valentino: 3 posts

Mimosa, Cassie, and Honeyed Almonds : Perfume Note

In the depths of winter, when I begin to lose faith that spring will ever come again, the yellow pompoms of mimosa lift my spirits. No matter how rushed I am, the slender branches arranged in the florist’s windows tempt me to slow down, and I walk out of the store burying my face in a large bouquet. The fluffy flowers caress my cheeks and dust them with lemon-yellow powder, and the scent is vivid and joyful to match the explosive color–a mixture of green violet and honey soaked almonds. It’s delicate, but remarkably persistent, filling the room with the aroma of Provence within minutes.

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Even if you haven’t smelled real mimosa*, chances  are you’ve encountered it in perfume. This material is one of the most intriguing and complex. The mimosa used in perfumery belongs to a related family, Acacia, with two varieties processed commercially for their fragrant oil–Acacia decurrens var. dealbata (called simply mimosa in the perfumery trade) and Acacia farnesiana (cassie). The former is the pompom like yellow mimosa in my photo, the latter is simpler and more austere but equally fragrant.

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Spring Roses Reviews 1 : Valentino, Kenzo, Juicy Couture Perfumes

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This spring is promising to be rose scented. Every other flanker, a sequel to the original big launch, seems to be reinvented in rose tinted prettiness.  From Kenzo to Cartier, every house has been thinking pink. Flankers are not known for being daring, and when I dutifully smelled through the whole lot, I felt that I was smelling the same perfume over and over again. Fruity, sparkling, instantly forgettable. In the end, I picked six fragrances that stood out, although you will see that in some cases this is an underhanded compliment.

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Why bother then? Most of these fragrances will not appeal to perfume lovers used to the opulence of florals or the tinge of animalic notes hidden among the fleshy petals. By contrast, all six rose perfumes I’ve selected are clean and dewy. Some of them are better than others, but overall, this selection contains nice options for anyone who prefers their florals fresh and sparkling, without the cloying sweetness that’s a common theme in most feminine new launches. Simple and pretty are not negative qualities, and occasionally, this is exactly what hits the spot.

Today, I’m reviewing three fragrances that pair rose with white florals: Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale; Kenzo Amour I Love You; and Juicy Couture La La. The white florals, be it tuberose or gardenia, have a creamy sweetness that contrast well with a sheer, citrusy rose accord.

Valentino Valentina Acqua Floreale

Valentina Acqua Floreale follows in the footsteps of its older sister, Valentina. The bubble gum tuberose of the original is sheered out, made less cloying and thick. It reminded me of a milder Juicy Couture. The vibrant start of citrus and orange blossom fades to a soft, musky drydown that goes by the “sexy clean” moniker in fragrance houses. On the other hand, Valentina Acqua Floreale is so perfectly well-behaved and inoffensive that I doubt one can have a strong opinion about it. It’s radiant, sheer and coy. It would make a sophisticated fragrance for a teenage girl. While it’s not a drama queen, it’s a good quality perfume, with smooth development and decent longevity.  Continue reading →

Valentino Valentina : Perfume Review

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Why do you wear perfume? If I were to judge by fragrance marketing, all of us wear perfume to make the opposite sex fall down in a dazed stupor at our feet.  Now, the good thing about Valentina, the latest perfume from Valentino, is that it avoids the tired clichés; it presents a young woman who plays by her own rules instead of following the conventions. I must have watched the TV ad with its terrific Via Con Me soundtrack by Paolo Conte at least a dozen times before I finally smelled the fragrance.

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