At the Antonio Banderas perfume website, you can take a quiz to help you select one of the many Antonio Banderas fragrances. Accompanied by a photo of Banderas casting a smoldering gaze, the quiz asks, “Tell me about yourself and I will tell you which fragrance will best suit your personality.” I can hear Banderas’s accent now. And he wants me to tell him about myself! I know I’m blushing.
The first question asks simply whether I’m a man or a woman. Easy. The next — and final — question asks me to choose from one of seven adjectives to describe myself. (Men get nineteen options.) I’m a little disappointed he doesn’t want to know more about me — I could tell him about my childhood, share my love of macaroni and cheese, show him my scars — but I’m game anyway. What should it be? Am I “casual,” “magnetic,” “spontaneous”? With another glance at Antonio’s black-fringed eyes, I choose “sensuous.” The website spits out its suggestion: Blue Seduction for Women.
Ah, Antonio. I guess we were never meant to be.
Antonio Banderas Blue Seduction for Women was released in 2008. Perfumer Olivier Cresp developed it, and it has notes of bergamot, violet leaves, pear, melon, gardenia, peony, lily of the valley, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, raspberry, benzoin, patchouli and musk. The perfume’s website describes it more simply as a “woody, fruity, floral” fragrance with citrus notes, “watery fruits,” and a sugar note.
To me, Blue Seduction hints at the scent of an Ocean Fresh antiperspirant. I smell a lot of sweet, clean musk, spiked with aquatic notes and an assertive hit of bergamot. A little bit of juicy fruit shimmers over the top but never really settles into the fragrance’s heart. As the fragrance ages, the sweet musk takes center stage, but after a few hours — surprise! — a really nice vetiver steps to the forefront. The vetiver is herbal enough to remind me of marjoram, and it carries Blue Seduction through its last few hours, joined by patchouli right at the end. Two spritzes of the fragrance last a good nine hours on me.
Blue Seduction edges toward fougère. If it weren’t so sweet, I’d peg it as a masculine. As for calling Blue Seduction “sensual,” I have to pause at that, too. “Sporty” is more like it. Blue Seduction’s healthy cushion of musk might be considered sensual, but the perfume’s citrus-ozone body leads me to imagine someone swimming laps at the gym rather than lounging in a dimly lit boudoir. The perfume's vetiver-laden ending is also more invigorating than sensual to me.
Mark Spitz, I think we found you a good cologne. As for the rest of us, well, Antonio Banderas has dozens of fragrances in his line up. Maybe we’ll have better luck next time.
Antonio Banderas Blue Seduction for Women comes in 15 ml, 30 ml, and 50 ml Eau de Toilette and in bath and body products. It’s widely available at drugstores and online discounters.