Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Judith Leiber’s idea of night is rather close to my olfactory nightmare. For a moment, I thought that I had made a mistake and sampled one of the new Mariah Carey Lollipops; the synthetic fruit, sharp patchouli, and strident floral notes seemed incongruous with Judith Leiber. The glittering image of Swarowski encrusted purses led me to expect something likewise sparkling and whimsical, but I feel that with Judith Leiber Night I have received a vulgar rhinestone imitation.
The fragrance immediately comes across like a pastiche of various commercial fruity-patchouli and gourmand oriental ideas, from the tart berry opening to the amber and cotton candy drydown. A jasmine note appears as a delightfully lush layer, but then it disappears all too quickly into the cloying heft of cotton candy and woody base that has become ubiquitous since the launch of Thierry Mugler Angel. It is familiar to the point of déjà vu.
Of course, commercial does not necessarily mean poor, and even the most popular and widespread ideas can be treated in new and interesting ways. Yet, in the case of Judith Leiber Night, I do not find anything that would make me pick it out of the lineup of existing woody orientals. At this rate, one might as well consider some other better made patchouli orientals like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Prada (original) or Estée Lauder Sensuous Noir. Even Yves Saint Laurent Belle d’Opium, which I found vulgar and brash, seems rather elegant and polished in comparison. To be fair, Judith Leiber Night smells like a good submission on a low budget that went through far too many market tests.
Judith Leiber Night contains notes of bergamot, cinnamon, jasmine, lily, peony, patchouli, woods, incense and caramelized amber. Suggested retail price of 2.5 oz bottle is $175.00, 1.3 oz bottle is $115.00. Available from Neiman Marcus and other retailers.
Sample source: PR
Now that I am done ranting, I am turning the floor to you: what was the most disappointing fragrance you have sampled lately?