Let the wave of new spring fragrances begin! Here's one from Anna Sui, and it's fit to be part of this seasonal "wave" (hah) for more than one reason: it's a flanker to 2017's Fantasia, named Fantasia Mermaid.
Have any of you tried the original Fantasia? I spritzed and sniffed it during a visit to Anna Sui's Manhattan boutique, and it wasn't my thing; too dessert-sweet, heavy on its "raspberry praline" accord. (I've heard that it's selling very well, so you should never take my taste as any indicator of commercial success.) But I took a chance on Fantasia Mermaid, just to have the opportunity to play with the fun, mermaid-topped bottle, and I realized that it's fairly dissimilar.
Fantasia Mermaid is a fruity floriental developed by perfumer Christian Provenzano. Its promotional description reads:
The magical Mermaid fragrance opens with sparkling blood orange and sweet mandarin, with a rebellious and spicy touch of cardamom and pepper. At the heart of the fragrance we find a romantic white floral bouquet for flirtatious intrigue which includes jasmine flower, a flower known to be the symbol of love. Finally, in the base of the fragrance we find inspiration from the deep waters of the ocean that are home to the mystical mermaid with watery lychee paired with vanilla, honey and tonka bean.
This description is somehow the exact opposite of my experience of Fantasia Mermaid — that is, opposite in its sequence of development. When I sprayed some on my arm in the Sui shop, this fragrance started off on my skin with lots of lychee and honey. It remained primarily fruity, with plenty of sweet citrus, for an hour or so. Then it started morphing, very gradually, into a scent that I can only describe as "aquatic fruit cocktail." The airy-watery element emerged slowly, and by the time I'd been wearing Mermaid for two hours (it has excellent staying power for a fruity floral!) it had turned partially sand-y and driftwood-y, with a peppery note and perhaps some very muted ambergris. I liked this beachy effect, which reminded me a little of the dry downs of Aroma Sanctum Mermaid and Oriza L. Legrand Villa Lympia. The citrus and a hint of white floral were still present, but the sun-and-fun fruit, in particular, had calmed down substantially.
Fantasia Mermaid would be the perfect accompaniment to an outfit from Sui's Spring 2019 collection, something that involves flowy seashell-print fabrics and strings of blue-and-green bead necklaces paired with chunky mermaid sandals. I probably won't be able to add any of those to my wardrobe right now, but I'll have fun with this Mermaid instead.
Anna Sui Fantasia Mermaid is currently available at the Anna Sui boutique in New York City and will be available on the Anna Sui website beginning April 1.
Note: top image shows the Anna Sui Mermaids Swimsuit from Spring / Summer 2019.