Bath Body Works Cherry Blossom : Fragrance Review

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Cherry blossom

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

Whenever I encounter yet another luxury line that probably spent more on the plastic to wrap its box than the perfume inside the bottle, I think about Bath & Body Works and Demeter. For once, here are brands that do not pretend to be anything but accessible, affordable lines of fragrances and scented products. At under $15 for 2.5oz, Bath & Body Works fragrances are in fact quite competent and well-made. Moreover, given its large portfolio, from aldehydic florals (Moonlight Path) to woody orientals (Black Amethyst,) if one does not expect fragrance haute couture, it is possible to find something interesting. Cherry Blossom, one of Bath & Body Works best sellers, caught my attention for being a bubbly, girly fruity floral that can hold its own next to most prestige launches in this genre. Plus, I occasionally like to challenge myself with exploring scents outside of my comfort zone (niche, classics, vintages.)

Launched in 2008, Cherry Blossom is an example of a commercially successful floral—bright citrusy-fruity note, radiant floral effect and a soft musky finish. Its high-pitched top note of citrus is rounded out by milky-sweet notes, which introduce the floral accord. There is not a hint of anything indolic or animalic in these flowers—only the sheer pink pastels of roses, bright yellow of jasmine and lemony freesia. The notes balancing out the floral accord are sweet, mellow and musky, with some subtle creaminess of sandalwood synthetics. Cherry Blossom is pretty with a capital P, and while there is nothing remotely edgy or avant-garde about it, it is quite distinctive as a bright, clean floral. It has an impressive tenacity and a good sillage.

As I mentioned in my review of Velvet Tuberose, the principle target market of Bath & Body Works is the younger age group. As a result, the compositions tend to follow mainstream trends and are safe and predictable. Yet, for the price, the quality is quite good, which is why I single out Cherry Blossom. Undoubtedly, those who love dark, moody fragrances will find Cherry Blossom to be the embodiment of the “pink fruity-floral” juices that fill the counter space these days. For the lovers of clean floral blends, it will be a nice discovery that at its price point makes for a good alternative to many fruity florals in the luxury bracket like Ralph Lauren Romance Eau Fraiche, Estée Lauder Pleasures Bloom, Clarins Par Amour Toujours, Bulgari Omnia Crystalline, Nina Ricci Love in Paris, Christian Dior Miss Dior Cherie Blooming Bouquet and Dior Addict 2.

Not fragrance high art, but it does not pretend to be.

Cherry Blossom (fragrance family: fresh fruity floral) is available from Bath & Body Works. It includes notes of wisteria petals, plum, watermelon, freesia, cherry blossom, sandalwood, musk and heliotrope. Cherry Blossom has few flankers such Japanese Cherry Blossom, Sheer Japanese Cherry Blossom, Blushing Cherry Blossom, which present a variation on the main theme.

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9 Comments

  • Marina: Once a PhD student, always a PhD student, always a researcher. 🙂
    Not everything needs to be high art (in fact, would be tiresome, if everything was). Like with movies, TV shows and books, often one needs a good, quality, well-done no-brainer, right?
    I am trying to remember what were those gourmand scents called at BBW, there was a chocolate one that I loved and others, something with lemon…Something Tutti…perhaps? I wish I still had that chocolate one, it was great and cost like $25-ish. December 15, 2010 at 8:51am Reply

  • Victoria: Marina, I cannot agree more, too much high art and especially the pretense to be high art is tiresome. Plus, there are times and moods for differet things. 🙂

    I think that those were holiday limited edition fragrances. I recall that one smelled like a very chocolate Angel and another one was more like lemon meringues. There was also something called Vanilla Noir, which was not bad. December 15, 2010 at 12:04pm Reply

  • pitbull friend: Thanks for this, Victoria! BBW does seem to do really well at cheap, cheerful gourmands – what’s not to like about Vanilla Noir or Brown Sugar Fig? Oh, and Coconut Lime Verbena. If I remember correctly, there’s not a big difference between their Cherry Blossom and Guerlain’s Glittering Cherry Blossom, either. (Except in the price.) We all do need a break from the pretentious and precious sometimes! December 15, 2010 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Olfactoria: We don’t have BBW here, but I remember spending hours there, much to the chagrin of my long -suffering husband.
    One can find gems everywhere and a true scent afficionado is no snob 😉 December 15, 2010 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Olfacta: I was checking out at the doctor’s office last year, and the billing person smelled so good I had to ask her what she was wearing. It was “Cherry Blossom.” I was surprised to hear that, because it didn’t smell “cheap.”

    Others I’ve seen at the gym in body-wash form, the vanilla/brown sugar based scents, smell pretty good too.
    I agree that loving perfume doesn’t mean one has to have one’s “nose” in the air all the time. December 15, 2010 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: @pitbull friend
    Oh, you are definitely right on the difference between BBW Cherry Blossom and Glittering Cherry Blossom–the price. BBW smells more vivid and it lasts far better.
    Brown Sugar Fig is enough excellent BBW fragrance! December 16, 2010 at 9:15am Reply

  • Victoria: @Olfacta
    It really does not smell cheap, and it is really well-blended and balanced. I also noticed it on several women before, and I even commented positively. So, I went and smelled through the whole range over a period of time and even got bottles of particularly interesting scents to see how they evolve on my skin. So far, I have been impressed. For a cheap and chic, it definitely fits the bill. December 16, 2010 at 9:18am Reply

  • Victoria: @Olfactoria
    The only thing I dislike is how strongly perfumed BBW stores tend to be! Even worse than the fragrance counters at the department stores.
    I have been getting lots of requests for BBW shower gels from friends who live abroad. So, I tried a few kinds and found them really nicely scented. December 16, 2010 at 9:22am Reply

  • Neal Enterprises, LLC: I find perfumes like wine. I’ve had expensive and I have had inexpensive. In both categories I have liked some, not liked some, and hated some. I just wear what I like regardless of the price. August 1, 2011 at 11:15am Reply

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