Drugstore Divas Week – 2016
This week I’m revisiting popular perfumes available at US drugstores. The sort of perfumes that many of us know but many of us perfume lovers completely ignore.
If I were to survive some sort of post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust situation, I feel there would be very little that I could contribute to rebuild society. When it comes to survival, my skills are rather useless. However, there’s something I have no doubt that I could do. And that’s do cave drawings or even reenactments of all those corny Coty Exclamation commercials with Famke Janssen. In this hypothetical situation, I really could “make a statement without saying a word”.
Everything I have to say about Coty Exclamation, or excuse me Ex`cla-ma`tion, could be said with the same intro that I wrote about in my Dana Navy review. This is one of those perfumes that imprinted itself into my little world at a crucial age. I was brain-washed by a twirling, mute Famke in corny commercials. My older cousins wore it, so this meant that I should want to wear it. The iconic black and white bottle always stood out to me as clever and iconic. Recently, I came across a childhood journal where I actually wrote that when I got older I was going to wear Exclamation, drive a teal Chevy Beretta with a sunroof and never get married or have children. As an adult, I have not done any of those things that Young Victoria desired. Berettas are rightfully out of production. Relationships are complicated. But, today I’m going to honor Young Victoria’s wishes and wear a perfume inspired by a punctuation mark.
Exclamation’s opening is all about the apricots and peaches. It’s lactonic and fruity. The heart is powdery florals with a bit of cedar. Without even looking it up, I could tell that this was done by Sophia Grojsman (Nose of scents like Lancôme Trésor, Boucheron Jaipur, YSL Paris). Other than being the sort of notes she gravitated towards during that era (peaches and roses), it’s this fragrance wears “upside down”. The base notes are prominent from the beginning, even under the stone fruit top notes. The cedar and sweet, powdery amber are always there. The heart is a jammy floral, primarily rose but it does wear like a sugary reduction of flower petals. The base is like a delicate dusting of vanilla talcum powder.
To my surprise, this fragrance is much more enjoyable to wear than I remembered. Like most things, I’m sure it’s been reformulated but in this case, that may be beneficial. I remember the taste of this stuff. I remember thinking it was headache inducing when I tried it again in high school. However, it seems to wear softer and quieter than I remember. Exclamation benefits from a different punctuation market, like a period. I wouldn’t say this perfume smells “expensive” (whatever that means), but I think for the price it’s good¹. Actually, I’ve found myself during this “Drugstore Divas” series, wanting to wear Ex`cla-ma`tion. It’s peachy powderiness is really tickling my fancy right now.
Notes listed include apricot, green notes, peach, bergamot, orris root, jasmine, heliotrope, lily-of-the-valley, rose, sandalwood, amber, cinnamon, musk, vanilla and cedar. Launched in 1988. PERFUMER – Sophia Grojsman²
Give Exclamation a try if you like powdery fragrances. Or if you like perfumes like Lancôme Trésor and its flankers, Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede, Burberry Body, Michael Kors Sexy Amber, By Kilian Flower of Immortality and/or By Kilian Playing with the Devil.
For a cologne, this wears more like an EDP to me. Projection is much softer than I remember. Longevity is about 6-8 hours. One spray is enough or maybe I’m spritzer shy since I lived through this stuff’s initial launch when it was in the hands of all the teenage girls…
The 1.7 oz cologne spray retails for about $12 at most drugstores. It’s available at discounters like Perfume.com too.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Powdery peach amber with jammy roses. So much better than I remember it being and to my surprise, I actually enjoy wearing it. And the bottle is still adorable.
Here’s the commercial if you need to jog your memory. Or I can act it out for you.
¹I like to imagine what it would be like with a bigger budget and the answer is Lancôme Trésor. And with an even bigger budget, it be something like By Kilian Flower of Immortality.
²I’m reviewing something labeled “cologne” that I bought new 5/2016. This is not vintage. After writing this review, I’d like to try a vintage bottle.
Want more reviews? Try…
Fragrantica – Member reviews
Basenotes – Member reviews