The latest fragrance release from luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo is Illicit, a "modern floriental" developed by perfumer Anne Flipo. Illicit's notes include ginger, bitter orange, rose, jasmine, honey-amber accord and sandalwood; its ad campaign is fronted by singer, model and actress Sky Ferreira.
I'm probably not the target customer for this perfume: I covet shoes from John Fluevog more than anything from Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin et. al., and I don't know anything about Sky Ferreira. According to Sandra Choi, Jimmy Choo’s creative director, "Illicit embodies the daring spirit of the Jimmy Choo woman. She is alluring, hypnotic and lives her life to the full."1 I don't think any of this applies to me, either (alas).
Still, I do like the Illicit bottle very much — it's a nicely weighted clear glass cylinder with vertical ridging that recalls Art Deco crystal (see below) — and I like Anne Flipo's work, so I decided to give Illicit a try. What did I think? Well, it didn't cause me to dive daringly and hypnotically into the ocean while wearing my fanciest silver sandals (like Ms. Ferreira in the Illicit ad), but it's good fun.
Speaking with Elle UK about Illicit, Anne Flipo said, "I imagined a remarkable yet audacious fragrance, with a tempting signature. That's why I decided to lay down a fizzy start and floral heart on a unique honey-amber structure." That last part sounds right. Illicit opens like a champagne cocktail with ginger syrup and a twist of orange. Its heart is all pink sugar-dusted roses. And its base, with that "honey-amber" accord, turns Illicit into a floral-gourmand (fleurmand!) rather than a floriental. Illicit's dry down does have a warm drizzle of honey, but it also reminds me of Jordan almonds and vanilla cake. The Illicit press kit included a macaron nestled in actual flower petals — a perfect analogy for this fragrance.
I'll admit that I haven't tried every fragrance release from this brand. I did test the original Jimmy Choo scent, a musky fruitchouli that didn't leave much of an impression on me, and I've sniffed Blossom, a sweet berry-floral in a hot-pink bottle. Even if Illicit isn't particularly "remarkable" or "audacious," I find it more enjoyable than its older siblings. I bet it will even outsell them if it can push its way through the crowd of fall releases and find its stiletto-wearing audience.
Jimmy Choo Illicit is available in 40 ($65), 60 ($85) and 100 ($112) ml Eau de Parfum.
1. Via Jimmy Choo at Facebook.