Carlos Santana's debut fragrance for women was released this year, and features notes of neroli, California pear skin, cassis, coconut water, freesia, Japanese plum, calla lily accord, iris, chocolate, musk, and sandalwood.
The fragrance starts off with a burst of neroli, but that fades quickly into sweet fruits over floral notes. It is well-blended, and I don't particularly notice any of the individual notes (pear, plum, freesia, etc). It has a vaguely tropical feel in the early stages, but as it develops, it gets drier and warmer, with hints of coconut and chocolate. The woods and musk temper the sweetness and make this more interesting and wearable than the sweet foody fragrance I feared it might be.
As with Britney Spears Fantasy, my expectations were low enough that I was pleasantly surprised. My final reaction is about the same as it was for Fantasy: I don't love it, I don't hate it. In general, though, the men's version strikes me as the more interesting of the two fragrances.
I suppose Marlen is right (see article above) that Carlos Santana has earned the right to market whatever he likes, but celebrity fragrances are a bit of a Catch-22 with me. If the celebrity is someone I barely know, or don't particularly admire, the fragrance is not likely to interest me. If the celebrity is someone I do admire, and Carlos Santana, whose music was a big part of my youth, surely falls into that category, then I am likely to be dismayed. We all know that Sarah Jessica Parker was an avid, mix-your-own fragrance fan, but Carlos Santana? I don't begrudge anyone their efforts to make a living, but nor do I necessarily want to buy their perfume just because they are famous. Ok, end of rant. At least some of the proceeds will go to charity:
He and Deborah Santana, his wife of 34 years, founded the Milagro Foundation in 1998 to help underprivileged children in areas of health, education and the arts. A portion of the proceeds from the fragrance and shoe sales goes to the foundation, which has given more than $1.5 million to charity. (via Houston Chronicle)
You can read more about the Milagro Foundation at their website, and you can read more about Carlos Santana at his website. Carlos Santana for women is an Eau de Parfum, but I found the men's Eau de Toilette to have better strength and lasting power. The women's version is available in 50 ml and 100 ml bottles, and in matching body lotion, at department stores and sephora.