Back to Coralina. The name suggested something beachy and tropical, but this couldn't be further from reality. This Oscar de la Renta perfume is a rich spring floral that offers heady fully-opened blossoms surrounded by sharp greenery, encapsulated in a veil of sweet powder (or alternatively, a cloud of thick yellow pollen, as suggested by a dear friend). The star of this show is mimosa. Lots and lots of mimosa, and yes, it's definitely giving the impression of yellow flowers, piles of yellow taffeta, and the brilliant sunshine of the first beautiful warm day of the year.
Floating around in Coralina are various green leaves and stems: violet leaf and galbanum that's so crunchy green and sharp that at first I could have sworn I smelled tagetes. Maybe there is some marigold in the mix, or perhaps it's just a phantom note created by the bright colors and bitter galbanum. It all rests on a powder puff full of orris that dries down slightly musky and very satisfying.
I probably shouldn't, since Coralina has a good classic sillage and reasonable longevity, but I tend to spray it vigorously and then some. This is an extrovert perfumy fragrance, slightly bosomy, even. Is it the next best thing to an Oscar de la Renta gown? Probably not, but I'll take it all the same.
Notes: Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Violet Leaf Absolute, Mimosa, Galbanum, Orris Absolute.
Coralina by Osacr de la Renta ($150, 100ml) is available from Oscar de la Renta boutiques and on the designer's website. However, it has started showing up from various online discounters, so Google is your friend.
Photo: Abbey Lee Kershaw by Lachlan Bailey for Vogue China, May 2012