Vera Wang Flower Princess ~ perfume review

Vera Wang Flower Princess

Vera Wang launched Princess in 2006 as the line's first youth-oriented scent, and as near as I can tell, it did very well indeed. Flower Princess, new this month, is Princess's first flanker, and is largely geared towards the Asian market. It reportedly "encompasses the kawaii movement of Japan — a cultural obsession with cute, adorable, spirited items"*. How it encompasses the kawaii movement isn't clear to me, as the only change to the bottle itself is in the color of the writing (they didn't even bother to add the word "Flower", so it still just says "Princess"). They did add some flowers to the outer box, perhaps that is kawaii? Or can a smell encompass the kawaii movement? At any rate, Flower Princess will be a permanent addition to the Vera Wang line in Asia; in the US and elsewhere, it is a limited edition.

The original Princess fragrance was supposedly geared towards 18-24 year olds, but based on the advertising (and the juice) I'd guess they were shooting at a much younger ('tweens and under) target. I'll add my usual disclaimer here: I'm not only way past the target age for Princess, I'm way past the target age for most any fragrance; as near as I can tell, perfume brands are not interested in women over 30. And my second disclaimer: I didn't like the original Princess, not even a little. It's probably no worse than any other sweet fruity floral geared towards 'tweens, but sweet fruity florals geared towards 'tweens aren't my thing. Victoria's review of Princess at Bois de Jasmin pretty neatly sums up my own feelings:

The composition plays by all of the rules of a girly fragrance—its sugary sweetness is comprised of fruity notes and vanilla, its sheer base is laced with musk and amber, which bear little relationship to their animalic predecessors. Princess is a cocktail of pink fruits sweetened with vanilla and topped with a dollop of frosting. Although it is probably in the sophisticated league of Barbie fragrances, like many perfumes of its type, Princess is difficult to imagine on anyone over 12.**

Now, generally what happens to flankers geared towards the Asian market is that they get pinkified: they usually end up lighter, sweeter, fruitier and girlier than the originals. In the case of Princess, which was already about as pinkified as you can get, they florified it instead. Yep, in a rare case of truth in fragrance nomenclature, they added more flowers. The opening is simply more flowers, less pink fruits. It is a little citrus-y, a little green and a little sharp, and as advertised, smells first like watery-fresh orange blossom, then like watery-fresh rose-ish blended florals (the notes: green ivy, tangerine, water lily, orange flower petals, Moroccan rose, jasmine sambac, mimosa, apricot skin, amber, precious woods and musk).

While Flower Princess is quite different from Princess in the opening, after about 30 minutes, they're not so very far apart. Princess is a little more musky, Flower Princess a little more floral and fresh. There aren't any dramatic changes after that 30 minutes; both scents just get progressively weaker.

I don't love Flower Princess, and it seems to me that you could do much better for a girly spring-time floral. But if forced to choose, I'd take Flower Princess over the original Princess. It isn't what I'd call sophisticated, but it is a bit less girlish than Princess, and it takes a bit longer to fade to a basic vanilla musk.

Vera Wang Flower Princess was developed by perfumer Harry Fremont, and is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette and in matching body products.

*quote via Women's Wear Daily, 1/4/2008.

** Now don't go screaming at me because you're 52 years old and wearing Princess. I've already said I don't care what anybody wears.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I see many over 30 women buying Princess. The Flower Princess is a big improvement over the original, imo. But I'm not a fan of Vera Wang at all… would never willingly wear any of them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I'm quite sure many women over 30 wear it! And sure many of them will buy Flower Princess as well.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am one of those over 30 folks that bought Flower Princess (37) and I love it….did not like Princess as it smelled too sugary but FP's Jasmine notes and the whole “Aqua” thing make it a nice summer scent….like when you have on a soft white eye-lit dress, flip-flops and a big bag…that kind of thing….you know??

