Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Maybe I’m not being fair. Or maybe I felt like I’ve been spoiling myself with niche and independent fragrances lately, but I went on a department store perfume bender and have a book full of notes that I have only just now gotten around to starting. There’s still more niche to come, but these mass market scents seem fun to me–some less fun than others.

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

In Bottle: A big pile of sugar and flowers. Smells a lot like the original, with a weird cloying burnt sugar smell that I didn’t get from the original.

Applied: So Viva la Juicy la Fleur is one of those less fun fragrances I mentioned above. In the past, I’ve been pleasantly surprised and amused by a lot of mass market offerings, but this one hits the ordinary right on the head. The original Viva La Juicy, I had to give props to. Despite myself, I actually liked it on occasion. Granted, I was younger then and had more opportunities to wear hot pink. I’m not sure the original would strike my fancy as much these days, because la Fleur isn’t doing anything for me. If you thought Viva la Juicy was just too strong and didn’t have enough of that burnt sugar smell, then la Fleur might be worth it. For me, the original was better, but these two smell very similar. Same sugary candy opening, same sweet florals, same hint of fruits throughout, and same achingly sweet persona. This is the smell teen girls in high schools and colleges might like and wear. It would only smell ridiculous on me now.

Extra: I still pull out the original Viva la Juicy now and then, take off the cap, spray and smell and then promptly go to wash it off. I really outgrew the fragrance and making it lighter didn’t make it any more grown up.

Design: Someone refreshed design. I had thought the original Viva la Juicy was absurdly girly, but apparently all they had to do to top it off was slap some graphical flowers on the bottle, use a cheaper bow, throw in a script typeface and here we are. Not ugly. The form actually still looks nice. It is just very, very girly.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Orange, berries, water lily, honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood.

Couldn’t remember the last time I had smelled a generic fruity floral like this. It was actually somewhat nostalgic. Long story short, though, don’t buy this if you have and like the original Viva La Juicy. Unless you just want something weaker and sweeter.

Reviewed in This Post: Viva la Juicy la Fleur, 2012, Eau de Toilette.

Coach Poppy Flower

Coach Poppy Flower is a flanker to Poppy. It’s supposed to put a more floral spin on the original fragrance. Not sure what else they want out of the original Poppy because that one was fairly floral to me. Ah well, we’ll see.

Poppy Flower

Poppy Flower

In Bottle: Fresh, juicy flowers with a lot of water lily representation.

Applied: Sadly I’m smelling predominantly water lily from the starting point. I get a bit of citrus and the other sweet fruity things in this, but I suppose this is how you can go about making an already floral fragrance even more floral. The water lily gives me a bit of a headache as it seems particularly potent in this fragrance. The rest of the florals are giving up a good fight to help overwhelm or tame the water lily but I think that initial whiff blasted whatever chance the rest of the notes in this had for me. I really just get a lot of water lily with a little bit of jasmine and rose layered in there for good measure. As the fragrance ages, the peony comes up a bit more and given my previous association with peony, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Poppy Flower smells watery to me, kind of like a flower water mix and it isn’t very good, but it’s not horrendous. I wouldn’t venture to say this is okay, it’s just not too bad.

Extra: Coach Poppy Flower is marketed as fashionable, chic, and flirty. I have to admit, that despite being bombarded by marketing that claims something is flirty, I have yet to truly understand what that means in a marketing perspective and the word has been thrown about so much that it’s lost all meaning to me. What I do know about flirtiness is that I get nothing of the sort from Poppy Flower.

Design: Similar shape and style to that of Poppy, only it’s interpreted as purple and silver this time. I still don’t like the bottle, but the handwritten affect they used on the packaging is still fitting and aesthetically pleasing in its own way.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Citrus, black currant, raspberry, litchi, apricot, ivy, water lily, rose, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, musk, amber.

Coach Poppy Flower is available in EDP format and also comes in a body lotion if that kind of thing floats your boat. Me, I’m not personally a fan of this fragrance and actually prefer Poppy.

Reviewed in This Post: Poppy Flower,  2011, Eau de Parfum.

