David Yurman by David Yurman ~ perfume review

David Yurman Eau de Parfum

The David Yurman brand, "arguably the cash cow of American jewelry retailing", according to Women's Wear Daily (5/2/2005), is launching their first perfume this month. The eponymous fragrance is geared towards the luxury market (no surprise there) and will be in fairly tight distribution, at least at the beginning.

I'll start with the bottle. It's that very rare thing, a fragrance bottle that looks even better in person than it does in pictures. It's gorgeous. I'm not in love with the cap — caps never look better in person, do they? — but the faceted gold "flask" floating inside the outer crystal bottle is really lovely. It looks expensive, and of course, it is.

On to the juice. David Yurman and his wife, Sybil, apparently knew what they were after for their debut scent:

“I didn’t want vanilla,” says Sybil adamantly. “I didn’t want food smells.”

“Yeah, no strawberry, please,” seconds her husband [...] “I didn’t want it to be just a light, happy moment. I wanted much more complexity.” (via wmagazine)

I'm all for no strawberry, and hey, I'll cast my vote for complexity too. The couple also "didn't want the fragrance to be defined by any one note" (Women's Wear Daily, 3/28/2008). The result, a floral chypre by perfumer Harry Fremont (the notes: mandarin, fresh green petals, cassis, peony, water lily, natural rose otto, patchouli, exotic woods and soft musk), meets that standard, in fact, it's almost pointless to describe the experience of wearing it, blow by blow, and even more pointless than usual to list the notes. It's a very well-blended scent, and unless you pay close attention, none of those notes stand out for long. For the most part they don't smell like their "live" counterparts anyway.

Chandler Burr described the opening perfectly in his Scent Notes column: "a powerful, gold, floral department-store luxury perfume, with the subtlety and style of a Jackie Collins novel". Yep, that's spot on. It doesn't smell like you've purchased something valuable, like the share of Grasse's bounty that you get inside every bottle of Jean Patou Joy, it just smells like you've spent lots of money, and while you're at it, you'd like everybody else in your immediate vicinity to know. I found it extremely annoying for the first 30 or 40 minutes or so.

After that it calms quite nicely; the dry down is darkish but very, very clean, like most modern chypres. It's a pleasant woody-musky thing, sweet and "vaguely floral" in the early stages, but drier and woodier the longer it is on skin. It doesn't really smell like Estee Lauder's Sensuous, but it eventually has that same "fluid woods sweetened for women" sort of feel; happily for my wallet, I prefer the Sensuous (and Sensuous doesn't make me crazy for the better part of an hour).

David Yurman Eau de Parfum

Based solely on the (long-lived) top notes, I predict that David Yurman will be something of a "love it or hate it" scent. For those of you who think you might love it, you'll be happy to hear that Burr is dead right on another point: this stuff lasts forever. Seriously. You'll have to scrub to remove it 12 hours later. For my part, a "David Yurman Extreme", minus the top notes but with a deeper, darker base, would be a cool thing to have, but I can live without this one. Still, props to the Yurmans for not doing that "light, happy moment" strawberry scent; we've plenty of those already.

David Yurman Eau de Parfum will be available in 50 ($120) or 75 ml ($165) and in matching body cream. It can be pre-ordered now from Neiman Marcus (they are currently giving a ship date of 8/4, and are offering a "free vial of David Yurman Eau de Parfum with any David Yurman fragrance purchase") or directly from David Yurman. The David Yurman boutiques have testers available now; I'm not sure if they're at Neiman Marcus yet but please comment if you know.

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

28 Comments

Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:

    im actually fairly excited! i love that they tried to do something sophisticated, and i love david yurman's jewelry. and that bottle is spectacular. must hunt down…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hope you will love it! I really would think that NM would have testers by now, but if not, my local DY boutique had it in the window.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I've been waiting patiently since I heard about this one. It doesn't sound like I will hate it, it just sounds like do I want to buy this or skip out and buy another Yurman ring? The bottle looks very beautiful and I am happy that they've decided to skip out on the fruity notes. However, I find myself, no matter how beautiful the bottle, wanting only to spend that much on a juice that was created by a fragrance house and not a jeweler. Is that wrong?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, I don't think I'd care if it was a jeweler as opposed to a fragrance house. The scents mostly come from the same perfumers at the same fragrance & flavor companies anyway, you know? Although in this case, you're definitely paying a premium for the “luxe” packaging. Still, if you love it…

