Saturday, June 2, 2007

Initial by Boucheron : Perfume Review

I am always impressed with the way Boucheron explores their jeweler’s heritage in their perfume bottle designs, a tradition which begun with the launch of Boucheron Femme in 1988, with a gorgeous, ring-shaped flacon. Jaipur, launched in 1994, is yet another example of this tradition. The bottle, shaped like a beautiful bracelet, inspired the most evocative advertising campaigns - still emblazoned in my mind more than a decade later. It took me years to start loving pearls, but even so, when Initial was launched in 2000, in a bottle shaped like a teardrop pearl charm, I just had to smell it. Pearls... Iridescent, soft, elegant, lustrous... All the things I wanted Initial to smell like. I made a wish, despite the fact that I find most Boucheron perfumes much too overwhelming, with very few exceptions. My hopes were high. What’s in a bottle? I wanted opalescent rain on my skin; I wanted the snow of the winter fairy in my hair, red berries on my lips and musk on my collarbone. I was served disappointment instead.

The first whiff of Initial is promising, living up to what the flacon leads one to expect. Soft talcum powder, a baby’s soft skin takes me by surprise. I am used to smelling powder in the drydown and this innovative turn of events is very welcome, engaging my interest as I marvel at the ability of the originally powdery, soapy scent to bloom into something spicier and spicier. Tangy citrus shavings follow, warming up on the skin and confusing me once again as they enhance the premature appearance of a wood accord. My confusion leads me to follow this development with interest, even though I already know I’ve been fooled by clever design once again. As soon as this thought strikes me, the mask falls. Where has the creamy, sensual innocence of pearls gone? My senses try to adjust to the fact that all the sheer beauty of musky, powdery tangerine is rapidly being swallowed by an effusively gilded golden whale, swimming in an ocean of overwhelmingly flowery patchouli. The shy hints of sweetness have transformed in a syrupy, toothsome extravaganza. Demented Oompa-Loompas are slathering lashings of honey on delicate flower petals that can but wilt under the immense weight and warmth of the sticky goop. I need to run away, but as though in a bad dream, I am continuously engaged in conversation by an imaginary president of the Parent-Teacher Association. Initial is having no trouble masking the mothball-scent exuding from her woolen clothes and she is invariably wearing pearls. I’ll just have to wash her off.

Pictures courtesy of and


Arhianrad said...

"effusively gilded golden whale"

lol, I love that!

Divina said...

I'm afraid it was no exageration either :P

tmp00 said...

Very witty- and accurate. I've found that most Boucherons tend to redefine "over-the-top"

Divina said...

Yup! I am always taken in by the campaign though! I am always eager to smell them.. (I have it right now with Miss Boucheron even!)

Jenavira13 said...

Don't bother Miss Boucheron; very boring. Glad to know I am not the only one who was utterly let down by Initial. This scent turned into a scrubber on me, becoming musty cedary and way too sweet. I like you keep thinking I will find a Boucheron that will work. My pearl fragrance of choice is Sage Machado's Pearl; lovely creamy musk which is so bizarrely unique and yet simple, very addictive.

chayaruchama said...

What a scrubber, huh ?
Trouble is nice, though- but I don't need a bottle.

I love the mothball reference.
[If that isn't the 'kiss of death', I don't know what is...!]

Divina said...

LOL! Kiss of death indeed!!! :D