Thursday, December 4, 2008

Look by Vera Wang : Perfume Review

The super stylish (oh, I love how she dresses!) Vera Wang might be best known for her bridalwear, but this is not just a bridal designer who dabbles in perfume. Infinitely creative, she also channels her talents in eveningwear, ready-to-wear, underwear, footwear, eyewear, jewelry, china and crystal, silver and gifts, fine papers and mattresses (!). This prolific, sensitive and artistic New Yorker has a new fragrance out and it’s called Look, a name that’s not only cool but also far edgier than all of Wang’s previous perfume namesakes, which were highly romantic with names such as Bouquet and Sheer Veil.

“It’s a spirit and style that’s absolutely original and comes from within. It’s an attitude, an elusive accessory. It’s that indefinable quality of self-expression that creates a look and sets a woman apart. I’ve always said if I could bottle it, I would… and now I have.”

That is a bold and inspirational quote indeed, but before we take a look at how the juice itself measures up, can we take a minute to savor the absolutely fabulous ads? I am completely in love with the styling of the shoot and I was taken with the images from the moment I laid eyes on them. I think they perfectly capture the spirit of ready-to-wear fashion and are very now. In fact, it has been a very, very long time since I last felt so motivated to try out a perfume solely because I found the ads so captivating. I adore how the frothy texture of the dress combines with the silver nails and the fantabulous jewelry that makes me think of modern Lanvin and Balmain.

But on to the fragrance itself: First of all, I find it peculiar that Look is launched right now, since it is very much a warm weather scent to my nose, and unsurprisingly, I found I liked it far better in the warmth of my house, than when I first tried it outside at the department store (it’s snowing here!). My first impressions were not all that positive, as the opening seems very typical department store scent: Fresh and mystifyingly unidentifiable. Once the first alcohol blast dissipates however, the scent turns far more pleasant, presenting a very clear, crystalline image of juicy green apple, tingled with the sappy, sticky juice of greens. The spark of mandarin-rind oils lends warmth as well as a certain spiciness to the blend. Admirably, it is all done without a hint of sweetness; In fact, Look is very much a bitter perfume, something I find very pleasing indeed. The heart floral notes (jasmine, freesia and lily) are not particularly realistic and I have to say I cannot detect any of jasmine’s heady, deep, warm qualities. The abstract floral notes are embraced by a dry, completely unsweetened berry scent. If I had to put my finger on it, I’d definitely have to say it reminds me of pomegranate. I have written before here on Fragrance Bouquet about how much I enjoy a dusty feel that certain perfumes tend to have, and this is exactly what I like most about Look. As the heart develops, a beautifully dry, dusty accord manifests through the freshness of the florals, and definitely keeps my interest, making me return to the scented patch of skin to explore it again and again. Bizarrely, it is through this dusty scent that I start detecting the first hints of sweetness during the drydown stage. Sweet vanilla and patchouli, soft and unassuming, begin to emerge, like droplets of sweet rain bringing comfort to a particularly dry day.

Look is incredibly tenacious and will last for a good eight to ten hours. Sillage is moderate, making this a work appropriate scent too. It might not be a Guerlain or Lutens masterpiece, but I definitely think this is a good new department store scent. Refreshing and wearable for all ages, this is a good everyday modern scent. The bitter vein running through it lends sophistication, appeal and thoughtfulness to an otherwise mostly fresh composition.


The Daily Connoisseur said...

I love the ads too- there is something modern and fresh and yet vintage about them too...

This is the second good review I've read about Look- now I must seek it out!

Divina said...

Daily dear, if you like fresh scents this one will probably please.