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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Style Encore: Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit and Couture (And a Prize Draw!)

By Donna

My recent infatuation with the original Badgley Mischka perfume continues unabated, so I decided it was time to try the other two fragrances in the line. I ordered samples of 2007’s Fleurs de Nuit and Badgley Mischka Couture from 2009. I have never seen either of these in a store, and it seems that only the Couture is currently being sold at full retail price in places like Neiman-Marcus. I found both at an online discounter at what passes for pocket change these days, which is yet another argument for not chasing all the new launches as soon as they hit the stores, since most of them will either disappear or come down in price a lot if they stick around. I just love finding something really good at a bargain price; it warms my frugal Yankee soul to the core.

Fleurs de Nuit is a full-on white floral perfume, composed by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, who also did the wonderful John Varvatos Artisan and the recent reorchestration of Houbigant’s iconic Fougère Royale. A reading of the notes makes it sound as though it’s one of those Big White Florals that takes over the room, but it’s nothing of the kind. I have the pure parfum as it happens, and if this were fashion on the runway, it would be the grand finale bridal gown. It has a lot of green but no sharpness, a very soft halo of white flowers (mainly jasmine but with a noticeable lily note) that does not read like an evening fragrance to me at all, and I really don’t detect any of the purported woods and amber. I see sunny summer meadows and girls in white eyelet dresses on flower-twined swings, sighing dreamily as their Prince Charming approaches. A milky quality makes it resemble Lalique’s Flora Bella somewhat but it is less radiant and more demure; this bride is a shy one indeed. 

Since my skin amplifies white florals I expected this to get a lot bigger with time but it does the opposite. Over several wearings it stayed close to the skin after a brief flash of headiness in the opening, but it also lasted all day. For those who want their jasmine to be indolic and seductive, this is not your cup of tea, but it’s ideal for office or casual wear. I am always looking for a white floral that is well-behaved in public, and Fleurs de Nuit is exactly that. It’s not an original idea like the first release from this house, but it’s very nicely done. 

Badgley Mischka Couture is related to the original launch and is also a fruity chypre, but it is more complex in character and not nearly as fruity. The perfumer is Caroline Sabas, who also made my beloved Natori, so I was really hoping to like it, and I do. It starts out a little bit loud and reminds me of something else in the opening, something flashy like Versace The One or Paco Rabanne Lady Million. This one does immediately make me think “evening only” as it is both bright and intense and has a more sophisticated and urban air than Fleurs de Nuit does. Its kinship with the original is clear but it adds woody notes of vetiver and patchouli and a floral embellishment of jasmine, gardenia and violet to go with all that fruit, which includes plum, blackberry and pear.

The name says it all; its fashion equivalent would be a show-stopping number that looks great on the catwalk but which needs some modifications to be worn in real life by women who are less than six feet tall. After many hours the far drydown reveals a wispy ghost of Angel with a candied fruit and caramel aroma lingering on the skin. The longevity is very good, as would be expected for this style of fragrance. My sample of Couture is the Eau de Parfum, so of course I am now curious about the pure parfum strength; I thought the parfum of the first one was superior to the EdP. It’s a welcome riff on the original for those who don’t like so much fruit, and I think this cheerfully over-the-top fragrance would be very popular if it had wider distribution in brick-and-mortar stores.

I am offering a large sample of Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit pure parfum to one reader, so if you would like to be entered in the draw, tell us in the comments. (U.S. mailing addresses only please.) Do you have a favorite “demure” white floral? Please share your thoughts!

Disclosure: The fragrances sampled for this review are from my own collection.

Image credit: Official Badgley Mischka Platinum Label™ Collector’s Edition Bridal Barbie® from wowdolls.com (This doll will set you back $375 smackeroos, and you could buy a lot of perfume with that!)

33 Comments:

Blogger ll graham said...

I don't really have a favorite demure white floral, but I did discover today that I like Cartier Baiser Vole.
Please include me in your drawing.

3:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demure? It shall be my first foray into ladylike...I would love to try this.

7:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous london said...

Armani Prive Eclat de Jasmin is my white-floral-for-work. I'd love to try this one.

8:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

It wears very close to the skin on me, so I'm going to say my favorite demure white floral is Joy.

I've been wearing it since I was three years old, and after 44 years, I still love it!

9:22 AM EDT  
Anonymous Fernando said...

"Favorite" and "demure" don't really go together for me! Please enter me in the draw anyway, since my wife also loves the original Badgley Mischka.

9:59 AM EDT  
OpenID xqq1 said...

I've *been* trying to find a demure white floral. :) I'd love to try this!