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know exactly what you mean: an unfussy spring/summer floral. And everyone needs at least one!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I bought the original Princess for my 5 year old niece. I figured that was the right demographic for that sort of scent. ;-) But I'll give Flower Princess a whirl just for fun.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am 50+ and today I bought Eau des Merveilles and feel so happy about it! A teen could never wear a perfume like EdM. Ha!

  7. Anonymous says:

    You know, that packaging is just perfect for a first perfume. Did she love it?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey, don't be too sure! If an adult can wear Princess, don't see why a teen can't wear EdM :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I loved 'pinkified' and 'florified'! You must use this suffix more often, you know :)

    Princess was a snooze. And would never have gone out of my way to try it, but the thing is my goddaughter got it as a gift from her mum who'd been at the Princess gala launch at Saks (or was it Barney's – nah, who cares!) and had the box and bottle signed by WW herself. Mind you, that did nothing to improve on the scent ;-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    March has an even better word for floral -ized — but of course, I can't remember it right now :-)

    Your goddaughter is lucky to have that bottle — guessing most signed bottles end up on ebay, don't you think?

  11. Anonymous says:

    LOL of course a teen can wear it but appreciate it the same way..?

    I believe that it takes some experience to appr. EdM :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love those words as well. Dusan your goddaughter is a lucky girl. That box could b e a collectors item, who knows.

  13. Anonymous says:

    A SA at Macy's was upset with me because I asked her not to spritz Princess on me. She would not help me when I was asking for Donna Karan Gold.

    Oh well, anyway, Macy's is not the right place to go for perfumes.

    I rather try the new Guerlain Acqua Allegorias if I want something sheer, summery, and girly.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great review! I love your reviews of the fruity florals – it seems to take both stomach and guts to approach the genre, and you add intelligence, experience and humor – fabulous result. I smelled Princess at Macy's last month and it was the only time that I've ever gone “EUGGHH” right to the saleslady's face. It was involuntary! She flinched, I apologized, then she told me it smells better on skin, and sprayed some on her arm – and by golly, it did smell a heckuva lot better – there was a particular tropical fruit note that worked. But, no. Did not go home with a bottle.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I don't let them spritz anything on me! Haven't yet smelled the new Guerlain AAs, hope they're nice this year.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Really? I don't think of EdM that way, but maybe it is so.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, you're very kind :-)

    Perhaps you'll like Flower Princess better, am guessing it might actually convert some people who didn't like the original (?)

  18. Anonymous says:

    It's all right, but to be honest I didn't notice any real difference between this & the original.

    I don't hate it, but there's nothing new for me.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree with smelltheglove that you have a great skill in writing about scents and scent categories that you unapologetically dislike. Very enjoyable reading.

    Laughing at “difficult to imagine on anyone over 12”. I didnt' know girls *under* 12 actually wore perfume.

    When I read about scents like this I wonder if they really smell any better than some of those watery-fruity-body-mist-for-young-women-thingies they sell at Walgreens (and I'm not saying that those necessarily smell bad). If I were a young girl with a shopping budget I'd go for the Walgreens fruity-body-mist-thingy and put the money toward something other than pleasantly-generically-scented, relatively-expensive perfume. Then again, what do I know — obviously many suburban teens have disposable incomes greater than my monthly rent.

  20. Anonymous says:

    They aren't all that different once the top notes fade, which is another reason I was surprised they didn't put “Flower Princess” on the bottle itself…if you just pick up a tester unawares, you'd think you were trying the regular Princess.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thanks :-)

    My two nieces who are in the general 'tween/early teen age range both wear BBW scented lotions, but not perfume…but have no idea how typical they are. I think it is nice for a young girl to have at least one bottle of “real” perfume, but yeah, no need to spend a fortune on it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This smells way too masculin…It should have been called Prince….Theres no doubt a man could pull this of…

  23. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, do you mean Princess or Flower Princess?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh, Princess was just horrible on me. Turned into powder. I'll still sniff this…but that's because I sniff everything.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Well, they sound fairly typical, as i think i, the one who stole her mother's perfume bottles, was an abnormality as a kid. i always had at least one bottle of perfume from when i about 5 and on; one was always Sweet Honesty. I also had (and still have, though the number is smaller) a lot of Victoria Secret/Bath and Body Works sprays that I used quite a bit until i started wearing real perfume about in high school.

