Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance
Ralph Lauren describes this scent as being “a provocative accessory of modern glamour”. The inspiration includes those amazing sirens of Old Hollywood including Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall. This fragrance was created by Olivier Gillotin (nose behind such amazing scents as 10 Corso Como and Tom Ford Private Blends Tobacco Vanille and less than amazing Ed Hardy and Mariah Carey scents) and launched in 2008. This spicy oriental caught my attention for the Old Hollywood references and glamorous Laetitia Casta ads. I wish I could say that it was what I wanted it to be. It isn’t Old Hollywood glamorous to me. If you want Old Hollywood glamour stick with a classic Guerlain or something Piguet Fracas. Ralph Lauren Notorious isn’t bad, it just isn’t Notorious.
Notorious opens up as a sweet floral, not a candy sweet fragrance bust just a sweet, to me, “modern” floral. It reminds me of other department store and Victoria’s Secret fragrances. It is slightly spicy with generic pink peppercorn but this spice isn’t that overwhelming. It plays nicely with the spiciness of carnation. The sweetness comes from black currant, so it is fruity. This scent is chocolaty but not like a Comptoir Sud Pacifique or other crazy for Coco Puffs scents. This one seriously smells like a chocolate-peony. What is this? Well, it is chocolate cosmsos, a beautiful and breath-taking cosmos that smells like if a Strawberry Shortcake doll was in your flower garden. I’m still looking for a lipstick shade that resembles chocolate cosmos. Anyways, back to the fragrance. It is slightly vanilla/chocolatey, it is much more floral. It really does stay in the peony and carnation mode for some time but with a little more “vanilla orchid”, a certain sweetness like that. This floral stays strong for some time. I must say that Notorious is a long-lasting fragrance. The dry down never shakes it floralness but it does “chill out” with some woods. The woods aren’t overly “oriental” woods. They are soft, warm, and have orris root powdery sweetness. Despite the sweetness, the orris/iris makes it very fresh and crisp. I didn’t know “oriental woods” could have a fresh dry-down. And somehow manage to have choco-vanilla sweetness? It’s strange, but I do like the dry-down. It is an interesting perception of “freshness”.
This scent does smell a bit grown-up in comparison to other Ralph Lauren fragrances. It doesn’t smell like it was launched for middle school students. I don’t find it overly grown-up either. I really do feel like the market was the 35-50-ish crowd that doesn’t wear “classic” fragrances. This is a nice change from other mainstream perfume releases.
Notes listed include: chocolate cosmos, black currant, pink peppercorn, bergamot, white frost peony, carnation, patchouli, musk, vanilla, and iris.
It isn’t that I don’t like this one. I just find it boring and I have many more fragrances in my fragrance wardrobe that make me feel like a sultry film noir screen siren. As far as a Ralph Lauren fragrance, this would be one of my picks since I hate Blue and Ralph. Like I said, it isn’t notorious. It’s just something that I forget about. I would say to give this one a try if you like Missoni EDP, Vera Wang Princess, Bath and Body Works Vanilla Noir, Calvin Klein Secret Obsession , Sarah Jessica Parker Covet, Van Cleef & Arpels Lys Carmen, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Hot, and/or Bvlgari Blv Notte.
UPDATE: Perfume has been discontinued but can still be found at discounters like Perfume.com. If this is something you like, snag it up while you still can!