Bubblegum Chic – Honoré des Prés Vamp À N.Y. Perfume Review

Bubble Gum

Bubblegum Chic

Tuberose, tuberose, tuberose, the narcotic Queen of the Night. The erotic, sensationalist flower with a reputation for stealing many a heart and corrupting many a virgin. My love of tuberose is pretty well documented (please see The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose) and I’m pretty much happy to try any fragrance that lists it as a note. I was however, slightly sceptical of Vamp À N.Y., but lots of positive reviews and a sample that was very kindly donated by Ines of All I Am – A Redhead led me to try it.

“This is extreme, never lived before, French couture… addictive, sophisticated and futuristic” [2]

Vamp À N.Y. is part of Honoré des Prés’ ‘We love NY’ collection created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. The Honoré des Prés line prides itself on having perfumes that are “100% natural origin – 100% botanical ingredients – 100% engaged.”[1] I don’t know about you but I’m not entirely fussed about whether a perfume is all natural or not, the art of perfumery, in my eyes, requires a large palette of natural and ‘synthetic’ ingredients. But that’s beside the point, Vamp À N.Y., whether it is natural, synthetic or otherwise, is a very interesting take on my favourite flower.

Vamp À N.Y.

The Notes

Top: Tuberose and Rum
Heart: Bourbon Vanilla
Base: Benzoin, Tolu Balsam and Peru Balsam [2]

How Does it Smell?

Vamp À N.Y. is very different from the Tuberose Queens such as Carnal Flower, Fracas and Tuberéuse Criminelle. Vamp À N.Y. is more of a Tuberose Princess, more innocent than the Queens but still with a sense of danger and seduction. She is to tuberose what Vero Profumo’s Kiki is to lavender.

Vamp À N.Y. opens with fresh fruity notes, a contrast of sweet pear and tart rhubarb. The fruits are blended with sweet rum, which actually feels relatively mute within the composition, it’s there to add a sweet alcoholic hue to the fruit rather than stand out front and centre for all to see.

The tuberose comes through pretty quickly and is wonderfully hot, green and peppery with a cool mentholated edge. It is fleshy, camphorous and rubbery, just as it should be. I think that tuberose is at its best when it is allowed to show off its tropical facets, like a rare bird displaying its exotic coloured plumage, and in Vamp À N.Y. the tuberose is beautifully tropical.

The best part of Vamp À N.Y. is the bubblegum. As the fruits develop they become richer, jammier and rosy just like bubblegum. As you can imagine, the blend of tuberose and bubblegum is simply heavenly and it gives Vamp À N.Y. a sense of kitsch-ness, fun and naughtiness. It’s cutesy but without being saccharine or sickly.

Tuberose/bubblegum form the core of the fragrance and this accord stays dominant for the majority of its development. As Vamp À N.Y. dries down the tuberose softens, losing its menthol and indolic nuances, and is joined by fuzzy, warm and sweet benzoin. I love benzoin, it adds a cuddly texture a fragrance and it works really well with floral notes. The benzoin and tuberose is then joined by vanilla and there are few things more pleasing to the nose than benzoin, tuberose and vanilla.

The tenacity of the tuberose is quite remarkable in Vamp À N.Y., it doesn’t fizzle out quickly, it holds strong. In the extreme dry down, all that is left is a sweet soft vanilla which isn’t bad at all, I just find myself re-applying for all of that tuberose and bubblegum fun.

I really enjoy wearing Vamp À N.Y. (silly name BTW, it’s not vampish in the slightest), it manages to strike the right balance between bubblegum silliness and serious perfumery. Yes it’s kitsch and fun but it’s also exceptionally well made and it is a new take on tuberose. Now I just need to get a bottle!

The BottleVamp À N.Y.

Vamp À N.Y. comes housed within a simple bottle that itself is housed within a New York Style takeaway coffee cup.

The packaging is simple, quirky and presumably recyclable.

It’s refreshing to see new packaging ideas in an industry filled with dull boxes. The coffee cup adds to Vamp À N.Y.’s kitsch-ness.


Vamp À N.Y. is available in 50ml Eau de Parfum for £69


[1] [2] & [3] honoredespres.com

Image 1 booksie.com
Image 2 1000fragrances.blogspot.com
Image 3 ecocentric.fr