Quick impressions: MADONNA PERFUME, Bronze Goddess Capri, Austin perfume shopping news

Long title, short post.

Confession time: I love the mall. I really, really friggin’ love the mall.

There are months where I go to the mall to smell sniffies pretty much every weekend. Then I’ll go two months without making a run, but that’s about as long as I’ll go. I’m lucky to live basically across the street from a “good mall.” This mall (the Domain) has a Macy’s, Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, Perfumania (I think that’s what it is), and a few local boutiques that carry perfume. So it’s not a bad place. Between those and the Austin Saks, which is also nearby, I have access to most if not all of the mainstream US fragrance release. (There is a Nordstorm in Austin, but it’s on the other side of the city, so I hardly ever get there – not to fear though, “good mall” is supposed to get a Nordie’s soon.)

Truthfully, I don’t spend much money at the mall these days – I just love the experience of strolling through. So here are the results of my latest mall run. CAVEAT: These are quick impressions, not scents I have tested multiple times or spent a lot of time thinking about.

Everyone who pays attention to perfume is probably aware that Madonna has a new perfume, called Truth or Dare. I prefer to refer to it as MADONNA PERFUME. MADONNA PERFUME was hyped as a sexy tuberose fragrance with a sugar caramel twist. That’s about right. The early returns for MADONNA PERFUME seem to be positive – particularly as celebrity fragrance goes. When I first put on MADONNA PERFUME, honestly I was a tad disappointed. The tuberose note is… not the best. But, tuberose is one of my favorite notes, and I’m pretty familiar with some top-level tuberose perfumes. However, as MADONNA PERFUME dries down into its caramel sugar tuberose phase, it becomes quite likeable and fun. I’m sniffing this now and thinking, I could actually wear this. If I had an unlimited perfume budget or a teenage girl to gift perfume to, I might plunk down change for it. Barring that, MADONNA PERFUME is not going to get my money. So, it’s not bad; I hope MADONNA PERFUME does well. It’s certainly far better than the other celeb fragrances (Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna) on offer at Macy’s right now. Although I don’t think it’s even my favorite celebrity perfume of 2012 so far – I think I rather prefer Kate Walsh’s Billonaire Boyfriend. And it’s not even my favorite candy-tuberose out there: I really love Honoré des Prés Vamp à NY and would buy a bottle of that long before I buy MADONNA PERFUME. Finally: MADONNA PERFUME’s bottle has been controversial – chalk me up as liking it, though it looks a bit cheaper in person than it did in the ads.

I sprayed the new Estee Lauder flanker Bronze Goddess Capri on my other arm. I love Estee Lauder perfume and makeup; I own a bottle of the original Bronze Goddess, which I think is a superb perfume. Sadly, I thought last year’s flanker Bronze Goddess Soleil was dreck. Wan, citrus-soda dreck (and I love citrus, so…). Bronze Goddess Capri is maybe better than dreck, and has more character than Bronze Goddess Soleil, but it’s kind of weird to me as a summer flanker – it doesn’t strike me as a particularly summery perfume. It smells very synthetic, which I don’t really mean in a bad way – it just smells like an imaginary scent, not really anything in nature. I really enjoyed Victoria’s review of this one, but I don’t think I enjoy even as much as she did. I don’t really smell any of the nice citrus or green notes she mentioned, just intense vanilla musk, sort of a “solar” or skin scent vanilla musk, not a candied one. Maybe there’s a dollop of fake-y jasmine in there, but it’s rather buried. Perhaps I’m missing something here – I honestly wonder if there’s something I’m not smelling in this composition. Of course, as often happens with things you don’t like, projection for Bronze Goddess Capri seems to be well above average. I’m sitting here wishing I’d put on one of the Gucci Flora flankers instead of this. Bummer.

Finally, sad news about Austin fragrance shopping: I had been yapping all over the place about this new-ish store in the good mall, Atelier 1105. They were carrying several niche fragrance lines, including Santa Maria Novella, Parfums d’Orsay, and Caron (with urns!!!), as well as some high end home fragrance. Well, Atelier 1105 appears to be no more. It looked like they left in a hurry – the store was completely stripped and there was no paper over the windows, even. The close must have been quite sudden: I had recommended that NST reader 50_Roses stop by there during her visit to to Austin, and she visited them only a few weekends ago. The store’s website makes no mention of the closure. I’m a little hopeful that they’re just moving shop, but I’m also doubtful that’s the case – I imagine they had a lot of money tied up in the stock they were carrying. Plus, they seemed to have overly grand ambitions (including plans for a European antiquing vacation???) and a bit of an unclear focus for the boutique, though I had been hopeful they would pull through. It’s pretty sad, because I had been thinking of saving up for some Nuit de Noel in extrait, especially because I wanted to support a local business – and I had already purchased my fiancé a bottle of Caron’s Le 3eme Homme there for Valentine’s Day. It’s really a shame – given Austin’s emphasis on weirdness and local business and niche interests, you’d there’d be a place for a really robust local perfume store that caters to perfume fans… Sadface.

Other new-ish things spotted at the mall: Roberto Cavalli for Her, Nine West Love Fury, Gucci Flora Garden flankers.

Later this weekend I’ll be posting my first set of Sweet Anthem wedding favor reviews.