Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dolce & Gabbana L'Imperatrice Eau de Toilette

RRP: £39/100ml

--What does the promo say?--
"L''Impératrice opens with top notes of rhubarb, red currant and juicy kiwi accord. Fresh watermelon accord in the heart of the fragrance creates a mouth-watering concoction that is then offset by the drama of pink cyclamen for an exhilarating fragrance sensation. The musky notes, sandalwood and grapefruit wood in the base notes are boisterous, brilliant and incredibly addictive."

I just had a small vial sample of this, so can't comment on the real deal, but the pale pink seems quite ordinary and the outside of the spray bottle almost too minimalistic. However, as a collection the pastel colours harmonise beautifully, with each scent in the Anthology series (which comprises four fragrances for men and four for women) having a different colour, ranging from slate to green, passing through pinks, corals and yellows on the way. In a way, you arguably expect more for the money, but in another sense, if it means the company has spent money on the product rather than on its packaging, then so much the better.

Spritz on pressure points and perhaps through hair for all-over impact.

A clear liquid with no glitter or colourants; no visible residue is therefore left on skin.

--Texture and consistency--
No irritation was experienced while using this product.

The first thing to hit you is the fruit, but it's not overly sugary and definitely not cheap (as some reviewers have derided it for being); it's completely authentic and nothing about it makes you feel like it's been synthetically put together, which means that someone somewhere has done an excellent job. However, I'd say that all of the fruits mentioned fuse together in such a way that you can only tells that each of them is there if you really think about it; none of them stand out individually over the other, making for a truly harmonious creation. If I were to think really hard and had to choose one, I'd say that the redcurrant notes were the most obvious. The muskier and woodier notes mentioned in the promotional material are barely evident. It's therefore more on the fruity and enthusiastic side rather than being yielding, without (at the same time) being overbearing or lacking in subtlety.

Definitely not an all-day fragrance; by 4pm it had worn off, so expect to have to reapply at least once or twice during the day.

--Value for money--
I reckon that Dolce and Gabbana have pitched this at a good price point, with brands such as Kenzo, Givenchy, Guerlain and Hermes also selling their 100ml eaux de toilette for this amount of money. It's a small price to pay to buy into a real designer brand and for a high-quality, delightful fragrance that's suitable for all ages of women. It's just a shame there are no companion products (such as shower foam or body lotion) to go with this - but perhaps they're working on that. Either way, I would splash out on the whole bottle in future.

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