Yves Rocher Ming Shu

Sadly I’m running low on the classics department for fragrances earlier than the 80s. When I first started doing these reviews, I was skeptical about how good the old classics could really be. And sure enough, I fell in love with the old perfumes. Ming Shu, on the other hand, isn’t even that old of a fragrance, but even it has been toned down.

Ming Shu

Ming Shu

In Bottle: Very floral, the water lilies are making quite a loud entrance.

Applied: Funny that the peach doesn’t factor into this at all because I immediately get water lily. Lots and lots of water lilies. They’re slick and floral and fresh. In fact, they’re a bit too fresh and a bit too loud. It’s like I can hardly focus on anything else because Ming Shu is cramming water lilies into my nose. The cedar note comes in a bit later, but cedar to me as always been a bit heavy-handed and it only serves to add to the loudness of the water lilies here. I’m not a fan of this, unfortunately. There’s only about two notes to my nose and neither of them are getting along with me. They end up too overwhelming to me, and too basic at the same time.

Extra: Ming Shu was released in the late 90s. This version and it’s other iterations are a little tricky to find, but not impossible.

Design: Bottle in a pagoda inspired style. I’m not sure how much I embrace this kind of design as the bottle on the one hand looks like a pagoda, and on the other it looks like a pylon or traffic cone. Perhap’s it’s both. I’m not a bit fan of the design.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Floral

Notes: Peach, water lily, cedar, musk.

Another fragrance casualty of the toning down movement. Ming Shu in the 90s was reportedly a much nicer, much more complex, much more likable a fragrance than it is now.

Reviewed in This Post: Ming Shu, 2011, L’Eau de Toilette.

Heidi Klum Me

If I were ever in the position to have a fragrance made for me, I’d probably be unimaginative enough to just call it, “Me”. It’s really too bad Heidi Klum already beat me to it.



In Bottle: Fresh is probably the one and only word I’ve got for Me. The melon is pretty prominent to my nose along with the clean florals in the middle.

Applied: It’s got a nice blast of fruitiness that mellows into this juicy, clean melon scent which does a nice job eventually moving into an also pleasant and clean floral mid-stage that’s marked with a bit of sparkle and shine. There’s nothing so bold as an aldehyde in this, but the musk couldn’t be anything but white and the woods and vanilla couldn’t be anything but scrubbed with all impurities removed before being bottled. Me is quintessentially young, clean, and fresh. It’s a nice, mild-mannered scent for everyday wear.

Extra: Me was released in 2006 and hasn’t really garnered as much success as some celebrity perfumes. It seems to occupy that dark corner of celebrity fragrances where the lesser known perfumes with celebrity names hang out.

Design: Me isn’t very pretty. It’s actually rather bland in aesthetic and a little bit clunky too. It’s bottled in this roundish container with a standard baby pink cap that doesn’t do much for it’s appeal. It’s not ugly, not pretty, and ultimately not very memorable.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Fruity

Notes: Blackcurrant, apple, melon, pepper, violet, water lily, jasmine, plum, woods, sandalwood, vanilla, musk.

If you want a well done fresh melon and floral scent, then Me is your stuff. You can actually buy this stuff on the Heidi Klum website. Enjoy.

Reviewed in This Post: Me, 2006, Eau de Parfum.

Coach Poppy

In some ways Coach’s progression from its beautiful, durable, everlasting classic bags to the monogram chic bags reflects the direction of the perfume industry. Both things were once lovingly crafted objects made with fine materials have been reduced to faster, larger, and cheaper. So I found it rather funny to be reviewing Poppy, the fragrance from Coach and named in similarity to Coach’s youthful line of bags that feature vibrant colors and–of course–the Coach monogram.



In Bottle: Smells like a dime-a-dozen candy floral fragrance. Not bad, not too exciting. It hits me right away with the mandarin note and wastes no time digging into the marshmallow.

Applied: Mandarin up top followed quickly by the clean, crisp tones of cucumber. Freesia and the other florals are present in the first minute of the opening and the fragrance evolves more into its floral candy-coated personality near the mid-stage with that marshmallow vanilla thing they did. Poppy settles into its floral candy self for the majority of the rest of the fragrance as the wood notes make themselves known near the very end and in a very faint way.

