Wednesday, March 18, 2009

fragrance: Ralph Lauren Notorious

My choir is having a formal wear consignment sale this week, so last night I got out all my old dresses from prom, formal dances, recitals, and weddings. It was hard to believe I had so many! One of them in particular stood out: my silver movie star dress.
I wore that dress for a Broadway Revue while I was in college, as well as to a formal for my Christian service organization. That year I sang "Someone Like You" from Jekyl & Hyde if I remember correctly. My mom supplied some sparkly jewelry as always. I always felt so glamorous in that dress! Something about the shape of it made me think of old Hollywood, where the movie stars oozed poise, style, and elegance.
Inspired by memories of that dress, I decided to try out my sample of Ralph Lauren Notorious. Ralph Lauren's website desribes it as:
"The provocative accessory of modern glamour -- Ralph Lauren Notorious, the fragrance that silently commands the attention of the room. An addictive sparkling spiced scent designed to captivate with intriguing notes of deep black currant, decadent chocolate cosmos and sensual patchouli musk."
Osmoz describes it as follows:
"The Notorious woman is desirable and magnetic, audacious and voracious. Her smoldering but subtle sexiness creates an air of intrigue and danger, as personified by actresses such as Faye Dunaway, Lauren Bacall or Ingrid Bergman (who played in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Notorious)."
Now I don't by any means claim to have these qualities, but I was hoping the fragrance would capture some of the feel of that dress. It does have an oriental chypre feel to it, but it doesn't hit you over the head like Gucci by Gucci, another modern chypre. To me it is much more subtle.
It starts off with a little burst of citrus, which wafts in and out throughout the dry down. Though I wouldn't have identified it on my own, there's definitely some chocolate in there. Chocolate cosmos is a burgundy flower that actually gives off a scent similar to chocolate and vanilla. Imagine having that in your garden! Maybe men should start giving bouquets of chocolate cosmos for Valentine's Day...
I'm not a big fan of patchouli, but it's pretty tame here, and I think it keeps it from becoming too sweet. It does not smell like a bakery or one of Terry's Chocolate Oranges. Notorious is sophisticated in my opinion, but maybe not as bold as some of the personalities being linked to it.
I like it, but I don't think it's something I would wear with any regularity. It's just not me, though I might wear it if I was going out in the evening...perhaps in a silver dress. As a person who enjoys more gourmand fragrances, I think my friend Jennifer T. would probably appreciate it.

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