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Naomi Campbell Mystery Eau de Parfum

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1 Review

Brand: Naomi Campbell / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Parfum / Gender: for women

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      03.09.2010 23:56
      Very helpful



      Miss Campbell will be remembered more for the blood diamond scandal than her 'Mystery' flop

      Launched: 2003
      Group: Oriental woody


      A long time ago I got a sample of Mystery with a purchase on Ebay and took it with me when I went to Corsica last week as I don't take perfume bottles when I'm away. Being discontinued and described as an oriental woody fragrance, it sounded right up my alley though of course I had a reservation or two about it - mass produced and celebrity marketed fragrances rarely hit the high quality button as they are made up of cheap, synthetic raw materials.


      My sample shows a slender, cylindric bottle with a bluish tint, very standard and isn't particularly decorative, it's more like a body spray type bottle that's made of glass. Mystery possibly comes in the simplest packaging compared to the other 12 fragrances released under the Naomi Campbell label since 1999.


      Top notes: galbanum, bergamot, bitter orange

      Galbanum? Are you having a laugh? Not a bit to my nose, luckily, as it would have been an insult to those classic green chypre fragrances that actually have real galbanum used as a top note to impart a complex, layered, grassy and dark 'green' feel to the fragrance.

      Completely ignoring the description, Mystery opens with a fruity, sweet and somewhat woody and peachy Mirabelle note, a yellow plum that's actually in season now so that may be where my association is coming from. There's also a darker, patchouli-like note that adds a darker, more oriental feel, only a hint of it though.

      Middle notes: plum, hibiscus

      The compostion gradually sweetens and after about 10 minutes it becomes almost ridiculously sweet to be called an oriental. Sugar syrup would be more apt for this phase with a tiny kick of fruit.

      I didn't get a lot of in the way of the supposedly there hibiscus and I love its tangy, wild-rose like odour in Chopard Madness, here there were absolutely no florals present for me.

      I also detected a light and soapy - woody note that I identified as sandalwood, but oh no, it's not the actual, rich and natural extract but a cheap, synthetic one buried in the sugar feast. This second phase altogether lasted for an hour.

      Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, benjoin, cedar

      As it disappeared so quickly, I re-applied a couple of more drops from the vial and let it settle again. Well, this time the base notes did come through. The drydown smelled of bitter almond, like a deep, insense-like but sweet woody substance which stayed on my skin for about two hours. Then it became a more vanillic, nutty-ambery sweet oriental base that was pleasant but generic, lifeless and quite banal to be honest.

      ~ CONCLUSION ~

      Mystery isn't a perfume; it's a mixture of aromachemicals hastily thrown together in some perumer's alcohol ready to be shipped to the masses. It's dominated by an ingredient called Iso E Super, an aromachemical that seems to be doing the rounds in a number of modern and especially celecbrity marketed woody oriental fragrances like Halle Berry Halle, Hilary Duff With Love and Mystery.

      Iso E Super is a synthetic fixative that has a sweet, creamy and woody cedar-like scent and is meant to act as a skeleton to give structure and deepness to oriental compositions. It's surely useful in moderation and I don't mind its presence in round and complex fragrances e.g. Feminité du Bois or the more modern Trussardi Inside, but it becomes quite tedious when it's used as a joker note and substitutes everything else that's meant to be in the fragrance but isn't.

      To sum up, Mystery is another modern sweet woody-oriental with an artificial and synthetic dark edge to it if you spray enough to suffocate on. No danger of it causing serious harm though: it's gone in two hours tops. It's utterly forgettable and unwearable due its appalling staying power which doesn't surprise me. You can't make a fragrance with fillers alone and no substance. May Mystery rest in peace and never resurrected.


      Being discontinued Mystery is only available occasionally from eBay UK sellers. You can currently buy 4 x 1.2ml samples for £2.99 + postage or get it from ebay US where it's more readily available from fragrance discounters.

      Thanks for reading.

      ©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk


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