Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Donna Karan- Woman

 In her 2012 review of Donna Karan Woman on NST, Robin discusses the trend of marketing a fragrance for women by talking about its masculine notes. I don't know if this approach is a trickle down from what we call "niche" perfumery or just a way to differentiate Donna Karan Woman from lychee concoction in polka dotted bottles, but whatever. It's still amusing that this was the one point the Donna Karan team decided to stress when talking about the actual juice which they named Woman. Oh, and that the bottle design looks like a hand vac. I have no idea what's up with that.

It doesn't matter. Donna Karan Woman is a really nice fragrance that should be judged for what it is, a chic and gender-neutral perfume that smells very abstract and modern. The most dominant note from top to bottom is orange blossom. Synthetic orange blossom that's a bit too squeaky clean  for my personal taste, but there's just enough headiness and drama to keep it interesting.

Only two other notes are listed for Woman: vetiver and sandalwood. The vetiver is also scrubbed clean, so there's no earthiness or fire to be found. The sandalwood has a vague creamy wood presence that provides smoothness without stealing the show. I would have liked more character and warmth and less generic musk, but obviously we're on a budget here. After all, Donna Karan Woman was composed by perfumer Anne Flipo for the department store/Sephora market, but it doesn't smell cheap or juvenile. It's a fragrance I'd buy for a young woman who just got her first real job after college and is about to embark on a fabulous new life in her new city apartment. The choice of Christy Turlington, Liya Kebede, and Karolina Kurkova as the faces of the fragrance was both intentional and smart.  They're glamorous in a sophisticated and slightly understated way, which I guess is also true to Woman. The perfume smells good. It's well-dressed, well-behaved, has a good and solid sillage and an all-day longevity (that musk lasts forever). Things are sweeter and quite seductive on skin level, especially after six hours of wear, so I guess it goes from day to night. Kind of like a Donna Karan design.

Donna Karan- Woman ($85, 1.7oz EDP) is available from most department stores as well as at Sephora.

Top photo: Donna Karan Fall 2013 fashion campaign.

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