  5. Anonymous says:

    The bottle reminds me of Hilary Duff With Love.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was at NM earlier today and they had this I spritzed a bit on and initially it was not for me but after the inital top it really does smell quite lovely and not your usual department store fare. I rather liked it. NM also had Van Cleef and Arpel ( I guess it's a jewerly thing) and their juice was pretty good too, also gave me a sample, no sample of the DY available. Even more exciting they had the Tom Ford White Patch sample bottle I also liked that smell but their's a funny note in there I can't identify that didn't set right with me I was expecting more and feel like its less a little let down by this one. Must try again. NM is taking orders for this and expects to have samples in by the end of August. Oh well I will just wait for ADV's new one by L'Artisian still panting!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    LOL — didn't think of it, but they're sort of related. This one is much nicer though!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Haven't tried either the TF or the VCA, looking forward to both. How is the VCA bottle in person?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds interesting! I'm not sure whether I would wanna be spending this much money on that perfume even if I liked it very much. There is certain perfume brands that make You feel it's perfectly fine to splurge $100-$200 on a bottle of perfume: L'Artisan, F Malle, Acqua Di Parma… But that doesn't make me feel I should be spending so much money on a bottle of David Yurman's fragrance even if it's special and luxe. There is some magic about buying this expensive but unusual scent from a perfume house with lots of heritage and it's own tradition. Now every company is trying to launch something “better” than average – it's the new DO. By the way You just had an article here about LUXE fragrances spreading out like crazy. Yeah, now I see the whole point of this article just perfectly…

  10. Anonymous says:

    The VCA bottle is gorgous with a ornate silver figurine of a female elf perched on a silver branch. The cap is approximately 4 inches high. (The elf reminds me of the one in Lord of the Rings :) The bottle itself is is fauceted in the shape of a round diamond but is a blue sapphire color. The name of the perfume is Feerie ith an accent over the first e (hence the elfish figurine)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nordstrom is getting it after the NM exclusive expires. It's not in the visual schematic yet, but the company has already sent us info on it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We were joking with an SA in NM about the bottle being something you could poke your eye out with, LOL…glad to hear it is gorgeous, they didn't have one yet when I was there.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'm guessing it will sell very well…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Too bad they are not launching a mini jeweled flask that can be worn around the neck with a DY chain. Or an ornate DY ring with a solid perfume compartment.

    As far as jewelers making fragrances, I enjoy Theo Fennel very much. They have a special bottle which is silver as an option. I think even in British Sterling exchange rates, Theo Fennel may be more affordable!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, see above — you're not alone in that reaction. I just don't feel that way at all. Regardless of the brand, it's all the same relatively small number of perfumers at a few fragrance & flavor companies making the products, and to me, the rest is just marketing. There are certainly brands that I respect and that I “count on” to “commission” more interesting scents, but if some unknown brand does something interesting, I'm willing to pay for it. I mean, another way to look at it is that the “heritage” comes from Harry Fremont — his name is not without heritage in the world of perfume, even if David Yurman's is.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I loved the Miss Boucheron thingie like that! Can't remember what they called it.

    Wish Theo Fennel would get to the US already, I keep hearing it's wonderful.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We got a tester of David Yurman yesterday and the bottle truly is beautiful. However, there are already problems with the gold painted collar; multiple sprays have resulted in the paint peeling off.

    I like the fragrance itself; the opening is a little spicy, and then moves quickly into a honeyed woods on me. I tried but was unable to detect any particular note. I think I am moving into a trend of liking really blended scents, because I also really like the Canali Black Diamond, which was panned for being too smooth. Anyway, after about thirty minutes I could no longer smell David Yurman on me (which is typical), but others noticed it and I had several people asking me what I was wearing.

    I don't know if it will sell really well… this is a high price point and the economy is in the toilet, so we will see. I'm hoping to get a gratis bottle for myself, but I think it will be a long shot.

    PS – I realized while writing that I say I like most fragrances a lot… at some point I ought to mention the ones I don't and why they didn't work for me. :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    HA — but we're all more likely to mention the ones we like, aren't we?

    Good luck getting a free bottle. Have to say that would NOT make me happy if I'd pay for it though (the gold peeling off).

  19. Anonymous says:

    I've worn it now for 2 days and am getting compliments on it throughout each day. Everyone's curious about it and no one has really noticed the paint flecks. I think I might remove them altogether form the tester bottle before it becomes more noticeable.

    David Yurman is fronted by Clarins Group. I don't know how it will go – with regards to gratis. I'd love to score some, but it's looking iffy. If only we had a dramming unit… I'd decant til I got fickle again. :)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Will keep my fingers crossed for you!

  21. jonr951 says:

    I tested this 2day and im really liking it!! Damn it!!! I hate that i love overpriced/expensive perfumes!!! Flowerbomb, Black Orchid, White Patchouli, the whole TF Private Blend Collection, Infusion D’Iris! Some many wonderful scents r just way outta my price range! I havent even smelled any of the Estee Lauder Private Collection perfumes! Im too scared im going to love them all! LOL!

    • Robin says:

      I wonder if this one will show up at the discounters eventually? It might…

  22. patti says:

    I love everything about it except the price. I would love a few samples for my purse.

    • Robin says:

      Beautyencounter has samples for $3.99, if it’s worth that much to you…unfortunately have not yet seen full bottles at any of the fragrance discounters.

  23. alltheprettythings says:

    I’m still stalking the discounters for it and haven’t come across it yet. I ran through a bottle in record time, and am trying to be patient in finding it discounted somewhere!

    • Robin says:

      I haven’t seen it either…hope you’ll find one!

  24. alltheprettythings says:

    I FOUND IT!! It finally hit a discounter… Happy Way Fashion . com – based in Georgia. I’m a little afraid to order from them, but I may place the order over the phone and ask for Priority delivery. Yay – happy days are here!

Leave a reply