Ming Shu Fleur Rare (Yves Rocher)

Ming Shu Fleur Rare est une création originale.

Really? Says you, Yves Rocher. In point of fact, everything about this fragrance is a tribute to Laura Biagiotti's Venezia: its scent, its name (reminiscent of the wong shi flower for which Venezia is famous), even the conical shape of the bottle cap.

Did it sound like I was complaining? Lord, no: I'm perfectly content. Ming Shu Fleur Rare may be a clone, but since the original Venezia has been replaced by a replica far more tragic and thin, I do believe I'd rather wear a dupe than a doppelgänger.

More and more, I admire Yves Rocher for its standards, borrowed though they may be. Their fragrances are often largely reminiscent of ones which occupy a much loftier shelf, but they choose their inspirations well and charge a mere pittance for the experience. Heck, even the one sample that has failed to please me thus far (So Elixir) was still a damn sight better than some more expensive scents I could name. (And I will: Marc Jacobs Daisy, Gucci Flora. Stop me before this gets ugly.)

So yes, Ming Shu Fleur Rare is a fruity floral-- not exactly a rare breed. And yes, it possesses the aching sweetness of all fragrances who share that particular lineage. It's lighter and more crisp than Venezia; its fruits are not nearly so richly honeyed, and its base not so weighty with precious woods and musks. One could rightly call it transparent-- but only because Venezia's painted silks and layers of gold foil are designed to scream "substantial".

Still and all, I like this fragrance. It wears well, it benefits from decent construction, and it really does bring a discontinued beauty at least half alive again.

Ming Shu? Déjà vu.

Scent Elements: Peach, green apple, jasmine, water lily, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, musk