  26. Anonymous says:

    i like the other vera wangs (they're a little boring but good for an office)… but princess/flower princess was just so… BLAH for the lack of a better word. none of the vera wangs work on my skin (i really wanted to like sheer veil but it smelled like bug spray), maybe the new one, bouquet or whatever it's called, will be better? in the meantime i'll stick with my bulgari blu, frederic malle musc ravageur, and eau de cartier concentree (and the drawer full of decants and samples) – my current rotation, and have all the SAs at my local holt renfrew (i'm in montreal so there is no nordie's or saks) and ogilvy hate me because i always try but don't buy most of the mainstream scents.

    the only mainstream scents recently released that i manage to wear without being totally bored these days are the body shop white musk for men – love the lavender in the beginning (the women's one is also good and is a staple in my rotation) and jennifer lopez deseo (smells like a greenhouse – humid, green and a little overripe, not like the “beachy” thing people described, more like a rainforest on me than a beach)…

    for spring if i would buy anything i would stick with some scents that have been around for longer, for instance, annick goutal le chevrefeuille (honeysuckle)/eau du sud, dolce and gabbana light blue (i have MAJOR ISSUES WITH THE LASTING POWER!), prada infusion d'iris etc.

    any recommendations on not boring spring scents i should try? hopefully they contain minimal sweet fruits (citrus is okay)… and not too much lily.

  27. Anonymous says:

    ps – sorry about my extreme verbosity. i get carried away by three things in life: 1) ballroom/latin dancing or dancing in general; 2) cooking/fine cuisine/cooking techniques etc.; and 3) sniffing perfumes with great amounts of alcohol (which may contribute to my general insanity).

  28. Anonymous says:

    Flower princess…probably the green notes… smells like those new aquatic fragrances for men….

  29. Anonymous says:

    It turned into awful chocolate on me.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Robin, I don't mean it in a snobbish kind of way, I just think that some fragrances are easy to like and other fragrances have to conquer the heart or the nose so to speak.

    Most teens go for what is 'hot' at the moment like the supersweet fragrances right now.

  31. Anonymous says:

    This sounds only moderately less ghastly than the original. I didn't understand where Vera Wang was coming from when she first released Princess, since it seems to go against her ultra clean sophisticated image. However I guess they've sold like hotcakes. Speaking of girly fragrances, I do really like her Truly Pink perfume. It's one of the few rose scents I can wear, and it contains something that genuinely smells like Peony to me. Not exciting, but very fresh and pretty.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Great review!

    I did smell Princess and Flower Princess when I was in Selfridges last time, but I was looking for Tom Ford's frags and no time for such a diluted syrup.

    My summer fruity floral is Dior Addict 2. It is pink, flowery fruity and adorable. :-)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I didn't mean you were being snobby — I agree that some fragrances are hard to like…don't think of EdM that way, but you're right that it certainly isn't fruity or sweet!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Sweet Honesty — I remember that one! Can't imagine anyone naming a perfume that now, LOL…

  35. Anonymous says:

    It is watery-fresh, you're right.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Interesting…I don't get powder or chocolate — just tons of musk.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I tend to not like things based on principle. Vera Wang and her branding disappointed me. I liked her gowns in the 90's, when she modernized bridal wear. And then she grew her brand, and I lost interest. I think the brand is so heavily hyped that I just don't want any part of it. It doesn't help that she's selling clothes at Kohl's either – they look cheap. So her fragrance line is a no-no for me. That said, I rather liked the greenness of Bouquet. It's marginally better than the other frags.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Nile Goddess, I too love Dior Addict2 and Nina Ricci, Nina and those two are enough for me from the sweet range. I do not wear these though but gave them both away to my daughter. :-)

  39. Anonymous says:


    My votes for not boring spring scents: Diorissimo! And also Frederic Malle En Passant, AG Folavril (love Chevrefeuille too), Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau. And this is the time of year when I love to wear white florals: Fracas, EL Tuberose Gardenia, L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons, Ormonde Jayne Frangipani.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Cheezwiz, supposedly she made it for her daughter(s) — and gosh, I can only assume it turned out to be a good business decision.

