Perfumes Getting Simpler

While I do tend to be a fan of both complex and simple perfumes, I can’t really advocate the deluge of single or two note fragrances flooding the market right now. A single note is nice because it’s a clear, unhindered fragrance. But a single note could similarly be achieved by catching a whiff of an essential oil.

Meanwhile, this flood of perfumes with a few notes dashed in here and there is defeating the once mighty complex perfume with a notes listing a mile long. Where every wearer experiences a different progression from top, mid, and base. I have to wonder how Guerlain’s older vintages will fare up if this single or two note business really kicks off. It’ll never truly be the same when we have companies rolling out lime and lemon combos, while beautiful compositions like Nahema are left to the past.

Vera Wang’s Princess an Oriental Fragrance?

I have to laugh when I read PR releases for perfumes sometimes. Take the one for Vera Wang’s Princess for instance that bills it as a floral-oriental.


The only spectrum this weaksauce fragrance is going to inhabit is the likes of the gourmand floral where syrupy-sweet cake batter is mixed with a confusing array of equally sweet florals to create a miasma of scent reminiscent of the baking disasters I had when I was a kid.

You have admit, it’s pretty ballsy for them to bill this fragrance as a floral-oriental when they know full well the oriental classification encompasses greats like Shalimar and Opium. It’s almost like Princess is dying to become Queen but she doesn’t want to do any of the hard work when she gets there.

The only thing oriental about this fragrance is the vanilla. But if we were judging based on that alone, we’d have to classify Viva la Juicy as an oriental too. And that’s just silly.

Avril Lavigne Forbidden Rose

Forbidden Rose is the second fragrance the people in charge of slapping Avril Lavigne’s name on things have come out with. Forbidden Rose’s tagline is, “Dare to discover”. Which I’m assuming is related to trying to unearth where rose comes into play in this fragrance. Forbidden Rose

In Bottle: I’ll give you guys a hint; there’s no rose note in Forbidden Rose. Probably where the ‘forbidden’ part comes into play is when it’s making it obvious that you’re not getting a rose out of this thing. This fragrance is more content being a fresh aquatic floral and not a whole lot else.

Applied: Funny enough there’s a brief blast of sweet vanilla and florals. After about five seconds, Forbidden Rose heads into its longest and blandest phase. The florals ramp up their game into sharp, clean scent that made my nose immediately fire off a screaming message in my brain that read, “This smells like Turquoise Seas by Calgon!” Upon smelling my twelve year–rather well-preserved–bottle of Turquoise Seas, I’m likely to agree with my nose. Then I smelled Calgon’s Morning Glory sitting next to it and Forbidden Rose seems to have borrowed from that as well. I don’t know if it’s the banality of the fragrance that makes it smell like a amalgamation of at least two Calgon body mists but Forbidden Rose isn’t daring me to discover anything except where it borrowed its notes from. It’s not an offensive fragrance by any means, in fact, being compared to a couple of body mists is a testament to how inoffensive this fragrance is. It smells like cleaned up flowers that have been scrubbed extra well. It’s easy to wear, but highly unexciting. And if you let it dry down, the sharpness goes away and you get a faint whiff of a typical sandalwood vanilla base with the ghost of that Amalgamation of Calgon Body Mist lingering in the back.

Extra: Don’t rush out and blind buy a bunch of body mists because of me. Like every fragrance reviewer–I don’t care who they are–their experience with the perfume may different from yours. So if you are going to do some rushing, rush to smell Forbidden Rose then try to seek out the two Calgons and see if they’re similar to you or not. Like most fragrances, you can never get an exact duplicate and there are differences between the three fragrances I mentioned but they are also similar enough to my nose that you could conceivably spend $8 on a bottle of body mist instead of $60 on a eau de parfum.

Design: Forbidden Rose has a cute presentation. The juice is a fun purple color. The glass portion of the bottle’s shape is reminiscent of the tall Thierry Mugler Angel bottle with the silver cap. While at the same time it gives a nice little homage to the other Avril Lavigne fragrance; Black Star. Forbidden Rose has a cute little black plastic rose as a cap. It is nice and pleasant to hold. Easy to spray. No complaints here.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Floral

Notes: Apple, peach, bourbon pepper, lotus flower, apple blossom, heliotrope, pomegranate, vanilla, chocolate, sandalwood.

It seems that those of you looking for a daring fragrance is going to have to keep looking when it comes to stuff with Avril’s name on it. I want to reiterate that Forbidden Rose does not smell bad. It simply smells pedestrian, which is not always a bad thing.

Reviewed in This Post: Forbidden Rose, 2010, Eau de Parfum.