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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

James and Mark and the Giant Peach: Badgley Mischka Perfume (And a Prize Draw!)

By Donna

“Designer” fragrances are ubiquitous these days, but how many of them really make a definitive statement about the aesthetic of the house they represent? So many of them seem like afterthoughts – oh wait, I guess we need a fragrance, let’s get somebody to throw a fruity-floral together, maybe with a little white musk and some pink pepper and slap our label on it – that I have become quite skeptical of the fragrance releases from even the higher-end fashion labels. Of course there are many good ones too, and one of them is the wonderful Badgley Mischka by the Firmenich perfumer Richard Herpin (Usher She, Bond No. 9 Coney Island, Judith Leiber Night), released in 2006 as the debut fragrance from the successful design team of Mark Badgley and James Mischka, creators of many a red carpet sensation (and my own favorite Oscar gown of all time) and it’s exactly right for what they do so well. To be honest, I would probably not have even known enough to try it had it not been for the rave review by Tania Sanchez in the book Perfumes: The Guide in which five stars are awarded, since it is not readily available in stores in my area, although it is at virtually all the online discounters, having been supplanted by the 2009 follow up Badgley Mischka Couture. My gold standard for fruity chypres is Jean Patou’s masterpiece Colony, so as you may imagine, I have not found many other candidates to replace that discontinued gem. If you love a good fruity scent, the Badgley Mischka should be on your shortlist to try.

I think this may be the most intensely fruity perfume I have ever smelled; when it first hit my nose I could hardly believe how beautiful it was, an alpenglow cloud of the most luscious abstract fantasy fruits, ripe and glistening at their absolute peak just before they become overripe, yet also with a distinctive puckery tang, the kind of sensation that comes with the first bite of fruits like peaches, mangoes and pineapples. If you have ever been in a peach orchard on a hot day with the fallen ones beginning to ferment, coupled with the heady fragrance and velvety skins of the blushing beauties still on the tree waiting to be plucked, you will have some idea of the effect, but it is not really the scent of any one fruit; it is the Platonic ideal of fruit, a hologram of every pleasing facet of fruity aromas imaginable and to me it’s one of those universally appealing things – after all, do you know anyone who hates fruit? Yet its genius quality is that it’s not at all sugary or too sweet and I would even hesitate to call it a gourmand. Eventually it is revealed as a chypre, but not for a good long time. One expects such a symphonic top note to be fleeting; how could something so magically juicy last very long? Yet last it does, impressively in the Eau de Parfum and impossibly so in the Parfum. (If this were a real chypre with labdanum and oakmoss instead of a “modern” chypre, it would be pretty close to perfect.)

My first experience of this fragrance was with a bottle of EDP I found online for a ridiculously low price. I fell in love with it right away, but as Ms. Sanchez rightly noted, the drydown is a little bit sketchy. So I went in search of the Parfum, and when it arrived I found that it fulfilled the promise of the EDP very well; it’s richer and denser and the “top” notes last so long that they become the heart. Only after several hours does the refined chypre base come into its own. I have no idea how this fruity longevity was achieved but it’s a tour de force by the perfumer and I would give the Parfum five stars myself, and four for the EDP. The listed notes are Peach, Cassis, Sueded Musks, Peony, Jasmine, Amber, Red Berries, Sandalwood, Caramel, Osmanthus and Patchouli. I can’t really smell much patchouli until well into the drydown, and I was surprised to see caramel in there, since it is not “foody” to me, so don’t let the notes scare you off.

I am offering a ¼ ounce (7.5 ml) mini of Badgley Mischka pure Parfum, sealed in the box, to a U.S. reader only. Please indicate in the comments if you would like to be entered, and tell us what your own favorite fruity perfumes are – I am always looking for more suggestions!

Disclosure: The prize draw bottle is from my own collection.

Image credit: The official Badgley Mischka 2006 Collector’s Edition Barbie© Doll (yes really!) via, original source unknown.



Anonymous your vintage avon lady said...

I would love to be entered, thank you!

My favorite fruity fragrances right now would have to be Miss Dior Cherie ('05 version), Elle d'Elissa Leau, Avon Chic in White and T.H. Dreaming (peach!) I look forward to reading everyone else's favorite fruity scents!

12:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

Nice review, Donna! I have tried this but it was early in my "training" so I should see what I think of it now. I liked it, but it was odd to my inexperienced nose. I'll bet the perfume is amazing - would love to be in the draw.

I like fruit! Byredo Pulp, is kind of the King, but I love the stewed fruits of Lutens Arabie, the peach of MDCI Peche Cardinale, even the lowly berries of Britney's Midnight Fantasy.

1:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Joan said...

Great review! My favorite fruity perfume would have to be the original Badgley Mischka: a boozy peach. I would love, LOVE to be entered in the draw for this!

1:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Katie Puckrik said...

Thanks for such a mouth-watering review, Donna! Badgely Mischka is my favorite fruity perfume for full-on fruit, but I prefer to wear the toned-down fruit of By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses.

2:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Martinus Scriblerus said...

Wow, what an exciting draw - I would love to be entered. My favourite fruities are some mid-nineties Mitsouku, which for some reason is a huge peach on my skin; I send Peche Cardinal and Arabie. I'd also put in a vote for Figuier (Heeley) and El Attarine, which is pure apricot gingerbread.

3:21 AM EDT  
Blogger rosarita said...

Good heavens, what a marvelous draw! Badgely Mischka is my favorite - my only - fruity love. I have a bottle of the edp and adore it; would love to smell the perfume!

4:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Nbh said...

I love Colony as well; however, this sounds more wearable. Please enter me in the drawing.

6:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the draw (thanks for the opportunity, btw) I don't know if I have a favourite fruity in the sense of the genre, but I have a favourite perfume with a fruity feel: Le Parfum de Therese from the Frederic Malle line. Other than that I haven't tried many fruity perfumes as I'm not a huge fan. I'd like to win the Bottega Veneta sample to test that further!

8:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous hongkongmom said...

How timely! I would love to be entered in the draw, and I have a US address! I was looking for a review of this because my good friends daughter wears this and I am trying to find her something for her birthday!
You make ME want to try this too, Donna! Great review

8:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I'm not sure if you consider this a fruity fragrance, but I like Coco Mademoiselle and I am starting to like Miss Dior Cherie a little better(still like the old Miss Dior better). I would love to try this fragrance in Parfum. Please enter me in the draw, and thank you for a great review.

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger arlene20 said...

It sounds wonderful, and I'd love to be entered into the drawing. I'm not overly familiar with fruity scents, but have a bottle of the mainstream L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani. Love the peachy opening!

9:33 AM EDT  
Blogger olenska said...

Great review! I blind-purchased a sample of this for a friend who adored it at first sniff. It's now her #1.

My favorite fruities are HdP 1804 George Sand (the tropics!) and Parfums d'Empire Wazamba (fiery apples)

I'd love to be entered in the draw :)

9:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jiyin said...

You make this sound good enough to eat!

My favorite fruity perfume is MDCI Peche Cardinal. I would love to be entered in the draw.

Thank you!

9:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Tatiana said...

I would love to be entered to the draw, thank you!

While not entirely fruity, my two favorite perfumes with fruit notes would have to be Mitsouko and Le Parfum de Therese.

10:18 AM EDT  
Blogger wendyb said...

I want it I want it! What was I supposed to say? Oh yeah, fruity. I love the apricots in Daim Blond, and the (gulp) melon in crystal oud right now.

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Nina Zolotow said...

My favorite fruity scents are peachy ones! I love Keiko Mecheri Peau de Peche and Histoires de Parfum 1969 (a beautiful rose peach). L'Ombre dans L'Eau is a beautiful black currant rose scent, which I love to smell but not to wear. (Black currants as a smell and flavor are more common in Europe so maybe not as obvious as a "fruity" smell here.)

And excellent job on the post, Donna.

11:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Smedley said...

I'd like to be entered in the draw.
I happen to adore several "fruity" perfumes - Mauboussin by Mauboussin (peach compote/cognac), Balenciaga Quadrille (plums and flowers), Histoires de Parfum 1804 George Sand (luscious pineapple), Armand Basi Lovely Blossom (apricots)

11:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Netto said...

Oh oh please enter me! My favorite fruity fragrances are Bonds Chinatown and Hermes Ambre Nargule

11:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avon Peach Musk.

12:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does fig count? It's a fruit, right! Philosykos is my favorite fig. I used up a Badgley Mischka edp sample. I had a problem with the drydown but otherwise liked it a lot. I'd love to wear the parfum. Please enter me in the draw.
Suzy Q, from Tennessee

1:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered, and I live US.

I have been loving Sun Moon and Stars for sleep.
Another vote for Midnight Fantasy.
I have BM edp love it! Would love to try the perfume.


2:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I rather trashed the new Diorama on some of the blogs, but when smelling it on my housecoat the other night (several days later) I thought, 'my this is lovely'. So I must retract the negative reviews and enter it as one of the loveliest peach (wow is it peach) fragrances. Very fruity and as noted very long lasting. Probably not what it was in the past, but I avoid vintage chasing as I would drive myself mad I tell you, simply mad . . . . .

2:56 PM EDT  
Blogger ccdouglass said...

Right now my favorite fruity perfume is Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren. I would love to be entered in the draw!

3:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Barbara said...

Call me crazy but I'd call Boucheron my favorite fruity with its peachy top notes! I'd love to give this one a try! Thanks

4:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Elisa said...

I own the EdP and would love to try the parfum! I love many fruity scents -- too hard to name a favorite. A few I love are L'Ombre dans l'Eau and Pulp for that mega-tangy, green black currant note, Angel and A*Men Pure Malt for getting fruity patchouli right, Wazamba (like incense and gummi bears!) and Moschino Haute Couture.

4:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurie Brown said...

I'd say that my favorite 'fruit' would have to be Mitsouko. Sexy peach...

I'd love to be entered, thank you so much!

5:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Janet said...

I would love to be entered in the draw.

Byredo Pulp is my go to fruit for the daytime, Peche Cardinal for the night. I also love By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses but have never considered it as fruit for some reason.

6:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the draw. My favorite fruity scent is Bergamot Citrus by Fresh.
from Lucy Kake

6:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Mimi Gardenia said...

I am totally into fruit right now.
Petite Cherie is my No. 1.
Folavril - the best mango I have tried.
Mure Et Musc extreme- lovely stuff. Please enter me inot the draw ! Thanks !

8:07 PM EDT  
Blogger MoonRae said...

To be honest...I really don't know anything about any fruity fragrances. I'd love to be entered so I can try one that sounds fabulous!! thanks for this opportunity for something different

10:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Charlotte h said...

Fruity floral is a difficult genre for me to love, but I do like a few fig fragrances. LAP figure extreme is nice, and I also like the peach in benefit maybe baby.

12:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I am loving all the great fruity perfume suggestions, everyone! Sounds like I really need to try Peche Cardinale and Byredo Pulp, especially.

12:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Kelsey Anderson said...

I would love to be entered in the drawing. My favorite would have to be Daim Blond!

1:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to try this based on your enthusiasm-- please enter me in the drawing.

My favorite fruity fragrance is MPG Fraiche Passiflore. My husband really likes it, too. It's very summery.

4:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Katherine said...

I love AG Quel Amour, and a new recent fave is Honore des Pres Love Coco. I would love to be entered in the draw, I'm sure the pure parfum is stunning. Thanks!

7:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I'm so happy to see love for this one. I discovered the EDP sometime ago on a bling discount perfume purchase, and I love it! I would love to try the Parfum however.

One fruity love is the old Nanette Lepore. I bought the Parfum version on closeout at a discount web site, totally because the black and white polka dot bottle with it's pink bow was so adorable. And I really like it! But when I searched for reviews, I seem to be the only one who were resoundingly negative. It is fruitier and not as sophisticated as the Badgley, but I think it fits the style of her designs.

10:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous maggiecat said...

I'd love to be entered in the draw! I've worn Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie (years, ago, in my early perfumista-hood) and also enjoy Badgley Mischka's Fleurs de Nuit, which to me has a fruity element along with the jasmine.

10:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

I'd love to be entered in the draw. My fave fruity floral might be FM Le Therese (that counts right?)

11:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Actuallymy favorite fruity perfume is probably Aftelier Fig

11:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Amy K said...

Wow, that sounds great! I would love to be entered in your drawing. I don't reach for intensely fruity fragrances very often, but I do enjoy PdP Nica when I'm in the mood for berries.

1:20 PM EDT  
Blogger dremybluz said...

My favorite fruits are Angel, Mure et Musc, and Anat Fizz. Please enter me in the draw

2:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too would love to be entered, what a generous giveaway!!

I was looking for a very realistic peach note for YEARS and after smelling many, I discovered Pink Manhattan's Purrrfume. The peach note in that is so realistic-sweet, juicy, tart, then creamy. Sadly, for me everytime I wore it the gardenia would sneak up on it and smash that poor peach to smithereens! Would love to find a new fruity to love!!

3:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With a review like that, how could one not want to try parfum (aka, please enter me in the draw)?

As for other fruity fragrances, I wore a lot of Yvresse last spring, a sort of bombshell fizzy peach on a modern chypre base. Calyx, with guava rather than peach as the fruity note, is also very much worth a scent.


4:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Deanna said...

I'd love to be entered & I like Twirl By Kate Spade.

5:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous ElizabethC said...

Please enter me in the drawing. My favorite fruity fragrance is Ananas Fizz. Light and airy, perfect for summer

5:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Lizzie said...

My absolute favorite fruity perfume is Aziyade by Parfums d'Empire. It's more stewed fruits with a heavy hit of spices and incense, but I think it's gorgeous.

I would love to participate in your draw, thank you very much. :)

5:51 PM EDT  
Blogger woodgirl said...

I would love to be included in the draw, thanks. Femme de Rochas and Femme Jolie by SSS are about as close to fruity as I come, the first being plummy-jammy-leathery on me and the second being jammy-violets and cedar.

6:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Gator Grad said...

Please enter me, too!

You know what's strange? So many perfumistas look down on "fruity" but enjoy a good citrus. How can that be, exactly?

My favorite fruity perfumes are YSL In Love Again and Grand Neroli by Atelier. I love those two!

8:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Natalia said...

what a lovely draw, please enter me as well.

i am very much loving SL Daim Blond right now. but there are many nice ones, Mure et Musc and Parfum de Therese, for example.

3:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Fernando said...

I think my wife's favorite is probably BM itself! We found a bottle at T J Maxx some years ago and I bought on Tanya's say-so. It was success. I've never tried the parfum, though, so please enter me in the draw.

9:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Calamity said...

I would love to be entered into the draw.

My favorite fruity fragrance is Parfums de Nicolai Fig Tea which smells like apricots to me.

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Would love to be entered. Thank you for the draw!

My favorite fruity chypre is Yvresse, it is just adorable. My favorite floral fruity is White Magnolia by DSH (I believe it is discontinued, so I am glad I bought it when I could). I quite like Nectarine Blossom and Honey by Jo Malone as well. OJ Frangipani is a great floral fruity too.

3:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a great, underrated scent! would love to experience the parfum. but have no idea if i'm too late to enter or not! ha!

thanks for talking about the scent, regardless. i think of it as a chypre, actually.


5:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

My favorite (so far) has to be mure et musc extreme - blackberry and raspberry on a musc base. Please enter me in the draw as well.

9:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Fear not, the draw will be open through the weekend! :-)

12:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Marti said...

Thank you - would you please add me to the entry?
I love Ananas Fizz, Mure et Musc, Blue Agape and Cacao, and Sublime Balkiss.
The sketches of Badgley Mischka are divine, aren't they? Sort of scribbley and ethereal?
All the best!

11:02 PM EDT  
Blogger janvee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:25 AM EDT  
Blogger janvee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:26 AM EDT  
Blogger janvee said...

thanks for the review and please enter me into the drawing. I love BM! I also love Andy Tauer's roses/berries in Une Rose Vermeille. And Calyx. So far afield of my usual leather, spice, incense and wood! Oh, and Ginestet Botrytis.

2:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

You NEED Orange Star from Andy Tauer for when you crave Summer, and Goutal`s Mon Parfum for when you crave Winter glamour!! ;-)

11:58 AM EDT  
Blogger The Gastronomic Goddess said...

One of my fave fruity chypres would have to be John Varvatos Woman edp. It's well done - and normally I detest overly fruity perfumes (I shudder at most fruity gourmands ick). The fruit is nicely restrained, no cloying, and everything is well blended. I highly recommend trying it if you can! Thanks for the draw entry :-)

5:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

THE PRIZE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. The winner will be announced shortly. Good luck and thanks for participating, not to mention all the great suggestions for fruity perfume!s!

10:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Perfumes for women said...

Yeap! This is good news so for about to the firs prize draw. Fragrant fruity is also my favorite perfumes.
Thanks for the this post i will be looking forward your more post like this. Keep writing.

7:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to be entered in the draw. I love the classic fruity chypres, Mitsouko and Rochas Femme, so Badgley Mischka sounds perfect for me!

4:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I am ashamed to admit I've never tried Badgley Mischka, although I have wanted to.

My current favorite fruity chypre is Keiko Mecheri's Ume, or maybe it is Liaisons Dangereuses, by Kilian. I think it depends upon the day which one I like best.

3:57 AM EDT  

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