ever saw Delon in was Rocco e i suoi fratelli by Visconti. He has (or had) a far wider range as an actor than his work suggests.

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  12. My favourite Delon films are Le Samourai, The Leopard, Rocco and His Brothers, Pleine Soleil, La Piscene, Le Circle Rouge, The Sicillian Clan, Swann In Love, Borsalino and The Girl On a Motorcycle ( He even gets a credit in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, alongside his then girlfriend Nico).His fragrance IQUITOS is one of the very few great celebrity scents.

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  13. Austenfan, I've just looked him up on Imdb and nothing really jogs my memory...

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  14. Chris, I'm sure the people at Nuxe will be scratching their heads if they ever see a discussion of their scent has turned into one about Delon's filmography! I'm quite partial to the Viscontis myself. Delon is a bit scary now -- I used to see him a lot at a restaurant just across from his flat, where I went to often. He'd be sitting at the terrace with a baleful eye.

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  15. I have been looking up Deray as well. Turns out he also did a brilliant film that has puzzled me a great deal since I watched it 20 odd years ago; "Un papillon sur l'épaule" with the great Ventura. Did you ever watch that one?

    Maybe the Nuxe people will be thrilled that their products has caused this discussion. The photo you used does reflect the vibe of these beachy scents very well though. The film is of course much darker.

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  16. Austenfan, no, I don't believe I ever saw that movie. Sounds intriguing. I'm sure it'll pop up on TV sooner or later!

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  17. Denyse
    Sorry about that. I will.l have to get out of the habit of doing silly things like this. I once turned a Katie Puckrik smells review of Francis Kurkdjian's OUD, into a debate entirely about cheese. I am sure the Nuxe scent is fabulous. Do you think that Delon's fragrance from 1987, IQUITOS is fabulous also ?.

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  18. This brought back loads of great memories: for me, no French holiday would be complete without at least one sighting of the Huile poster in the window of a chemist. Now that there's a perfume, I'll have to be sure to try it the next time I cross the Channel.

    Thanks for the review.

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  19. Chris, for some reason Blogger ate my initial answer! First, no worries about deviating from the subject, that's what discussions are like in real life!
    Second, I've never smelled Iquitos so can't tell you...

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  20. Persolaise, I should imagine Nuxe is sold in the UK, no? Though it's probably not as easy to find as in France, where L'Huile Prodigieuse is indeed a staple. But I agree it's more charming to smell it in situ!

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