Friday, June 24, 2011
This review is for Versace Woman (2000) composed by Christine Nagel. I like this fragrance very much, even if I can't say Versace is among the most high end of perfume houses in the world. As far as mainstream perfumes go, Versace is one of the premier fragrance houses that's stood the test of time, loved for so many creations that have left lasting impressions on our psyche such as Blonde, V'E, Versus and White Jeans. So-called quality isn't the only thing that drives me to fall in love with a scent. I think Versace is as relevant as Bvlgari, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Escada, Diesel and so many other designer brands.
At first, I thought this scent was too musky for me in the Carolina Herrera 212 satinwood sort of way - this type of fresh, woody musk based scent (which I used to wear as a signature) can actually really carry in the air, starting out clean-smelling but warming up and becoming more complex (complexity or "perfuminess" which can be cloying to some noses), becoming a nuisance in the office and other enclosed places. Aside from the obvious transparent-floral-ozonic character of the fragrance, I also thought it was a bit too frou frou flowery with emphasis on lilacs for me (actually, it was the lilac-lily indolic type of musk I was having a hard time tolerating). I find it pleasant that it leans towards a smooth, low-pitched peachiness reminiscent of Liz Claiborne Realities even as it carries on an Estée Lauder Pleasures' green and soapy-clean floral tone; it hints at violets but doesn't go all out as Guerlain Meteorites and Escada Sentiment did in the same year.
Basically, it's a sweet, conventional but stunningly pretty Floral with fruity accents (raspberry being most prominent, but still subtle), the most typically Floral kind of ladies' perfume, the kind that incorporates fruit notes but keeps the overall character more classically Floral than Fruity, sweet but simultaneously floral-musky enough for it to not fit the Gourmand label (of course, it depends on whom you ask; some might say it's as Gourmand as can be, with toothachy sweet candy notes). It's the kind of traditionally feminine, all-out gorgeous and sexy Italian-style fragrance per Donna that follows the romantic style of Gianfranco Ferré, only in that less voluptuously floral, post-Eternity-airy, wooded-musky way a la Lise Watier Neiges (1996), Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance (1997), Elizabeth Arden Splendor (1998) and aforementioned 212 (1999). Even if I can't handle big, retro-classic style floral bouquets all the time, this is a semi-sporty kind of flowery perfume I could occasionally enjoy.
In fact, now that summer is here, sweet berries and white florals are as inviting to me as strawberry ice cream - and when the dry down note is a wild, retro-style gardenia as I'm finding Versace Woman turns out to be (it's probably the frangipani I'm smelling), I find myself entranced by this stylish, somewhat vinyl-synthetic yet utterly irresistible belladonna of a creation. I can't believe this perfume is discontinued, because it's a star fragrance, but it is.