As a young ballet student I used to bristle whenever people said, “oh, ballet, it’s so lovely and pretty,” after I had just danced in excruciating pain. Later, it dawned on me that a dancer has to make something difficult seem weightless and graceful. If you see a swan sweat and strain, then she didn’t succeed in her craft. Perhaps, that is the reason I look indulgently upon the prettiness of Repetto. It’s about a ballet fantasy of pink slippers, tutus and Sugar Plum fairies.
Repetto is a French company that successfully made the cross over from professional dance shoes to everyday ballet flats and much more. There is now a line of clothing, handbags, and of course, fragrance. Repetto perfume launched earlier this year retaining the same ethereal aesthetic of the brand. It even involved Dorothée Gilbert, a Paris Opera Ballet prima, to star in its campaign. You can see the lithe dancer spraying on Repetto as she gets ready to leave for her rehearsals. A few shots later she adds a generous spritz on her neck just as she’s stepping onto the scene.
Don’t look for Black Swan drama in Repetto. The perfume is as pink and frilly as they come, which makes perfect sense given Repetto’s whole package. It’s also designed to catch the 20 year olds, and this young focus dictates a certain character and price point. This means the perfume will be safe and commercial–young girls aren’t known for being rebellious in their choices.
Repetto and its perfumer Olivier Polge chose the floral gourmand theme, a soft rose with orange blossom marshmallow and vanilla notes. There is even a touch of our old friend fruity patchouli. But just because something is meant to be likable and pretty, it doesn’t meant that it’s vapid and trite. Repetto is as charming as their patent leather slippers (I have a pair in lipstick red!)
If Chanel Chance grew up a bit, she would be Repetto. The two perfumes don’t smell alike, but they have the same bubbly character. Repetto is softer, mellower, less aggressive on the sweet patchouli. It opens up with the tart pears and mandarin juice before falling onto a bed of pale pink rose petals and soft suede. There is a candy-like hint of orange blossom, but the main sweetness comes from creamy vanilla and gourmand patchouli lacing the drydown. It has good presence and the sweet finale goes on for hours.
While Repetto won’t blow your ballerina slippers off with its originality, it’s really well done. As a gift for a young girl or anyone who loves a bit of lighthearted fun in their perfume bottle, it’s a good option. I would have loved a less young, less sweet fragrance from Repetto, but I don’t begrudge the house for doing something logical for a brand that’s itself young and sweet.
At the same time, I wish the brand put more money into perfume, rather than the expensive TV ad destined to run for only a few months.
Repetto Le Parfum Eau de Toilette includes notes of pear, cherry blossom, orange blossom, rose, vanilla and amber wood. 30 (39 euros), 50 (59 euros) and 80 ml (79 euros).