Last week, a good friend set a bottle of Carrington Perfumes Forever Krystle Eau de Toilette on my table. “I put it in the box to bring to you. Took it out, then put it back again. Here. Maybe you can find it a home.”
Years ago, I’d found the bottle of Forever Krystle at Goodwill and passed it to her when we were both deep into Dynasty reruns, even sometimes giving episodes our own Mystery Science Theater treatment.1 I couldn’t remember the fragrance at all, but I did remember that Krystle wore Bal à Versailles. (In one episode, Krystle’s nemesis, Blake’s ex-wife Alexis, makes a big deal of dousing herself in it to win Blake back.) How would they compare?
Forever Krystle was released in 1984. Whoever created it — I couldn’t track down the perfumer — did a great job of distilling Krystle’s essence into fragrance. Imagine Krystle: soft-voice; gentle manner; sharp cheekbones; highly processed, ashy hair; stupendous shoulder pads; frosty eye shadow. She’s sweet, bland, and disco-ready.
Similarly, Forever Krystle is a mix of classical perfumery, maternal florals, and assertive glitz. Forever Krystle kicks off with aldehydes and an unmistakable civet-y hit. The civet and a gassy whiff of moss retreat to the background as powdery mimosa and vanilla step forward. Not everyone will agree, but at this point I do feel a resemblance to Bal à Versailles in Forever Krystle’s layering of animalic and candied floral notes.
Now, Forever Krystle goes straight-on 1980s with a whoosh of musk bolstering its vanilla-amber-mimosa. The barest hint of pepper gives it texture. (Here’s where I’ll take Bal à Versailles instead, thank you.) The musk and vanilla soldier on until dinner in a comforting-yet-irritating combination that might take the boxing ring with Calvin Klein Obsession for an even match.
Carrington Perfumes Forever Krystle is discontinued and sells for hundreds of dollars on eBay. (I’m going to return the bottle to my friend and suggest she sell it.) Forever Krystle does have a distinctive signature, and it’s interesting how it bridges old-school fragrance with the Reagan era, but is it worth it?
Not for me. I’ll take my mimosa in Caron Farnesiana. I hear there’s a new Dynasty on the air, though. Maybe a Forever Krystle relaunch won’t be far behind.
1. Example: Blake Carrington sits at his 1980s manor house dining room looking grumpy. Near him is a folded newspaper and a bilious pastel floral arrangement. “Blake, darling, why are you so upset?” Krystle, voice by me, asks. “I hate those flowers," my friend replies. "Why does it always look like Easter in here?”