Deseo is the latest fragrance from the Jennifer Lopez franchise at Coty, and the floral woody scent reportedly takes its inspiration from a "midnight walk in Lopez's garden moments before a thunderstorm set in"*. Deseo is that rare thing, a fragrance geared towards an older (well, what they actually said was "intended to appeal to a more sophisticated and mature demographic"**) audience than the earlier fragrances in the line. Given that most celebrity fragrances are geared towards a very young crowd (i.e., 'tweens), that doesn't mean they're reaching for middle-aged women, mind you, but still, it's nice to see a line reach for more sophistication instead of less.
Deseo starts out with a big diffusive fresh note — and anyone who reads here regularly knows there's nothing I hate like a big diffusive fresh note. The grapefruit-y citrus in the opening is sharp for a time, then it is very soft and subdued, and there is a blur of something vaguely greenish that must be the watery bamboo leaves (the notes: watery bamboo leaves, yuzu, bergamot, freesia, star jasmine, pink geranium flower, orange blossom, mimosa, warm amber, oak moss, musk, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli and mineral accord).
The heart is floral notes, blurred and indistinct, but strong. It is sweeter and creamier than the opening, and there are mild tropical fruit-ish undertones. The dry down is warmer and softer, and the ambery musk + mineral accord reads something like "warm sand" to my nose. It is not quite dark, but it isn't pale either, and there is lots of dry wood and some subtle earthiness.
Deseo reminds me of last year's L.A.M.B. L by Gwen Stefani. They don't smell alike, but they both seem to be trying to walk the tightrope between young, but not too young. The recipe: tone down the candied fruit, amp up the fresh notes, add a somewhat warmer base. L.A.M.B. L never went much further than that, and while it was perhaps marginally more "sophisticated" than Deseo, I found L's resolutely clean base rather dull. Deseo has more personality; the base isn't exactly skanky, but it's considerably more interesting (and sexy) than L's, and the longer it's on skin, the more I like it.
They've done a nice job with Deseo. It isn't my cup of tea — the opening is too fresh for me and the heart is marginally too sweet — but it's wearable and as celebrity fragrances go, you could do much worse. I can envision a flanker that would be perfect, with the fresh note erased, the sweetness in the heart toned down a notch, the woods and mineral notes in the base amplified, and a tad more earthiness. They could call it Deseo Something Or Another — a really great name will probably come to me later, but for now my mind is blank. Do comment if you've got the perfect name.
I know lots of people love the bottle, which is meant to look like a diamond in the rough. I didn't much care for it when I saw the first pictures, and I didn't like it any better when I saw it in person. It's all a matter of personal taste, I guess. I do think the outer carton is nicely done.
* Quote via Cosmetics International, 12/14/2007.
** Quote via Women's Wear Daily, 9/28/2007.