We've come to the close of Mall Week at Now Smell This. Our last stop is at the Gap. Before I delve into The Gap's newest fragrance, Close, I want to look back at the week and at what I've learned.
First, it seems that fragrances labeled "Cherry Blossom" are popular. Bath and Body Works, The Body Shop, and L'Occitane all carry popular scents with some variation of cherry blossom in their titles. Why they're so popular, I can only guess, especially since cherry blossoms don't have a lot of scent on their own. It must be a conceptual thing.
Next, mall shoppers seem to like fragrances named after scents they can identify. Something called Sensual Amber will win over Midnight in Ankara, no matter how artful Midnight's composition. People seem to like to be able to pick out the berry or what they imagine peony or magnolia to smell like. They want their fragrances to be fun, not challenging.
Also, I want to point out that I barely touched the surface of mall fragrances. Abercrombie & Fitch, Juicy Couture, Coach, Banana Republic, and lots more stores carry their own fragrances. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if some malls even scent their air deliberately. I'm volunteering to a conference tomorrow at a hotel that pumps a rose-marine fragrance through the ventilation system. (Ironically, the conference forbids volunteers from wearing perfume.)
Now, on to the Gap's newest fragrance, Close Eau de Toilette. The Gap released Close in April, positioning it to attract “a more mature 20-plus customer”. The Gap's press release described Close as a salty floral citrus. Perfumer Marypierre Julien developed it, and it contains notes of sparkling water accord, almond blossom, salty citrus accord, freesia, jasmine, daphne, stephanotis, sandalwood, skin musk, vanilla, and amber.
Close smells fresh and clean, with a subtle floral heart. Unlike most of the mall fragrances I tried this week, it's not in the least fruity. It reminds me of Narciso Rodriguez Essence without the overdose of aldehydes, but something else happens here, too. Close is musky, especially as it wears, which gives it a more intimate feel than Essence. Also, there's something reminiscent of Saran Wrap in Close's heart that infuses it with a slightly twisted feel. It's fresh, salty, clean, and a little freaky. Then the weirdness passes and Close settles into a musk with a floral whisper dusted with what smells like white pepper and a hint of wood.
The longer I wear Close Eau de Toilette, the longer I toy with buying a bottle, even though it's completely not me. At $35 for a 100 ml bottle, though, it's a risk I just might take. Close is available at Gap stores and the Gap's online store.
What are your favorite mall fragrances? What have I looked over that we should all try? I'll be at a conference when this posts, but I'll check in when I can.