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Friday, October 10, 2008

In Which I Am Concious of Being Jaded ...Or a Review of Ralph Lauren Notorious

"A New Russian goes to Louvre and comes out unimpressed. So how does it look inside?- asks a friend. Rather poor but clean, answers a New Russian"
(A New Russian joke)

In the review of Lancôme's new and decent Magnifique I already reflected on how too much knowledge can be a bad thing. The more I smell the harder it is for me to enjoy what I am smelling, because my jaded senses require no less than Surprising to be aroused. And the more I smell the less there are surprises. The solution might be to take a break from perfumes for a couple of years and come back with a clean slate...I doubt that I would ever take such an extreme measure, but I do wonder whether the perfumes that I now consider to be run-of-the mill, ordinary, unexciting, same-y, "rather poor but clean" are not in fact wonderful or at least really good, and I am just unable to appreciate their beauty, because I am JADED.

This brings me to Notorious, Ralph Lauren's newest release, "the provocative accessory of modern glamour...the fragrance that silently commands the attention of the room". The jaded me says that the creators must have liked Coco Mademoiselle and Black Orchid a lot, because the berry-chocolate-patchouli combo with the slightly fresh overtones seems to pay a homage to Chanel's and Tom Ford's creations. What would the me who came back from a break and is discovering the world of fragrances anew think? I believe she would find Notorious surprisingly deep and dark, and she would appreciate the interplay of dry freshness and resinous gourmandness. She would consider Notorious to be elegant and a little playful, a nice evening fragrance, a scent for glammed up but not too officious occasions. And because, having been perfume-starved for years, she is now again in the stage of accumulation of bottles, she would actually buy Notorious even if she just likes and not loves-loves it. That is what I think she would do, we will, of course, never know, because taking a break from perfume is impossible.

And might it not be that jadedness is an incurable desease, which, once cought, stays with you forever, poisoning your mind with ennui? On that cheerful note...have a good weekend, everybody!

Notorious is available at or Sephora, $45.00-$85.00.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Бедненько, но чистенько? ) Польщен, что ты использовала "мой" анекдот. Вообще поражаюсь непредсказуемости хода твоих мыслей: анекдот про новых русских в статье о духах... ) Вобщем, браво.

10:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

"Бедненько, но чистенько" стало моим любимым выражением :-) А про остальное, ну "Я вся такая внезапная" :-)

10:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Хаха. Кстати, домучала ты всё таки этот сериалик?

10:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ещё не совсем, но скоро домучаю

10:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Это чистой воды мазохизм с твоей стороны.

10:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

И не говори! :-)

10:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaded? I don't think so, how about knowledgeable, discriminating, and sophisticated?
Thanks for your work,

11:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I've been enjoying my bottle of Notorious as a daily scent, it's one that I can wear to school and seems appropriate with all the children (unlike so many in my collection!). And after 25 years of buying not a single perfume, my own mother sprung for this. And she wears it! Now that's gotta say something about a perfume. But as I noted on the Perfume Posse site, this perfume is mis-named. I think it should be re-named "Cuddlebunny". It's just so warm and comfy. Not the usual RL.

3:27 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

It's tough, isn't it ?

A challenge to observe it objectively.

I wouldn't call it jaded, exactly; just awfully experienced, perhaps.

I smelled Mariah Carey's M, and thought:"Ahhhh- another woman's L de Lempicka, actually; very well done".

Maybe it's not exactly for me-
But the whole world's NOT all about me, LOL.

6:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are so kind! Thank you.

9:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Cuddlebunny, LOL. It's not that cuddly one me, but it is a fairly cozy one.

9:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's what my spouse keeps saying to me, that the whole world is not about me...well, it should be! :-)

9:25 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, sweets - I am unable to evaluate Notorious fairly because I hate that chocolate-berry-patch thing in almost any amount in almost any perfume. That's personal dislike interfering with objectivity. And oh well.

I guess I was disappointed because I thought (I think) RL is capable of doing something sultrier. It seems to me that Notorious is a terrific name to waste on that particular juice. If not a chypre (and real chypres are not in fashion) then ... something else.

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. It is not quite Notorious. Black Orchid could be called Notorious. This is "was in tabloids a couple of times but not really that notorious" kind of thing.

9:41 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the name is definitely wasted. It smells like it can't make up it's mind. what is it? It sort of smells like someone got a bunch of perfumes and mixed them in a blender. It is one big smelly mess!!!

11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
I wouldn't call it a mess, actually I liked it quite a it. But the name is a little...wishful thinking.

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger 734elizabeths said...

I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of Notorious from the RL giveaway through Now Smell This. To my surprise, I kind of love it - it makes me want to slip into some silk lounging pajamas and spend the afternoon eating bon-bons. As others have said, it has a yummy kind of sexiness.

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Bon bons would go well with :-) There is something candied about it.

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I think I was born jaded. Not sure even a ten year break would make me not be bored to tears w/ or keep me from actively disliking a lot of the perfumes out on the market now (and it's not just dept. store scents - Kilian, I'm looking right at you). I haven't tried Notorious, though, and definitely will at least give it a fair shot.

1:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Born Jaded. I like it. Maybe I will start a new blog with that name. or just "Jaded".

1:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear, I'm so jaded these days I make Keith Richards look like a little girl....

1:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Suzanna Mars said...

I was surprised by the airiness of it; I don't equate a breeze of fresh air with any kind of notoriety.

While not unwearable for me(Magnifique, heads up!), it certainly isn't anything I'd buy, and I live in a place where the trying of mass-market releases is a must, and the available scents are heavily edited. Both Notorious and Magnifique made sad splashes here, where the college girls wear Abercrombie and Fitch fragrances.

So I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, and went home to eke out the last of Encens et Lavande.

3:51 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

PS okay ... you win. Having smelled the suck-ish new Jeanne Lanvin I decided to go re-smell this. You're right. We're jaded. I picked this up and meditated on it for awhile, and kept the card. I wouldn't wear it, but I'd give it as a gift.

You know what else was leagues and fathoms better than I remembered? Kelly Caleche. Am still trying to decide what changed (mentally) for me.

8:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I don't think I will ever be jaded in general about perfumes - just with regard to the army of smell-alikes and flankers that are overflowing the shelves now. I was in my local cosmetics superstore last week, and I decided to try some of the scents I had been avoiding, such as the Poison flankers and some of the newer releases such as the new on from Juicy Couture and Mariah Carey's M - which already has a flanker too! I felt like I was OD-ing on sugar.

Sad to say, the "Poisons" were by far the most interesting, and I did not even WANT to like them! I may have to re-think my opinion on these, I thought they were all quite good, certainly more so in comparison to the others.

12:11 AM EDT  

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