Saturday, May 02, 2009

Revlon Fire & Ice


"In the factory, we make cosmetics; in the store, we sell hope." -- Charles Revson

Revlon, a New York legacy of a cosmetics company, was founded in 1932 during the midst of the Great Depression. In 1952, an advertisement for a red lipstick shade named Fire and Ice became famous for asking, "Are You Made For 'Fire and Ice'?". Wikipedia has an entry with details as follows: "What is the American girl made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Not since the days of the Gibson Girl! There's a new American beauty. . . she's tease and temptress, siren and gamin, dynamic and demure...

Curiously enough, the matching fragrance called Fire & Ice, although it wasn't launched until almost half a decade later in 1994, bears an idealized "Italian" characteristic of a full-bodied and ornamental "hot" Aldehydic Floral Oriental with prominent notes of orange blossom, osmanthus and narcissus spilling over an ambery, woody and musky base. It reminds me very much of Liz Claiborne Realities which had launched in 1990 and become a mainstream hit. However, it also reminds me very much of Laura Biagiotti Venezia (1992) in which similar notes were used, such as a profusion of white flowers and osmanthus over an ambery-woody-musky base. The "hot" aldehydic element of Fire & Ice smells to me similar to that of Vicky Tiel Sirene, a Floral Oriental fragrance created in the same year as Fire & Ice, in 1994. I would describe it as a hot and commanding fragrance with lots of sillage. It's orange-toned and sweet, musky, voluptuous and the dry down stage, even with smoky incense notes, is surprisingly creamy and opaque like Venetian glass.

Read more about Fire & Ice, the 1950s "Fire and Ice" women and Revlon: NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Fire and Ice, 1950s American bombshell