Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Honore des Pres - Vamp a NY

I was one of the recent participants in the project involving readers of Grain de Musc blog whereby 100 readers received a sample of Vamp a NY to try and then the option of reporting back on Denyse's blog or linking to their own blog. I've chosen the latter.

Firstly, I should say that I am probably one of the odd ones out in this project, being male. Tuberose is a notoriously difficult note for men to pull off successfully, with its diva-like status; it is heady, floral, and strongly associated with femininity, albeit often in a slightly trampy, slutty fashion. I should say from the outset that I love the smell of tuberose, but not really on me. So why did I participate in this project? Well, firstly, I am a sucker for free samples, and secondly, I am always open to trying new things in perfume and am not afraid of pushing the envelope slightly with regards to the perfume 'gender line'. Just to get the female perception out the way, I let my wife try Vamp a NY. My wife is not a perfume fanatic, but is usually willing to humour me. Her comment after half an hour was: "this smells like frangipani flowers, but God, it's cloying. I don't think I can wear this all day!". Well, as I said, she is not a perfume fanatic.

So what about me? Vamp a NY opens primarily with a sweetish hit of coconut, with a slightly fleshy, green undertone of tuberose. It feels quite tropical to me, but not particularly heavy. We're talking about Olivia Giacobetti here, after all. For some reason the overall tone of Vamp reminds me of reclining in the shade on a beach, this being the shade of lush vegetation on a sand dune. The day is hot and humid, but the scent of cool beach sand surrounds me, my skin bearing the faintest trace of suntan lotion. I know this comes across quite fanciful, but the overriding feel of Vamp to me is of cool, fragrant beach sand. The tuberose note intensifies in the heart, slightly creamy, oily even, but not as lush and heady as one might have expected. There is a tropical feel throughout, of green, fleshy coastal vegetation, not of the sap, but a slight suggestion of humidity. It's quite strange, because despite the tropical, coconut vibe, I feel cool and refreshed wearing this. As we move into the dry down the tuberose is accompanied by some dry woods - perhaps this is the secret balsams they talk about. Every now and then I detect a very slight smokiness, almost incense-like, but it is fleeting.

On paper, the opening was much sweeter, and reminded me of praline or toffee. I know there is meant to be a rum accord, but it felt less boozy to me and more gourmand initially. The creamy notes are accentuated more as well, but after a couple of hours it smelled very similar to what it had on my skin. Although Vamp is composed of entirely natural ingredients, we are told, the longevity is certainly not lacking, unlike some previous fragrances in this line. Vamp lasted through a day and an evening shower on me, which is impressive. I never found the tuberose to be excessively strong, or overbearingly feminine, although I still couldn't see myself wearing this on a regular basis - it is still firmly on the feminine side of the line, but hey, at home, I might indulge from time to time. I think it is a nice take on tuberose, not too heady, well suited to every day use and quite fun really.

Image credit: purplepaperplanes.files.wordpress


  1. I'm so glad to see you got transported to the beach as well. :) And you are right, this manages to infuse some freshness into the whole experience.
    Oh, I do think this one is going to sell famously. :)

  2. Thanks Ines. With the weather we're having in the UK at present I wish I was at a beach today, rather than stuck in an office!



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