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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Perfume Review: Danielle Steel Danielle

Admit it, you have read at least one Danielle Steel novel…if not, go ahead, cast the stones and snicker. I have stopped being interested in the genre by 1991-ish, when I was fifteen or so, but prior to that I had read at least half a dozen of Steel’s books. And, to keep shameful admissions coming, I will admit that I was actually looking forward to trying Danielle Steel’s fragrance, Danielle. I was intrigued. I hoped the scent would be an olfactory bodice ripper, a heady, luxurious, slightly tasteless but fascinating, come-hither perfume evoking heaving bosoms, eyes clouded with desire…a perfume full of intrigues, rather predictable twists, and incredible, inhuman passion that lasts forever and triumphs in the end despite the most implausibly horrific hindrances…Fracas meets Poison, that is the kind of scent I wanted Danielle to be.

In reality, which hardly ever matches the wild flights of one’s imagination, the scent turned out to be rather tame and pleasant, a scent of Steel’s readers rather than her larger-than-life heroines. It is a politically correct, neutral fragrance that a woman who is polite, discreet and unadventurous in her everyday life would not be ashamed to wear. The books she reads might be full of forbidden love and appalling secrets, but her perfume must not be in any way offensive to anybody or even too noticeable. Forget the incredible passion. Sex might sell books, but it seems that the creators of Danielle believed that conventional and timidly trendy sells perfumes. Sugary yet slightly watery, Danielle has vaguely citrusy top notes and moderately sweet, slightly vanillic floral heart. The drydown, the happy end of it all, is musky and unremarkable. The whole composition is ever so slightly reminiscent of Angel, but a very, very tactful and bland version of Angel. It is very wearable and very dull, a scent-by-numbers, with no heart and no imagination. Which? Really isn’t surprising at all, since Danielle Steel admitted to New York Post with admirable honesty that she was involved in designing the bottle and packaging, but was basically indifferent to what was in it. “It's called a floriental and it's for the mass market, not Bergdorf's. For 25 years, I've been asked to put my name on a fragrance, and Anna Wintour made the match. I finally decided if it brings me some money, why not?”

Danielle is available at Sephora, $35.00-$125.00.

The images are from and


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Ernest (Hemingway) would smell like - bull's blood with an oceanic accord?

Anne (Rice) - a metallic tang with the scent of the bayou and a good sprinkling of body ooze?

Would you have to smell Wallace (Stevens) thirteen different ways?

I could go on. Best not, though, eh?

4:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm half-ashamed to admit that I really like the bottle and the lace-effect box. What a shame that the juice doesn't live up to its packaging. But it also tears at my heart to hear Ms Steele admit her lack of interest in what her perfume smelled like; what a sad, flat, monetaristic way to approach a task which could have brought so much joy.

5:06 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Well, at least she was honest. And if her goal was to make money, this was definitely the formula to follow.

7:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The slightly tacky, bodice-ripping perfume that you imagined sounds like so much fun! It would have had just as much market appeal, I would think, as her novels. Too bad they went a different route with the perfume. Maybe because her novels are guilty pleasures and perfumes are worn in public, they decided to go the "tame" route with the perfume.

7:32 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Nope. Never read one. Mysteries are my guilty pleasure, and I think I would like some "mysterious" scents too--complete with Edward Gorey illustrated box!

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I dunno. I'm still steaming about this one (BTW Scentzilla reviewed it today as well.) I think she should be effing ASHAMED about the fact she didn't care what's in it. WTH!?!?! They're using her bloody name!!!! Why can't all these idiot celebrities go put their name on a stupid pair of SHOES or something, if they don't give a hang?

Okay, screed over. The OTHER reason I was p!ssed was that insipid juice. I had the same reaction to Desperate Housewives. I wanted a BODICE-RIPPER of a fragrance, not that limp, bored whimper of a thing. Nobody's going to have sex with you and then kill you wearing that perfume. Okay, I admit the packaging's great -- so what's wrong with me, quibbling about a detail like the smell??!?! (grumps off, steam rising from ears)

8:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If they make Anne Rice scent and it i s just like you decsribed, I'll first in the queue to buy. :-)

8:33 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agreee...that purely monetaristic heartbreaking for me.

8:34 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I just wonder if it will make all that much money on the name and the pretty packaging alone...I don't know...

