Fragrance folks have griped for years about non-stop perfume launches; it’s impossible to smell everything that’s released. Yet…we try. I’m often annoyed at the time I spend: “begging” for samples at department stores; ordering samples; STORING samples; and wearing fragrance sample after fragrance sample (a never-ending “activity”). Even in this economy, new perfumes keep coming, and I’m irritated! It’s even worse somehow when ONE company releases many new perfumes all at once. It’s like asking a friend who’s a baker to bring a cake to your dinner party, and he arrives with five cakes — and expects everyone to sample EACH one.
I’m suffering from perfume overload, perfume indigestion.
Dolce & Gabbana’s D & G division is launching five new perfumes in a collection called The D & G Fragrance Anthology. The fragrances are named after tarot cards: Le Bateleur 1, L’Imperatrice 3, L’Amoureaux 6, La Roue de la Fortune 10 and La Lune 18. It's easy to remember those names, right? And before I forget, each scent is represented by a naked model or two — woo-hoo! (yawn).
Le Bateleur 1: The Juggler/Magician
(aromatic and aquatic notes, cedar and vetiver)
Le Bateleur 1 smells like cedar chips floating in a bucket of ocean water. That’s the first minute. Then, the interesting opening leads directly to “sport fragrance” territory (there’s melon/calone, mild “spice,” watery cedar and “rinsed-clean” vetiver). Le Bateleur 1 is a smooth sport fragrance with good lasting power; why anyone thought the perfume world needed it is beyond me.
L’Imperatrice 3: The Empress
(watermelon, kiwi, pink cyclamen and musk)
L’Imperatrice 3 begins with the aroma of sweet citrus fruits; the watermelon-kiwi accord has a nice intensity (and does not bellow: MELON! MELON! MELON!). “Grapefruit-y” and “green” notes keep L'Imperatrice 3 from becoming too sweet. The cyclamen note is aquatic, but not annoyingly so, and as the scent dries down, it becomes less sweet, more tart and smells (mid-phase) like Byredo Pulp (let’s call it “Pulp-LITE”). L’Imperatrice 3’s base notes smell of soft musk with a fruity-beer twist. Even with a name like L’Imperatrice, a man can wear this fragrance. L’Imperatrice has so-so lasting power, but it's my favorite of the five "Anthology" fragrances. If someone gives me a bottle, I'll wear it.
L’Amoureaux 6: The Lovers
(spices, bergamot, juniper, pink pepper, cardamom, birch leaf, orris, wood and musk)
L’Amoureaux 6 is a light-weight Hermès Bel Ami; it combines a citrus-aquatic accord with a small dose of spice (pepper, cardamom) and juniper. In a sugary line-up of fragrances (three of the five D&G Fragrance Anthology perfumes are sweet), I'm pleased L’Amoureaux 6 replaces fruity-sweetness with woody-spiciness. Still, nothing about L'Amoureaux 6 holds my interest; been there, smelled that.
La Roue de la Fortune 10: The Wheel of Fortune
(tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, benzoin and patchouli)
Sweet, sweet, sweet, “dessert-y”: La Roue de la Fortune 10 is a candy-shop floral fragrance, and it does not appeal to me at all. Tuberose, “gardenia” and jasmine blend together in a blur of white flowers; neither note stands out forcefully (jasmine is most discernible, with a hint of candied ‘banana’ and citrus). If this fragrance were the tiniest bit stronger, it would barrel straight into “Headache Territory” for me; patchouli and benzoin do nothing to take the sugar off the boil. This is an instantly recognizable, and very feminine, scent — another why-bother, a-hem, ‘creation.’
La Lune 18: The Moon
(lily, tuberose, sandalwood, musk, orris and leather)
La Lune 18 is a sheer lily-musk fragrance. I can’t say it smells “cheap” exactly, but it has an aura of (old) Avon about it and seems created with a “perfume-by-numbers” technique. The moon deserves better. To my nose, there is not a hint of leather in this scent, and the orris has been gobbled up by the white florals. Again: this is a SWEET, though not "food-y," fragrance, and it's "womanly."
Five perfumes reviewed in short order; not one of them, in my humble opinion, original or interesting enough to deserve precious department store perfume space. I can only believe the guys at D & G aren’t really into fragrance. Is there a tarot card that reads: “You are exhausted, bored, you need a jolt”? That’s MY card! (Or perhaps I’m a combo of The Fool and Justice — a perfume 'searcher' who's always looking for something new and great, but who often finds disappointment and "fault" at the end of most perfume-seeking journeys.)
The D & G Fragrance Anthology fragrances are $65 for 100 ml.