I wasn't feeling much enthusiasm as stepped into the Kate Spade boutique at my local mall to ask for a sample of the new Kate Spade fragrance, Live Colorfully. The display was dominated by pink and coral, and the vague generic scent of the whole thing could be smelled outside the strong. But I went in and sprayed my wrist with Live Colorfully while a bored-looking sales associate went to dig for a sample showing as much excitement as I was feeling. I couldn't smell much until the parking lot. The Husband sniffed my wrist and made a face, but I could tell that I wasn't hating this little thing. As a matter of fact I thought it was better than I expected.
As expected, Live Colorfully is of the fresh, sparkling, and ultra-floral variety. It's based around a fun tropical gardenia that has been scrubbed clean of any earth, cheese and decay that make gardenias an interesting and complex fragrance note. Instead we get juicy green stems, a burst of something pink, an abstract idea of water lilies and gardenias, and some really-not-bad coconut water.
The green stems are pretty nice, but there's so little development there that I'm left with a lingering taste of chewed and regurgitated leaves and end up getting annoyed with it. The same goes for the vague gardenia: it's pleasant and not demanding, so for a while I enjoy smelling pretty oh so pretty. And clean. And fresh. But eventually, as the pinkness just sits there and doesn't do anything to and with my skin I get tired of the whole thing, only to discover that Kate Spade Live Colorfully is impossible to scrub. Just when I start to fear that I'm doomed to live colorfully forever and ever, the majority of the green and flowers go away and leave me with a nice vanilla flavored coconut water and a sweet(ish) musk. It's less colorful and has a somewhat more living-breathing quality that allows me to reflect back on what I've been smelling and decide that the whole thing is not for me, but I won't object to smelling Living Colorfully on other people here and there, which I'm pretty sure I would. This perfume has the potential to be a best seller.
I always think of Kate Spade as the slightly more urban version of Lily Pulitzer. I have a pretty Kate Spade umbrella (excellent quality, by the way), but that's as far as I go with the brand. So, obviously, I'm not the target customer Poppy King (of Lipstick Queen fame) who consults the powers-that-be at Kate Spade on creating their fragrance and beauty line, had in mind. Live Colorfully is a happy pink floral musk with the It Note of the season, gardenia, and a touch of the tropics to brighten up the days of office dwellers everywhere. While the longevity of this fragrance is nuclear, the sillage is moderate and as long as one doesn't spray her head off it will not fumigate the entire open space (two spritzes in the morning last well past dinnertime).
Notes: mandarin, pink water lily, star anise, tiare, gardenia, coconut water, amber, musk and vanilla.
Kate Spade New York- Live Colorfully ($75, 1.7 EDP) is available from select department stores as well as at Kate Spade boutiques where I also saw smaller roll-on bottles.
Top image from Vogue March 1943 via Conde Nast Archive.