Monday, February 10, 2014

I cannot believe it.

Review of By Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad

I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted.

Have I stopped loving perfume? No.

Have I stopped wearing perfume? No.

Have I stopped buying perfume? No. I admit I've slowed down some, but I've already made my first purchases of 2014 and we're only a month in.

So why did I stop posting?  Some if it has to do with decreasing free time and increasing work responsibility.  Some of it has to do with feeling like I don't have much to say, which is silliness because actually things are happening all the time. So the answer is, no good reason certainly.  And time to correct it, I think.

One of my coworkers told me around the holidays that I always smell like "Christmas and deliciousness."  That's a pretty nice compliment. (Though I was wearing Jo Malone Bitter Orange & Chocolate at the time, so it was also quite accurate).  Another coworker sent me this NPR piece Friday entitled, "Perfume's Scents Of Subversion? Sweat, Musk And Patchouli" and said, "At first I thought it was you."

So obviously, perfume? Still a huge part of my life.  Right now Portlandia is covered in a crazy ice storm and I am wearing By Kilian Good girl gone Bad while I watch vampire movies and try to entertain my cats.  Part of the "In the Garden of Good and Evil" collection, the scent is described as:

A sensual and unrestrained temptation. The perfume opens on the fresh innocence of the petals of Jasmin Sambac and the Apricot sweetness of Chinese Osmanthus. Letting go of their demure appearances, the flowers toss off their inhibitions and reveal their decadent side! The Rose of May gives off its honeyed heat. The Indian Tuberose nakedly exhibits its milky roundness, while the narcotic sensuality of Egyptian Narcissus surges forth, uncontrollable and deliciously haunting. Notes of Virginia Cedar and Amber open up and try to assert their dominant character.

I have to say, I'm usually a sucker for By Kilian scents, but this one isn't what I expected.  Maybe it's because I have sweat, musk, and patchouli on the brain, but this one just isn't happening for me.

According to LuckyScent, the notes are plenty floral but there seemed like there was enough dirty fleshy bottom notes in the mix I thought I might like it: Jasmin Sambac, osmanthus, rose, tuberose, narcissus, violet accord, plum accord, cedar wood, amber, patchouli, vetiver, musk.

I've tried Good girl twice now, and I have to sadly report that for me? It does not work.  Nope.  It landed on my skin as a hot mess of florals and screechy white musk, overwhelming amber, and fake woods. I do get some peachy stone fruit in the middle, which is nice-ish, but it is just ruined by the almost headache inducing noise of the rest.

I feel both relieved and disappointed. On the one hand, I love a lot of the By Kilian perfumes and they are so expensive that it gives me and my wallet great sadness. So in that sense, I feel like I missed a bullet.  But on the other hand, there are folks out there who really like this one and get a lovely scent I wish I had the chance to experience.  Seriously.  I wish I was getting "slut in a lovely Dior gown" but that is not what is happening for me. Instead, the whole thing feels like a terribly awkward seduction. It's like a preteen with braces trying too hard to be sexy in her middle school frump wear. In fact, it most called to mind that scene when Dawn tries to seduce the lead singer of her older brother's band in Welcome to the Dollhouse. FN2. That is not attractive.

Victoria did a nice little rant on the name of the scent, which I feel inclined to agree with. I'm not much for slut shaming, and I tend to think she's right that this what the "gone bad" is meant to imply.  You know, in the same way that terrible Robin Thicke song wants to do things with 'a good girl.' FN1. I understand the need to feel subversive, but at the same time, you do kind of question whether playing into the the madonna/whore trope is a good idea.  I think the name would bother me less if the copy cut against the idea, but alas, alack, it doesn't.

In the end, Good girl gone Bad is a pass for me. But maybe you'll get lucky like some of the other reviewers who really liked it.

Want more? Try...
~ A review from The Non-Blonde
~ A review from EauMG
~ A review from That Smell
~ A review from Make Perfume, Not War
~ A review from My Perfume Diaries
~ A review from Ça Fleure Bon
~ A review from Perfume Posse

FN1. Can't believe it took me this long to get around to posting the Feminist Parody, Defined Lines, on this blog.  LOVE.IT.

FN2. If anyone comments on the name similarity,  I will be most displeased.  


Jill said...

Yay you're back!!!!

Martha said...

Yer back! Yay! Howdy!

OK, the Good Girl Gone bad thing is reminding me (not sure why; limited relationship) of a thought that I keep having, and keep wanting your opinion about: You know that Coco Mademoiselle ad? The Keira Knightly one with the motorcycle and the photo shoot and the disappointed photographer?

Am I the only person who sees the full version of that commercial as a thwarted-rape scenario?

I once sat down to write all the bits that creeped me out--for example, when she walks in flanked by two people, rather like a prisoner, even more so since the one of the two people, not her, is now in possession of her helmet. Echoing the part earlier where she was flanked by the two motorcyclists, except now she doesn't have the fast escape. And the fact that the more she enters the "man's world" the less safe she is, and she has to either comply or leave that world and its rewards...

OK, I stop now. But, all the same, yes? No?

Anyway, I return to my original sentiment: Yer back! Yay!

Diana said...

Jill, Yes I AM!!!

Diana said...


You know, I've always had an icky vibe with that commercial, but I had never thought to read it that way. You certainly could, though, which would explain my discomfort. What an interesting thought…perhaps I will write it up and we can talk more about it! :)

Glad to see you, too!