    Agree on Truly Pink, not exciting, but I like it too.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that I am so nearly completely unaware of her brand — I mean, I do know she does the bridal stuff, but that's about it — so it doesn't influence me. Did crack up early on when trying to find info about Bouquet and kept finding the Vera Wang Bouquet MATTRESS…so obviously, she licenses her name out like all the rest.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Fragrance, mattress, bedding and lingerie to match! Oh and don't forget her cookware!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Robin & Marianne: she is a lucky girl indeed and the signed bottle is a lovely gift, even if you don't particularly enjoy the scent. I think she does, though (she's 30), but not sure she'd bother trying to sell the bottle on ebay :) And Robin, I am as much (little) familiar with ebay goings-on as you are with the latest crop of celebrities :-)

  44. Anonymous says:

    en passant is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS, so is angeliques sous la pluie. well there really isn't a horrible frederic malle, although lipstick rose doesn't exactly agree with me. *sighhhh* if only somehow i won the lottery and could buy all of them…

    i'll take your advice and try diorissimo, folavril and la chasse (which would be easier to find here)… and hopefully when i hit up chicago soon i will be able to find somewhere where i can find the harder to find scents like the l'eau, fracas TG and frangipani.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Marianne for replying! I think you and I are the only ones from Prague here :-)

    If you mean Nina the pink apple, that is too sweet for me. Dior Addict 2 is not so sweet, it's like a classier Baby Doll.

    I just pray I won't have to resort to buying L'Eau Par Kenzo yet again just because there is no other decent summer fragrance.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Marianne for buying Eau des Merveilles! You will get great mileage of one of the sexiest and classiest fragrances!

    Last month I went through a phase of spraying Eau des Merveilles on one wrist and Elixir de Merveilles on the other to compare and getting a different feel each time. L'Eau des Merveilles is lighter, drier and more elegant. Elixir has the orange peel juiciness and stronger lasting power. The question is – would I want to reapply Eau during the day and smell elegant or apply Elixir once and smell juicy?

    With no clear winner after 10 or so trials, I'll be waiting for Un Jardin Apres le Monsoon! :-)

  47. Anonymous says:

    So – so. The Figgy choked me slightly, not because of the fig but because of the violet. L'Artisan Parfumeur does a much nicer fig scent.

    The lemongrass one (was it lemongrass? something green in any case) was very mild and it has this household cleaner Mr. Proper Lemon Fresh note.

    If you as I remember like Herba Fresca, stick to it, because the lemongrass novelty is no match.

  48. Anonymous says:

    It's the red Nina :-D Yes just you and me from Prague, and I am not complaining ;)

    Just bought Prada Infusion d'Iris in Amsterdam, my real hometown. I think it is wonderful and also suitable for summer.

    Have tried Elixir des Merveilles as well but did not like that one so much.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Eau Des Merveilles definitely is the winner for me. There enough juicy fragrances with orange.

    I am not sure if I will like Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, but who knows… It can be very warm in Prague so we deserve a good summer scent…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday I tried the one AA with reglisse and bayleaf. The beginning was very nice but after two hours or so I did not like it anymore. I just doesnt match my skinchemistry.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I haven't managed to spot them here yet…will keep looking!

  52. Anonymous says:

    LOL — if Ralph Lauren can make sheets, don't see why VW shouldn't do cookware, I guess.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Agree there are no horrible FMs, although there are a few I cannot wear (Bigarade, for instance). Have fun perfume shopping in Chicago!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Nile Goddess, the bayleaf reglisse became a bit sour in my skin, now that you mention lemongrass..I don't believe that lemongrass is an ingredient but…it did smell a bit like that..

