Lancome Tresor is something of an enigma. Some characterize it as uninspired and unoriginal, but paradoxically recommend Tresor as a safe blind buy or good choice for gifting to others, precisely because it is inoffensive. Unfortunately, many others describe Tresor as suffocating, headache-inducing, overwhelming and offensive.
So, is it boring? A perfume that garners dislike and love is capable of inspiring passion, and if it inspires passion, it can hardly be described as boring. Generally, those that perceive Tresor as dull describe a generic rose and jasmine floral. Those that describe Tresor as suffocating usually describe an overripe musky fruity floral.
On me, it is neither and both. It opens with a juicy, overripe peach, paired with a soft, sweet apricot blossom that emphasizes the peachy sweetness. There is a moment when the peach combines with a sweet, honey-like lilac, and a subtle but very sweet pineapple, taking it right to the edge of unbearable sweetness; but, on me, never really going over that line.
It feels like the end of Summer farmer’s market, with peaches, apricots, and nectarines piled high in the sun. At my farmer’s market there is a family that sells whole, cored pineapples, they core them on the spot, and the air around their booth smells of ripe juicy pineapple. That is Tresor, a fresh, not too sour or sweet pineapple, combined with end-of-summer peaches to create a strong ripe fruit accord. The bergamot helps to keep it light, countering the sweet fruit and giving it a little spicy kick.
The florals are there in the opening, but soft. The Lily of the Valley gives it a little soapy note, and also reinforces the non-soapy, but “clean” nuance of the apricot blossom. The rose is lemony, powdery, pink, and a little musky, and combines beautifully with the peach to create a peachy rosy floral. There is a lovely jasmine note, perhaps from the lilac, and altogether it is complex, contradictory, nuanced and rounded. There is more going on in the opening of Tresor than most fragrances have in their entire pyramid.
If Tresor is all about the roses, it is when the heart begins to bloom, that the rose comes front stage. This rose is darker and more velvety than the subtle pink rose that opened. It is a smoky rose, backed by a clear, strong jasmine and a powdery, earthy iris. The heliotrope creates the magic, giving a vanilla nuance to the floral accord. While the jasmine lends a heady and intense potency to the soft rosy florals, Tresor remains a soft, elegant affair.
And then, suddenly, as the base develops: Fruit? Here comes the peach again, this time backed by apricot, this time floating in a thick vanilla liqueur. Ambery, musky, and a nice dose of sandalwood to anchor the finale. I love the musky drydown, which adds to the powdery, bitter iris note still lingering from the orris root and iris. On me, I get a little amaretto from the apricot, which blends with the amber to give a boozy, sweet warmth that makes it very cozy.
This is a beautiful composition, full of surprises and feints, redundancy and reiteration, all coming together to make a perfume that is more than the sum of it’s many parts.
Tresor gel is not the best body care product I have experienced: it makes great bubbles, but not so much aroma. The lotion, however, is divine. A little muskier than the perfume, it wears close to the skin and is unabashedly sexy. The pure parfum is less sweet on me, less silage, but good longevity, compared to the EDP.