Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bijan- DNA (Original 1993 "Vintage" Perfume)

The late Bijan Pakzad was not necessarily known for understated tastefulness (see the designer's house), and neither was his first perfume, Bijan. It's interesting to note the difference between the 1980s flower and amber extravaganza and the 1993 release, Bijan DNA. The latter is not an icon of minimalism in any way, but it's decidedly not an all out there 80s bomb.

Bijan DNA in its original formula is a velvety spicy perfume with herbal undertones. In theory there's a very floral heart somewhere in the middle, but at least on my skin the only flower that can be clearly identified is carnation, and that's directly related to the use of clove. DNA is warmer and has a better grip on its emotions and reactions than the older Bijan. It feels like a young person emerging from the trials and tribulations of their youth, and learning a little self-control.

Don't mistake Bijan DNA as either a "young" fragrance nor a delicate one. The dry and peppery base is sculpted wood with an exotic infusion of myrrh. The herbal note add crispness and a sharp edge, and there's quite a lot going on there in a very non-linear way, enough so that the young person of today might find DNA overbearing and intimidating.  But for those of us who came of age in the 1980s and reinvented ourselves (perhaps for the first time) in the early 90s, DNA feels a little like going home.

The 1993, despite what one may think, is actually for the women version of Bijan DNA. The bottle you see in the upper right corner is, indeed, the right one (the masculine DNA was dark and opaque). At some point the early 2000s this fragrance was discontinued and replaced with the purple juice in the purple box. The new DNA is an unoriginal white floral, so don't confuse the two. The original DNA is still possible to find on eBay and from some discounters, but you need to verify with the seller that it's the amber-colored perfume in the black and white box. Don't trust stock photos.

Notes: green notes, hyacinth, orange blossom, fruity notes, bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, ylang-ylang, rose, carnation, orchid, orris, heliotrope, muguet, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, vetiver, tonka, moss, cedar, musk.

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