Ready to jump in? Let’s start with Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary eau de parfum.
While Oscar’s original perfumes aren’t favourites of mine, mostly because they just smell dated, the fashion brand’s newer juices are reaching to a much younger audience. Remember Oscar Flor? New Extraordinary is very much it’s ‘sister’.
Oscar de la Renta Extraordinary EDP, R895 for 40ml and R1 195 for 90ml EDP, selected Stuttafords and Truworths stores.
A fresh floral, Extraordinary’s the kind of thing you could spritz on heavily and never really offend anyone. It opens with neroli and cherry blossom and soon reveals a heart fulll of peony, rose, frangipani and vanilla orchid petals that’s a little bit juicy, almost as though there are few red berries in the mix but there aren’t any. Or at least not officially. I also get a very slight white soapiness and before long you’re looking at a blonde wood base that’s warmed with a dash of amber.
When I think about it, Extraordinary reminds me a bit of Agent Provocateur’s Fatale Pink, another citrus topped pink floral, but without the musk. It’s definitely a warmer weather day time scent for the more elegant younger girl. The only negatives is that the staying power isn’t amaaazing (but not terrible either) and I think the brand kind of phoned it in a bit with the bottle which isn’t especially inspired.
Who’s going to wear it? A chic-looking pastel-clad Taylor Swift on a sushi date with her army of Katy Perry-hating supermodels.
Another pink, girlie scent is Givenchy Live Irresistible eau de parfum but while Extraordinary is elegant and demure, Live Irresistible is a fun fruity-floral with pineapple and black pepper notes that initially really dominate, the latter especially.
Givenchy Live Irresistible EDP, R940 for 40ml and R1 415 for 75ml, selected Edgars and Red Square stores.
Still, more explaining’s needed here as there are a helluva lot of notes in this cocktail so let’s just roll them out in order shall we? Pineapple and citrus up top; rose, pepper and passionfruit in the middle and a base of amber, musk, patchouli, vanilla and praline.
Upon hearing those base notes you’d expect something sickly sweet and overwhelming but somehow, maybe because of the pepper, it never gets too vanillary or chocolatey on you. If anything, it dries down to a soft, woody smell with just the teensiest hint of sweetness that makes you forget it every started life as a ‘fruity-floral’.
While you could only ever really wear Extraordinary in the day, I reckon Live Irresistible would work well come day or night and suit a carefree, flirty younger girl – possibly Gigi Hadid who’ll also be at Taylor’s sushi lunch except she’ll order pink champagne (despite it being only 11:47am) while Tay Tay’s drinking tea.
Now, on the subject of La Vie est Belle, you have no idea how many fragrances are cropping up that were clearly inspired by the scent and while I have no idea if that was the intention of Yardley Gorgeous in Gold eau de parfum but it’s another scent that makes me think of Lancome’s bestseller.
Yardley Gorgeous in Gold EDP, R299,95 for 50ml at Clicks.
Much like ‘Belle’, Gorgeous in Gold is a floral-gourmand where a creamy hazelnut praline base note, sweetened up further by a hint of strawberry and vanilla, is the star of the show. In fact, after a while, it’s the only note I can smell. It’s the kind of scent that could go down well on a cold winter’s day so, if you’re a fan of warm-smelling, foodie type scents, perhaps give it a sniff. I was impressed by its staying power. Much like a Mugler, it really sticks around.
Who’s going to wear it? Anyone who’s craving a nutty gourmand but has a wallet that’s rocking and crying in a corner somewhere thanks to a bad case of post-Christmas poorness.
Moving on, let’s chat about Montblanc Lady Emblem eau de parfum, a fresh-smelling ‘pretty’ floral, it’s luxuriously heavy-feeling bottle is a copy of the Montblanc diamond and it’s definitely the luxury house’s most beautiful to date.
Montblanc Lady Emblem EDP, 50ml for R895 and 75ml for R1 095.
‘Born out of the essence of rose’, Lady Emblem’s notes include rose sake, pink pepper, pink grapefruit, jasmine, rose petals, pomegranate, creamy sandalwood, amber and musk crystals. The mix of ‘pretty and soft’ with ‘tart’ notes like sake and grapefruit means it never gets too sweet or too floral and the dry down is fabulously luminous – no dry woods or synthetic musk here. In this way, Lady Emblem makes me think of other rose and grapefruit-focused scents like Clarins Par Amour Tujour and Swarovski Miss Aura, but it’s the nicest of all three. In fact, of all the fragrances in this review, it’s my favourite of the lot.
Who’s going to wear it? Gwyneth Paltrow when she remembers she bought multiples of it ‘just because it looked so pretty’ to decorate the guest bathrooms in all her homes. It’s the perfect ‘freshen up’, clean-smelling day time scent with an uplifting quality thanks to its grapefruit note.
Last but not least, let’s talk about Marc Jacobs Decadence eau de parfum.
Marc Jacobs Decadence EDP, R870 for 30ml, R1 135 for 50ml and R1 480 for 100ml at selected Edgars and Red Square stores.
For the most part, Marc Jacobs fragrances are all very inoffensive and ‘girlie’, even ‘Lola’ who’s supposed to be a little ‘older’ than ‘Daisy’. Decadence, however, was intended to be more ‘grown up’ but I think the better word here is ‘sophisticated’ as there’s nothing stopping ‘girls’ from spritzing it on. If anything, the super cute purse-shaped, tassel-boasting bottle is going to appeal to a younger set.
Officially, the notes are plum, rose, orris root, amber, vetiver and papyrus wood. While I get the juiciness of the plum when I first spritz it on it disappears fast and dries down to a dusty, papery/woody rose. Also, and maybe it’s the vetiver, but there’s something in it that makes me think of the more feminine unisex scents that are super popular in the Middle East right now. Things like Aramis’ Calligraphy line or YSL’s oriental collection.
nWho’s going to wear it? Kate Moss’s little sister (yep, she has one) when she’s dolled up in vampy-vintage shizzle for a night out on the town. Ironically, she’ll keep the Marc Jacobs handbag-shaped bottle in her real Marc Jacobs handbag.
See anything you’d like to sniff yourself?