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You said it all so well in one sentence! "her novels are guilty pleasures and perfumes are worn in public, they decided to go the "tame" route with the perfume.

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I would love some mysterious scents too! Ooh, what an idea!

8:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

"limp, bored whimper of a thing" - that's it, exactly.

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

Maybe we should all collaborate on a perfume called "The Wolf and the Dove," which was my very favorite bodice ripper!

I keep waiting for a celebrity scent to surprise me. Maybe Gwen Stefani's will be decent?

11:18 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Danielle was so entirely unmemorable that I can hardly remember it -- but not going to pull my sample out to refresh my memory. Some celebrity fragrances are so funny and/or ironic that I can get into the spirit of the thing, but Danielle isn't even funny.

11:41 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

"conventional and timidly trendy" Oh! Timid is the exact word that kept popping into my head when I smelled it, too!

I thought it was easily likable, but by that same token, easily forgettable. Oh well, there are worse celeb scents out there, and at least this one is wearable.

11:59 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Count me in on the project! I wonder if we could get Dominque Ropion to make it for us. He can do a bodice ripper scent, I know it. :-)

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am curious about what Stefani will come up with. I am very curious about M. Manson's scent. I will most probably be afraid to writing any criticism about it :-D

12:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I thought it was very wearable. I wanted it to be offencive, loud and tacky. Oh well.

12:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Well, that's annoying.

I've never read a Danielle Steele (like Lily, mysteries are my thing) but if I was the president of the perfume company that makes the juice I would be on the phone with Ms. Steele's publicist swearing a blue streak! This fragrance bears her name for crying out loud; if she cannot be bothered to say something nice about it at least she should have the good grace to keep her yap shut and not diss it in public.

12:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. Refreshing as it was, that kind of honesty was rather ill-advised, I thought.

12:27 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I kind of didn't find it refreshing- I kind of found it vaguely elitist and snobby: the “it's for the mass market, not Bergdorf's." comment bugs me. Oh I'm sooooo sorry Ms. Steel's rarified senses weren't reflected by the perfume that bears her name, as the author of such timeless classics as "Toxic Batchelors" and "Season of Passion" I'm sure she could have wowed us if she tried.

If they are going to choose one of these writers to do a fragrance, I respectfully suggest Jackie Collins. I'm sure she'd deliver some serious bodice-ripping, untamed non-PC juice, with no vague, wan apologies that it isn't up to the standards of a store she'd actually set foot in.

(I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed...)

12:38 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am grumpy today too. I think I grumbled in every comment I left this morning :-) Something in the air or else we rebel against the Christmas cheer.

I totally second the Collins suggestion. :-)

12:45 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Wait, I just looked for more than half a second at the title on the ANTM cover: isn't "Lady of the Night" just a euphemism for a prostitute? That must have been on purpose, right?

I second Tom's motion for a Jackie Collins fragrance. I thought she already did have one, but maybe that was her sister who put one out a while back.

1:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Would you believe I could not find a single bodice ripper cover through google images? but I remembered this episode of ANTM and this was the most bodice-ripper-ish photo of them all, so I used it. So the Lady of the Night part is unintentional :-)

1:18 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever read anything by Steele (and I don't think I ever will). The scent is dull to the core.

3:09 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It is dull. The books are much more exciting :-)

3:11 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Oh, well, darlin'...
Poopy-doopy doop.
What the hay.
From the sublime, to the ridiculous, in 24 hours...

Ain't life grand ?

5:21 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Life IS grand, is it not? I think it is. At least today, mine is :-) I am sure tomorrow morning I'll beg to differ. :-)

10:11 PM EST  
Blogger Trina said...

You want bodice-ripper covers? I got yer bodice-ripper covers right here:

Enjoy :~D

2:19 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Haaaaa! Thank you so much, they are awesome!

2:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This perfume smells like chewing gum and cigerettes and I don't even smoke. The drydown smells like powdery pineapple. (I like powder smells but not this one)I'm throwing away the rest of this sample bec uase it stinks.

4:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just tried the 'With Love' Hilary Duff. She was actually the one who chose the scent along with her mom and sister when she had her last three versions ready. I am thoroughly impressed by this perfume. It is earthy and fiesty and sexy and all things a woman is one bottle. I think this is perfum that can boughten with pride from a star because she actually did put her own effort into it and it actually is a really personal scent. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


10:29 AM EDT  

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