The Lover's Tale by Francesca Bianchi

thebeck

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2007
OMG - first sniff, it's a vintage leather chypre. You're reminded of (not smells like) Cuir de Russie, Mitsouko etc...
Very powerful. I recommend one spray at first, then adjust to your liking.

I'll make this simple. If you enjoy vintage scents, this is a MUST HAVE - truly incredible scent.
Excuse me for being nearly speechless with The Lover's Tale.
A time capsule back to the Roaring 20's.
Best on a very confident woman or even more confident man.

You say, why do I need to be confident?
Because The Lover's Tale has attitude, you'll need confidence to wear it properly.

This is a feminine scent. I would wear it, but most men wouldn't, or want to try.
Glad I'm not most men. Many men here on Basenotes will love it.

You won't walk into a room stealth. Lover's Tale is a head turner that announces itself.
GORGEOUS! GEORGEOUS! GEORGEOUS!

The Lover's Tale in my mind belongs in the same sentence as Cuir de Russie and Mitsouko.
You say you like the peach in Mitsouko - you'll get some of that here also.
Destined to become a classic before its time.

Usually perfumers who choose to make a vintage style scent fall short in one or more categories.
The perfume smells vintage like, near vintage or almost vintage.
The Lover's Tale is vintage reincarnated.

The amazing part is that Francesca has done this with today's ingredients.

available from November 6th

bergamot, honey, mimosa, Egyptian jasmin, Bulgarian rose, peach, iris butter, heliotrope, leather, castoreum, labdanum, sandalwood, vetyver, oakmoss.
 
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Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
OMG - first sniff, it's a vintage leather chypre. You're reminded of Cuir de Russie, Mitsouko etc...
Very powerful. I recommend one spray at first, then adjust to your liking.

I'll make this simple. If you enjoy vintage scents, this is a must have - truly incredible scent.
Excuse me for being nearly speechless with The Lover's Tale.
A time capsule back to the Roaring 20's.
Best on a very confident woman.
This is a super feminine scent. I would wear it, but most men wouldn't or want to.

The Lover's Tale in my mind belongs in the same sentence as Cuir de Russie and Mitsouko.
Destined to become a classic before its time.

HOW/WHERE can we other mortals get a sample of this godlike nectar??
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
The only place I've seen Francesca Bianchi was my favorite store in Florence, Italy. I hope to go there soon.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
Dammit, thebeck. You just had to evoke those 2 legendary names, didn’t you? Now I need to get my nose on this...! :wink:
 

Melbourne Man

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2016
November 6 release, and agree with all the above except that I don't think it is overly feminine.
Opening is untamed, and there are quite definitive stages of development on my skin. For mine it is top of the line with Under My Skin.
 

thebeck

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2007
November 6 release, and agree with all the above except that I don't think it is overly feminine.
Opening is untamed, and there are quite definitive stages of development on my skin. For mine it is top of the line with Under My Skin.

Thanks for your thoughts. What's interesting is Under My Skin is the ultimate go in stealth-like scent. Then you have The Lover's Tale, being the polar opposite coming in strong.
The two show Francesca's diverse abilities.

Not quite sure the opening is untamed. I would use the words strong, maybe even loud, shocking - but I thinks it's deliberate and controlled.
 

thebeck

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2007
According to reviews, the animalic leather comes through stronger on a man. The sweeter aspects, like peach, come through on a woman. Skin chemistry is said to matter a lot with this one.

My Wife and I sampled the same day. Some scents smell the same on us, and others take on the masculine feminine traits.
The Lover's Tale was as you described, but more subtle skin chemistry differences than some have experienced.
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Claire's take.

http://takeonethingoff.com/blog/2018/10/11/francesca-bianchi-the-lovers-tale-2018/

Just the right pic to go with it, too.

DpOueh2U8AALreL.jpg
 
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StellaDiverFlynn

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2016
Francesca very kindly sent me a sample, and after wearing it this weekend, my first impression is very postive and I can totally get behind thebeck's enthusiasm about it.

On me, I would describe The Lover's Tale as a floral orris-leather with a subtle animalic touch.

I was first greeted by a potent Cuir de Russie type of leather, then the orris arrives to dance with the leather. The plush milkiness and starchy powderiness of orris both comes through. While this duality of orris itself is already a very fascinating feature, its interaction with the leather is even more brilliant. At times, it feels as if the orris expands the leather into two opposite directions - drier and more masculine with the starchy aspect, and more enveloping and cozy with the creamy texture; other times, it feels as if the leather is actually helping the orris to reconcile and to cope with the tension of this duality.

Around this pair of dancers, there is this abstract sweet aura that reminds me of peach, honey, mimosa and heliotrope depending on the moment, and occasional flutterings of animalic warmth akin to jasmine indole/civet, and passing dark chocolate flavour that I sometimes associate with castoreum. At this stage, the scent is really an enthralling animalic floral kaleidoscope spinning around the orris-leather duo, and I concur that this aesthetics feels like from early 20th century even though the materials smell contempary.

When these various nuances coalesce into this warm honeyed skin scent in the dry down, it's as if all the threads of the story wrap up to an ending of a satisfying character arc.

