Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Three Sisters

So in all my weird hidden girliness, I have a weakness for rose scents. Such a weakness that in the short period I’ve been acquiring perfume samples, I ended up with several rose scents. So today I decided to try three of them — Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance, Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming, the new Chloé EDP — to see which one was worth the $80+ plunge.

The Darkening of the Light
Lady Vengeance is part of a five perfume Shakespeare-inspired series roll out. Here’s the ad copy:
The perfume with a rich and sophisticated trail. The expression of undeniable femininity, confidence and divinely sensual. The fragrance of a lady for whom the art of seduction bares no secret. You can smell... you can dream...but it's all in her hands. The very elegant but thorny Bulgarian Rose marries patchouli and vanilla to draw this fine elegance, both contemporary and inevitable.
I love Lady Vengeance. It’s rose, true, but also more. It starts sweet, but quickly descends into a sour little undernote. I smell it hit the middle notes and it turns vaguely funeral, invoking a kind of iron bitterness, smelling the metallic way biting your tongue bloody tastes. After that shock of blood passes it settle into a sweet and spicy end. As roses go, this is a dark little number, and when I smell it, I hear Concrete Blonde in my head.

Smile Like You Mean It
Miss Charming is described as follows:
The perfume of a virgin witch, docile and provocative, elegant and sensual. One instant, holding up the pressures of the world and the next, crying hot tears over the death of Enzo, her bowl fish! A joyful interpretation of the Moroccan Rose, musk and airs of wild fruits. A fragrance that makes up ingenuousness and lucidity.
On me it reads as rose and honey, but turns powdery and more tangy sweet on the dry down, the same sweetness you smell in fresh orange juice. Compared to Lady Vengeance, it is lighter and sweeter. Miss Charming is what I think of as more classically rose.

You can read an additional review of both Miss Charming and Lady Vengeance from Robin at Now Smell This! here.

Love Me, Love Me, Say that You Love Me
 I decided to give Chloé EDP a chance despite the scorching review Chandler Burr gave it. As a little girl, I really enjoyed the cheap drugstore Chloé, and so I figured giving the tiny sampler a go could not hurt anyone. Here's the copy shtick:
A new fragrance that encapsulates Chloe's youthful and contemporary appeal launched this month. Robertet perfumers Michel Almairac and Amandine Marie combined hints of peony and lychee with the embellishment of springtime freesia. The distinctive character of a rich rose is accompanied by magnolia and lily of the valley, along with subtle warm amber and cedar.
It was actually one of the first roses I tried, and smelling it now, next to the others only a couple of months later, is an interesting experience. Next to the Juliettes (or as I like to think of them, Rose-Red and Snow-White respectively), it has a hollow smell to it. Reviews have described it as synthetic, and maybe that is what it is, but to me it has a clean smell like you find in lemon based organic cleansers. Not sweet, but not soapy either. Instead, tall and angular, like one of the mod dresses they used to dress Twiggy in. Also, while Chloé lasted the longest of the three at a good six hours, what you smell up front is what you get. This is a one note song.

Final Verdict
As much as I enjoyed Miss Charming for being exactly that, charming, and as interesting as I find Chloé interesting in its comparative 60’s model stickfigure style, I decided to card down for Lady Vengeance. I’m not tall and skinny like Chloé, and I’m just not nice enough to be Miss Charming. I never was. But dark, angry and stubborn, misunderstood but really wanting to be good? Lady Vengeance, we were made for each other.

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