Alarmingly, though, I could already smell a kind of rancid powder through the thick cardboard package, inside which was layer upon layer of wrapping, until I got to the perfume itself. Once I opened the bottle and reeled from the shriek of aldehydes L'Aimant is supposed to be filled with, I got a whiff of an unusual, sensual scent that I immediately liked.
L'Aimant, created by Vincent Roubert in collaboration with Francois Coty, is said to have the following notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, rose and vanilla. Jacques Guerlain's wife loved this perfume so much, she said she even preferred it to her husband's perfumes. As one blogger describes it, after the harsh aldehydes hit you, "the scent becomes very, very creamy and buttery soft. Plummy, apricot fruitiness sparkles ever so gently and delightfully on the skin over a bed of tame florals. As time goes by, the scent becomes ever more powdery and floral: A powdery infusion of strong violets with nectarous yet soft, shy accents of tantalizing jasmine. The drydown is soft and sexy, a skin scent of sandalwood and gentle vanilla."
When I heard this described as plummy, I immediately agreed because that note is prominent in Femme by Rochas, and it too, has a sensual, feminine, buttery softness, like lived-in suede. Warm sweetness is the best way I can describe this, like cut plums sauteed in butter and brandy and sprinkled with candied violets. Adjectives I'd use to describe L'Aimant: Mysterious, powdery, buttery, soft, sensual ambery, velvety.
The powderiness in L'Aimant is saved from being grandmotherly by the round, buttery and sensual note that plum or amber or dark vanilla that underlies it, like bright oil colors on a dark velvet canvas.
If the leather in Cabochard and Bandit make them masculines, the plum/amber/vanilla notes break the leather in until it's supple, yielding, receptive. L'Aimant is the fruitier, boozier, more feminine version of Femme. I'm not sure if anyone else would like this "nectarous" perfume, but I love it.