I read a few reviews and also the excellent article from ClaireV before smelling the fragrance itself, and I agree with most of them that the leather is a proper Cuir de Russie but not in a "wild animal" way. I also share with Claire's opinion that the scent and texture of Mitsouko seem less appropriate to describe The Lover's Tale than the "cosmetic powder" and "sunlit flowers" of Profumo (although I didn't specifically think of Profumo when wearing it, and I'd like to stress that it feels to me more like the kind of L'Heure Bleue warm floriental powder than the aldehydic cosmetic powder of Lipstick Rose if anyone is alarmed by the powder association).

Besides the lovely composition itself, I also find that The Lover's Tale occupies an interesting place among Francesca's portofolio. It feels very cohesive with its warm skin scent dry down that I get in all her fragrances. But at the same time, it also feels having gone through a certain evolution in composing style when compared to the first three releases. In my mind, I would first trace to the powdery, honeyed iris of Angel's Dust, then a major step of evolution with the elegantly animalic, very "human" suede-orris of Under My Skin, and The Lover's Tale feels like a natural progression from there. In fact, when I smelt the orris in The Lover's Tale, it strongly reminded me of Under My Skin, because of the orris/leather pairing and the elegant aesthetics when dealing with animalic elements, but at the same time, they are also very different and not redundant at all. If anything, they feel like they reflect the perfumer's signature and philosphy very well with different stories to tell.

Also, regarding its relationship to Sex and The Sea, I was initially alarmed by Claire's mention of it too. Personally, I struggle a lot with its oily coconut and sweet tropical fruits and I never really get salty ambergris aspect that might have improved my experience, although I do enjoy its dry down evoking "sun kissed skin" besides leathery dried fruits and suntan lotion vibe. After testing The Lover's Tale, while I think they both evoke this warm skin scent in the far dry down, it reads more like the overall signature and philosophy of Francesca, and I don't see any particular strong connection between them besides this, at least none of the oily coconut and sweet tropical fruits that I have difficulty with. So if you have similar issues with Sex and The Sea, I don't think The Lover's Tale will cause problems, and if you mostly enjoy the aesthetics and particularly the orris in Under My Skin, it's very much worth a try.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
WOW. The first impression I had was ‘butched up flanker’ to Under My Skin which I already own. They both share the same DNA, and feature Bianchi’s ’warm skin’ signature accord. There’s a certain herbaceous bite of bitterness in the opening of The Lover’s Tale that quickly drew me in but I felt the second half was too reminiscent of Under My Skin to warrant a new spot in my wardrobe. Not that I need a justification to add another fragrance.

If I had to choose between these two I’d pick The Lover’s Tale. That’s high praise considering Under My Skin was a standout among the sea of niche releases that year.
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
I purchased the sample pack directly from Bianchi's website a while ago (easy transaction and I received a nice handwritten note) but I haven't had much time to test them. I wore a spray of The Lover's Tale yesterday, which elicited a rare dissenting vote from my "Lover" (my friend and DH of 33 years) who said it was "medicinal." Not sure what made him think so, since I was enjoying it, so I'll test some more and report back.
 

Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
Thebeck very sweetly sent me a sample of this a while back, and for reasons that now seem incredible, I dismissed it out-of-hand.

What low level crack was I smoking?!

I found this one today in my sample stash and resprayed. What an unusual and provocative scent! Claire's comparison to Cuir d'Iris seems to me to be the most appropriate, although that (sadly discontinued) fragrance was a bit more bitter and chocolatey. TLT, just like Under My Skin is somewhat challenging to define or analyze. And its unusual combination of notes tends to defy easy categorization. The best I can do is to call it a weird sort of orris-animalic. The leather notes are most noticeable at the opening, and then the melange of floral notes slowly gathers steam.

I'm still not satisfied that I've figured this one out, but I am more than willing to sniff and contemplate many, many more times.
 

thebeck

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2007
Thebeck very sweetly sent me a sample of this a while back, and for reasons that now seem incredible, I dismissed it out-of-hand.

What low level crack was I smoking?!

I found this one today in my sample stash and resprayed. What an unusual and provocative scent! Claire's comparison to Cuir d'Iris seems to me to be the most appropriate, although that (sadly discontinued) fragrance was a bit more bitter and chocolatey. TLT, just like Under My Skin is somewhat challenging to define or analyze. And its unusual combination of notes tends to defy easy categorization. The best I can do is to call it a weird sort of orris-animalic. The leather notes are most noticeable at the opening, and then the melange of floral notes slowly gathers steam.

I'm still not satisfied that I've figured this one out, but I am more than willing to sniff and contemplate many, many more times.

Lover's Tale obviously blew me away upon first sniff, but I could understand for many some time needed to get to know.
I haven't been able to figure it out yet either. I just accepted its uniqueness.
 

Emanuel76

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2018
Since I have tested the Osmanthus absolute (again) a few days ago, I knew that I felt that strong leather accord in a fragrance, but I couldn't remember in which one.

Eureka!

Even if it is not mentioned in the olfactory pyramid, I am sure there is a hefty dose of Osmanthus in The Lover's Tale - that waxy-greasy leather from the beginning.
The peach note from the heart comes as an additional confirmation.

Ha ha! I'm so satisfied! :happy:

the-lovers-tale-30ml.jpg
 

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