Queridos, let us have a moment of silence for my friend M's makeup, which suffered a terrible death the other day. I cannot tell you exactly what happened, but it involves a lacrosse player who was apparently never properly potty-trained. Needless to say, the makeup could not be salvaged. So yesterday I accompanied M to Sephora to replace her makeup, and while I was there I used my Beauty Insider status to score samples of the new Dolce & Gabbana "Fragrance Anthology". These are five new fragrances that the dashing Dolce and Gabbana say are inspired by various tarot cards. I've been fairly excited about these, mostly because the advertisements feature Naomi Campbell and as far as I am concerned that woman can do no wrong. Seriously, she could throw her cell phone straight into my head and all I would notice is how graceful her arm movements are.
The Dolce & Gabbana brand is responsible for one of the best selling fragrances of all time, Light Blue, which came out in 2001 and remains Sephora's second bestseller nine years later. With its airy "granny smith apple" note, Light Blue is the great-grandmother of the hundreds of "fresh" women's fragrances that grace department store counters today. I regret to inform you, dear readers, that in terms of appeal (and probably success, but time will tell), there is nary a Light Blue to be found among these five new fragrances.
1 Le Bateleur
The D&G website states that Le Bateleur is intended for "a man who gets what he wants." If what this man wants is to smell like slightly spicy cardboard, then I must agree. Le Bateleur opens with some very generic aquatic notes coupled with standard woodiness stemming from cedarwood. Even the website doesn't attempt to identify those top notes, simply referring to them as "an aquatic heart." This lasts for about three minutes before breaking down into straight-up cardboard. Oh, I should mention that this fragrance is also intended for an "accomplished Mediterranean seducer." In my humble opinion, it has more in common with "The Situation", one of the Italian-American "guidos" on MTV's Jersey Shore. Despite the testosterone radiating from his fake-tanned, over-gelled body, The Situation has yet to achieve anything even vaguely resembling success with a woman.
I don't think you were quite what D&G was going for, Situation.
D&G tells us that "for L'Imperatrice, life is a movie and she is its heroine." From this description you imagine an Old Hollywood style perfume, something with personality. L'Imperatrice is very pleasant, probably the most enjoyable of the five, but to declare it full of personality would be a stretch. It has a bit of a SweetTart vibe, with a watermelon note providing the sweetness and a kiwi note the tartness. A very nice fruity fragrance (the kiwi note was quite realistic), but still not quite of the caliber I would have expected from Dolce and Gabbana. L'Imperatrice would not be out of place in, for example, the Harajuku Lovers line.
L'Amoureux supposedly possesses the power to "[melt] the most cynical of hearts." Just off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I can think of at least one cynical heart that failed to melt. Citrusy at the beginning with bergamot, generic "pink pepper" spiciness- not a terrible start. However, this fragrance soon becomes quite a bit sweeter than a men's fragrance has any right to be. You know, the guys really got the short end of the stick with this whole Fragrance Anthology thing. None of these fragrances seem to have been all that well thought out, but the two men's fragrances are particularly weak.
10 La Roue de la Fortune
Juicy Couture, is your legal team ready? I cannot think of a single valid reason that Juicy should not sue over "La Roue de la Fortune", which is a shameless clone of all three of Juicy's women's fragrances. La Roue de la Fortune begins its life as Couture Couture, the newest Juicy fragrance. This means that it smells like white grape juice. Suddenly the tuberose-and-patchouli combination rears its head, and at this point it is absolutely indistinguishable from the original Juicy Couture. Eventually it settles down into Viva La Juicy, which I have always found to be much too sweet. Of the five fragrances, La Roue de la Fortune undoubtedly has the most personality. It is also a total copycat and is so unbearably sweet that it somehow feels less elegant than the Juicy fragrances it emulates. The Juicy bottles are also much cuter, so I recommend buying the real thing.
18 La Lune
La Lune is far from the "perfect enigma" D&G would like you to believe it is. In fact, it is simply another copycat. After the pretty lily topnotes fade away after about five minutes, the tuberose note in La Lune makes it eerily similar to Velvet Tuberose, a fragrance from Bath and Body Works. This is not good news for D&G, but if you like La Lune, it's good news for you! Velvet Tuberose is all of $5.