Jimmy Choo Flash : Perfume Review

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There is a disconnect between the packaging, the concept and the scent of Jimmy Choo Flash, the second fragrance from the trendy footwear brand. I should add, thankfully so. The concept inspired by the stylish women of New York and Paris sounds bland. The bottle is tacky in the photos and even more so in real life. What do you expect the perfume to smell like? I anticipated something likewise predictable–a sugary floral or a fruity patchouli. The perfume, on the other hand, is a surprisingly wearable tuberose.

flash

If your white floral reference is Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower and Robert Piguet Fracas, you will find Flash to be wan. Lovers of heady natural tuberose, complete with coconut cream and rubbery nuances, will also need to suspend their belief that this is indeed a tuberose. But when so many new launches smell simply vulgar–Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme is my benchmark, it’s refreshing to discover a mainstream fragrance that bucks the trend.

Flash was signed by perfumer Christine Nagel, who in the interviews about the new  launch mentioned that she wanted to create a sensual white floral. “As a brand, Jimmy Choo is so resolutely feminine that the perfume had to have a sensual background,” said Nagel. Sensual in the context of most fragrance means pretty much one thing only–sweetness, but in Flash, it’s a creamy, woody warmth.

To get there, you will go through a tart fruity top note, which is my least favorite part of the perfume–sweet orange and berries, with a hint of something plasticky. It subsides quickly enough, and the rest of the story is a creamy floral accord supported by woods and musk. It melts into the skin like warm honey and leave a soft veil of scent.

For all of its glitz, Flash has a moderate presence, with a subtle sillage. Nevertheless, it remains obvious and wears so effortlessly that I not only enjoyed wearing it to write this review, I reached for it as my extracurricular perfume. Nagel is the creator of the ultimate sexy musk, Narciso Rodriguez, and in Flash you can see her fingerprint. Remove all of the fruity trinkets from Flash that only distract from its sophisticated character, and it could easily be an alluring, second skin perfume. All things considered, not bad.

Jimmy Choo Flash Eau de Parfum includes notes of pink pepper, tangerine, strawberry, tuberose, jasmine, white lily, woods. It will be available at Nordstrom in the US in March. In Europe, it’s already sold at Sephora.  The line includes 60ml and 100ml eau de parfum, body care lotion, and shower gel.

Sample: my own acquisition

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46 Comments

  • theperfumeddandy: My Word!
    Who would have thought it – I had been quite put off by the packaging and marketing. Well serves the Dandy right for judging a book by its cover.
    A great fan of the tuberose – particularly in Carnal Flower, but even in the reviled Amarige.
    Indeed, my thoughts on Fracas will be up on view for all to see later today.
    On your say so I will certainly now give this a whirl.
    Thank you once again for going the extra step to keep us in step with the latest fashions – it is so easy to become too accustomed to one’s classics.
    Yours ever
    The Parfumed Dandy February 18, 2013 at 7:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t think that if Fracas is your benchmark, Flash has any chance whatsoever. I mean, it’s a decent fragrance, but it would have benefited from a bigger budget and letting Christine Nagel get more creative. On the other hand, I would take it over many other new launches. February 18, 2013 at 11:35am Reply

  • Rachel: I just hated their first perfume and if it weren’t for your review, I wouldn’t even think of trying Flash. It sounds ok actually. February 18, 2013 at 9:34am Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t like the original Jimmy Choo at all. It was as dull as they come. Flash is much better in comparison. February 18, 2013 at 11:35am Reply

      • Rachel: I’ll try it. I don’t do tuberose, but I’m interested to smell the musky part you’re talking about. I adore NR for Her! February 18, 2013 at 1:50pm Reply

        • Victoria: There is a hint, but it’s nice! February 18, 2013 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Annikky: Thanks, Victoria, I would probably not have tried it without your review. But if it’s a tuberose, even a wan one, I need to give it a sniff. How does it compare to Madonna’s Truth or Dare, any resemblance at all? February 18, 2013 at 9:35am Reply

    • Victoria: I prefer Truth or Dare, if I had to pick a straightforward tuberose. They are not at all similar though. Flash is much more of an abstract floral as well, while TD has a stronger coconut-creamy tuberose accent. The drydown was my favorite part, but unfortunately you have to wait through the plasticky fruity top to get there. February 18, 2013 at 11:37am Reply

