marc jacobs: 7 posts

Sugar Free

If you’ve been asking yourself why so many fragrances are sweet these days, then you are not alone. Even non-gourmand blends are getting sweeter, be they floral or woods. In my latest column in the FT magazine, Six Sugar-Free Perfumes, I explore various options that veer away from sweetness.

“Why does every perfume turn so sweet on me?” complained a friend, sparking a mission to find her a fragrance that didn’t have caramel, chocolate or other patisserie notes. With the success of Thierry Mugler’s Angel and other popular gourmands, perfumes have been growing sweeter and more edible over the years. While only recently a cotton candy accord of Lancôme’s La Vie est Belle would have been considered more suitable for pudding than perfume, today it’s a new benchmark. Our appetite for sugar seems to have found a parallel in the olfactory realm, and every season there are more perfumes promising to replicate famous desserts from crème brûlée to apple pie. To continue reading, please click here.

What other non-sweet perfumes can you recommend, for men and women?

Photography via FT HTSI

Marc Jacobs Woman (for Her) : Fragrance Review


Before Lola and Daisy, there was Marc Jacobs Woman, the designer’s first (and most sophisticated) fragrance.  While one can still find Woman on the shelves of Sephora, it has been eclipsed by the other two scents, the glitzier younger sisters wearing their plastic-flower cartoon collars.

Woman debuted at a time when gardenia/tuberose scents were just becoming fashionable.  While Michael Kors treated his eponymous gardenia fragrance to a second-skin suede, Marc Jacobs doused his in a cool rush of water that the marketing copy invitingly calls an “aqua mist.”

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Marc Jacobs Curacao, Ginger and Cranberry Splash Cocktail : Perfume Review



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

The newest splash trio from Marc Jacobs caught my attention for its interpretation of the classical cologne genre as inspired by fruity summer cocktails. Of course, light and fresh launches flood the summer market, yet it is always interesting to see how modern fresh and sheer ideas can give a new twist to a conventional theme. In the past, I have enjoyed Violet (2006,) Ivy (2006,) and Gardenia (2008) for their clean, transparent renditions with unusual twists, and while there was nothing particularly complex about these splashes, they had a cheerful, uplifting quality. Yet, as I was testing Curacao, Ginger and Cranberry, I found myself disappointed, because their fruity interpretations do not deviate from the norm. This kind of fresh, citrusy fruity-floral abounds in every area of the fragrance market today, and with some effort, one can even find something similar and less expensive in the Bath & Body Works range. While I understand that Marc Jacobs Splashes are not meant to be perfume art, I still long for at least a suggestion of originality. Moreover, while $68 is not an excessive price tag for a prestige brand, given the quality of these fragrances, I still find them overpriced.

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Marc Jacobs Daisy and Eau So Fresh : Perfume Review



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

The other day I found myself uncharacteristically flipping through radio stations searching for something beyond the standard rotation of Top 40 hits. Listening to the ubiquitous pop tunes made me realize that mainstream music and mainstream perfumery share many similar themes—saccharine sweetness, simple harmonies, catchy elements, and a tendency to reflect current trends rather than push the envelope. A perfect example of these observations in fragrance is Marc Jacobs Daisy, a well-made, pretty fragrance, yet one that is not likely to be a revelation. You’ve smelled it all before in Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue!

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Marc Jacobs Bang : Fragrance Review


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

Marc Jacobs Bang was without doubt one of my favorite fragrances from 2010.  Its elegant, polished structure belies a bold character, and in fact this juxtaposition makes Bang very appealing. It has a great opening accord that fits well with its name—the composition explodes into a vibrant, brilliant, peppery sparkle. Experiencing this piquant woody-spicy prelude is not unlike biting through the fiery, pleasantly burning pepper crust on steak au poivre, and the effect is just as mouthwatering.

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