Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture, 2006

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(images, Juicy Couture’s contribution to contemporary culture: the blingy track-suit)

Perfumer Harry Frémont

This used to be one of the department store guilty pleasures for me. Made me feel like I was slumming it with a little girly, trashy fun. Good god, I can’t believe I fell for the marketing. From the colors to the images to the bottle itself, Juicy Couture is a virtual koan on low-echelon luxury marketing. Another instance of a blind-spot I’ve  trained myself to have with perfume marketing: trashy bottle + trashy marketing = bad perfume. Forget that it looks oddly mid-1980s Madonna-aspirational. Forget that it’s from a company called without wit or sarcasm Juicy Couture. Just smell it.

Many tuberose perfumes play with the objectionable parts of the flower: Fracas’s skank, Tubereuse Criminelle’s gasoline, A Travers le Miroir’s mothballs. Juicy Couture does the reverse and lacquers the tuberose in transparent sweetness. Nicely polished ‘pretty’should be the perfume equivalent of the classic noncommittal non-descriptor: nice. But this stuff is wonderful.

Tuberose, without the baggage of its grimy undercurrents, reads as almost tropical in the topnotes. The fruit, you might call it bubble gum but I’ll call it tutti-frutti, doesn’t really last that long, but while it’s there gives hints of the fruity sweet flowers like ylang ylang and honeysuckle. Less fruit than flowers that imply their own sweetness. After the top fades, though, Juicy Couture pares down to a clean, musky tuberose with an acetone-sweet edge

The topnotes are a bit of well-constructed if programmatic frilly fun, but the heartnotes are quietly persuasive. There’s not a lot of progression from this point through drydown, but it holds up very nicely and keeps its balance with apparent ease.

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