Escada Tropical Punch

Escada’s mostly known for their very nicely done line of fruity floral fragrances. I was never that interested in Escada’s stuff because there’s a wealth of fruity florals in the market. But if you wanted a good fruity floral, that’s reminiscent of the tropics then Escada’s got you covered.  Tropical Punch

In Bottle: Wet and sweet fruit juice. Like a blended tropical smoothie consisting of pears and pomegranates and peaches. It smells delicious.

Applied: Burst of that fruit smoothie scent with the pears overtaking the pomegranate until both of them fade into the background and let the florals up. Of the flowers in this scent, I smell the lily of the valley the most followed by the combined powers of hibiscus and freesia making the mid-stage of Tropical Punch a lush bed of florals. The peach note in this lends a bit of fruitiness to it but by and large Tropical Punch’s mid-stage is very reminiscent of an Herbal Essences shampoo. And I like how Herbal Essence shampoos smell so if you’re into that kind of thing, this stuff delivers. The dry down is rather unremarkable but so is the rest of this fragrance as it warms up a bit but fades with a clean fruity floral sweet amber scent.

Extra: Escada is a women’s luxury clothing group founded in 1976. They have a ton of other similarly built fruity floral fragrances in addition to Tropical Punch. Of which one of the most popular is Marine Groove.

Design: I don’t much like Escada’s fragrance bottles. They’re nice and colorful and fun looking but I’m not a big fan of the shape which is reminiscent of a stretched out heart. Actually, I think the design of these bottles is lacking and makes them look more like body mists instead of perfumes. Tropical Punch is a mostly pink glass affair with a gradient that fades into a pinkish orange. It’s easy to hold though, and the sprayer works great.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Papaya, pomegranate, pear, hibiscus, freesia, lily of the valley, white peach, white musk, amber.

I’m not interested enough in Tropical Punch to really get a bottle. The top notes on this stuff are fantastic. But as soon as it dries down, it heads into all too familiar territory. Then there’s the price and for the amount of an Escada fragrance, I would much rather get a mainstream Guerlain or a mainstream Chanel–even.

Reviewed in This Post:Tropical Punch, 2009, Eau de Toilette.

Lady Gaga’s Perfume

As some of you may or may not know, Lady Gaga, beloved Kermit the Frog wearing modern-art as fashion sense singer and songwriter has teamed up with Coty to create her own fragrance. Just like every single other celebrity of recent note.

Her fragrance name is presently rumored to be called “Monster” and is scheduled to appear sometime in 2012. No word yet on the notes for this thing but should we really hold our breaths for anything to come out of a celebuscent? Besides the miasma of fruity floral that’s practically a hallmark of all celebrity perfumes?

I’m going to hold out on this last string for some small semblance of hope for a fragrance that’s not fruity. That’s all I ask, just no fruits, please.

Thanks to The Scented Salamander.

Hilarious Fragrances I Should Smell

I’m always up for something awful and that includes perfumes. There’s only so much gushing praise I can pour out for beautiful, well-composed fragrances. My dictionary of disdain is a larger tome than the one I use for praise. There’s also a chance that in finding a supposed “awfully” tacky perfume, I might be pleasantly surprised when I come to like how it smells.

So for amusement purposes to give this review blog a bit more kick, the following fragrances are on my hit list:

  • “Spirit” by American Idol
  • “Disney Princess Variety Collection” by Disney
  • “Absolutely Fabulous” by Revlon
  • “Arrogant” by English Laundry (Really? “Arrogant”?)
  • “Barbie Variety Collection” by Mattel
  • “Bratz Variety Collection” by MGA
  • “Ice Age 2 The Meldown” by Air Val International
  • “The Little Mermaid” by Disney
  • “Mary-Kate and Ashley” by Mary-Kate and Ashley
  • “Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse” by Disney (Seriously, Disney, just stop it)
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean” by Air Val International
  • Any Axe Fragrance by Axe

Got any suggestions of horribly tacky perfume I need to assault my nostrils with? Leave me a comment!

John Varvatos Artisan

Artisan and Artisan Black are two of the very few men’s fragrances I’ve smelled and actually wanted to own. Artisan is my favorite of the two for a lot of reasons. But the main thing, it doesn’t rely on smelling primarily “marine and sporty” or “aromatic and woodsy”, which is something I have to commend Artisan and other men’s fragrances that avoid those two genres  for. Artisan

In Bottle: Orange blossoms that makes me think of freshly cut, sweet oranges. Very simple opening but it’s surprisingly pleasant and vivid. I quite like that.

Applied: Again, orange blossom opening with the vision of a fresh, juicy and sweet orange. It lingers for a bit before a little hint of spice kicks in and takes Artisan into slightly more familiar men’s fragrance territory. The thyme is also in there as Artisan evolves on the skin making this smell a bit more masculine as it continues to age and introduces a wet, green woods note and sharp citrus note in the middle that mingles with the spicy thyme and lingering orange blossom from the opening. Artisan doesn’t last very long on me, unfortunately, as it dries down a light green woodsy scent in the end that sticks very close to the skin. This is probably my favorite men’s cologne at the moment.

