Donna Karan Red Delicious : Perfume Reviews



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

Red Delicious for Women, the newest limited edition fragrance from Donna Karan, is a counterpart to Be Delicious (2004), a composition that forges an apple out of violet leaves. The perfumer Maurice Roucel’s choice of accords for Be Delicious is very interesting, since despite the availability of aroma materials that offer a remarkably photorealistic representation of an apple, he selected a green floral, with a rich cucumber undertone. The dewy juiciness of green leaves lends itself to the construction of a green apple that leaves the wearer wondering whether it is a fruit, a flower or a leaf. Despite my minimal interest in the fruity-floral genre, I found myself revisiting Be Delicious on a number of occasions after having been intrigued by its clever composition.

Red Delicious preserves the green crispness of Roucel’s original creation; however, the composition evolves as a more conventional fruity-floral, with the sweet berry notes taming the green cucumbery abstraction into a vision of a ripe red apple. …

The sparkling top accord fizzes gently, before the sweetness of rose redolent lychee rises up dispelling the shimmery effect. The warm oriental base, dominated by musky vanilla, serves to offer a pretty and sweet counterpoint to the fruity-floral accords. I find that while the fruity sweetness seems to create a more coherent image of a luscious apple, lost is the very quality that I enjoyed about the original Be Delicious—the alluring suspense as the violet verdancy slowly softens to reveal a glossy apple. The sweetness ornamenting the original accord merely serves to make it pretty. And there it is—a tempting red fruit, and yet I miss the surprising leafy intensity that in Be Delicious hid the apple from me.

Donna Karan Red Delicious includes notes of champagne accord, lychee, red raspberry, apple, rose, vanilla bean, patchouli, amber, sensual skin accord (musk), raspberry. Available from Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks5thAvenue and other retailers.

Please see other reviews of Maurice Roucel’s creations:
Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur
Guerlain L’Instant de Guerlain (brief description)
Guerlain L’Instant Eau de Noël Iris Millésime



  • Christina H.: What was sparked my curiousity is the men’s version of this which seems more interesting than the notes for this.I’ve been thinking about these fragrances lately and the men’s seems more intriguing.Thanks for the review! March 14, 2006 at 8:12am Reply

  • Ina: Hi, V.! I thought this one wasn’t actually so bad but something that’s been done before. Love the bottle, though. March 14, 2006 at 8:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, yes, the men’s version has notes of cognac, rum, saffron flower, cardamom, bergamot, mandarin flower, Coffee Absolute Africa, apple juice liqueur, vanilla vodka, Davana flower, tiger orchid, airy ozone, sandalwood, okoume wood, moss, patchouli, and iris. I shall try to review it next. I also like the men’s original version. March 14, 2006 at 11:04am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, I think that the bottle is very pretty. I liked the fragrance ok, but it is not as original as Be Delicious. Of course, those who love the fruity-florals will be delighted with Red Delicious. March 14, 2006 at 11:12am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I do not know for a fact that he did Red Delicious, but Be Delicious is his. He is a very prolific perfumer.

    Update: M, yes, he did do Red Delicious too. March 14, 2006 at 11:13am Reply

  • Robin: So, if I didn’t even like the original, do I even need to try this one? March 14, 2006 at 1:29pm Reply

  • marchlion: Am I the only one who finds the packaging too cutesy and annoying? I mean, they work fine, and the Be Delicious was okay. But looking at it reminds me of a cheesy Green Apple cologne I used to wear Back in The Day that was shaped like this. March 14, 2006 at 1:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, no, I would say that you will not find this one interesting, although this is not necessarily because you did not like Be Delicious. Red Delicious is more of a sweet, berry-toned fruity-floral, which is not really your thing. March 14, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I agree with cutesy, although I do not really understand the annoying part. I like how the bottle feels when you pick it up–heavy and substantial. The smoothness of the sides is also appealing. Although overall, this kind of bottle is not my style. My absolute favourite bottles must be Calandre and Chamade. March 14, 2006 at 1:52pm Reply

  • Marina: I did not know Be Delicious was Roucel’s creation! Is he the author of Red Delicious too? His authorship is all I need to get excited about a scent 🙂 I am going to find some samples asap. March 14, 2006 at 9:31am Reply

  • Tara: I didn’t like the original Be Delicious, but did like this one – I’m a fruity floral fan I guess. 🙂 The bottle is rather silly but okay. March 14, 2006 at 3:13pm Reply

  • marchlion: V, you know what? I have REALLY TINY hands for an adult. I mean, almost freakish. So for me the bottle is really too big to fit comfortably in my palm. That’s the annoying part, but wouldn’t be so for more, um, normal women. Sticking by “cutesy,” though. March 14, 2006 at 4:22pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, it is very pretty. If one loves fruity-florals, Red Delicious is definitely a good choice. I actually have a friend who collects Be Delicious bottles! March 14, 2006 at 4:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, that makes perfect sense. 🙂 I, on the other hand, have very long fingers, a fact that never fails to elicit “are you a pianist?” comments. Yet, there are some bottles that I find impossible. Guerlain Voile d’Ete, for instance. The design makes it nearly impossible to spray using one hand. I have to hold the bottle in one hand and press the atomizer nozzle with another. Ridiculous! March 14, 2006 at 4:30pm Reply

  • Linda: I admit sheepishly that I like the bottle. I love anything red. I haven’t tried the perfume yet. March 15, 2006 at 11:04am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, I also love red bottles. My favourite must be Samsara parfum bottle. March 15, 2006 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Amy: I like apple fragrances, but I want something somewhat unexpected and mysterious at the same time, so I loved Be Delicious from the first. I purchased Red Delicious a few days ago, thinking that the lighter, sweeter scent might be nice for spring and summer. However, after wearing it for two days, I took it back to the store and exchanged it for a bottle of the original. I completely agree, Red Delicious is lacking in what made the first special. It seemed much too simple and sweet to me. Although, I think those who didn’t particularly like the first version might like the second better, if they’re looking for a sweet floral scent! April 15, 2006 at 6:38pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Amy, you are right–for a sweet floral, Red Delicious is very pretty, however I also think that the original is much more interesting and unusual. I plan to wear it often this spring. April 15, 2006 at 8:05pm Reply

  • Christian Louboutin Sandals: Apple is coasting on its current products. They cannot unseat Microsoft in spite of MS imploding on the Vista spectacle because they don’t have the fire May 4, 2011 at 8:45pm Reply

  • l’Onione: If you look at Red Delicious with fresh eyes, I find the top notes quite like Carolina Herrera’s VIP Rose though it lacks th punch ones of the pink pepper. It’s more of a crisp berry apple cocktail, the middle offers some jammy rose notes that pair well with the apple and it ends on a warm vanilla note. It’s very well blended although it appears simple to some, it’s complex enough and maintains a freshness despite the sweeter note. If compared to the original, it’s lacking the fresh bite of cucumber and the green florals, that were so unusual in an apple based perfume. Red delicious is more a fall/ winter perfume, fresh enough for day but with a sensual and cozy dry down. May 10, 2023 at 2:04am Reply

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