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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Perfume Review: Diesel Fuel For Life For Her and For Him

Annick Menardo is one of my favorite perfumers, and I was intrigued by the scents she co-created for Diesel. Diesel Fuel For Life For Her was done in collaboration with Thierry Wasser, Diesel Fuel For Life For Him with Jacques Cavallier. I have no doubt that some sort of a complicated, "hip" marketing campaign accompanies the scents, but I am not that much in2 Diesel, not curious enough and probably just not young enough to care to find out, although I do vaguely recollect something about "using with caution" and "being alive", the usual copy about "energy potions" and "sexy elixirs". I am, however, a sucker for interesting packaging, and I found the flask-like bottles, His zipped into a rugged canvas...shell? wrapper? holder? and Her covered with a dainty, "sexy" and "vintage" crocheted ...thing, to be fun novelty objects.

The scents are not earth-shatteringly original, but fairly attractive. On the first sniff I thought that His would be my favorite, and Her would turn out to be just another annoyingly fresh, "young" little something, but the first impression was misleading. Fuel for Life for Him started very appealing, with a dry, vaguely gourmand accord of star anise and grapefruit and something nutty and creamy, perhaps heliotrope. As the scent progressed, however, it became harsh and strangely watery, with lavender and wood forming an aggressive, harsh accord that I just couldn't stomach. Fuel for Life for Her, however, although initially a little scary with its bright freshness, developed into a charming, summery, youthful concoction of mandarin and black currant rounded by a soft patchouli note. It smelled like wearable Pamplelune, sunny and tangy and fun. In fact, I don't rule out wanting to wear it once in a while to feel "alive".

Diesel Fuel for Life for Her and for Him are available at Nordstrom, $44.50-$64.50.

26 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

Nice to hear that some of the mass-market scents are finally moving on from the bubble-gum bit of the past few years

10:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
These are not bubblegummy, not even the women's one, although it is still very much in the "youthful" vein, but then Diesel is a youthful company.

10:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Gehring said...

Hmmm...I waltzed right past these yesterday at Nordstroms and didn't give them a sniff although I thought the little crochet bit was pretty cute. Thanks Marina! After reading this fun review I am inspired to check them out tommorrow, although I am sure that the one who will enjoy them the most is my sons 18 year old GF. We'll see though, I bought her Flowerbomb for her birthday (she was dying for it) and now she is addicted! Way too sweet for me:-)

10:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Beth,
Wow, you would make a cool future mother-in-law :-)

10:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Divalano said...

Ha ha, I saw a huge ad for these in the window of the Diesel store on Union Sq last week & inwardly snickered to myself thinking well, there's a scent I won't see blogged about. Did admire the pretty, generically photoshopped bodies, tho.
So, if you blog it, does that mean I have to go by next week & sniff? ;) Actually, I have a friend who is a total packaging nut. I think she'd love the bottles.

12:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Divalano,
Nah, don't go, but do send a friends who is a packaging fiend. :-)

6:42 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

They are cool-looking, and I love Annick Menardo. But somehow I don't think it's for me. Following Beth's line of thought, I'm considering my stepdaughter. . . .

7:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Judith,
They are not very obviously Menardo-like. Nice, but I don't see you liking either of them.

7:16 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

I was thinking of checking these out because of Ménardo, but I didn't have particularly high hopes because Diesel is the very essence of a company that places branded lifestyle before creativity. I think your review will be enough, thank you!

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Ina said...

For a second there I had to make sure you were the author of this post. ;) Can't believe you liked them or, rather, liked them more than I did. Being a huge Diesel fan, I was rather underwhelmed by these two. Sigh. I think their spicy ones, in the red bottles, are the best. Have you tried them?

11:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

I didn't smell the women's one (I need a star or two removed from my perfumisto badge), but the mean's one did exactly what you said - interesting in a safe-ish way, then blech!

11:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Mademoiselle said...

I tried them both and hated them both...

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Thought these were a huge disappointment after the rather cool (but now discontinued) scents Diesel did in the past. The advertising has improved, but otherwise, a let down, esp. considering the massive talent of the perfumers who created them.

12:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i didn't give these a fair trial - just a quick sniff the other day - and my first reaction to the feminine one on paper was - Angel! I only sniffed the masculine one at the nozzle. But neither one was horrible - and that's saying something these days. will give them more attention next time i'm at nordy's. - minette

2:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Denyse,
I don't think you are missing something you'd love by not trying them.

8:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Ina,
There should be a word in the English language which would express an emotion that is slightly less than like :-)

8:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Lee,
If you said you haven't smelled Chanel No 22 or Miss Dior, I'd think about confiscating your badge, but a new release...nah! :-)

8:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Mademoiselle,
you have a lovely blog. I can't read it, but it looks great!

8:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R,
The hands of either of the 3 perfumers involved are not apparent here, for sure.

8:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Minette,
It didn't smell like Angel on me at all, but it doesn't mean anything. Scents do bizarre things on my skin these days.

8:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with minette in that the feminine one was an Angel copy. Overall, just disappointing... On the other hand, I am enjoying Midnight Poison. Have you tried it?

Vika

1:34 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Vika,
I still haven't tried it! I wish there was a Sephora somewhere on my way :-)

1:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to buy Classique or Armani Code and saw Diesel. After smelling them on cards for a 30min, I decided to spray Code and Diesel on myself. At first my sister said that Diesel smelled like a pickle! But time went by and we thought we really liked it. Didnt smell sexy- more fresh and spicy. I bought Fuel For Life. Later we couldn't decide, sometimes it smelled good and then at times the pickle smell had turned into a distinct tree smell. It was weird-anyone else come across this?

11:22 AM EST  
Anonymous AManWhoCares said...

Hi people,
Just wanting you to know that this product IS tested on animals. So you know... if you wanted to spray it into your cats' eyes... it's ok!
Thank you.

5:34 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesss...I tried them both this morning and I immediately felt the Mens version smell like "Scotts Emulsion" on my skin. And prefer the Femme concoction. But the SA thought the Mens version is nicer. Glad that you felt the same way.

6:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous DFFL said...

Ofcourse it's a fragrance and it's your personal opinion, but this cologne has it all for me! It's a bit poudry and sweet, but also fresh at the middle note. And I swear the girls will love fuel for life why? because most of the girls love sweetness but also freshness and masculine when it comes to an male fragrance, and that is wat DFFL is!

PS: you gotta love the bottle and pouch!

Holla!

4:39 PM EDT  

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