Extra: I used to be something of a Coach fan and was ecstatic to receive a Coach Wilson bag from the 90s. These days, Coach’s bags don’t interest me too much. I don’t see the appeal of the Poppy line at all and I don’t see the appeal of the Poppy fragrance either, unfortunately. It’s probably another one of those instances where my tastes clash with the company’s aim. But Poppy is like a generic perfume for which I can name several alternatives. If you do need an actual recommendation, the perfume community likens this to Britney Spears’ Fantasy. I can see the connection between the two, especially when the fragrance hits its mid-stage. If you want a personal alternative recommendation, try smelling Bath and Body Works’ Be Enchanted that has a similar progression from refreshing to sweet.

Design: I do like the bottle and feel that scribbly the monogramed look of the Poppy line works rather well for this fragrance and what it’s trying to be. It’s cute and functional and simple. It’s clearly marketed towards girliness and people who like that sort of thing. So in terms of looks, Poppy’s got it down.

Fragrance Family: Sweet Floral

Notes: Mandarin, cucumber, freesia, jasmine, gardenia, water lily, rose, sugar, marshmallow, sandalwood, vanilla, cedar.

A big disappointment in terms of uniqueness but Poppy, like pretty much everything else similar to it works well if you’re into the sweet and flowery fragrances. You can, however, get more affordable fragrances that have a similar aim for the amount that Poppy costs if your chief concern was how it smells.

Reviewed in This Post: Poppy,  2011, Eau de Parfum.

Paris Hilton Fairy Dust

So that little episode with Boadicea the Victorious’ Complex left me in a bit of a weird mood and what better way to usher out the smell of smoked roadkill than a Paris Hilton perfume? I kid. Paris’ perfumes are not bad. They are great hallmarks of what modern (as of this writing) feminine celebrity perfume is all about, fun, fruits, and not a care in the world.

Fairy Dust

In Bottle: Aquatic, sweet fruity scent with a bit of florals. Nothing groundbreaking, but it smells nice and is easily wearable.

Applied: Sweet and fruity up top with a very mild hint of gardenia layered over a giant bowl of peaches and assorted fruitery (I am making up words, leave me alone). There’s so very little I can say about celebrity perfumes like this, they all hit the same note eventually and that same note is during the mid-stage where the fragrance tends to nosedive into this very repetitive fruity floral mix that I can describe over and over again but ultimately it ends up the same way each time. It’s clean, it’s sweet, it’s girly, it’s fun, fruity and flowery. Oh yes, and it smells pleasant, of course. Fairy Dust dries down with a blend of clean patchouli, clean musk, and creamy vanilla.

Extra: So I, like many people probably, wondered what in the heck “Prosecco” was. A quick Googling reveals that it’s a white wine. I don’t drink wine very much anymore but hey, the more you know! Now Smell This has a bit more about the Prosecco accord.

Design: Like the designs of most of Paris Hilton’s perfume line, I find this one way too young or too far out of my tastes. The bottle has a turquois nozzle, the glass has a fairy on it–Okay, I’m going to come out and be honest with everyone now–I hate fairies. I do. I hate the insipid little imaginary things. I imagine that if they were real, they’d constantly be buzzing around my head giggling and sprinkling their fairy dandruff all over me. So every time a new fragrance comes out with a winged little fairy on it, I go a little mad. So like I was saying, there’s a fairy on the glass, the entire design is very young and yet strangely minimal at the same time. Minimalism works best when you go all out on it, I think. Doing it half-here and half-there only serves to make the design look incomplete or cheap. Sorry, I just don’t like the look of this packaging–and it’s not just the fairy.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Prosecco accord, pink peony, orange blossom, spring gardenia, water lily, peach nectar, sueded patchouli, cashmere musk, vanilla cream.

People have likened this to smelling like Juicy Couture (original) and I can see where that comes from. There’s a more fruity personality to Fairy Dust though that makes it hit a younger vibe than original Juicy Couture. I also, and call me out if I’m just crazy here, noted the lack of tuberose in Fairy Dust. I prefer Juicy Couture though Fairy Dust is a decent fragrance too–I just love me some tuberose.

Reviewed in This Post: Fairy Dust, 2008, Eau de Parfum.