* Prices may differ from that shown
Parisienne is a fairly new (2009) perfume by Yves St Laurent, created by perfumer Sophia Grojsman - the woman who also created YSL Paris back in 1983. This is definitely one for a younger audience, with its not unattractive pastel bottle and clear liquid: technically, Parisienne is in the floral perfume category, but like many modern perfumes it's very sweet and also has definite aspects of sugar and candy. The main reason I tried this is because it was marketed as having a "vinyl accord" (a plastic, completely artificial note in it) and I was eager to see what that would be like from a mainstream perfume company.
The packaging is nice enough, if not that special: a pale mauve box with "YSL" in large purple letters and "Parisienne" in, er, slightly tacky gold lettering over the top. There's a black band around the bottom of the box with "Yves St Laurent" written on it. The bottle is reasonably good but not very inventive - a round, clear glass offering which looks just a little bit like a grenade! The juice inside is the palest mauve, there's a black sticker on the front with "YSL" written on it and the top is gold, concealing a spray.
THE PERFUME ITSELF
Parisienne is all about violets for me. It starts with a lot of alcohol which takes a good 30 seconds to calm down, then once that's cleared, a strong yet watery violet note comes to the forefront - it's not really fresh violet, though, more like artificial Parma Violets, but without any of their powderiness. Imagine that someone has dissolved some Parma Violet sweets in a glass of water, and that's approaching the effect of this perfume at first. The single note continues for a very long time (which is unusual and not all that interesting) before being joined by some sweet fruity berries which smell like blackcurrants. What with the artificial violet going on, the berries don't smell natural either; they're transformed into their sweet or candy forms.
The top notes start to give way to the middle notes after about an hour, and something which might or might not be the "vinyl accord" appears - a sort of faint plastic tang briefly replaces the berries underneath the violet, then is just as quickly gone. If I'm honest, the middle notes are underwhelming, just sitting there without doing much or developing, just doing the same artificial violet thing that was happening in the top notes. Plus, the middle notes seem to go on forever - the base notes don't appear for another 2 hours.
When they do come, however, Parisienne livens up a little bit with some white florals appearing and finally taking over from the violet which, if I'm honest, is starting to get really quite sickly. The white florals don't give it any depth, nor does the hint of vanilla which appears at this point; it just stays watery and liquid right up till the end. Overall, the scent probably lasts for about 5 hours, and the sillage isn't bad (I kept getting wafts of it as I moved around, but it wasn't choking or overpowering).
I really like violets, and I'm intrigued by scents which have plasticky, artificial or otherwise weird notes - although I don't like it per se, I am fascinated by Bandit and I'm keen on Bulgari Black, so I'm open to invention and experimentation in perfume. So, given all that, I'm forced to conclude that the problem with Parisienne is that there wasn't any experimentation - the vinyl note, if there was one, was so fleeting that one could argue it lacked the courage to stick around! Not only this, but it was such a disappointingly one-note perfume that I just couldn't bring myself to wear it and get bored all over again, and as I've said, I'm speaking as a fan of violet scents.
It's definitely one for younger women - probably teenagers, actually, as it's incredibly light and a bit flat. It never develops into anything dark or complex, so it might be good for a warmer day. My pet hate in perfume is sweetness turning into soft vanilla, and it certainly doesn't do that, so I suppose it has taken a slightly different direction to most modern perfumes; it's also not cheap smelling or specifically nasty...just uninspired and irritatingly uncomplicated. I wouldn't be averse to smelling it on someone else, nor do I think it's horrible, but if you're going to give it a try then I advise that you make sure you and everyone else around you really, really like violets before you commit to five hours smelling like the Parma Violets factory!
Also, I don't know what this has got to do with Paris. But then, the adverts featuring Kate Moss writhing around in the back of a taxi weren't all that Parisian either - but you can't call a perfume "Blackpool" and expect it to sell, can you? Frankly, both the ad campaign and this perfume are just not classy, angular, intriguing or sexy enough to be really Parisian. Sorry, YSL. Better luck next time.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Parisienne is still relatively new, so it's easy to find in most places: anywhere with a YSL concession, airport duty-free is a good bet or there's always trusty Boots, which stocks three sizes: £69.45 for 90ml EDP, £49.02 for 50ml EDP and £35.75 for 30ml EDP.
If there is one thing I love to buy every so often as a little treat to myself it is a perfume but I do also love to receive it as a gift. The latest gift I was given by a friend of mine was Yves Saint Laurent 'Parisienne'. It is not a perfume I had ever had the chance to try but I had seen the ad campaigns for it in magazines. I have not really got many YSL perfumes but to be given one as a gift seemed very nice and I just hoped that I liked the smell of it.
The main thing I always like about a perfume is its overall look, meaning the bottle and the box it comes in. The bottle is one which is quite pretty, it is oval shaped and has a gold lid with the brand name engraved into it. The perfume liquid is a purple, lilac colour so it shows through the bottle very easily as it is clear glass. The box for this perfume is very similar to the bottle colouring, it is a lilac box with the YSL logo on the front in gold and it just has some major details such as the perfume size and so on.
On first spray of this as of course I had no idea what the notes for this were this perfume seemed very floral to me. I do like a hint of floral but too much of it can put me off as it is too much and it has a light soapy smell to it as well. I was a bit annoyed as on smelling this and hardly spraying a lot of it this just seemed to be too heavily floral for my tastes and just isn't the kind of scent I normally like. The whole look of the perfume seemed so pretty but I just like something fresher and sweeter.
The official notes of this perfume begin with base notes of Damascus rose, violet, peony, cranberry, patchouli, vetiver, musk and sandalwood. The scent also contains urban and bold aromas of vinyl and lacquer. It does sound pretty much like an overall blend of the florals but on reading it I thought it wouldn't be too much for me. Don't get me wrong, if you love a very flowery, soapy scented smell then this is just for you as it is very feminine and maybe it's just on me that I don't like this.
As for the other major factors you need to know about a perfume, it doesn't need a lot of sprays at all. I'd say it is more of a daytime feminine perfume, something more spicy or rich would be appropriate for night wear. This perfume I sprayed two times and it stayed on me for most of the day. I could always smell it lightly and never needed too much but from a good brand like YSL I really wouldn't expect any less.
This perfume being Yves Saint Laurent is never going to be the cheapest but being the festive season, there are always good deals and gifts to be had. The price of the 30ml the smallest is £35 and it is on Boots.com so that is its RRP. The 50ml bottle costs £48 and lastly the 90ml costs £68 which does start to get slightly expensive. Boots also have a gift set with 30ml perfume and the 50ml body lotion and shower gel for £35 which isn't bad as its the same as the 30ml on its own would cost and you get two other items.
If you want a slight discount then Strawberrynet are giving free delivery and are charging £33.50 for the 30ml, £47.50 for the 50ml which isn't much saving at all but on the 90ml it is £62.50 so you are saving £5.50 which is more of a noticeable difference. Lastly, if you want it cheaper I always suggest browsing eBay as there are lots of bargains to be had, even if it means buying one that someone has sprayed twice for a fraction of the price.
I recommend heading to your local perfume counter and spraying this or asking for a sample as a lot come in at this time of year. You can go to http://ysl-parisienne.com/en the official fragrance website where you will be faced with Kate Moss's ad campaign and further promotional details on Parisienne.
Yves Saint Laurent YSL Parisienne Perfume; has a rich floral centre of Damask rose, paired with a powdery violet and sharp vinyl note that gives Parisienne its deliciously seductive edge / It begins with cranberry, peony and blackberry and has a rich base of amber, cedar, musk and a hint of vanilla, for a provocative and sensual end.