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