“DKNY Women,” Luca Turin writes, “is an abstract composition that bristles with ideas and humor.” Ideas, certainly. As for humor, I’m afraid that I just don’t get the joke. DKNY Women is meant to be a citrus, but what I smell is Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, an old favorite of my father’s. Cel-Ray is a celery-flavored soda, and yes, that combination really is just as odd as it sounds. I have tried to sniff out the oranges in this fragrance, but I can’t seem to get past my impression of carbonated celery. After a few hours, Women eventually dries down into a far more conventional white floral.

Apparently we Jews love this stuff so much it was dubbed the “Jewish Champagne”. Who knew??

DKNY Women is exhilaratingly weird for a mainstream fragrance. That weirdness, not to mention the unattractive bottle, leads me to suspect that DKNY Women is not long for this world. After all, many of Donna Karan’s more interesting fragrances, such as Gold, Chaos, and Black Cashmere, met similarly quick fates. This would be unfortunate, because it would further convince perfume companies that they should not take risks with their fragrances. I, personally, would not find it to be much of a loss. Thanks to the “negative calories” myth, I associate celery with joyless, dreary diets. This association takes a lot of the fun out of this fragrance to me. For those without any such prejudices against celery, DKNY Women could be the odd “citrus” fragrance of your dreams.

6 thoughts on “DKNY DKNY Women

  1. Jewish Champagne?? Too funny. I’ve never run across the Cel-Ray, even at the fancy local sandwich place that has Dr. Brown soda on the menu. (Best, IMO? Cream soda, hands down.)

    Celery with cream cheese and pecans is pretty good. In fragrance, bleargh.

  2. I love Cel-Ray soda! Though, I haven’t seen it outside Providence, the place where it became familiar to me.

    It seems I’m overdue for a department store sniff-athon, this sounds interesting, even if I do hate white florals. Celery in perfume? Who’d have thought? 😉

    1. Finally, we have found DKNY’s target audience!!! I hope that you like it! It doesn’t really become a white floral until the drydown, at which point it’s pretty weak, if that helps.

  3. DKNY Women was launched in 2000. In mainstream perfume years it’s almost classic already 😉
    I used to like it (the bottle I have now is my #2) but recently I haven’t been reaching for it at all. I will try it again (if it ever gets warm this summer) but my taste might have changed irreversibly.

    1. Thank you for the info, Undina! I had been under the assumption that it was taken off the market for a while and re-released this year. I will gladly trade you our muggy Maryland summers for your cool summers!

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