Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moschino by Moschino : Perfume Review

Franco Moschino, the charismatic, ‘ragazzo’ wild boy of Italian fashion, launched Moschino Couture in 1983 and took the fashion world by storm with his wild, provocative designs. He very quickly became known for his iconoclastic, sometimes cocky style, which earned him notoriety among fellow designers and at the same time delighted the public and press who simply couldn’t get enough of his shows. Moschino dared, with laughter as his strongest weapon, to poke fun, spoof and satirize already established ideas in the couture world, which led to a number of lawsuits. Chanel for example sued Moschino for his famous t-shirt, which depicted a television set and read “Channel No.5”. Other famous designs which show his humorous nature and interest in pop culture include his slogan “Ready to Where?”, his Minnie-Mouse dresses, his dinner suits with fork and knife appliqués, his jackets with the words “Expensive Jacket” emblazoned on the back and his blazers which had buttons in the form of windmills. The bottle of the 1995 Moschino fragrance bearing the name of the cheaper prêt-a-porter line Cheap and Chic too pays homage to his fascination with pop culture and whimsical designs, being in the shape of Olive Oyl. Unfortunately, Franco Moschino died an untimely death in 1994, at the age of just 44. The fashion house lives on and I am pleased to report that the direction is still definitively Moschino, especially when it comes to the delightful shoes that drive shoe-holics like myself to dig deep each time, in order to have the latest crazy design. I wish I could say that I am as impressed by the house’s fragrant offerings: it seems that they have taken a turn for the worse through the years, mainly catering to a very limited, youthful demographic with floral-fruity releases such as I love love, L'Eau Cheap and Chic and Funny! (nothing funny about that).

There is a true gem in the Moschino fragrance line however, and that is the homonymous, first fragrance release of the house: Moschino, which launched in 1987, four years after the house was established. Moschino is a beautiful Oriental odalisque, very much in the same spirit as Shalimar and Must de Cartier. (in fact its scent is very much reminiscent of both, so if you do not like Shalimar and Must there is little chance you will find this as wonderful as I do...) It starts out with a rich, thick, almost oily plunge into a world of voluptuous indulgence, a dark room where gold brocade and russet silk shine under the light of a single candle. There is a slight dryness in the opening, acting like a guard that struggles to keep the true sweetness of the fragrance at bay, but soon it is overwhelmed and the sweet, full body of the scent emerges, like a naked but oh-so-ripe Venus, surrounded by whorls of pure darkness. This is a gorgeous oriental indeed, which is all about seduction, adult seduction in fact, without a hint of innocence. The enduring theme throughout the development is vanilla, which forms the powerful flirtatious core. Up top, it is spicy, deceptively dry but soon, as mentioned above, it shows its true character. The carnation prolongs the spiciness for a while longer in the middle notes, but it soon wilts under the pressure of jasmine and ylang ylang which steadily help the dark vanilla become stronger and stronger with their narcotic nature. Then suddenly, all the flowers are muted: the vanilla has finally become irresistible, having shed all pretences. It is now surrounded by strong, ambery-balsamic accents, dancing barefoot on the richest sandalwood. Even though it is not mentioned in the official notes, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a generous amount of opoponax in the blend, hugging everything with its velvety, resinous, lulling scent. Finally, the composition is completed and made absolutely perfect by the smoky, tobacco-like tendrils that keep rising to the top throughout the development. Absolutely darkly erotic!

Images: www.kitmeout.com, Flickr (originally uploaded by Muli Koppel), www.Zappos.com


12 comments:

PinstripedZebra said...

Another wonderfull review! I just love the way you describe a fragrance.

The picture of Moschino is just fantastic, I really wonder what it would have been like to have a conversation with him.

//Z

Divina said...

Z, I agree with you! What a terrible loss that he died so young :(

Anita said...

I was so excited when I saw you were reviewing this, and your descriptions are just perfect. I love this scent. For these cold winter days, I spritz once on my chest before I get dressed, and all day it wafts up about my neck but others don't really smell it. Moschino is similar to another 80s big winter oriental I love, Obsession, but M has less bergamot in the opening and a softer drydown. It's as warming and delicious as hot chai; you captured it exactly. Thank you! :)

Divina said...

Thank you so much, Anita! :) It is indeed warming and delicious and the drydown is just masterful! Can you believe I don't remember what the female Obsession smells like? I don't like the male version so I've always shied away from smelling the female one as well. Now after your comment I feel inspired to go out and sniff it!

perfumeshrine said...

Dear D,

I share with you the deep appreciation of his satirical approach on fashion. Thanks for bringing it up just now when there is so much pretence in those circles.
I always thought Moschino the original fragrance was the little sister of Shalimar: there is a clear connection as you wisely understood.

BTW, the women's Obsession is not that different from the men's: a round amber with some more floral element in there. But I think the men's is a superior composition overall...(OK, OK, I know you hate it! LOL)

italiangirl said...

Divina, I have to try this fragrance after your blog and your readers comments!!!
my sons name is Franco, so that just makes me want to try it even more.. btw.. i love love is fantabulous!!! it reminds me of light blue ..
thank you!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the wonderful review - i love this one, too. it was a bit of a surprise to find something so good when i bought it unsniffed at tjmaxx. the only other one in the line i like is the happy citrus one - in the orange and blue - is it oh! de moschino? it has such a joyous take on citrus and then a very good drydown.

italian girl said...

Hi Anonymous, I believe you are referring to "i love love" that is the one i really enjoy also..i cannot believe they seel Moshino at TjMaxx.. i am going to have to check it out.thx

Divina said...

Hey Helg! I am glad you feel similarly about this one! Speaking of the male obsession - I think it used to be more pungent in the past, or is it just me?

Divina said...

Italian Girl, dearest, I hope you love this one! Your son has a lovely name by they way :)

Divina said...

Anon, I clearly have to revisit I love love. Thank you both for the recommendation!

Raynold said...

It's a nice stuff..... too got some nice fragrances at Sephora.