The opening of Pure Purple is very candied and fruity – it feels like a little party broke out at the confectionary department. The competition dies down fast: a hit of cherries and bitter almond triumphantly emerge. Not my cup of tea, but a good enough, respectable opening. After the initial gourmand kick, a floral bouquet opens up, slowly muting the almond, while the cherries die a quick and painless death. I cannot pick out any individual flowers – I almost don’t dare to say it, but this feels like a floral soup that is there to give a floral ambience, without quite committing to showcasing the nuances of any single bloom. Are they really there? It feels like an elusive strawberry food flavoring...There, recognizable, but not quite real. It doesn’t sparkle, it fails to bloom, it can’t escape its single-dimensionality. What I do manage to smell clearly though, is an underlying woody base with a hint of dangerous masculinity – which is just about the only interesting part of this perfume. The development is altogether too rapid and soon the floral bouquet finds itself overwhelmed by the woods. Still, this is not the type of woody blend I personally like: it is altogether too thick and not particularly evocative of anything. A hint of patch? A touch of sandal? A certain creaminess? Was all this thrown together and mixed with a stick? It feels like it. I, it turn, feel like shrugging... And that, possibly, says it all. This ain’t a scrubber...It doesn’t even have enough character to make me nauseous, it seems, even though the effort is admittedly valiant. I usually double over when assaulted by such a dense blend of woody notes and the peculiarity of the mild, bothersome sweetness throughout should have made this an even more likely reaction, but no, I still just shrugged it off. Unfortunately, my non-reaction is not the worst thing I can report about Pure Purple. No, the worst part is actually the fact that this does not even smell like a perfume to me... It smells like a shower gel! You know the ones: middle range drugstore shower gel, touted as using the qualities of this or that essential oil to relax you or help you reconnect with your sensual side. They usually do nothing of the sort, but they are pleasant enough and strong enough to have the feel of being infused with essential oils. In fact the closest reminder is Palmolive’s Aromatherapy Anti-Stress Shower Gel. So strongly I was reminded of it in fact, that I had to rush upstairs for a side-by-side comparison. Disappointingly, they are not as close as my initial instinct indicated, but close enough, at least in feel. There is a definite kinship there; they share the same feel, if that makes any sense. And that is what I get from Pure Purple in a few words: the scent of a powerfully scented shower gel in spray format. It feels hastily thrown together – a thoughtless composition that is rather murky and lacks any sophistication whatsoever. To be fair though, I’ll have to grudgingly admit that the drydown is surprisingly good. It is not stellar or unique, but it is intensely comforting: A very feminine, dusty oriental that has the feel of a skin-scent with a hint of powder. It is warm and alluring and the murkiness finally lifts, to reveal clean, sensual skin underneath. Very wintry and rather sexy, like something you’d wear when you know your lover is soon going to nuzzle your neck. (Not too soon though, give the damned soup some time to calm down, alright?)
Lastly...Can we deal with the bottle for a second? Why is it practically identical to Lancome’s Hypnose Eau Légère?