Fragrance reviews: Missoni for her, Optiphi Adagio and Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her!

A regte wallop of new fragrances have recently hit the shelves and I was going to create a bumper post a la ‘Look at this mother truckin’ tidal wave o’ newness!’ but the new scents just kept coming and I started to feel super overwhelmed. So, in a bid to get ’em all out there and lose the ‘OMG, my throat is closing up!’ sensation it was inducing I’ve decided to break it down into a several posts that I aim to put up before the month is done. Are you ready to dive in?

First up, you need to know about Missoni for Women EDP (R1 180 for 100ml, Edgars and Red Square).

Oh hello there, you beautiful thing...
Oh hello there, you beautiful thing…

This li’l darling was the big hitter at a recent fragrance launch I attended in Jozi where every beauty ed fell in love with it thanks to its gorgeous blown glass-inspired bottle alone. Notes-wise, it’s a fruity floral that opens with fresh, citrusy top notes mingled with a good dollop of pear before revealing a floral heart full of jasmine and rose resting on a bed of sandalwood, vanilla and ambroxan.

While I know musk isn’t officially listed, I get lots of white musk in the dry down. In fact, it kind of reminds me of a much more fabulous version of The Body Shop’s white musk mingled with citrus and rose petals. This probably isn’t a description that Missoni would want to hear but it it’s exactly why I really like the scent. It’s sweet and fruity but in a way that’s very sheer and light – not cloying in the least. You could happily wear it on the hot summer’s day to a glamorous pool party, Missoni kaftan wafting in the breeze, and wouldn’t be competing with the fruity cocktail in your hand in the least.

Next up, let’s chat about Optiphi’s Adagio EDT (R695 for 50ml, selected salons). The home-grown skin care brand has launched a light, cologne-like fragrance that, I think, could easily be worn by either sex.

Good and clean and fresh (tra la la!)
Good and clean and fresh (tra la la!)

Inspired by the way a composer would create a piece of music, Adagio (which means ‘play it slowly’) is an ode to tranquility that opens with uplifting notes like pink pepper and bergamot. The heart notes are super soft florals like lily of the valley, honeysuckle and rose and the base is all about the sheerest, softest whisper of musk, sandalwood and patchouli.

Adagio’s overall effect is similar to the more citrusy, aquatic-type Jo Malone colognes in that it smells clean and fresh while whispering on your skin and never really announces itself. You’d have to get up really close to smell it which makes it a lovely pick for the office. The only downer is that the staying power isn’t wondrous.

Last but not least, let’s talk about Zadig & Volaire. For those who don’t know, Zadig & Voltaire is a rock n roll-inspired French ready-to-wear fashion brand that’s all about ripped jeans, torns tees and worn-in boots and leather jackets. (Fun fact: It was created in ’97 by the grandson of one of the founders of preppy-licious Lacoste.) While you can’t get hold of Zadig’s zexy klere here in SA, you can snap up the brand’s fragrances for him and her.

Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! EDP (R785 for 30ml, Edgars and Red Square) is a sweet, woody fragrance that, for all it’s ‘I’m a rebel, yo!’ grand standing is actually a cosy, comforting scent that makes me think of milk-coloured cashmere on a nippy autumn’s day.

Who's ready for a li'l rock n roll?
Who’s ready for a li’l rock n roll?

It opens with a brief flash of pink pepper and jasmine sambac then quickly reveals a heart of chestnut, whipped cream and vanilla in way that makes me think of Lancome’s La Vie est Belle, but just for a split second. When it dries down, it’s all about cashmere wood and sandalwood with just the teensiest, weensiest hint of white soap, but the sweet, creamy vanilla notes never really exit the building. If you appreciate woody gourmands with excellent staying power this could be your new signature scent.

Love, love


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