Saturday, October 07, 2017

Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet-Review

Strangely enough, this fragrance does evoke the spirit of Ultraviolet. No idea if she ever wore it, but there's something very Ultraviolet about Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet with respect to originality. 

I suppose it makes sense to start with the violets, though I must say the note comes across more green than powdery. I've seen reviews that bang on about how powdery Ultraviolet is and I just don't understand it. Sure, you get a bit of softness, but it is a long way from something like Yardley April Violets. Had someone said, "Dusty" well then I could understand it a bit better as almond notes with violet always seem a bit like an antique shop on Cape Cod in the winter when the owners haven't bothered with housekeeping in the non-tourist season. But not powdery. I just don't get that. I was going to suggest it smelled a little of a well-used baseball that's hit the dirt enough to grind the notes of clay and grass into leather...but I didn't want you to think I'm some kind of weirdo that goes around sniffing baseballs.
Yeah, the 90's. Let's play Mulder and Scully. I swear it looks like he's flashing a badge, and she's caught some extraterrestrial orb that's going to explain the whole conspiracy.  

It is rare these days that I purchase full bottles of perfume, but after being treated to a decant of this stuff, I was hooked. I'd consider hoarding bottles of it, but I'm getting to what my dad used to call, "The short end of the stick" and I already have several lifetimes worth of Emeraude to get through before I croak, so I'll hold off on the stockpiling. If you're young and healthy you might want to consider it-Ultraviolet can still be found cheaply online. 

I confess to loving the stupidly shaped bottle with the purple juice inside. I don't know if it is the sweet amber and vanilla notes, or the shape, but I've come to think of this as the, Purple Aebleskiver. The fragrance isn't gourmand, but there's something sweet and a bit doughy here-and the bottle is shaped like a Danish pancake ball. Only marginally on topic-I once saw a man with a prominent beer belly wearing a shirt I believe was sarcastically intended for an expectant mother that had a plate of aebelskivers over the stomach area. That was almost as funny as the shirt my sister made for her first pregnancy that read, "Kittens" with an arrow pointed at her belly.

I've been wearing a number of amber fragrances lately which I attribute to feeling complete shit. If my immune system is hell-bent on killing me, I'm going for the comfort fragrances-god forbid I need an ambulance I don't want to be stinking it up with Ma Griffe. My body chemistry seems whacked-out at the moment as well, and all my favourite oakmoss/vetiver/civet perfumes are turning to the smell of tarnished silver and dill weed on my skin. The ambers seem to work though. I've been wearing Lutens Ambre Sultan, L'Occitane Ambre en Provence, and occasionally Ultraviolet. The first two are completely lovely, somewhat sweet fragrances without being cloying. Ultraviolet is...strange. In a good way, of course, but although the amber note is there, and it is quite sweet, there's enough wood, green, and spices to make it unique. Pepper and coriander, paprika, and rosewood? Rose? Apricots and patchouli? I mean, on paper it sounds like a nightmare, but on the body it comes up green, biting and a bit sweet (with dusty undertones). 

Did I mention the juice is purple? Not a lurid purple, but something you'd expect of light on the Ultraviolet end of the spectrum. In the 70's (and I'm dating myself here) there were light-up makeup mirrors that had various settings meant to mimic daylight, fluorescent light, evening, etc. The fluorescent setting looked a lot like Ultraviolet. For the record, I don't think those mirrors did much good as every photograph I have of myself from that time has me either looking like I got carried away with the "Quick Tan" lotion (orange) or like an undertaker ran out of pan-cake oil based corpse makeup and just dusted my face with Johnson and Johnson's baby powder instead. I was rocking the Baby Jane look long before I had the wrinkles. These days I achieve my deathly pallor without the assistance of  lighted makeup mirrors or heavy foundation. 
"Give us a kiss, dollface,"

On my skin, Ultraviolet has a very mild silage, and it doesn't last more than a couple hours. I should mention that my skin is extremely dry and that my circulation is quite poor. I'm certain that has a great deal to do with it. On clothing, the scent lasts a bit better, but I don't get very much projection and the boys say they can't smell it at all. I've read reviews where people say it is a scent bomb in the opening, so be warned. 

Notes according to Fragrantica:
Violet, pepper, pimento, vanilla, apricot, coriander, almond, osmanthus, jasmine, rose, patchouli, amber, rosewood, cedar.

Notes according to Goody:
Dirty baseballs and aebelskivers. 
What's not to like?



Polyester Princess said...

I know nothing about fragrance, I either like it or I don't, but I love reading your cleverly written (and often funny!) reviews. They make me want to go out to the shops and have a sniff! I know what I'll be doing during my lunch break tomorrow ... xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Aebleskivers! Hot little apple donut balls! Now there is a fragrance even my uneducated nose can appreciate. (Where's the glogg?)

Veronica Cooke said...

Great review!

I'm going to sample this when I'm next in town. OH has the male version and it smells lovely on him....

Goody said...

I know the perfume was discontinued in the US, but it might still be available in Belgium.

I own an aebleskiver pan (I do love Nordicware) that I use to make round cornbread (sort of like an unfried hush-puppy). I do make pancakes in it, now and then, and a dab of jam in the middle is a nice surprise. I seemed to use the pan more when Danny was small-these days he's less interested in the novelty of food than the quantity. I knew teenaged boys eat but...

I don't know if it is still in production in the UK, but it is very inexpensive online. I don't know why they discontinued it in the US-it seems like an inoffensive daytime scent most people could appreciate.

Mim said...

Hmm, interesting - when I think of leather and violets I always think of Balmain Jolie Madame. I've always given this one the side-eye; perhaps I should try it out.

Vix said...

This is always on offer at our discount chemists. I seem to remember trying it and quite liking it. xxx

Goody said...

Now you've gone and reminded me of Jolie Madame, and I won't sleep tonight unless I order myself a decant! So many perfumes, so few days in a year to wear them all.

Oh good! I don't know why they killed it here-it is such an unusual fragrance.