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Group: Oriental spicy
Over the years I have explored many fragrances and some notes I have avoided wearing before such as violet and leather have really grown on me. Woman has both notes and when I heard of the almost cult status this fragrance has achieved amongst perfumistas, I hunted down a 40ml bottle of it on Ebay.
Launched as part of Sonia Rykiel daughter's lingerie line that included sex toys as well, the golden studded black cap, the glass bottle striped in black and the outer box aren't by chance but a subtle reference to BDSM. Yes, those French can get away with everything! The design is certainly original and gives an overall modern and sensual feel in a sort of a loud and provocative way.
Top notes: pink pepper, violet, date
The first opening notes are sweet, juicy and loud with a prominent sugary date offset by a touch of sparkling and nose-tinkling aromatic pepper. I quite like the balance as the super sweet dates would have overwhelmed the composition and made it cloying. Some minutes later, I can feel powdery violet too, the sort found in modern fragrances but luckily here it's not the overdone, boiled sweets type of note but a lighter, gentler jammy-kind.
Heart notes: rose, jasmine, sunflower, pepper
About 15 minutes later the fragrance has lost some of its fruity and jammy sweetness and develops a definitely fuller and rounder character. A darker, spicier pepper joins in which together with the violet create a powdery, creamy but also vibrant and sparkling accord. The sweet, jammy rose stays in the background and its role is to lighten up the powerful powdery and peppery feel and make the perfume easy to wear.
About an hour or two into the heart I notice a presence of leather mingling within the peppery rose and violet combo adding another, deeper and darker dimension to the fragrance. This is a soft, powdery leather note you get when sniffing into a leather pouch or handbag or the smell on your leather jacket that's been sprayed with a sweet, powdery floral fragrance.
It isn't the dirty, tarry classic leather as in Cuir de Russie or the smoky one in Habanita or even the vegetal, autumn leaves type in Donna Karan EDP. In Woman the leather is reminiscent of someone wearing a leather garment scented with their perfume. The result is a cosy and warm fragrance that also has something deep, unusual and original about it.
The leathery accord has a lovely, steady sillage for about 6 - 7 hours and I love feeling its warmth as well as its relative freshness due to the still present pepper. The florals do lift the composition so altogether the result is a well-balanced, powdery floral scent with a leathery edge.
Base notes: olibanum, leather, musk, amber, agarwood
Finally, about 8 hours later, the scent dries down a subtle, ambery and vanillic skin scent where an almost non-sweet but accented powdery vanilla and amber are the most dominant elements to my nose. It isn't foody vanilla but an impression of soft talcum powder mixed with a tiny hint of earthiness, lovely and soft.
I cannot report on the olibanum (frankincense) or agarwood also known as oud, they must be at pretty low concentration as the dominant vanillic amber cancels them out. The base is rather low profile as the leather has previously disappeared though I can still detect it on my clothes even the following day where it's more like an amber with a creamy rose and leather accent.
I'm not giving Woman a full five stars as it's not an elaborated, complex landmark piece like those revisited classics such as Habanita and Donna Karan EDP which are truly a leather experience to have if you're into the genre. Woman is an easygoing, modern juice that's luckily layered enough to be interesting but never becomes too dense or dirty in the slightest.
I recommend if you're looking for a powdery rose violet with a leathery twist (a distant and largely tamed nod to now discontinued Vivienne Westwood's Anglomania) that is subtle and comfortable to wear. My Woman EDP definitely spices up my autumn mornings before going to work (no innuendos please, it's not what I meant!) and lasts all day so I'm happy to have it in my collection.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Woman Eau de Parfum is available from time to time on ebay / Amazon or online beauty discounters such as cheapperfume.co.uk. usually starting around £20 - £25 / 40ml Eau de Parfum or £35 - £40 / 75ml Eau de Parfum. Make sure you get the EDP with the black box and not the flankers (EDT or Hot!) as they are different.
©powdered by lillybee also posted on diao.co.uk