Paco Rabanne Black XS

After two fails on me with Paco Rabanne, I had to wonder why I keep coming back to the brand since nothing they put out really interest me. Black XS has an enormous rose on the bottle which made me a bit leery about what I would get.

Black XS

Black XS

In Bottle: Slightly woody, creamy scent with a dish of flowers and some slightly tart berries.

Applied: On application, it almost smells like Christmas dinner. You know with the festive spicy smell and the little bit of cranberry? There’s sweetness in here almost immediately and it’s a pleasant little party. I admit, it is a little weird to feel like it’s Christmas all the way in July but hey, it’s fascinating at least! But Black XS quickly sheds its festive cheer and heads into a fairly banal floral mid-stage with a creamy and rich cocoa note adding a bit of interest to it. So far I’m pleased with the cocoa but pretty bored with the floral mid-stage that pretty much adds nothing new or interesting. I get more woods in the dry down, the cocoa note is still present and there’s always that looming sweetness that stuck around. Black XS lacks in a lot of departments and originality is one of them. I’m not all that pleased with this unfortunately.

Extra: Black XS was clearly not for me as it is marketed toward a young audience with a specific taste. I like to call them the Flowerbomb demographic.

Design: The bottle for Black XS is actually pretty nice–until you get to the huge rose on the glass then everything just kind of focuses there. I suppose that’s what they were going for and I suppose the demographic might appreciate the design but I don’t particularly like it.

Fragrance Family: Floral Gourmand

Notes: Cranberry, pink pepper, violet, rose, cacao, patchouli, vanilla, woods.

So I didn’t have a really bad reaction to Black XS. It was all right but like I said, there’s nothing original or interesting about this. It’s definitely wearable but it’s not at all artistic.

Reviewed in This Post: Black XS, 2010, Eau de Toilette.

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne

Parisienne is a weird fragrance. Weird because it’s very famous, sometimes maligned, vinyl accord note is a deal breaker for a lot of people. And can you really blame them? The vinyl has been accused of smelling like, “cat pee”, “vomit”, “rubber”, “plastic”, and the ever popular, “yuck!”

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne

In Bottle: Bright berry note with a really nice sweet rose up front. This reminds me a bit of Paris, it’s the rose doing most of it though and the shape of the bottle.

Applied: Starts off on a good sweet berry and pink rose note but the rose is gone in an instant. Replacing it is the vinyl accord. They were pretty upfront about this, I guess. Now vinyl accord is–well, I’m not sure what YSL was intending for this fragrance and this vinyl note but it makes the whole thing smell like fruity plastic. This smells like I rubbed a bowl of berries on a tire. The vinyl is a trickster too. It’ll fade out upon midstage where the fruitiness is toned down and you’re left with a faintly plastic smelling rosy floral concoction of confusion and wariness. Then when you think you’ve made it past Parisienne, vinyl comes roaring back in the end stage though it is more behaved there, playing rather nicely with the patchouli and woods waiting there.

Extra: Parisienne echoes the design sensibility of Paris but aside from a fleeting rose note, the two are different monsters. Paris is a light, fun-filled floral on a sunny day. Parisienne is paint fumes and fruit arrangements.

Design: Parisienne’s bottle is similar to that of Paris. It’s an egg-shaped glass that reminds me a bit of the bottle for Flowerbomb–only girlier, with more glam. The bottle’s kind of a miss for me, not because it’s ugly or anything. I just don’t think it looks like anything special.

Fragrance Family: Fruity

Notes: Damascus rose, violet, peony, vinyl accord, lacquer, cranberry, patchouli, vetiver, musk, sandalwood.

I’m not going wild over Parisienne here. There’s moments where going full on synthetic is forgivable and fun. But this perfume just doesn’t smell right to me.

Reviewed in This Post: Parisienne, 2009, Eau deĀ  Parfum.