Monday, August 23, 2010

La Perla by La Perla (1987)

Victoria's Secret and Agent Provocateur didn't invent the connection between perfume and lingerie brands. Back in 1987 La Perla came out with their eponymous perfume, a pretty floral chypre. It's interesting to note how this perfume genre, once considered ultra sexy and feminine, is now practically obsolete. Between IFRA restrictions and shifting tastes, real chypres are disappearing left and right. It's these older bottles that take one back in time.

The original La Perla belongs on the same virtual shelf with Paloma Picasso and Fendi. It's a product of the same area and shares many similarity with both- from the big sillage to the floral spicy notes. The oakmoss is also quite dominant and detectable from the start, which causes a love or hate reaction. It's almost funny how non-politically correct La Perla and the other perfumes in this group smell. If you wear them you will be noticed, for better and for worse, and someone in the next cubicle might be offended. But you will have so much fun...

Seriously, La Perla is the olfactory equivalent of heavy (and not necessarily natural) eye lashes, a wide patent leather black belt cinching your waist and a good pair of stilettos. It doesn't really flirt because there's no need. A sideways look is all it takes to mesmerize and draw others in. As long as they don't object to spicy roses over a dark and dry patchouli-oakmoss base. While amber and benzoin are listed as notes, don't expect an oriental sweetness. There isn't any any and La Perla is not what we call today "sweet". There's actually and almost soap-incense dryness making it more restrained and far less diva-like than Paloma Picasso and Fendi. Actually, if you dab it carefully you can probably avoid the drama and raised eyebrows at your uncivilized sillage.

La Perla original (aka black cap) EDP is easily available online. Retail price seems to be $65 for 1.7 but discounters offer it for half this price. The bottle has changed over the years and I'd bet money that today's formula is not exactly the same, but I haven't tried it. My own bottle is the short and wide one and is probably from the early 90s.

La Perla lingerie from 1992
La Perla perfume ads from the 1980s and 2004 (bottom one)

1 comment:

  1. great post! i love la perla's charme scent even though i'm not a big fragrance fan at all! the pics look epic, so timeless :)
    sam x


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