Balenciaga Rosabotanica

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The worst part of working in a fragrance department* is making perfume samples. I love the concept of making samples for customers, but the vast majority of perfume bottles just weren’t designed with samples in mind. So they leak. A lot. The unpleasantly wet reality ends up being perfume literally dripping off my hands, mutating into some unholy combination with the last perfume I made samples of. Our leakiest testers are Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Prada Candy, and goddamn Balenciaga Florabotanica. Nothing makes me grumpier than making a Florabotanica sample. Florabotanica is more than just another boring floral, as dull and sullen as Kristen Stewart when Robert Pattinson won’t return her calls. It’s a symbol of the perfume industry at its most superficial. Florabotanica is living proof that a cute bottle and a well-timed celebrity scandal are better for sales than the perfume itself could ever be.

Obviously, I’ve completely avoided Florabotanica’s flanker, Rosabotanica, which I assumed would be even worse. To my surprise and relief, Rosabotanica smells nothing like Florabotanica. Instead, Rosabotanica is a tart, green rose, in the style of Hermes Kelly Caleche or the recent Annick Goutal Vent de Folie. Rosabotanica is softer, less sharp, and less natural-smelling than either of those fragrances, but the quality is high enough that I probably would have guessed Hermes or Jo Malone if blindfolded. The lasting power is pretty good, but the best part? That strikingly gorgeous bottle doesn’t leak!

*Okay, the real worst part is being constantly outsmarted by fraudulent returns, but that’s not perfume department-specific. Last month I did a SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLAR return for a “Helmut Lang” jacket, which turned out to be a Forever 21 jacket with the original label removed and a Helmut Lang label sewn in. I can’t even be mad- homegirl is an entrepreneur!

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