  • breathesgelatin: Well, that’s good to know! I’ll try anything tuberose. I may have to give this one a whirl. I hadn’t been very impressed by Jimmy Choo’s first, eponymous release. February 18, 2013 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: For some reason they decided to go the most predictable fragrance for their first release, which is a shame. Flash is not exactly avant-garde, but it’s more polished. February 18, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Marieke: I didn’t like the fruity notes either. It smelled synthetic at first, but the drydown is nice. My BF even commented positively. February 18, 2013 at 10:20am Reply

    • Marieke: This line made me lol. “Lovers of heady natural tuberose, complete with coconut cream and rubbery nuances, will also need to suspend their belief that this is indeed a tuberose.”
      I know what you’re saying. February 18, 2013 at 10:22am Reply

      • Victoria: Some perfumes really force us to stretch our understanding of how certain flowers smell like! 🙂 February 18, 2013 at 12:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: If all I could have was the soft musky drydown! 🙂 February 18, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Jenna: The ad makes me think of Giorgio Armani Diamonds, like it tries very hard to be glamorous. February 18, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember Diamonds ad that well, but I’m with you that the ad for Flash is strangely void of any emotion. I don’t even understand what the image is supposed to convey. Anyway, the perfume is thankfully much better than the ad led me to believe. February 18, 2013 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Ann C.: I can’t handle full-on tuberose, but this sounds like something I might like. Thanks for the lovely review! February 18, 2013 at 11:42am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re welcome! Worth trying when you’re at Sephora or Nordstrom’s. February 18, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Sofia: Hi Victoria! Thank you for your review. I have a sample of this but have never tried it because, as you describe, I was envisioning footwear + tacky advert + tacky bottle. After reading this I think I’ll dig it out and give it an opportunity at smelling it. February 18, 2013 at 11:53am Reply

    • Victoria: When you dig it out, I would be curious to hear what you think, Sofia! February 18, 2013 at 12:14pm Reply

      • Sofia: I can’t find it!! I must have left it at my parents place, which I tend to do. I did however find right in the bottom of my perfum sample pouch the Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum, which I’ll try out of curiosity tomorrow… I cant now because during the search I just sprintzed all over me some Jo Malone Vanilla and Anise (sorry I’m rambling on) which I remember the 1st time I tried it I hated it, now I’m loving it! It’s very interesting how our tastes evolve the more we try things. February 18, 2013 at 3:05pm Reply

        • Victoria: A couple of years ago, I’ve used up a little bottle of Vanilla and Anise. I wore it to my dance class, and it was always perfect (and my partners complimented me on it). 🙂 February 18, 2013 at 4:03pm Reply

  • Sassa: I had to laugh at the way you anticipate the advertising term ‘sensual’ to mean ‘sweet’. I always find that it means ‘musk’ – which is a deal killer for me.
    It’s also interesting that we both figure that ‘sensual’ is going to mean something that we dislike. I wonder if that happens a lot? February 18, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I guess, in many cases when the brand clients ask for sensual, they often want a gourmand. Musk is another popular “sensual” note, even though most musks smell more like freshly washed laundry than anything seductive to me. February 18, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

      • Rachel: Neither smells sensual to me! The most seductive note for me is sandalwood. February 18, 2013 at 1:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: Sandalwood definitely smells alluring to me, especially when it has that rosy, creamy sweetness. Simply irresistible! February 18, 2013 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Parfumista: To my great surprise I really liked Flash and have reached for my sample also after I worn it for reviewing purpose. My Flash-review will show up next Monday 🙂 February 18, 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: It was a surprise to me! Looking forward to your review. February 18, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Xenia: Thank you for a lovely review, Victoria! I’ve just recently discovered your blog and you are such an inspiration!
    As a marketing and consumer research geek, i always pay attention to perfume promotional campaigns. Perfume, like no other product, has to have marketing platform to encourage people to try it. How else would people find out about it? So it becomes so increasingly important to communicate the right message (to raise matching expectations) and to distinguish yourself with marketing. Although i have not experienced the perfume yet, I have to agree with you on the complete mismatch of what the perfume should stand for conceptually and what it looks like from its advertising. Forgive me for saying this, but i find Jimmy Choo somewhat confused as a brand itself, therefore i’m not surprised. It’s a pity though that a good fragrance would get less attention/wrong attention due to its branding and marketing. February 18, 2013 at 4:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that what you say is completely spot on–the brand is confused, and it shows through these details. After all, they had big management changes recently, with Tamara Mellon, and recently Simon Holloway, quitting. Hope that they will pull it all together. February 18, 2013 at 5:34pm Reply

