Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Perfume Review

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Dolce_gabbana_light_blue

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

At a time when there are 600+ annual releases, a fragrance that stays on the list of best-sellers is as much a rarity as a source of intense curiosity. My first encounter with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue did not promise to develop into anything but a brief acquaintance—it was lighthearted, and sparkly, in marked contrast to my usual more brooding favorites. Yet, as I continued to study and delve further into perfumery, Light Blue would appear again and again. Not only is it one of the most popular fragrances on store shelves, it is also highly regarded by many top perfumers. Therefore, I resolved to take a closer look at Light Blue and decode its allure….

Created by Olivier Cresp in 2001, Light Blue opens in a panoramic fashion, revealing a sheer amber accord accented with tart fruity notes. The effect is reminiscent of polished quartz stones, with their tiny embedded crystals shimmering in the sunlight. The same contrast is at play in Light Blue—the dry chill of amber and the brightness of green floral and fruity notes. It does not change drastically on the skin, maintaining the green apple-amber pas de deux.

At first glance, Light Blue is indeed effervescent and youthful. Yet, as I have been wearing it on and off for the past few weeks in the interest of science, I find that it is immensely appealing. Light Blue is easy to wear, yet it has a sophisticated character. For all of its free spirited appeal, the fragrance is neither girly nor clichéd. The woody facet of the amber in Light Blue lends its fruity notes an intriguing character. Here we have not the sweet and sugary fruity punch, but an abstract sketch.

The striking thing about Light Blue is its diffusiveness and presence. The sillage (trail left in the perfume’s wake) of Light Blue is marvelous—gossamer light, yet distinctive, and it is one of the most fascinating aspects of wearing it. It never feels overwhelming, tiresome or heady like some heavy sillage fragrances, yet the shadow of the fragrance is always there. No doubt that it is for this reason that Light Blue is one of my most complimented fragrances.

One might note the similarity between Light Blue and Paco Rabanne Black XS, one of my favorite 2005 releases and another composition by Cresp. While Black XS has a dark, somewhat somber character, hinting at desiccated woods and dried roses, Light Blue is luminous and bright. Both fragrances share the transparent amber accord, which is very diffusive and appealing. While Light Blue is marketed as a feminine and Black XS as a masculine, both fragrances have enough androgynous elements that would make them wearable for both women and men.

Light Blue includes notes of Sicilian citron, bluebell, Granny Smith apple, jasmine sambac, bamboo, white rose, cedarwood, amber, musk. Dolce & Gabbana fragrances are sold at Saks5thAvenue, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and a variety of other retailers and discounters.

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37 Comments

  • Ina: When I first started getting into perfume for real (about 3 years ago), Light Blue was my absolute favorite. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Like you said, it was never tiresome. I can see Black XS as a sort of dirty Light Blue. :) Lanvin’s Eclat d’Arpege is what I actually find almost a dead ringer for LB. Where I work, everybody douses themselves in it. January 25, 2007 at 12:57am Reply

  • March: That is so timely, V. I took my daughter on some sniffage recently, and her nose is actually surprising for a kid — I mean, I think she has good taste (and she hates overly sweet things.) She stunned me by applying this and begging for a bottle — it smelled GREAT on her, it really did. I was a pill and immediately said, no! not that thing!, and then thought, well, why not? It’s so ubiquitous I hadn’t “really” smelled it. So I guess she gets her bottle now that you’ve signed off on it ;-) January 25, 2007 at 5:55am Reply

  • Marina: I have never given Light Blue much thought and then one day I smelled a scent on my aunt-in-law, it was fantastic, just as you described, “gossamer light, yet distinctive”. I couldn’t figure out what it was and I actually thought it was some Ellena creation for Hermes that I don’t know :-D I couldn’t believe when she said it was Light Blue. January 25, 2007 at 8:43am Reply

  • Elle: Hangs head. I haven’t even tried it. Will remedy that before the day is over. I adore Black XS and wasn’t aware that Cresp had also created Light Blue. I need to pay more attention to these things. January 25, 2007 at 8:59am Reply

  • amandampc: Indeed! Great observations, Victoria! Light Blue really is a charmer in its way, isn’t it? I like the way it builds on the citrus-cedar construct of great fragrances like Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat and Eau d’Hadrien and then graces it with the ultimately defining twists of the green apple and amber. And I completely concur on the androgynous element – and feel it takes Light Blue just beyond the expected, not into bizarre territory by any means but to a place where definitions start to slightly blur. It’s a quality I also find and appreciate in D&G’s By for Women and the excellent Kingdom by Alexander McQueen. As always, thank you for your lyrical and lovely review! January 25, 2007 at 9:28am Reply

  • Karin: I find it very lasting. You can smell it all day.

    I wore it quite a bit when I first got it. It is a lovely fragrance, just as you described it, “gossimer light and distinctive.”

    Since I like to wear more than one fragrance in a day, I’ve reached for it less, as it doesn’t dissipate. And I don’t know when I’m in the mood for close proximity for the whole day, whether it is the weather or my mood or…

    I put a link to your blog on mine, btw. I love yours!
    Karin
    http://www.savvythinker.com January 25, 2007 at 10:48am Reply

  • Victoria O: You would not believe how fantastic this smells on a man.
    Well maybe you would. ;O)
    V. January 25, 2007 at 11:37am Reply

  • Judith: I’m with Elle–I never tried it. I guess I should, but it still doesn’t sound like my thing (*feeling grumpy today*). January 25, 2007 at 12:13pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Yep, this is a great fragrance, V. I wore it when it first debuted. I love the fact that the name is “Light Blue,” but that the fragrance evokes the smell of apples, citron, and a light musky amber, making it anything but.

