Mainstream Monday – Sniffing A Popular Perfume
I’ve never sniffed the original mid-60’s Pucci Vivara fragrance, I’m sure it was beautiful and I won’t/can’t compare the old and the new. Emilio Pucci has openly admitted and embraced the fact that they reformulated Vivara. Vivara does smell very “modern” and “abstract” to me. Pucci Vivara is a fresh floral fragrance in a beautiful bottle.
The “ugly duckling” galbanum has had a makeover. I’ve never sniffed galbanum so mainstreamed and femininized in my life. This actually impresses me and shocks me a little too. Who knew that this weird green note, one of my favorites, could be so darn pretty? It’s like one of those makeover shows, that borders on being offensive and demean the makeover-ee. Pucci took the “weird” galbanum gal in her Doc Martens, black t-shirt, henna dyed hair, and Buddy Holly glasses (I think she’s beautiful) and then they straightened her hair, added “face framing” highlights, took off the glasses and gave her green-eyed contacts, and put her in a hoochie halter dress. She looks good this way too, in a superficial way, but good. However, we know she doesn’t feel herself. What did Pucci do to Galbanum? Well, it’s green and fresh, but it’s made bright with a big ‘ole dose of airy Mediterranean inspired bergamot, watermelon, and citrus blossoms. There is no “weirdness”. It’s abstract Mediterranean florals, but not weird. There’s sweetness, a pretty toasted nuttiness added to these salty-air florals and melon . Galbanum now has to hang out with her BFFs Melon and Amaretto because they make her look better, help her maintain her new fashionable image. Actually, this is interesting but not weird, well a little weird. Vivara is “pretty” and mainstream. The heart is a big “acid green lily” with fruit. When it comes to dry-down, I always forget to notice. I think it’s a orris-vetiver, a slightly powdery “green”. It isn’t bad at all. It is that I don’t notice it because it is faint and fuses seamlessly to my skin.
One of my favorite Nordstrom perfume SAs has tried talking me into buying a bottle for years. She has gave many Pucci Vivara samples. She knows my tastes and I think she has good tastes. She thinks this is one of the best mainstream launches in years, one of her favorite summer perfumes. I appreciate her opinion (and determination) but I still don’t “get” Vivara. I feel like post-makeover Galbanum. I feel pretty but not myself. Damn. I hate that because I really like the looks of the Vivara bottle. (I collect vintage Pucci scarves and lounge wear.)
Notes listed include: galbanum, Italian bergamot, amaretto accord, jasmine, orange flower, narcissus, Florentine iris, vetiver, and Indonesian patchouli. Perfumer – Francois Demachy
Try Vivara if you like “abstract florals” like Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise, Dior J’Adore, i Profumi di Firenze Fiori del Cielo, and/or Vera Wang Bouquet. But, really when I think about it, I can’t think of anything too similar to the new Vivara.
Pucci Vivara is available at Sephora. Prices range from $53 to $94 depending on size.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – The Pucci printed paper weight bottle makes me want it. The perfume isn’t bad at all and I agree with the the Nordstrom SA, this is more interesting that most mainstream launches. It’s abstract and reminds me of Pucci prints. But, I’m not in love with it. I want to be, but I’m not. I felt the same way with EL Beyond Paradise too. It took me many years to “get” it. Maybe the new Vivara will be one of those for me.
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T Magazine (Chandler Burr’s take)