Extra: John Varvatos is a fashion designer that focuses primarily on men’s clothing. The name was started in 1999 with its first release in 2000, making this a very young fashion house indeed.

Design: Artisan is set in a glass bottle molded to look like it was woven. It gives the bottle a sort of tropical island, handmade, anthropologist kicking it old school and living out of a tent kind of feel. The texture on the bottle alone is enough to want you to pick it up and play with it for a while. The bottle, however, is quite heavy and a bit awkward to hold but you can’t argue with that awesome design.

Fragrance Family: Citrus Woodsy

Notes: Sicilian clementine, tangelo fruit, Mexican tangerine, aromatic thyme, Spanish marjoram, Greek lavender, North African orange blossom, Indian plant Murraya, orange-infused jasmine, Nigerian ginger, Chinese ginger, purple ginger, Kephalis wood, Geaorgewood, Belleambre, musk Serenolide.

You can’t look at that notes list and tell me it doesn’t at least intrigue you a little bit. Artisan is a great mix of notes but most of all it’s a really, really good fresh and masculine scent.

Reviewed in This Post:Artisan, 2009, Eau de Toilette.

Katy Perry Purr

Lovely. I get a little splodge of the most anticipated Purr by pin-up girl by day and pop star by night, Katy Perry, but I can’t get my hands on a vintage Chypre de Coty? Slap a sad face on me and let’s review Purr by Katy Perry.  Purr

In Bottle: Sweet peaches and a mix of florals that I’ve smelled pretty much everywhere by now. It’s a celebrity fragrance so I didn’t expect genius.

Applied: Initial flair of fruitiness up top. I get mostly peaches, sweet and ripe and big with a vaguely familiar synthetic apple note tossed in there with a tiny dash of tartness slathered with a thin coating of sweetness and dipped in a hint of creaminess. That creaminess sticks with the fragrance throughout its cycle. Now the peach in Purr isn’t grown up peach like Mitsouko. Actually, I can’t imagine why anyone would think they’d get any sort of Mitsouko out of Purr so I’m not even sure why I bothered to mention this in order to discern that no, you aren’t wearing this to meet the Queen. The peach in Purr is this is fuzzy peaches candy thing. Fun and girly and not at all serious. After a few minutes the fragrance takes its fruity opening and shifts into the midstage where you’re greeted by a banal blend of jasmine and gardenia. The sweetness is still lingering there. It’s a light sweetness though, not heavy and obnoxious but nothing to phone home about either. The mid-stage blandly shuffles along, smelling pleasant enough, and hits a rose note near the end of the mid-stage’s lifespan, falling headfirst into the very predictable sandalwood and vanilla base with traces of the mid-stage florals hanging about.

Extra: I don’t think Purr is anything to jump up for joy about as I didn’t expect much else from Katy Perry. Nothing to her as a person or a singer, this is just your run of the mill fruity floral celebuscent that hasn’t changed its formula since every other recent celebuscent. It’s an average fruity floral at best, with a variety of other fruity florals doing this tired fragrance genre much better justice. And as much as it pains me to say it, you’d probably get a better reaction scent from the Paris Hilton line. Me? I’ll wait and see what Lady Gaga does.

Design: Purr hasn’t been released where I live  yet so I haven’t handled the bottle, but I have seen photos of the bottle and I have to say it’s not my style. It really, really isn’t. The bottle  is in the shape of a purple cat with a heart hanging from its collar and jeweled eyes. You take the cat’s head off to gain access to the spraying mechanism as far as I can tell. I mean, it’s cute, but way beyond my demographic.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Peach, bamboo, apple, gardenia, jasmine, freesia, Bulgarian rose, vanilla orchid, white amber, sandalwood, skin musk, coconut.

Purr smells like so many different generic fragrances that I don’t think anyone should really bother with it if they’re looking for that sweet fruity floral. Unless you love Katy Perry’s work, her perfume is passable but highly uninteresting, and you are better off looking elsewhere for a fruity floral fragrance.

Reviewed in This Post: Purr, 2010, Eau de Parfum.

Checking Perfume Lot Numbers and Codes

One of the simpler ways to check to make sure your bottle of perfume is the real deal is to reference the serial or lot number (or code) that most–if not all–perfumes bought and sold in North America should have. The location of this code can vary depending upon the manufacturer or fragrance house. Some niche and independent perfumers do not include lot numbers on their fragrances, however, most mainstream perfumes have these codes and it is a good practice as a perfume user to be able to find these codes as an extra precaution against accidentally using or owning a counterfeit.

Checking lot codes for anti-counterfeit purposes is easy but not a foolproof way to determine a fake. This is only one of the many things you can do to protect yourself from counterfeit goods. What you should do when you purchase a bottle of perfume and want to check its lot/serial code is by first located the code on the box the perfume came in. Often this code is printed near where you might find the fragrance’s ingredients list. This code varies in digits depending upon the manufacturer but most often the code won’t exceed six digits. Very often they are four or five digits and can contain only numbers but oftentimes will be a mix of numbers and letters. After you’ve located the code on the box,  locate the code on the bottle itself. The two codes should match. If they do not match then take it back.

