A Lemming or A Loser? – Badgley Mischka Eau de Parfum Review

Badgley Mischka EDP

Badgley Mischka Eau de Parfum – Lemming or Loser?

Have you ever been convinced that you would love a perfume before even trying it? The scenario is quite straightforward and goes something like this; you notice a particular review or mention of a perfume on a forum and your interest is piqued, you then scour the blogs for reviews, draining the internet of all information on the particular subject. After you have soaked up as much info as possible you eventually track down and try the perfume for the first time and you fall in love. Or do you?

Like many fellow perfume nerds Luca Turin and Sanchez’s ‘Perfumes The Guide’ is a perfume bible that has created many a lemming (i.e. a fragrance love or lust) for equally a many perfume lover (as well as causing them to shout in frustration at their trashing of some of their favourites) and perhaps the biggest of these olfactory crushes for me was Badgley Mischka Eau de Parfum.

Reading Tania Sanchez’s 5 star review of Badgley Mischka (see below) it’s not hard to see why I was desperate to get my hands on, what promised to be, a beautiful fruit bomb. Everything about it sounded perfect; huge fruit? Check!; Lactonic notes? Check!; Similarities to Angel and Gucci Rush? Double check! I just knew that I had to have a perfume that ticks all these boxes in my life.

“The first time I met Badgley Mischka’s fragrance was in a lab bottle tester at Bergdorf Goodman, a few months before its release. Sprayed on a blotter, the first thing that happened was a big, breathtakingly gorgeous fruity top note, which I promptly decided to forget about, since what doesn’t have a big fruity top note these days? The second time I smelled it, I sprayed it from the real bottle (a set designer’s idea of a classy bottle, with a metal nameplate making it look like an executive paperweight) and was immediately floored by a big, breathtakingly gorgeous fruity top note, with both lushness and freshness, reminding me of juicy edibles at the moment of maximum ripeness before everything goes to brandy – peaches, mangoes, lychees, pineapples – but fruity fragrances aren’t my style, so I moved on. The third time I smelled Badgley Mischka, I sprayed it from a new tester for the purpose of writing about it, and the first thing I noticed was a really big, breathtakingly gorgeous fruity top note, but as I was feeling rather academic, having just been complaining about the prevalence of fruity fragrances, I focused instead on its similarities to Angel or Gucci’s Rush, its lactonic woody drydown that unfortunately thins at the end, talking to LT about a possible link he smelled to Narciso Rodriguez for Her, and so on. The fourth time I sprayed it, It was after I’d written a dry, appreciative review, calm, sensible, and helpful, and it was evening, after dinner, with the lights out; I wanted to smell that big, gorgeous fruity thing again, now that the pressure was over. It rang out, came chorusing up from the skin in great clear peals like church bells on Easter morning, simple and perfect and sure, a message of straight forward good news, and I imagine it’s rather like this when the longsuffering hero looks up at the end of a string of confused romantic disasters only to discover that his longtime friend has all this time been the most beautiful girl in the room, and only familiarity prevented him from seeing it. Time to face the facts and hire a caterer – it’s love”

T.Sanchez – Perfumes The Guide

The Notes

Red Wild Berries, Jasmine, White Peony, Indian Sandalwood and Caramelised Amber

How Does it Smell?

But how does Badgley Mischka smell to me? Is it a lemming or a loser? Well it does open with fruit but to my nose the effect isn’t akin to the “breathtakingly gorgeous fruity top note” that Sanchez (rather wonderfully) banged on about in her review and this is where the disappointment lies. The fruit has a fermented, almost champagne-like quality that is only intensified by a large slug of sparkle and fizz, and does not present any of the promised lushness and ripeness that I hoped it would have.

The opposing forces of milk and caramel form the central core from which all of the fruit and fizz emanates. It could all be tooth-achingly sweet but the bitterness of flowers keeps the caramel firmly in check and makes for a very comforting mid-section that is easily the most attractive part of the fragrance’s development.

In her review Sanchez says that Badgley Mischka “thins” in the base and I can very easily go along with that. The cosiness of the caramel intensifies before trailing off into a vague and astringent woodiness that is accented by an incredibly Gucci Rush-esque plastic patchouli note.

Badgley Mischka Eau de Parfum is most definitely a fragrance that I am on the fence about. I concede that it is very nicely done but I can’t help but feeling that I should like it more than I do and when compared to similar fragrances such as Rush I can’t help but feel like I’d rather have the Gucci.

Is it a lemming or a loser? Hmmm, you’re going to have to give be a bit more time with that one…


It’s quite tricky to find Badgley Mischka EDP here in the UK but keep your eyes peeled on eBay, I picked up a 15ml travel spray for £7!

Image 1 via urun.gittigidiyor.com & hellacosmetique.gr (combined). Notes via Bergdorf Goodman. Quote via Perfumes The A-Z Guide.


19 thoughts on “A Lemming or A Loser? – Badgley Mischka Eau de Parfum Review

  1. I got a bottle of this in a swap. I also had a different idea of what it would smell like based on the review in The Guide. I find the fruit to be more fizzy and fermented too but I’m okay with that because I don’t like fruit salad accord all the time. It’s not fresh fruit and it’s not too sweet. I’ve never smelled Rush so I can’t compare it to that. I will say that the person I swapped with wears the extrait of this and was kind enough to send me a sample of that. The extrait is much richer and fruitier than the EDP. I almost wonder if they reviewed the extrait in The Guide even though it says it’s the EDP. Anyway, I wasn’t sure about the EDP at first either but I gave it time and I like it now.

  2. I had the very same experience! I was so prepared to love this and found a mini on eBay. It was sweet, cloying, and worst of all, ordinary! I should know better, however. I’m not a huge fan of fruit in my perfumes. I tested it once and didn’t care for it so I passed it on.

  3. Yes, you just described me to a T Thomas with my fragrance MO! I can’t list the amount of blind buys I have because there are too many to list, but I remember only one I didn’t like, Bandit. I have spent a shocking amount of money using the research methods you describe ;-)….But thankfully, the vast majority of reviews I have read painted a reasonable portrait of the many scents I have been interested in, so with the one abovementioned exception, I haven’t been disappointed. Normally there are only two words in perfumery that make me lose interest immediately – fruity floral.

    • Oh yes those fruity florals do tend to be bad don’t they? There are a few good ones though!

      It sounds like you enjoy a good blind buy and whilst I don’t do it so much now I must admit that it’s a fun way to do things.

  4. Like you, I *needed* a sample based on Tania Sanchez’s review, but it didn’t move me. I now know better; these days that list of notes might tempt me to smell it if the bottle were right in front of me, but I wouldn’t seek it out.

  5. I bought this based on TS’s review, and wow, did I ever hate it! It completely grossed me out. Ditto with Mauboussin, the original, but I think I got a bottle of that which had been cooked in the European Heat Wave (the big one). The Guide is a fun read, but it is not to be trusted….

  6. Had high hopes for this one too – and I do like it, and I do this it’s a good bit better in the parfum formulation (in the black velveteen box). There’s a more pronounced chypre presence with a stronger oakmoss in the base tempering the sweet and extending the fruit in a more balanced manner well into the drydown. So I gifted the EDP to a friend and bought two 1oz bottles of the parfum. Good deal on Amazon too.

  7. Very late to your conversation but this was a big giant disappointment to me too. Mauboussin is lovely stuff though and if you like fruited ambers give Miss Dior Le Parfum a sniff or Futur. Then again The Guide also says my very loved Must de Cartier is terrible but I completely agree with Tanya’s assessment of Bvlgari pour femme.

  8. Pingback: FAREWELL Badgley Mischka FAREWELL « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

Join the Discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s