10:07 AM EDT  
OpenID museinwoodenshoes said...

Well, you know I love me a white floral.

I think one of the nicest "demure" mixed white florals I've tried was the sadly-discontinued original Kate Spade fragrance: tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, honeysuckle, and lily of the valley. Pretty-pretty-pretty. Donna Karan Gold is subtle on me, all cool lily petals and warm spice. I do also like that Cristina Bertrand #3 you mentioned some months back, though it might be *just a bit* more jasmine, less tuberose, than I'd prefer. And Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (not original Black Orchid!) is quietly attractive on me.

"A lot of green" and a "soft halo of white flowers" sounds really nice.

10:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Jen said...

I've discovered that I like my white florals BIG or not at all. Or rather, demure florals just don't like me. I like them in theory and on other people but I haven't found one that works on me. So, I'd love to be entered in the draw to see if maybe this is the one.

10:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous dleep said...

I don't have a favorite demure white floral but I would like to. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

12:02 PM EDT  
Blogger sunnlitt said...

I, too, do not have a favorite demure white floral, although I am not coveting one.
I love the sound of 'lot of green' and 'sunny summer meadows'!!
I would love to be entered in the drawing.

1:01 PM EDT  
Blogger sunnlitt said...

I am NOW coveting one!

Gee, it's amazing what a difference one little letter can make!

1:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

Put me in the drawing.

1:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

I'd love to be in the draw!

I really like Puredistance Antonia as a demure white floral - I got fairly the same "girls in white frocks" kind of feeling from it that you describe here.

Nice reviews!

2:37 PM EDT  
Blogger ccdouglass said...

I'd love to be included in the drawing! :-)

2:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I think EL Pure White Linen Breeze is a nice demure white floral. i wore it to my office half of this summer. I would love to try this fragrance. Please enter me in the draw.

3:48 PM EDT  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

I'm not sure how demure it will be to others (mileages vary, especially in perfume) but in my book a beautiful demure white floral perfume that is still a white floral perfume is Love and Tears by Killian.

Thanks for the draw!

6:33 PM EDT  
Blogger MoonRae said...

I don't really wear any white florals and I usually don't "do" demure, but this sounds like one I might actually like. Please include me in the draw, thanks!!!

8:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Hermoine11 said...

Hmmm...does Andy Tauer's Carillon Pour Un Ange count as a white floral? At any rate, I'm game to try something new. Please enter me in the drawing.

9:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Stacey said...

I'd love to be in the draw for this one, and I agree with Love and Tears for a demure white floral.

11:24 PM EDT  
Blogger The Gastronomic Goddess said...

I'll jump in with Creed's Fleurissimo! Very pretty, soft, and demure on me :-) thanks for the entry in the draw - woul love to try that one!

1:07 AM EDT  
Blogger cornlily said...

I have nothing that I read as demure white floral, but the concept is interesting. I'd like to enter drawing.

5:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

I love many white florals, especially jasmine, but usually stay away from the overly heady or indolic ones. The now-discontinued Jo malone Honeysuckle and Jasmine was lovely - and great for office wear. Please enter me in the draw.

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger dremybluz said...

please enter me in the draw

9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Janet said...

I like Songes, lightly applied. Please enter me in the draw.

Thanks!

10:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous pam said...

I love the original Badgley Mischka and have looked for the Fleurs de Nuit to try, without luck. Please enter me in the drawing.
My favorite white floral is White Linen, which I wore for years.

10:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Junebug said...

I just love Marc Jacobs for a pretty white floral. Please enter me in the draw. Thank you.

12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions! Sounds like I will need to do a little more "research" of my own. That Kate Spade sounds like my style - so of course it's discontinued!

The draw will stay open through the weekend. Good luck!

1:08 AM EDT  
Blogger samberg said...

Though I didn't appreciate it the first time I wore it, Jo Malone's Vintage Gardenia really grew on me with subsequent testings.

I'd like to try the white flower scent on offer.

3:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

A favorite "demure" white floral would most likely be gardenia. Please enter me in the draw as well.

2:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

Demure and white flowers equals Caswell-Massey`s White Rose :-)

9:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

My "demure" white floral is probably First Premier Bouquet or Bulgari Voile de Fleur as both are fairly light-oh and RL Glamourous [discontinued :-( ]

1:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Holly F. said...

If the draw is still open, I would love to be included. Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit is one of my favorites, and I've never tried the parfum. This is my fave white floral!

8:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

THE PRIZE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. The winner will be announced soon - good luck, everyone!

10:54 PM EDT  

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