Missoni Eau de Toilette

Ten years ago, Missoni released a daring, excellent fragrance by the immensely talented Maurice Roucel. It was a pretty drastic flop, discontinued by 2011. Missoni has clearly learned their lesson: no good perfumes ever again! Instead, we get Escada summer release rejects. Missoni Eau de Toilette is a juicy, more-than-a-little-plastic-y pear-based fruity floral. It smells fine, if very Bath and Body Works, but it feels a little like wearing a full Juicy Couture tracksuit in 2016. Like, oh, are we still doing that? Are we still doing cash-grab fruity florals? I thought we were doing cash-grab gourmands now.

Maybe that’s too harsh. If an interesting and quality fragrance didn’t succeed, I gueeeeeess I can see how going in the complete opposite direction could seem like the right answer. But forgettable perfume is never the answer. Not in the age of 1,620 annual fragrance releases. (And that’s just 2014’s number.)

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored (clearly!) and does not contain affiliate links. I tested Missoni Eau de Toilette at my local Bloomingdale’s.

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Guerlain Jicky

My favorite book of all time, Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour, begins: “Why the hell wouldn’t you want to be one of the fabulous people, the life enhancers, the people who look interesting and smell luscious and dare to be gorgeously more fascinating than their neighbors?” Spray on a bit of Jicky, and you’ll find yourself instantly transformed into one of those luscious-smelling life enhancers. People will smile and laugh spontaneously as they pass you on the street (in a good way, I swear).

Jicky has been worn by the eccentrically glamorous since 1889, beloved by everyone from Sarah Bernhart to Sean Connery to the High Priestess of Divahood, Joan Collins. Not only is Joan Collins still as hot as all hell at age 77,

No, seriously, what unholy force is she in leagues with and HOW CAN I GET IN ON IT

but she’s also one of a select group of truly glamorous women (including Nichelle Nichols, Iman, Kim Catrall, and Vanessa Williams) who had cameos in Star Trek. Oh, Joan, why did your pacifist values have to contribute to American isolationism in World War II, contributing to German victory and ultimately condemning you to death??

BEST COUPLE EVER. Too bad you’re about to get hit by a car.

ANYWAY, Jicky opens with sparkling, vivacious topnotes of lemon and bergamot, and then deepens into a beautiful combination of lavender and that gorgeous, smoky Guerlain vanilla. Bergdorf Goodman lists the notes as: Lavender, rosemary, bergamot, rose, fern harmony, tonka bean, woody notes, vanilla, and opoponax. I loved Jicky from the moment I put it on. Despite being the oldest fragrance in continuous production in the world, Jicky feels shockingly modern. It could have been released just last week, if companies were still producing anything even vaguely resembling Jicky’s quality.

Jicky embodies both the joyful innocence of a child and the full-grown sensuality of a woman. Do not wear Jicky around those “men” (more like perpetual frat boys) who believe that a woman “goes downhill” after age 23; its charms will be lost on them. Jicky is for those who appreciate the Joan Collins of the world, who understand that a woman’s sex appeal only grows stronger with the passing of time. After all, Jicky just turned 121, and she’s still putting those nubile Escadas and Aquolinas to shame.

Disclaimer: I tested the EDT formulation of Jicky at Neiman Marcus. Jicky is available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Guerlain boutiques.

Escada Marine Groove

I’m sure I’m not the only one who counts the annual Escada scents among my “guilty pleasure” perfumes. You know, the perfume equivalent of “Valentine’s Day” or “The Bounty Hunter” (or, in my case, Star Wars and/or Trek): unsophisticated, but fun. Escada Rockin’ Rio came out in 2004, when I was a wee middle schooler going through an unfortunate goth phase. Yes, I was that girl lurking outside of Hot Topic. Let us collectively wince, and then move on.

It’s okay. You can laugh.

Anyway, the predominately pineapple tropical drink that is Rockin’ Rio was a ray of sunshine in my $20 black t-shirt world. It’s been six years since Rockin’ Rio was discontinued, and every year I try the new Escada, hoping to recapture the magic. They all have that fun, fruity, vaguely tropical feel, but not a one was ever quite as special as RR. This year’s offering, Marine Groove, is closer to my memory of Rockin’ Rio. The official notes, as listed by the Escada website, are “passionfruit, peony, jasmine and musk.” It really does smell an awful lot like passion fruit, a fruit that freaks me out to no end because of its’ eerie resemblance to larvae. Check up on it:

I told you!

Bottom line: it’s no Rockin’ Rio, but Marine Groove is a pleasant and enjoyable fruity floral. It can be found at Sephora and Nordstrom, and is available in the EDT formulation for $40 for 1 ounce, $52 for 1.7 ounces, and $70 for 3.3 ounces.