  55. Anonymous says:

    Marianne –

    Have you tried Miss Rocaille? I got the nicest surprise with that fragrance – it smells like vintage Vent Vert on me – perfect for the sort of summer scent portrait drawn by Nile Goddess. It's sharp enough to withstand the heat (I'm hoping) but soft enough to complement the summer dress. A totally undemanding scent but a real pleasure to smell. I was completely surprised by it, having relegated the sample to the bottom of the drawer in favor of trying newer niche things. Glad I tried it!

    How are you, btw? HOpe all is well!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mamabear. I have never tried Miss Rocaille. From which perfumehouse is it?

    From your description it must be worth a try. Maybe I can get a sample too somewhere.

    Have been in The Netherlands last week for some family business and came back home to Prague exhausted. Lots of stressfull days and not so much sleep but I managed to go out and do something for myself and bought Pradas' Infusion d'Iris and that somehow made me feel a bit better.

    So nice of you to ask..

    How have you been? I do hope you had a better time.

  57. Anonymous says:

    It's not that I have anything particularily venomous against these shallow-sweeties fragrances…they just inspire a sigh over the loss of personality in fragrances geared toward a young market. Fragrances of the past geared toward young-uns, like “Sweet Honesty”, the “Love's” fragrances,”Blue Waltz”–even “Malibu Musk”–may have been sickly sweet to elders, but at least those frags had spunk and personality. Then a sad thing happened on the way to the development office; just as young-adulthood was homoginized by the Britney Spears' and Hanna Montana PR campaigns of the Western world, so has young-adult-geared fragrance lost its unique energy. The first “Princess” fragrance was lovely enough, sweet enough for the market base, but had no soul; it was a mildly pleasant, empty beauty. Safe, but in a depressing way. I'm only 27 and already dissapointed in the psuedo-sophistication-kiddie movement.

    (Also: Despite their hippy overtones, I would've pegged the “Oilily” grouping as more cutsey–“Kawaii”–than the new Princess release.)

  58. Anonymous says:

    Wow Mamabear, I found it on Miss Rocaille does look and sound like a really very nice perfume!

    I want to try this one and will go after samples :D

  59. Anonymous says:

    You and I seem to enjoy many similar notes so I thought you might be interested – I think you can probably find it at most high-end dept stores. It's Caron and pretty recent (last 2-3 years) release. Let me know what you think when/if you try it!

    It's tax time and I'm up to my ears in it – thinking of killing my OH/partner….maybe you can alibi me?LOL! I'll feel more the thing in a few days once the anxiety abates.

    Sorry to hear you had such stressed times in Amsterdam but family biz can do that, can't it? . Prada is a great gift for yourself – I like it mucho but it has no lasting power on me!!! My post-tax gift will either be Diorissimo or Jardin Sur le Nil or Eau de Merveilles…..shame I can't get all of them!!!

  60. Anonymous says:


    Seriously, you have a pretty fabulous lineup there and it almost exactly matches my own, with Diorissimo taking Pride of Place. To it I would add: Coty Muguet des Bois and my new fave Miss Rocaille (don't ask me where that came from – it just did, with its Vent Vert cloning on my skin)…after that comes Eau de Merveilles and right after that, in the brutal heat of summer comes JCE's Sur le NIl (and I'm thinking I might be able to pull off Poivre Samarcande just for kicks!)

  61. Anonymous says:

    Go to Saks fragrance counter (see Rose – she's terrific and has been my SA for over 20 years) for the Diors and Fracas, etc. They also carry the full line of Bond No 9 if you're into that (I've only just gotten interested in them), the Carons and most of the Guerlains (and she gives great sample:-) Go to Barneys (Oak Street) if you need Malles, see Rex . Barneys also has the L'Artisans but I prefer the boutique – it's in the Bloomie's building and the ladies there are incredibly nice and VERY knowledgeable! When they opened up the boutique they took them out of all stores except Barneys, alas. Chgo Barneys has a ton of difficult-to-find, niche frags, including the Delraes, the Serges and I think some SJH frags as well (they're over in the corner by the door so you have to sort of hunt for them).