    Hugs! January 25, 2007 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Robin: Sort of echoing R above…not only does the fragrance not smell at all blue, it has NO relationship to the woman in that ad, does it? The ad is way sexier than the scent. January 25, 2007 at 1:40pm Reply

  • ula: interesting, actually, i didn’t really expect you reviewing this piece. without denying its qualities, i’m not a fan simply because this sort of perfumes don’t appeal to me, and also maybe because it is so omnipresent. though i must say that there must be something more to this potion as it’s been on the top rung of perfumes charts everywhere (even here in slovakia), i’ve noticed LB continues to be at the helm in perfume charts like…forever and ever January 25, 2007 at 4:21pm Reply

  • Flor: I never really paid much attention to the scent. It’s one of those scents everyone has, I smell it everywhere. I think I’ll revisit it, it’s been quite a few years since I put it on my skin. Thanks for the review! January 25, 2007 at 4:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, it has certainly been copied a lot! Still, I am amazed by its popularity. It is everywhere! January 25, 2007 at 5:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, it is a very well-done fragrance, and although it is not in my top 20, it is pleasant enough to have around. It is sort of like a comfortable cotton t-shirt. January 25, 2007 at 5:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, I was always considering it rather plain, and it is not overly complex. Yet, the proof seems to be in wearing. It is a very easy to wear, and still it is not cliched. January 25, 2007 at 5:47pm Reply

  • Linda: An inspired thought, to write about “light” perfumes on these cold days! We have even had snow in the south of England. Diorissimo is delightful, and speaks to me of innocence and a kind of fragile beauty. Today’s (which I did not know) was intriguing: I looked for it in town, and had the good fortune to find a tiny “handbag” size for not a lot of money, so I was able to try it before making a decision to buy a full size. First impression: very sweet, very young, and really attractive. However, the amber note jarred: this is my fault. I just don’t “gel” with amber!
    I expect you will think I’m a real beginner because all the comments suggest that this is a really famous fragrance!! January 25, 2007 at 5:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, if you have Black XS, then I think that you are set. Since I like richer fragrances, Black XS fits my preferences better. Still, the popularity of Light Blue makes it interesting to analyze. January 25, 2007 at 5:49pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Amanda, what a great observation! I like that androgynous quality in fragrances you mentioned as well. It makes them very surprising. With this thought, perhaps the review of Kingdom is long overdue. :) January 25, 2007 at 5:51pm Reply

  • amandampc: Oh yes oh yes oh yes! I’m doing a Kingdom cheer in anticipation of your Kingdom review! :) January 25, 2007 at 6:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Karin, the lasting power of Light Blue is impressive. It lasts all through the day on me, however it never grows overwhelming.

    I added yours too! Thank you for a link. January 26, 2007 at 11:11am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, I can certainly believe it! It definitely shares that in common with Black XS, which I love. January 26, 2007 at 12:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: J, knowing your tastes a bit, I can definitely say that this is not for you. January 26, 2007 at 12:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I agree, it does not smell Light Blue, although Light, as in radiant would be a good way to describe. It is certainly very radiant! January 26, 2007 at 12:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, the ad is a bit of a mystery to me. Who is that woman? Why does she have that perturbed expression on her face? Why does she look like she cried all night long? Was Light Blue the culprit? Ah, the mysteries of marketing… January 26, 2007 at 12:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ula, I am an equal opportunity reviewer! :) I am interested in everything, from niche to mass market. In this case, you are right–it is everywhere. So, I needed to see for myself why. January 26, 2007 at 12:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Flor, I like to revisit various fragrances, especially the ones that have been around for a while. Pleasures is another one I have been trying recently, although I still have strong memories of it from the time of its arrival onto the perfume scene. January 26, 2007 at 12:42pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Linda, the problem with Diorissimo is that it has been reformulated. That odd ambery-woody synthetic note is not in the original, and it is grating. I can only wear my older fragrance. The new one is just not the one with which I fell in love. January 26, 2007 at 12:44pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Amanda, thank you for your support! Review is coming right up. :) January 26, 2007 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Gaia, the non-blonde: It smells nice in the bottle and great on many people. But it hates my skin. I’m guessing that the apple is responsible to the sour note I’m getting there. Every time I got a mini bottle I ended up giving it away to someone with a better behaving chemistry. January 27, 2007 at 2:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Gaia, I agree, some fragrances simply do not work for everyone. I am sure that there are plenty of perfumes that do suit you beautifully. January 29, 2007 at 12:08pm Reply

  • parisa: Light Blue was and still is the only scent that I finished the entire bottle…love the sillage! February 1, 2007 at 12:26pm Reply

  • Diana: First of all, I have to sy that you write so beautifully.

    I, too, have observed the D&G Light Blue phenomena. Now because of this, I am in a dilemma… I am trying to find a better alternative to LB. I love LB’s easy-to-wear qualities, radiance of sillage and mysterious, non-cliche sophistication, but I do not want to smell like everyone I meet. Thank you in advance. January 31, 2008 at 1:38am Reply

  • Doris Lippert: I just love Light Blue, I never run out of it. It has a clean, crisp scent. I get many compliments on it & also Red Door. I don’t like an overpowering scent & this is one of the best that I’ve encountered. April 22, 2011 at 10:42am Reply

  • sreetamaa: I am getting a bottle of this perfume… I hope it turns out to be as good and the comments suggest… May 6, 2012 at 1:19am Reply

  • eminere: What do you think of the men’s version? July 27, 2012 at 11:29am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember it! Not a good sign. July 27, 2012 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Ra: I find Moschino Cheap and Chic to be very similar to D&G Light Blue. May 7, 2013 at 4:28pm Reply

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