Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Coralina by Oscar de la Renta (Essential Luxuries Line)

My first order of business was trying to find out who or what is Coralina. It's a lovely name for either a perfume or an orange tabby, but I was interested in its source and inspiration. Google was of very limited help here, though, so my best guess is that the name refers to Isla Coralina, a teeny tiny island that's part of Islas del Rosario, a small archipelago off the coast of Colombia. There's nothing much on this glorified rock other than a boutique hotel and a glitzy night club, so I can't be sure that Coralina the perfume has anything to do with that, but several other fragrances in the Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries line are named after faraway places (Granada and Sargasso), while the other ones are Mi Corazon and Oriental Lace. The names navigate the space between sentimental kitsch and the gorgeous romance  of the late de la Renta aesthetics, and the reason you haven't seen these perfumes at Macy's is that they belong to the more limited collection  that was launched in 2012 exclusively for Oscar de la Renta's boutiques (for a higher price than the main line).

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


  1. Love yellow. Sadly, can't wear it as a color, but as a perfume? Yes. And this one sounds like something I'm very much in the mood for. Must try.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful description of this fragrance. I love floral scents especially when they lean towards yellow and green notes. I have looked for Coralina at the shops without success. Now I feel motivated to continue my pursuit. I have fond memories of the old Oscar, so "an extrovert perfumy fragrance, slightly bosomy, even" sounds wonderful.

  3. I have a good feeling about this - jumped online and got a tester for some extra discount. Yellow is a favorite color of mine so it will be fun to see if there is some synesthesia in this, plus I have learned from your blog that mimosa and galbanum work very well for me.

    Bloomington, IN

  4. Do you know if Alberto Morillas was involved in Coralina or is it only attributable to Oscar de la Renta?


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget