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
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.