When Versace launched their most recent masculine fragrance, Eros, in 2013 I really wanted to like it. Every fibre of my fragrant being hoped for it to be good and before casting my inquisitive nose over the scent, I was encouraged by the terrifically gaudy bottle and over the top, muscle-filled advert, both of which were done in that ridiculous way that only Versace knows how to do. Alas, it was not meant to be and Eros turned out to be a synthetic clash of chemically grown lemon and day old vanilla pudding. It’s pretty terrible to be honest with you and feels genetically modified in a way that is more evocative of Godzilla’s ball sack than the glistening pectorals of an Ancient God. To cut a long story short, I wasn’t a fan.
So when Versace announced the launch of Eros Pour Femme, one would have thought that I’d have learned my lesson and steered well clear. `One would think that I wouldn’t be enticed by the simply fabulous bottle with its gold medusa head, and one would hope that I wasn’t silly enough to think that perhaps, it could be a big old stinky white floral in the manner of Versace’s incredible Blonde. You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? That’s right, I fell hook, line and sinker for the aesthetics of Eros Pour Femme and raised my hopes to an incredibly high level, only rivalled by the time that the time that Madonna performed her new single at the Brits, and we all know how that turned out (disclaimer: I love you, Madonna and bravo for carrying on). I had high hopes for Eros Pour Femme, people, apple pie in the sky hopes and as you’ve probably guessed by now, I was sorely disappointed.
Eros Pour Femme was created by perfumers Alberto Morillas (CK One, Dalí, Iris Prima Mugler Cologne & Opus VII), Olivier Cresp (D&G Light Blue, Juniper Sling and Angel) and Nathalie Lorson (Dita Von Teese & Black Opium) – three incredible perfumers, no less. The striking ad campaign (which does have a degree of the glistening pecs of the original in it, I checked) was shot by fashion photographers Mert & Marcus. Donatalla Versace helmed the project. It would be fair to say that there are some talented people on board the Eros Pour Femme ship, but there’s also a striking lack of ingenuity or anything that remotely resembles innovation, in fact. Eros Pour Femme turns out to be nothing more than an allegory for what the brand now is – not as good as it used to be.
Top: Sicilian Lemon, Calabrian Bergamot and Pomegranate Grains
Heart: Jasmine Sambac Absolute, Peony and Lemon Flower
Base: Ambrox, Sandalwood and Musk
How Does it Smell?
As you may have guessed from the notes list, Eros Pour Femme is not the heady and intoxicating old-school floral that I personally hoped it would be. It is in fact, the complete opposite of that. Eros Pour Femme starts dewy and fresh. The top notes appear as a blend of generically glistening citrus fruits that sparkle and shimmer with both sweetness and freshness. It is painfully pleasant and obviously designed not to offend anyone, other than those that admire a touch of character in their fragrance. In a small nod to the masculine Eros, a touch of crisp apple is thrown in to the top notes, adding to the freshness and providing an orchard-like feel. The likeness stops there.
The main body of Eros Pour Femme is centred on an accord of spring flowers. To my nose the flowers feel very vague. There’s a zesty bright quality that could be jasmine, but it could also be lilac. Something slightly green lurks in the background, evoking hyacinth, or possibly sweet pea. Whatever the specific flowers are in this blend, they are indistinct and instead of evoking an abstract bouquet, which is never a bad thing, they simply come across as bland. Remember, this fragrance is supposed to be an olfactory goddess, therefore it could have been a bold tuberose or a resplendent jasmine – I’d even have accepted a golden orange blossom, but no, Eros Pour Femme fails to deliver anything other than a paint-by-numbers interpretation of flowers.
In the base, Eros Pour Femme becomes even more wishy washy. A thin, airy musk seems to be the dominant player, with a touch of cedar for good measure. And that’s it. Of course, Eros Pour Femme at least smells pleasant, which is more than I can say for the masculine, but it falls into that category of fragrances that are so plain they don’t have the character to be bad. With the boldness of the ad campaign and that stunning bottle taken into consideration, the whole thing feels like a missed opportunity, In summary, Eros pour Femme is a classic case of ‘nice face, shame about the scent’. Versace officially gets a ‘could do better’.
Eros Pour Femme is available in 30ml (£50), 50ml (£70) and 90ml (£95) Eau de Parfum.
Image 1 via bobos.it. Image 2 via fragrantica.com. Notes via Escentual.