      • Xenia: Interesting, didn’t know that Holloway left. So, Choi will be on her own. Well, we shall see – it would be smart to have a design collaborator hired soon.
        And returning to the fragrance itself, I expected a perfume with a name “Flash” to be more assertive, confident, so to say… The one that would come to mind as a perfect example of that would be Gucci Rush, which was a perfection in my mind as far a “full package” – from packaging, campaign, to the perfume itself of my favorite Michel Almairac… February 18, 2013 at 6:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: So true! Wouldn’t you expect something dramatic and bold? This is a nice fragrance, but it’s none of that. February 19, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: Oh, yuck- the ad and the packaging are both repellent- reminds me of that bad Salma Hayek movie about Studio 54 or some cheesy TV movie about a simple farm girl from the midwest who takes the bus to NYC to chase her dreams but finds a nightmare in the world of drugs and disco…. soundtrack by the Village People, and starrring Loni Anderson. You can practically smell the polyester. Jimmy Choo’s shoes are glorious, elegant and sexy in the manner of a Helmut Newton photograph, but tbis is just plain tacky and dated. February 18, 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s hysterical, Lynn! I can just see it! February 19, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Daisy: The original Jimmy Choo is one of my least favorite fragrances. However, I am persuaded to give this a sniff. The fact that it is neither a sugary floral or fruitchouli is surprising! February 18, 2013 at 6:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but yes, it’s worth a sniff if you have a chance to try it. February 19, 2013 at 12:16pm Reply

  • silverdust: Agree on the ad and packaging. It screams “Big ’80s!”

    I’m embarrassed for all involved in this. February 18, 2013 at 7:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Very strange! I don’t even understand what an image of a model inside a box(?) has to do with the stylish women of Paris and New York. February 19, 2013 at 12:17pm Reply

      • sara: looks weird! also i don’t like the bottle. sorry, i’m shallow, but bottles are important to me. February 19, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

        • Victoria: The packaging is important! That’s how many purchasing decisions are made, and the packaging, the concept and the perfume ideally should work together, shouldn’t they? February 19, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

  • bern: tried so many perfumes in the past and always a little dissapointed.ive just bought a 100 ml bottle of edp Flash,
    i dont like the name ,but the perfume is absolutely delicious. ive never had a fav perfume up till now…so pleased that ive finally found it! March 6, 2013 at 6:54pm Reply

  • vanilleamere: I received a sample of this from Sephora and made the mistake of trying it on my wrist – I washed it off imediatly. Can’t stand it at all. April 11, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

  • Kristal Mihaela: This is one perfume I’m having a really hard time trying to “connect to”… I’ve sampled it at least twice, and each time it screamed cheap and bling. It’s also extremely forgettable! can people recognise it? Or at least remember it after some time? I think not. The same “banal” feeling as in See by Chloe, simple perfumes in my oppinion. Who will wear this? I can only think of tanned girls with huge fake nails and a pink lipstick.

    Stone me if you like 🙂 , but this is all I can picture when I smell it, and trust me, after reading all the rave reviews all over the net, I have tried really hard! The first Jimmy Choo was a copy of multiple succeses stuffed in the same bottle, this one is not copying anything but smells like a nightmare of bladness! 🙂 May 27, 2013 at 10:26am Reply

  • Maureen: I recieved a sample of FLASH from Nordstrom’s during a perfume purchase. I pulled it out and used it this morning . I hated the fact that it is a splash. The bottle is okay and the sample is generous so I was expecting a little more from the scent.

    Next to the scent’s I have been wearing lately, FLASH is very light for me. I like citrus so in the beginning, it was refreshing. I had the scent in my hand, so I mixed it with my lotion and rubbed it on my arms then I splashed it on my face(I hate the pungent smell of facial oil and dirty hair) on my back and chest. Well, now, after 6 hours, the scent is gone. It did however, make me feel happy because the weather is grey, sticky and rainy soooooooooooo for me, it is a happy perfume. May 31, 2013 at 4:33pm Reply

  • sandra: Happy to find your review. Confused messages expresses my first reaction, also. But the scent itself touched some forgotten thing, and kept bringing me back to the sample vial. … Orchid greenhouses! That’s how it smells on me. I had a brief fling with orchids in the early 80s. Now, I’m not afraid to wear this now and again. I might even get a bottle. January 8, 2015 at 10:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s such a great association! Enjoy it, Sandra. It’s definitely a nicely crafted perfume that needs a more appropriate marketing package. January 9, 2015 at 7:18am Reply

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