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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Perfume Review: Fendi Asja

If in a blind test I was asked to guess, which brand produced this intriguing, fruity-oriental-spicy-smoky perfume, I would have guessed...Lutens. Asja, created for Fendi by Jean Guichard (Obsession, Fifi Chachnil) smells like a "fruity" scent done Palais Royal style, i.e. far removed from the mainstream idea of fruitiness. Instead of being pink and sugary, it smells honeyed and fiery. It is sumptuous, brooding, exotic, it is full of twists. I am well aware of the fact that Asja is typically categorized as a Floral Oriental scent, but on me its flowers are not nearly as prominent as its fruits, and so in my very own system of fragrance families it is filed under Fruity Orientals.

The beginning of Asja is smoky and sweet; the top notes evoke a vision of over-ripe plums, peaches, apricots and raspberries smouldering in red fire. With every passing second, cinnamon and nutmeg become more and more apparent, adding to the darkly-piquant effect of the composition. Crimson carnations bloom in the heart of Asja, their warm, peppery smell softened and at the same time made "thicker" and richer by ylang ylang. The base features the kind of honey-wood blend that I once wished Miel de Bois would have - languid, smoky, luxuriant, spicy without being in the least sharp or harsh. Asja feels "substantial" and "dense" without being overwhelming. I find it to be exceedingly well blended and absolutely gorgeous. It seems that it has been -typically!- discontinued, but it is available, in its fantastic, stripy, Japanese-style bottle, quite inexpensively at various online discounters ($11.99 for 20ml at Imagination Perfumery). If you love Coco, Opium, Mandarine Mandarin, Chergui or Fumerie Turque, you owe yourself a bottle of Asja.


Blogger tmp00 said...

arrgh- trying.. not.. to.. lemming....

Oy, you had to mention the "if you love..." bit

11:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Nez said...

:) I love all of those perfumes, so I have to try this:) Thanks

11:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

Aaarrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhh! Why does Fendi discontinue these beautiful scents??? At least they haven't altogether stopped making Theorema, just made it difficult to get in the USA. From your description, a bottle of Asja has my name written all over it. Restistance is futile.

12:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

I didn't read this post so I don't now have a craving for this perfume. That's the truth.


4:33 AM EST  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

You said ALL the right things, my evil pet.

Especially the part about the honey wood, smoky, and my favorite fruits.

Oh, dear- indeed.

6:54 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

It really is a delicious scent, but the price - that truly is wonderful. It's essentially a sample price. Happy sigh.

7:43 AM EST  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Oh, you're bad. Marina, you've done it again. This one sounds sumptuously good. I want to go to Imagination Perfumery right now and get it!

7:48 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

You'll most probably like it. Resistance is futile.

8:01 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

It is lovely, I highly recommend it! :-)

8:01 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

So Theorema is not discontinued then? Just like Feminite du Bois then...hmmm, there is a conspiracy against the US :-) Perhaps Asja wasn't entirely discontinued either then...

8:02 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

And I am not writing this comment saying that you should definitely try Asja.

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Not really evil, not today, admit it. It's only $11! :-) Could have been worse... :-)

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I wonder why 20ml, strange size, not quite a full-size bottle, not a miniature...

8:04 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Only $ wouldn't even count no-buy-wise :-D

8:05 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE this scent--so underrated--and the bottle is so stylish! On me, Asja smells like the love child of Coco parfum and Aqaba.

cheers, Sara

8:43 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I had this nagging thought that there was another scent comparable to Asja that I forgot. Aqaba, of course! Thank you :-)

9:07 AM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

This one seems to be for me.

10:40 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

And me :-)

10:42 AM EST  
Anonymous sybil said...

Ok...Your review made me cross the Rubicon of "don't buy unsniffed." I like Theorema so much, and your review was so great, and the price so low, I'm hoping for a can't lose...

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I hope that you like it!!!

11:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

My info about Theorema's availability comes from Patty. I believe Fendi is going to make Theorema available only in Italy. This should do a lot to boost Italy's tourism industry.

12:01 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Haha, true! Theorema is pretty popular.

12:05 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

What an awesome bottle! Sounds just like something I would hate :-)

12:11 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

It's not really heavy or too sweet, so I don't think you'd hate it. :-) You might not love it or anything, but it probably won't make you want to scrub it off. :-)

12:13 PM EST  
Anonymous march the maleficent said...

Okay, *fine.* Going off, grumbling, to buy this unsniffed.

I love all on your list.

Am I going to love this as much as Theorema? Also, can I get away with a cheapie EDT, or do I need to upgrade, since I'm wasting all my $ on useless fripperies? :-P

3:45 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

My Maleficent Colleague

I believe my sample is an EDT, although I am not sure. I'd get the EDT for $11, and if you like it...upgrade (not easy to find an EDP by the way)

4:25 PM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

As much as I love Theorema, I think I need to try this, such a great review. Fendi does some awesome scents, they are like a little secret, and then they make them go *poof*. :((((

5:11 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

I think you'll totally love it, Patty! :-)

5:15 PM EST  
Anonymous ahtx said...

Oh my. That review, that list, that price! I read this late last night and did *not* resist. You've created my first full bottle, unsniffed, lemming purchase.

I'm sure I'll be thanking you in five days when it arrives!

10:17 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

First?! Oh my, that is more responsibility than I can bear :-) I do hope you like it!

10:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Tommasina said...

Gosh, I do hate to be the lone dissenting voice; and I love Theorema, especially at Christmas; but Asja is a nasty plasticky mess on me

(runs away)

(runs back to say - bottle is gorgeous, though)

(runs away again, faster than the first time)

9:27 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

LOL! No need to run. I can actually see how it could go wrong in a plasticy direction. Anyway, more for me! :-)

9:31 AM EST  
Blogger Esri Rose said...

I have bought commercial perfume once in my life. Once! It was Calvin Klein's CK, and it turned out I didn't like it. So the fact that I ordered Asja today, unsniffed, is owed completely to your description and the fab Art Deco bottle. Thirty bucks... If I don't like it, I guess I'll trade the decants (just learned about that today) and fill the bottle full of cheap but yummy black-coconut from the health-food store. But if it smells half as good as your description, I'll be a happy stinker.

11:33 PM EST  

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