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Arsene Lupin Dandy – An elegant thief – December 6, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - - Illustration of Arsene Lupin - 1907

I’m reading an old story called “The Crystal Stopper”. It’s a mystery written decades ago by the French author, Maurice LeBlanc, creator of Arsene Lupin, a gentleman thief who, like his oh-so-British counterpart, Sherlock Holmes, has the uncanny ability to solve unsolvable crimes.  Arsene Lupin IS the French Sherlock Holmes, or is it vice–versa?

Conan Doyle and LeBlanc were contemporaries in the early 1900’s, and several of the Arsene Lupin stories include the character of Sherlock Holmes, or Herlock Sholmes, as LeBlanc re-named him after Conan Doyle threatened legal action. Arsene Lupin, although a thief and a scoundrel, is a man of impeccable manners and superb style, always on the side of moral justice, handsome, engaging, charming, urbane, rich, and brilliant….my kind of guy. The Cary Grant, the George Clooney of his time.

In fact, I’m wearing his perfume right now - Arsene Lupin. No less than the venerated nose, Jean Paul Guerlain, created a pair of scents in 2010 bearing his name as part of the Guerlain Exclusifs line – Arsene Lupin Dandy and Arsene Lupin Voyou (French for “lout”). And wouldn’t you know, history repeated itself. Just as Conan Doyle came after LeBlanc, D’Orsay, a French perfume company with a fragrance called Dandy, threatened Guerlain with legal action if they continued using the name of Dandy, so the Dandy version is now called simply, Arsene Lupin. I have an original bottle with the name Dandy stamped on its black wooden frame, but the scent is the same ( and I'm going to call it Dandy in this post - hopefully D'Orsay won't sue me.)

This is a brilliant fragrance, instantly loved by men, women, and everyone in between, and beyond. It suits the character of Arsene Lupin and it also suits my sensabilities to perfection. Arsene Lupin Dandy is described as an Oriental leather, but the scent feels so refined and elegant and contemporary, that the term Oriental leather sounds more like a Latin descriptor for a perfume from the Pleistocene era than for this gem.

Opening with a blast of bergamot and bigarade, tart-fruity lime and orange citrus, peppered-up with pink peppercorns and spicy cardamom, Arsene Lupin Dandy immediately takes my nose prisoner. It has an exquisitely balanced opening, not too tart, too sweet, or intense - totally tantalizing. And next, when dusted green violet leaves and dark purple velvety flowers are layered over expensive sueded gray leather – custom-made gloves for M. Lupin, very likely – I know my heart will be stolen. Powdery, elegant, ultra-chic, I can feel the Guerlinade effect starting to work its magic as the green florals mix with the bright spicy opening accord. When the heart and base notes gain momentum, I know that I’m falling hard for Dandy.

Creamy delicately-wooded sandalwood and herbal patchouli create an earthy richness, sweet labdanum and olibanum create balmy-magical incense notes with hints of smoked vanilla which wind through the long dry-down, making the soft leather change in colour from gray to shimmering gold, and push Arsene Lupin Dandy into the realm of the classic Guerlains. Dandy is so beautifully balanced, so intricately constructed, is so light and subtle on my skin, and yet feels so warm and enveloping at the same time. This is a leather like no other, it smells other-worldly.

Arsene Lupin Dandy is a quiet captivating thief, a charming, smart, and elegant scent like its namesake. Be forewarned - it will steal your heart before you can even say Herlock Sholmes.


Today, we’re adding Arsene Lupin Dandy to our Decant Store.  Decants are $5.00.