And how does Vivienne herself feel about the name? According to her, it was her third husband, Andreas Kronthaler, who prompted her to christen the fragrance “Let it Rock”, since it was the name of the shop where it all started. And even though she, by her own admission, no longer has any interest in ‘that scene’, for her it still remains a period in her life filled with glamour...
My first impressions of Let it Rock were extremely favorable, I do, however, have to admit that what I experienced that day, was more likely the effect of Let it Rock layered with something else I must have been wearing. At least that is the only logical explanation I can give, for the impression that I get from the scent now that I have my own sample vial, is radically different from the impression I got then. Most strikingly, that original sampling led me to think that Let it Rock has an incense accord, when clearly (and sadly), it doesn’t. Fortunately though, my subsequent experience with this fragrance was not entirely anticlimactic. Even though I can’t say I like this one as much as the previous Vivienne Westwood fragrances, it is a good scent. The opening is very intense and packs a quite masculine punch. The rather generic citrusy freshness, most commonly associated with department store male scents to my nose, is soon softened up by a sweet, candied note. At this point, I cannot claim I am much enamored by the combination - as a matter of fact, my stomach protests quite the opposite. Soon, however, the scent quietly unfolds, revealing a more specific, mellower sweetness, smelling of sugared mandarin orange rinds. Just like the real rind of the fruit, the scent combines the fruity sweetness with a tart bitterness that takes you by surprise. The floral scent of freesias adds to the citrusy freshness and the darker, sweeter scent of violets lends depth. A dry, woody accord that is present throughout the scent’s development, antagonizes the sweetness and successfully manages to keep it from getting cloying. Even though the almost Mediterranean spirit of Let it Rock’s opening does not manage to impress me as much as I had originally hoped it would, what is really lovely and definitely worth waiting for, is its drydown: a heart of shy, clean patchouli wrapped in darkness. A deep ambery accord surrounds the patchouli, dark and beautiful, like a supple cloak that allows glimpses of it every so often, while the sweet scent of vanilla wafts from its folds, mingled with soft musk and gentle animalic undertones. The result is not only comforting, but interesting as well.
Images: Vintage Westwood t-shirts from the original Let it Rock boutique, www.vam.ac.uk
The SEX Boutique storefront, www.wikipedia.org
Chrissie Hynde, Vivienne Westwood and Jordan back in the day, www.punk77.co.uk
Vivienne Westwood shoes – image author's own, shot from the cover of “Shoes: A History From Sandals to Sneakers”.