Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
I blame the American lingerie brand for the joke that I occasionally hear when I introduce myself. “Victoria, so what is your secret?” is not even funny the first time around, but it quickly gets old. Then, I have an issue with Victoria’s Secret perfume names. Pink All My Heart and Pink with a Splash Sweet & Flirty convey some pink tinted land that frightens me. It is a universe where Breathless and Sexy Little Things squeal Oh What Fun is Pink and demand Pink, More Pink Please. By contrast, I prefer the fantasy world of film noir. But then my fair Libran side kicks in and reminds me that as a perfume blogger I should be more open-minded.
So, readers, I headed to the nearest Victoria’s Secret store and smelled perfumes that I would not have tried under normal circumstances—Sexy Little Things, Love to Dream Freesia and Whipped Vanilla, Very Sexy Hot, etc. I came home feeling light-headed and dizzy from the pink sexiness of it all. I sprayed on some Bulgari Black. Then I realized that my mission was successful. I did not discover perfumes that made me want to give up my stash of dark and brooding favorites, but I found out that Victoria’s Secret fruity-florals can give the big brands a run for their money.
Overall, the VS selection tends to be fruity and sugary, but there are some nicely done perfumes in the range. Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry smells exactly as you would expect—a fruit cocktail on steroids, but Dream Angels Heavenly turns out to be a cozy almond and rose blend and Dream Angels Divine— a pretty lily of the valley on a dry woody base.
Love to Dream Freesia and Whipped Vanilla Perfume Mist scores top points for its bubbly orange and jasmine sketch. The moment I put it on the blotter, I realized that it smells like any recent big prestige launch and perhaps better. This sounds like an underhanded compliment, but considering the price, I think that it is an excellent fruity-floral option. Freesia and Whipped Vanilla is built around a creamy orange vanilla accord, with green apple and red berries heavily accenting its top. I am not sure why it is called Freesia, because it does not smell of anything remotely resembling the violet-orange candy scent of this flower. The whipped vanilla part of Freesia and Whipped Vanilla is right on the mark. It is a big part of the fragrance, a rich, sweet layer that clings to the skin for hours.
Reminiscent of Cacharel Amor Amor and Burberry for Her, Freesia and Whipped Vanilla dries down to a sweet woody vanilla. The orange sticks around for a while, which tones down the cloying feeling. If someone is looking for a sweet, lighthearted blend, Freesia and Whipped Vanilla is a nice choice. I would have liked it more if the vanilla was taken two notches down, but I still think that it deserves kudos as a sophisticated budget option fruity-floral.
Victoria’s Secret Freesia and Whipped Vanilla Perfume Mist is from a limited-edition Love to Dream Valentine’s Day Collection. 250 ml/8.4 fl oz retails for $12.
Sample: my own acquisition