    One other thing on Barneys – the men's fragrances are scattered all over the place – the bulk of them are over by the handbags which makes no sense to me but there you go! – the SAs are always a bit thrown when women spritz the mens fragrances but they get with the program pretty quickly.

    Hope this helps!

    ps. Lipstick Rose doesn't really agree with me either – I get put off by the makeup smell, which is what they were going for but….

    R, you don't like/can't wear Bigarade? Dang. Then never mourn your not having tried my beloved Ricci Bigarade. They are very similar. I love the JCE Bigarade for summer – almost as much as Jardin Sur le Nil. For me, JCE is the embodiment of crisp summer fragrances (I'm not sure he would be pleased to know that:-)

  62. Anonymous says:

    oh my. thanks for the extensive instructions! SAVE + PRINTED. is it strange i like the melon in parfum de therese? i usually hate fruit. the FMs are costly, but totally worth every penny!

    going back to the vera wang flower princess topic, i don't see it as being very kawaii. i was in tokyo last year, and the ACTUAL kawaii movement (to me anyway) was a bit high pitched, pink, and garish. it's like paris hilton and mariah carey rolled into one decorated in horrible plasticky hello kitty. for some reason, i see marc jacobs daisy as being more in line with the whole kawaii thing, complete with horrible plastic flowers.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Did the older Love scents have more personality? I can't remember. I think the deal is that back in the day, when you graduated from Love, etc, you wanted something that would make you smell older & more sophisticated…now older women seem to want something that makes you smell younger & less sophisticated…a sweeping generalization, obviously, but I think it has some truth to it.

    So agree on Oilily — way more “cute” than FP.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of spring and summer fragrances – I would love it if you wonderful people did a post on spring/summer scents for people who only like typical autumn and winter scents!

    I wear a lot of Shaal Nur in the summer, but that's the only fragrance I own that is even remotely summery… and it's summery only in comparison with the rest of my perfume wardrobe, I suppose.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Shaal Nur is summery– not sure I'm qualified to write that post though!

  66. Anonymous says:

    Well, I bough and used Princess(the first one), and at first sniff I thought that this fragrance was extremely dull!
    But since it was already sitting on my cabinet and the bottle was extremely cute(everything with a crown on top will appeal to me LOL), and impossible to find in Brazil …I decided to keep it and wear it once in while!
    I started wearing it to sleep(yes, mind you I always put fragrance to sleep), I don't know what happened but the fragrance started to grown on me….and now I wear it a lot….probably my brain linked it to a moment of peace and relaxation and now everytime that I am a little sad, depressed or stressed I wear princess and I feel much better!
    I still think it's a little dull, that it lacks personality, but I started to love it!
    ( I'm probably in the target market though…I'm 21)
    Well, after my excuse (LOL) on liking princess can you please tell me something about flower princess?
    When you say “watery-fresh” does it have anything to deal with ozonic/aquatic notes? Or with fragrances like cool water or L'eau de Issey? I'm slightly allergic to then…. not sure of which component exactly but I guess it's on the Lotus Flower….
    Many thanks for your time :)

  67. Anonymous says:

    Yes, light ozonic/aquatic notes. They're light though, so it might be worth your while to give this one a shot.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I think one thing to remember is that heavy fragrances don't do well in Asia because people would literally pass out in the streets if somebody wearing something like Opium walked by. Pollution and humidity crank up the smells so much that light, fruity/floral fragrances are a welcome CHANGE to the environment.

    I remember a friend of mine bought the DKNY Green Apple in Hong Kong and thought it to be the best thing she'd smelled all day. The same bottle of perfume has been sitting on her shelf for two years collecting dust since she came back to Canada.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Good point, thanks!

  70. Anonymous says:

    I didn't like this fragrance AT ALL! I love the original! I ordered The original Princess from ebay for 30 bucks! Its supposed to arrive today :). I can't WAIT for Rock Princess

  71. Anonymous says:

    Hey, you're doing well on ebay this week!

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