It's easy to be a little bitter when it comes to Fendi's recently launched perfume, Fan di Fendi. In early 2009 LMVH (Fendi's owner) did away with what remained of the Fendi perfume line after the most beloved perfumes of the brand, Theorema and Fendi by Fendi have already been axed some years before. It felt like the end of an era despite hints from the corporation that it might only be a temporary hiatus. And, indeed, last year a new perfume under the Fendi name came to be. Fan di Fendi was first launched in Europe last September and is now being introduced to the American luxury consumer.
Fendi is still an interesting brand. They make lovely shoes and the art director is Karl Lagerfeld who also shot the new ad campaign for the fashion line. So why does the perfume ad (above) looks like soft porn (the image I chose for the top of this review is from the Harrods launch and not officially part of the campaign)? And why are the top notes loaded with fruit notes such as pear, blackcurrant and tangerine? I doubt Uncle Karl approves of grown women smelling like fruit punch.
Thankfully, the most dominant part of Fan di Fendi's opening is tangerine and not pear. It's so citrusy sweet, actually, that for a brief moment of happiness I though someone there actually pays homage to Theorema. But that's hardly the case, despite the very yellow feel of this perfume. Fan di Fendi is more floral and not spicy. It's quite pleasant and when I first gave it a full wearing I thought I also got a hint of mimosa, but the more time I spent with it the less so it appears, so I guess it's just a very round, honeyed and sunny jasmine.
The disappointment is in the dry-down. We were promised a soft leather accord which made me hope for Fendi's leather good smell. What I get is a very musky and somewhat wimpy not-quite-but-maybe suede. Fan di Fendi is as mainstream as they come. Nice but forgettable and not quite the big statement declared in the press release:
FENDI re-launches their fragrance house with Fan di Fendi. This amazing new scent is inspired by Rome and encompasses everything that Fendi is known for. From the "Forever Fendi" buckle on the bottle to the luxurious scent, this is a statement fragrance.
Fan di Fendi is friendly, wearable and would probably get that "fresh" label by SAs at the counters as they present it to potential customers who are most likely going to buy it. Because, really, what's the alternative? Whatever by Gucci and So Boring by Valentino?
Top Notes: Pear, blackcurrant accord, tangerine from Calabria and pink peppercorn from Reunion Island
Heart Notes: Damascena rose and yellow jasmine
Base Notes: Soft leather accord and patchouli from Indonesia
Fan di Fendi ($76, 50ml Eau de Parfum. Other sizes and a bunch of body products also available) is exclusive to Saks until September, when it will appear at other department stores. We can take bets how long it's going to take for bottles to start showing up at the discounters. I received a free mini of the EDP as part of a Saks GWP event.
Top image: katiechutzpah.blogspot.com, Fendi porn-like ad from the official press release. And just for fun, here are a couple of photos (by Karl Lagerfeld) from Fendi Fall 2011 campaign, featuring model Anja Rubik (who also appears in the perfume ad) from trendland.net: