I've always had a weakness for Anna Sui's playful, decorative perfume bottle designs, and Romantica is no exception. It's an ombré pink creation with swirling floral motifs inspired by Art Nouveau design, with a gilt flower-bud cap that reminds me just a tiny bit of some vintage Lanvin Arpège bottles. The new fragrance inside, meanwhile, was developed by perfumer Steven DeMercado. Its "sparkling floral" composition features top notes of bergamot, mandarin, pomegranate and quince; heart notes of rose de Mai, osmanthus, jasmine, orange blossom, water lily and peony; and base notes of cedarwood, amber, sandalwood and musk.
Romantica falls about midway along the spectrum of Anna Sui's floral scents to date: it has more heft than any of the brand's youth-targeted Secret Wish fragrances, for example, although it's nowhere near as vintage-y and enveloping as the original Anna Sui fragrance (now called "Classic") from 1999. It opens with plenty of sweet-and-tart fruit, mostly something like an orange-pomegranate hybrid. Strictly fruity perfumes don't hold my interest for long, so I'm happy to detect the floral heart of Romantica before long: a fresh peony, a peachy-smooth osmanthus, and a slightly chalky rose. The florals never completely dissipate, especially the peony, which is joined by a sheer yet tenacious wood-and-musk base. Romantica has good longevity overall, especially for an Eau de Toilette.
To summarize: Romantica feels like a quintessential springtime fragrance. I've been a little confused by its autumn release here in New York, but then I realized that it's being launched in conjunction with New York Fashion Week, which is currently showcasing collections for Spring 2016. If you think of it in these terms, it makes total sense. I'll probably be gravitating more towards La Nuit de Bohème this fall, but when spring swings around again, Romantica will be a perfect fit for the weather and my mood — and my wardrobe.
Anna Sui Romantica is available as 30 ml, 50 ml ($65) and 75 ml ($78) Eau de Toilette; right now in the US you can find it at Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom.