Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fragile-Jean Paul Gaultier Review

Don't let the name fool you-this perfume is anything but delicate, and in need of careful handling. This is one hell of a durable fragrance with excellent longevity and a silage that can kick your (and everyone else's) behind if you're not careful with application. Apply very lightly at least until you know how it will work for you.

I'm not obsessed with tuberose. Oh sure, I like Fracas, and I'll happily wear Jardins de Bagatelle, but it isn't a note I seek out. Most of the time it smells like a bandage/plaster on hot skin, on a humid day. It smells like it should itch, or sting, or be slightly wet like a swimsuit in a vinyl bag that's been sitting in a warm car on your way home from the beach. Fragile's tuberose isn't like that, which is a rather nice change. Here, the tuberose is sweet, without that heavy, humid, warmth that typically accompanies the note. I have no idea why it comes across so differently in Fragile than so many other white floral fragrances, but as it is the dominant note, it was a lucky break. If only the Bulgarian rose has the same subtlety.

Fragile smells almost like an entirely different fragrance on skin, and on clothing. On a hankie, Fragile picks up this strange note that smells like dill. It might be the cedar, I can't honestly say, but it is definitely there-and I despise it. Dill is probably my least favourite herb owing to the horrible piss-like scent and the way it hangs in the air long after you've consumed whatever it was cooked in. If I absolutely must use dill I often go for the dill seed as it is less overwhelming than the weed. I can handle strange notes in perfume, but I draw the line at dill. The only possible way I could wear Fragile would be if I made absolutely certain it did not get onto my clothing, and that's just more of an effort than I'm willing to make for a tuberose-based while floral in a gimmicky bottle.

I was gifted the sample bottle of Fragile, and as it didn't cost me anything I've tried to be open-minded about what it has to offer. The tuberose is beautiful-I won't argue that, but the rest of it? Well, there's quite a bit going on there, so let's have a look at the listed notes:

Tuberose, Tunisian orange blossom, jasmine, iris, pink peppercorns, Ylang Ylang, ginger, musk, amber, carnation, tangerine, cedar, cinnamon, star anise,vanilla, bergamot, Bulgarian rose.

Flowers, fruit, spice. What's not to like? Well, all of it, at least combined in this way. It doesn't change much as the time passes, instead offering up most of what Fragile has in the first ten minutes. Yes, the very first spray will get your attention, but once it settles in the tuberose is in charge and everything else is just following along. Every once in a while the cinnamon comes through, but it is a terrible cinnamon-like the new reformulation of Tabu met the disinfectant/fumigant they use to clean the Goodwill. Thrift stores and toilet sanitisers have killed cinnamon notes for me.

You're likely thinking by now that I hated Fragile. I can't say I hate it, but I don't really like it either, and aside from that dill note I can't decide why. There's nowhere to hide once you spray on Fragile, and that applies to the wearer as well as anyone else nearby. Fragile is the shouty person on the bus complaining to no one in particular about whatever has popped into their mind that very moment. GAH! Eek! Screech! That, is how Fragile would behave if it relied on public transport. And like all the rudest people, Fragile is eating a lunch in a crowded car and it came with extra dill pickles.

I know this is a beloved fragrance, more so now that it has been discontinued, but I don't think I can wear it. I can appreciate it, of course and I do think the tuberose is done in an exceptionally nice manner, but this one isn't for me. I have trouble with 90's fragrances, though this one is more polite than many of them. Mercifully, it doesn't reek of hairspray and tinned fruit cocktail (the cheap kind where you never get enough cherries and grapes) but that's not saying much. I can see this being worn effectively by a very young person, but definitely not in warm weather.

I know I will get an earful for saying this, but I think the bottle is stupid. Oh sure, it would be fine for a child, but an adult, spritzing on perfume from a water-globe feels a bit much. Yes, I know Avon had some insane bottles too-but it was Avon. They didn't cost upwards of a hundred dollars. I might not love the Demeter fragrances, but at least I respect their bottles. There's something to be said for simple and elegant.

I still have a good bit of the generous sample left, so perhaps I will give it a few more tries in cooler weather, but unless that dill note disappears, I can't see myself enjoying this one.


Mim said...

I was put off dill for years by a trip to Russia, where it was in ALL the food (apart from the bread). It's not something we eat a lot in the UK, so by the end of the fortnight I just wanted something, anything, that didn't taste of dill. I don't mind it so much now, but I certainly can't imagine wanting it in a perfume.

That bottle sure is pretty, though...

Goody said...

I should mention that my dad was a wholesale food distributor to restaurants, and the like. His main product was pickles, so I suspect growing up with that smell *everywhere* at home (it lingers no matter what you wash the work clothes in) might have something to do with it.

The community garden had large dill plants growing, and each time I walk past I shudder a bit as I smell it warming in the sun.

Bibi said...

Persians use a lot of dill in their cuisine also (by the way 'Persian' is the pc term for non Arab Iranians- just so's you know).
I've not been impressed by any of Gaultier's fragrances- I do like his clothing though.
I'm in Florida now sniffing my way across Dade county with my Aunt Dot. All I can say is most of the newer fragrances I've tried have been 'BLAH'or so similar to one another it's ridiculous.
Aunt Dot dropped a bundle on Cartier's Le Panthere- formerly a gardenia bomb but reformulated to a dull facsimile of it's former self in a stunningly gorgeous bottle(don't tell Aunt Dot I said that).
I splurged on Tihota which Aunt Dot opined was just damned expensive vanilla extract.
Anyhows- I bought a bottle of Michael Kors' Very Hollywood for cheap at Marshall's. It smells like gardenia & champagne with a warm ambery base- I think it's absolutely divine without being cloying as gardenias can be.
Catching up on all the Upper Crust gossip with Aunt Dot also. She's got the smack on everybody from the heiress of the Kleenex fortune to Tiger Wood's ex. Lots of fallout from the Bernie Madoff debacle still- the West Palm Beach Country club's membership is down 30%

Goody said...

Sounds like a nice way to spend your visit to Florida.