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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Fall perfume roundup: Coach, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Gucci



Perfume reviews are always a bit weird. For one, you are reading, not smelling. And two, scents are such a personal preference, kind of the way cilantro tastes like soap to certain people. My taste in clothes varies far and wide, but I'm really, really picky when it comes to perfume. It's expensive and it's going to last a while, so I'll spend months spritzing little sticks of paper in department stores until I find the right one. It has to be fresh and clean and bright, not too floral, not too grassy or powdery, no musk or spice or lumberjacky woodsman notes. Recent favorites have included DKNY Be Delicious and M.A.C.'s Turquatic, which I think sounds like a Thanksgiving main course gone awry. Also, the bottle looks like a 1994 Versace swimsuit. But it smells amazing.

Those are both pretty summery scents, though, and we're well into September. Late-summer and early-fall perfume samples have been pouring into Deal Diva Headquarters, home of the sub-desk hoard. I started spraying them all right in the middle of the newsroom, and then shortly thereafter the sneezes and hacks and coughs started from everyone around me and I had to apologize. LIKE A PRO.

Here are my totally personal, subjective thoughts on some new scents. You might have different feelings, so let us know. Like I said, perfume reviews = weird.

Coach Poppy Blossom, $65-$85


YUM! This limited edition perfume is fresh and bright and right in my zone, though it's (obviously) more floral than crashing waves/fresh water. Coach says it has an "enchanting, exhilarating presence: fresh and floral, fruity and full of life." Well, fine then. It's a cheerful odor for sure and the bottle is pretty adorable, although, if I know myself, I'd be all, "%*#^$^$&^%" on the third day and ripping that massive silk flower to shreds on the bathroom floor after first getting toothpaste stuck in it.

Donna Karan WOMAN, $85 to $115


Do you think they just run out of names? Can you imagine the branding meetings? "This is perfume for, you know, a WOMAN. So, uh... you know, I've got a Hot Pocket in the microwave, so let's just go with it." Indeed, the company says WOMAN is "created for women. By women," so there you have it. This one has "creamy notes of orange flower that delicately wrap the confident signature core of Haitian Vetiver and Sandalwood." Cool! Now excuse me while I Google Haitian Ve... OK, it's some kind of fibrous grass that grows in bunches. This definitely smells grassy, but also intriguing. I sprayed it on my business card (SORRY AGAIN, EVERYONE), and I keep going back to it. It kind of makes me think of an exotic WOMAN in the luxury suite at the Sandals resort in Saint Lucia.

Michael Kors Gold Rose Edition, $78-$98


Michael Kors does love his rose gold when it comes to accessories, and he's found a way to transition the delicious pink metal into a scent. Like WOMAN before it, this one has descriptors including "creamy" and "sandalwood," as well as "luminous pink pepper with a deeply voluptuous bouquet of tuberose." Describing perfume is kind of like describing wine. "Yes, it has a bold, full-bodied nose of cinnamangarang with an undernote of bath salts and a smooth finish of tears." You can say anything! Anyway, I was surprised how much I like this. Spicy, yes, but not overwhelming, and the bottle is sharp. A spritz of this would go nicely on that Pinterest board you have devoted to fall sweaters and riding boots.

Gucci Premiere, $87-$105


When I was about 14, my parents took me to a performance of Phantom of the Opera. All I remember from this performance was the older woman down the row of the mezzanine who smelled like a closet of musk and cats. It turned me off from dark and spicy perfumes forever. So when Gucci Premiere arrived and I took a big whiff of the bergamot and orange blossom and white flowers and musk and leather and patchouli and sandalwood, I was like, "THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT IS BACK, HELP." That said, the bottle is so stunningly sexy and simple and sleek, especially in person, that it might be worth it just to sit next to the cracked-out bottle of Turquatic on the vanity. Crazy? Yes, but if the Phantom taught us anything, it's that we must ease up on the spritzing and learn to crash our own chandeliers.

Do share your favorite perfumes in the comments!

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photos: Coach, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Gucci

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 5:32pm]


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