Molinard Miss Habanita

Miss Habanita: for the 12 year olds who found Miss Dior Cherie to be an “old lady perfume”.

Miss Habanita is actually very much in the Miss Dior Cherie tradition. Start with a beloved, classic perfume. Decide that this already perfectly good perfume needs a “youthful” makeover. Create a “modern” version that smells like strawberries and has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the original. Discontinue and/or reformulate the hell out of the original. Voila!

Although I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, Miss Habanita is a good deal less sophisticated than Miss Dior Cherie (although I have heard that Miss Dior Cherie has been reformulated recently). While Miss Dior Cherie had at least two different notes (strawberries and something sweet that wasn’t a strawberry), Miss Habanita merely smells like a scented Strawberry Shortcake doll. It’s actually kind of funny, in a way. Molinard has taken our obsession with youth (eye creams, serums, moisturizers made from stem cells … DO YOU HATE YOURSELF YET?? PLEASE HATE YOURSELF SO THAT YOU’LL BUY OUR PRODUCTS) to its logical conclusion. “The wimmenz want to smell young? Fine. Now you can smell like a five year-old. I hope you’re happy.”

That being said, I totally miss that Strawberry Shortcake doll.

Christian Dior Miss Dior Cherie

In many ways, the evolution of the Dior fragrance line mirrors the evolution of its fashion line. Dior’s glory years were during the 1940’s and 50’s, the years of their ultra-feminine, wasp-waisted New Look. The fragrances that Dior put out during that time period, such as Diorissimo or Miss Dior, were intended for elegant, sophisticated New Look women. These days, elegant, sophisticated women no longer appear to be Dior’s target audience. The classic Dior fragrances have been reformulated to all hell, and in their place we have such monuments as Dior Addict 2 and Dior Addict Shine.

However, there are still a few bright spots in the Dior line. We discussed¬†Hypnotic Poison the other day, and now we turn to what is probably currently Dior’s most successful fragrance, Miss Dior Cherie. As you are probably already aware, Miss Dior Cherie bears no resemblance whatsoever to its predecessor (beyond the very cute bottle). It is not particularly elegant, and it is most certainly not sophisticated. It does, however, smell very, very good.

MDC is a vivacious, whimsical strawberry fragrance, with a touch of what must be the lightest jasmine note in all of perfumery. It smells something like strawberry lip gloss, with all of the delightful middle school associations that entails. Although the official notes list musk and “caramelized popcorn”, you really won’t find much beyond that very sweet strawberry note. Additionally, I want to commend Dior for hiring Sofia Coppola to create the cutest ad campaign of all time. So much more charming than all of those “sexy sex sexity sex” ads out there.

Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau

Mother Nature, who apparently feels pretty bad about that whole Snowmaggedon thing, has decided to bless Maryland with absolutely fabulous weather. It’s 70 degrees, the sun is shining, and that most glorious of flowers, the purple crocus, heralds the approach of spring. Finally I have the opportunity to break out Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, a recent flanker for the uber-popular Miss Dior Cherie. For some of us (me me me me me), the original Miss Dior Cherie was akin to a screaming toddler whose face is covered in ice cream- a gooey, overly sweet mess. These folks will be pleased to know that MDC L’Eau bears absolutely no resemblance to its predecessor (or to Miss Dior, but I was pretty sure that went without saying).

The official list of notes provided by Sephora claims that MDC L’Eau contains strawberry leaves, pink jasmine, caramelized popcorn, strawberry sorbet, and patchouli. This is rather bizarre, considering that MDC L’Eau does not smell like any of these things. MDC L’Eau opens with a citrusy top note and segues into a very delicate gardenia note, which then mingles with a light musk. MDC L’Eau can be thought of as a more feminine take on the traditional cologne.¬†It has a refreshing quality that reminds me of my favorite flavor of gatorade, the light blue Glacier Freeze. There’s something very Easter-y about MDC L’Eau. It’s as if the perfumer created it using pastel colors, as opposed to the neon pink of original MDC.

Now, a word about cost, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. MDC L’Eau is available at Sephora in only one size, 3.4 ounces, for $82. Trust me, you’re gonna need that larger size, because MDC L’Eau has no lasting power whatsoever. Earth to Dior: those Marc Jacobs splashes have similarly poor lasting power, but they come in TEN ounce bottles for $68. Because I find the price outrageous, it is unlikely that I would ever purchase this. I will just have to sigh over what a truly pretty fragrance this is.

Disclaimer: I have sampled MDC L’Eau many times at Sephora.