After having said that, your code can be printed or affixed to the bottle of perfume in a variety of ways. Many manufacturers choose to go the sticker route with the lot code inked onto the sticker. This sticker is often affixed to the perfume bottle. Sometimes (such as in the case of most Chanel fragrances) the lot code is etched into the bottle’s glass itself and is located in a different place than the general information about the perfume (ie. how many ml/oz, concentration type, perfume house’s address, etc.)

Sometimes these codes or numbers may even be filed off because it was acquired through a grey market retailer who wanted to prevent the tracking of the bottle. This is a shady, but not illegal practice, and a filed off serial is not always indicative of a counterfeit.

It is important to check the lot codes on both the perfume bottle and the box to make sure they match when you purchase the perfume and before you throw the box away. Sometimes these lot codes are referred to as serial codes, serial numbers, or lot numbers.

Burberry Sport for Women

Rounding off this dual of Burberry Sports is the counterpart for Burberry Sport for Men. The women’s version is also a sporty fragrance that lacks originality and depth. But hey, it smells okay. Burberry Sport for Women

In Bottle: Florals layered on sharp citrus and a much lighter ginger treatment than the men’s version. The florals are a bit sweet and fruity. The citrus is awfully strong which is where I guess the sport part of this fragrance is from.

Applied: Nicely vibrant sweet floral citrus with that initial sharpness from the ginger. The ginger is rather fleeting in this but it does hang around and give the fragrance a bit of spiciness as the florals deepen and sweeten the longer you wear it. Burberry Sport for Women takes a turn for the sweet, creamy floral side in its mid-stage as the magnolia note amps up and makes itself quite well known. This smells sharp and clean but still very feminine. It’s a nice sporty equivalent to the men’s fragrance as the two share some similarities but are adequately unique from one another. The final dry down is a pleasant sun-warmed woodsiness with a pretty sweet and creamy floral backing.

Extra: I actually like, by and large, Burberry’s fragrances. Brit was nice, The Beat is nice, Burberry London is good. And these, while unspectacular, are also good fragrances with a nice tempered sporty scent. I just think their bottle designs are rather hit or miss and so far they’ve been missing a lot.

Design: Pretty much the exact same design as Burberry Sport for men only the outer casing is white instead of black. The glass bottle held within the casing is the same red as the men’s version. I still don’t like the bottle design.

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Notes: mandarin, ginger, marine accord, fresh magnolia, honeysuckle, petit grain, solar notes, cedar wood, musk.

Again, it’s a sporty fragrance. This stuff is meant to be easily worn and meant to smell like this. I do like these two fragrances that Burberry has released though. They smell good. Not fantastic, not unique, but they are good smells that won’t be offending anyone any time soon.

Reviewed in This Post: Burberry Sport for Women, 2010, Eau de Toilette.

Burberry Sport for Men

There are two releases in this line. A Burberry Sport for Men reviewed in this post and a Burberry Sport for Women. Both came out at around the same time a little earlier this year. Burberry Sport for Men

In Bottle: Cool ozone note with a spicy ginger and a bit of citrus. Really nice. I actually like how this smells. In terms of sports fragrances, it’s done a bit better than your typical “slap some citrus and marine notes together and call it a day”. I mean, this slaps some citrus and ozone together but that spicy ginger thing it does is pretty good.

Applied: Initial flare of ozone and sharp spicy ginger with citrus. The citrus is quick to dissolve and the ginger is the one that lingers around a little bit longer. The ozone lends a clean sharpness to Burberry Sport for Men. The mid-stage is dominated by a woodsiness with a clean sudsy background. I’m thinking someone’s taken a bucket of soap into the forest and started scrubbing down all the trees there. The spicy ginger note rapidly deteriorates in the mid-stage leaving you with soapy woodsiness. The final curtain for this fragrance is a warmed cedar and clean musk. This isn’t going to break any fragrance records any time soon as after its pleasant opening, the mid-stage and the dry down are fairly formulaic.

Extra: As mentioned earlier in the post Burberry Sport has a men and women’s fragrance. The men’s is black and red and the women’s is white and red.

Design: The bottle is a tall rectangular prism thing that is black and red in color. It operates on the same kind of style as the Ed Hardy fragrances where you have a cover over the rather plain perfume bottle itself. I’m not a big fan of that kind of design technique for bottles because the perfume bottle contained within the other casing is almost always plain to the point of boring. As if throwing together a half-hearted outer casing can excuse them from designing a nice looking bottle inside. As is the case with this. I don’t find it to be an attractive look for the bottle.

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Notes: Ginger, grapefruit, wheatgrass, marine accord, red ginger, juniper berries, dry amber, cedar wood, musk.

It’s a sports fragrance. So the depth and level of originality is not going to be that high. However, Burberry Sport for Men does a good job incorporating that ginger note into the opening. It was a very attractive fragrance, for the little while that it lasts anyway.

Reviewed in This Post: Burberry Sport for Men, 2010, Eau de Toilette.