Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume
There has been a lot of excitement and hype around Arizona because it’s Proenza Schouler’s first fragrance release. It’s been three years in the making (L’Oreal signed a licensing agreement in 2015). The brand has had a laid-back “it” appeal and worn by cool “it” girls like Rooney Mara. I feel like fashion folks were excited to see what a brand like Proenza Schouler would launch. Personally, I was happy to see the American Southwest be an inspiration for such a mainstream designer fragrance. But, ultimately, it’s a designer fragrance backed by L’Oreal so I wasn’t that optimistic.¹
The opening of Arizona is citrus blossoms with a salty cotton candy accord that reminds me of what’s in Mugler Womanity. There’s also an unexpected aquatic quality and generic “red berries” (neither are notes that are listed). Then it’s a fruity orange blossom meets iris. I’m loving this stage but on me, it’s fairly short lived. The heart is like dewy white florals and iris. It’s abstract but still recognizable. In that sense, it reminds me of a Georgia O’Keefe‘s simplified close-ups of flowers. It wears as this abstract, transparent floral for most of the wear. It’s like creamy white florals and salty skin. The dry-down is also abstract. But, this time it is powdery, like orris root and a diffusive amber. It’s definitely the sort of Cashmeran that is in Mugler Alien, but this time it’s a bit more iris-y.
For a fragrance inspired by a landlocked state and the desert, this perfume is surprisingly ozonic/dewy and borderline aquatic. With the white florals, saltiness and warm musk, it’s a very “beachy” fragrance to me. It’s like a sea breeze over warm sand and warm bodies covered in old school white floral tanning oil (think like Bain de Soleil).
Overall, I find Arizona to be a rather pleasing and conventionally pretty fragrance. However, it does seem like it’s created by L’Oreal. In a sense, it smells generic and like any designer brand’s name could have been slapped on it. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable in my opinion, but it may be disappointing for those that follow the brand more closely than I do.
Notes listed include orris, cactus blossom, jasmine, orange flower, solar accord, musk and cashmeran. Launched in 2018.
Give Arizona a try if you like the idea of a radiant white floral paired with iris. Or perfumes like Jo Malone London Nashi Blossom, Mugler Womanity (especially the summer flankers), Paco Rabanne Olympea (its flankers too), Maison Martin Margiela REPLICA Beach Walk and/or Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail. I think Arizona is a smart choice for summer or for when you want to be reminded of summer.
Projection and longevity are average.
Arizona comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $100 at Saks. There are bath/body products available too. I’m so curious about the dry-oil.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Beachy white florals, salt and a breeze. Arizona is one of those perfumes that I’d probably wear if I had it because it does smell pretty and I don’t have to “think” about it. However, I already own stuff like Mugler Alien Flora Futura and Womanity. Yes, those are different, but I feel like I have the modern, abstract white floral base already covered.
¹I promise I’m not a snob! I’m just saying that a lot of designer perfumes play it safe because ultimately they sign away a license and it’s up to a bigger business to launch whatever and market it.
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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from FeelUnique. Marlene Clark circa 1970 pic from indiewire.com. Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!