October 2, 2009

Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent

Posted in YSL at 11:25 am by April

I was quite excited to try Parisienne, and had to visit several department store locations before I found an active tester bottle, and was actually so eager that I was nearly prepared to order it blindly, though I’m happy I didn’t. I really wanted to love it and I truly expected that I would; but, as a flanker to Sophia Grojsman’s lovely Paris by YSL, Parisienne does not live up to the hype surrounding it.

I get no woods, and none of Grojsman’s signature powdery rose; this is a fragrance that doesn’t do its own name justice. When I think of Paris, I think of the Guerlain house, the Chanel house, and perfumes with a bang that will assault your emotions and break your heart just as easily as any lover. In comparison, Parisienne is an innocent child, quite unaware of any love beyond the platonic version. This fragrance consists, to my nose, of mostly faint berries in the form of a juice cocktail, watered down and weaker than sugar-free gum. There is a soft, subtle rose in the heart of this scent, but it’s not reminiscent of the rose in the original Paris; this is a shy wallflower who seems too reserved to make a statement and who’d rather mingle with the artificially sweetened berry punch than take center stage and dance her heart out.

The advertisements promised something sexy, edgy, and unique, but this is just a much less intense version of so many fruity-florals on the market today. The bottle itself reminded me of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb (a favorite of mine that reminds me of Grojsman’s masterpiece, Tresor – as they share a similar structure based on a smooth, sweet, powdery rose accord), and I was taken aback to find such a dull, little hum of a scent where I expected a beautiful fragrant song, encased in such a lovely bottle.

Though not an expensive scent (an ounce can be had for less than forty dollars), I couldn’t imagine spending more than ten dollars on this product, as I’ve spent less on huge bottles of body spray, which have smelled more complex and lasted longer on my skin than this did. After testing Parisienne twice, once on my skin and once on a paper strip, I can offer nothing positive, except, perhaps, that it does smell of the color light pink, and if pale, pink, extremely soft things excite you, there may be promise in Parisienne. For the rest of us who enjoy bright colors and varied textures, well, what can I say, except that I’m still in the market for a tour guide who can show me the extravagant richness that is Paris?

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