Celebrity fragrances (or ‘celebuscents’ as I like to call them) are so often the scorn of the perfume industry. Mainly because most are simply extra vehicles for our dear ‘celebrities’, a term which must be used loosely for a lot of the stars releasing perfumes these days, to make extra cash. After all, what’s easier than putting your name on a bottle of something you’ve had little involvement in creating?
But not all celebrities are in it for a quick buck and over the years we’ve seen a number of good celebuscents join the foray. Etat Libre d’Orange’s collaborations with the weird and wonderful Tilda Swinton and Rossy de Palma are notable examples, Madonna’s Truth or Dare was nicely done and even Britney Spears’ Fantasy has a degree of merit to it (I dare you to disagree that it is the perfect fruity floral cupcake scent). And then of course there is Dita Von Teese – the antidote to the world of naff celebrity scents and Dr. C. Perfume Boy is prescribing two big doses today.
Dita came to the rescue with her first perfume ‘Dita Von Teese‘ (sometimes referred to as ‘Femme Totale’) in 2012, a perfectly decent floral-patchouli affair that puts most of its contemporaries to shame. We shouldn’t be surprised though, as Dita is known for exuding glamour and style, and her perfumes certainly follow suit. This year sees the launch of Dita’s third and fourth perfumes – FleurTeese and Erotique, both of which show the Queen of Burlesque’s passion for fragrance
Rose Petals, Pepper, Coriander, Bulgarian Rose, Leather, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar and Gaic Wood
How Does it Smell?
Of her inspiration for Erotique, Dita says she “had this visual of this gorgeous rose bouquet held by a leather gloved hand” and that’s exactly what she has bottled with this perfume. Erotique is a perfume with a touch of raunch, a hint of glamour and most importantly – a sense of humour. It is a scent that positively cackles as it dons it’s leather gloves and perfectly represents the power of carnal sexuality, but at no point does it feel sexy in a calculated way – it’s more naughty, fetishistic and fun.
Erotique opens with a wave of spice, namely cumin, which rather than adding its usual facet of sweat bodies, smells dry and dusty like golden sands. Pepper and coriander add a savoury sense of warmth and fizz, accentuating the rich spice of the top notes. What’s especially interesting in the opening stages is that there is little to counteract or balance the dry quality of the spices, creating a sense of something parched, arid and sunbaked.
In the base, Erotique displays rich stripes of woods. Sandalwood and gaic wood are the main players, each playing up their spicy, spiky facets leaving little room for the plush, creamy tones usually associated with such materials. The leather continues to crack the whip right through to the far dry down and creates a soft bed for which the other notes can rest upon before finishing their shenanigans.
Erotique is a truly exceptional celebrity fragrance. It harks back to the raunchy scents of the early 20th century but presents the style in a contemporary style. It’s a sexual fragrance that has all the right parts to make for something truly outrageous (spice, leather and woods) but a measured dose of restraint and proportion stops it short of becoming confrontational or challenging.
Bravo, Dita for creating a perfume that defies the celebrity scent convention and dares to be different!
Casablanca Lily, Sambac Jasmine, Bergamot, Purple Lilac, Iris, Heliotrope, Sandalwood, Cedar Wood and Musk
How Does it Smell?
In terms of olfactory signature FleurTeese is the antithesis of Erotique. It doesn’t speak of sexy lingerie and ruffled sheets but it is similar to its raunchier sister in the sense that it is, once again, a very nicely put together celebrity fragrance that doesn’t follow the trend of spray-on cough syrup that so many others do.
FleurTeese is a rich and creamy floral with a bite. As far as florals go it sits somewhere neatly in the category of old-fashioned, cosy floral fragrances such as Houbigant’s Quelques Fleurs, with a hefty enough doses of quality musk and aldehydes to make it more 1950’s housewife than soapy drugstore mess.
Up top FleurTeese is all white and purple flowers tinged with the fresh tartness of bergamot. Things are suitably zingy for a decent period of time before the full lushness of the flowers come through. Creamy lilacs, green hints of jasmine and the sweetness of violets are all delicately folded into a velvety bouquet that feels abstract enough to work as a big, buxom perfume, rather than a snapshot of nature.
FleurTeese softens to a base of plush sandalwood with hints of greenery. Everything is loud and lifted right through the scent’s development and despite the fact that it is an Eau de Toilette, FleurTeese is surprisingly tenacious with good staying power. It’s not a fragrance that I think I would reach for on a regular basis but whenever one is in the mood for a big creamy and fragrant bouquet of spring flowers, FleurTeese is difficult to beat.
Both Erotique Eau de Parfum and FleurTeese Eau de Toilette are available in 20ml (€30 & €13.50 respectively) and 40ml sizes (€22.50 & €50 respectively).
Fleur Teese sample sourced myself. Erotique sample provided by PR. Image 1 via PR and press release (collage of two images). Notes and quotes via press release.