Sniffing at Sephora: Gucci Flora, Tocca Brigitte, Guerlain Figue-Iris, Philosophy Unconditional Love
I don't usually go to Sephora expecting to meet a prince in a perfume bottle, so to say, but rather to kiss a lot of frogs. This time it wasn't that bad, which means that either the mainstream is getting better or that I am getting mainstream. Nah...neither is likely. I must have been in a particularly good mood.
Seriously though, Tocca's new Brigitte, inspired by Bardot and meant to take the wearer for a bike ride in the south of France, mainly through Marseille's spice market, is almost prince material. On me, the fragrance skips both rhubard and papaya, declared in the list of notes. A pity about rhubard, but thank goodness for no papaya. The composition rides straight into that spice market, with ginger and saffron being the most prominent notes on my skin, throughout the scent's development. The soft floral aspect (rose, iris), softens the piquancy (which makes sense concept-wise, but again a pity me-wise), while sandalwood in the base doesn't let it become too thin. Were the perfume a little more intense, had a little more oomph and ooh-la-la about it, I would have been tempted to buy it. ($30.00-$68.00 for 0.15-1.7oz)
I haven't smelled Guerlain's Figue-Iris in 2008, when it came out, because I tend to loathe fig in perfume (with very few exceptions) and am so very tired of iris after the last couple of years of it being everywhere. So I smelled this Aqua Allegoria with much caution only to discover that it is shockingly lovely. Iris tones down the green coconutty figgyness of the fig, while fig makes the ubiquitous iris interesting again. The fragrance is fresh, but not too much so, sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It is posed gracefully somewhere in-between being fruity-green and floral, and I imagine it would wear delightfully in the heat of summer. I would never use up the whole bottle, but thumbs up to Guerlain for finally producing an impressive Aqua Allegoria. ($57.00 for 2.5oz)
I was almost ready to give thumbs up to Gucci too, for their new Flora, because I liked the beginning of the composition. Peony did a cute little dance with citruses in the top notes, all tastefully sparkly and fresh-faced, and I am in a mood for this kind of clean-ish, conventional prettiness right now. I mean, yes, it is generic all right, but pretty-generic. Not that I was even half-thinking of buying a bottle, but if I were, heart and base notes would have dissuaded me. Osmanthus, rose and sandalwood made Flora unexpectedly creamy, and apparently creamy is a no-no for me right now, when it comes to florals. After the easy-breezy start, there was something too blunt and persistent about the floral-woody accord. I suppose, I should have felt that it gave the perfume depth and substance, but instead I felt bothered by it. Still, compared to a lot of other scents on Sephora's shelves, Flora is quite nicely done, and, because of that weighty creaminess, not as young-smelling as the copy would lead you to believe. Not a prince by a long stretch, but not a frog either. ($52.00-$90.00 for 1oz-2.5oz)
Philosophy's Unconditional Love, on the other hand, is as froggy as it gets. Allow me to channel Seth Meyers here for a moment and ask, REALLY, Philosophy? Really? Unconditional Love, really? You saw it fit to use such Big words for such a tiny scent? "Unforgettable fragrance", really? Now what would make it so? The generic (and not pretty-generic) berry? The cheap vanilla? The pale musk drydown? Ribbi...I mean, really? And what's with the twee, cliche-ridden copy, Philosophy? I do "treasure the fact that real love stories never end." I also treasure the fact that this scent does, in two hours. ($40.00 for 1.7oz)