Fancy Jessica Simpson ~ perfume review

Jessica Simpson Fancy perfume advert

Jessica Simpson's debut fragrance, Fancy Jessica Simpson, is due to launch officially later this month. If you read here regularly, you already know that I'm pathetically out of it when it comes to pop culture — I don't read People, I don't listen to the radio, and I don't watch much "live" TV — and so Jessica Simpson is as mysterious to me as the rest of them. I don't know a darned thing about her personally, although I take it from prior comments here that she sings. But I do know one thing about her that is arguably more germane to this discussion anyway, and that is that she used to have a line of scented body products under the name Dessert Beauty.

The Dessert Beauty line, a collaboration between Simpson and Clean's Randi Shinder, featured products like "Belly Button Love Potion Double Dip Fragrance" (in scents called "Juicy" and "Creamy") and "Deliciously Kissable Hot Body Topping" (in "Maraschino Cherry" or "Caramel"). If those sound appealing to you, Fancy might be right up your alley. It starts out fruity and strong, and sweet enough to rot the enamel right off your teeth (the notes: pear, apricot nectar, red fruits, gardenia, jasmine, toasted almonds, caramel, sandalwood, vanilla crème and amber crystals). The dry down is calmer, and while it stays sweet, it reaches reasonable (to me, anyway) levels within about 15 or 20 minutes. It is vanillic and dessert-like, and it does have burnt sugar elements, but it's neither creamy nor cake-y; it's probably closer to hard candy or taffy than crème brûlée. The heart features a blast of the same indistinct pink floral blend that characterizes most celebrity fragrance releases — I wouldn't get too worried about whether or not you like jasmine or gardenia.

While the lasting power is pretty good, most of the fruity floral stuff is gone within an hour. What's left is mostly a woody musk laced with caramel and lingering hints of that burnt sugar; happily, it never reaches the "blow-torch blackened cotton candy" stage that I am unable to appreciate in Aquolina Pink Sugar. I preferred the far dry down of Fancy to the earlier stages, but if that's not what you were after, you might want to give it a good test on skin before you buy.

I considered testing Fancy next to a whole slew of celebrity fragrances, but reason (and fear that my family would evict me from the house) prevailed and I limited myself to two recent additions to the genre: Sarah Jessica Parker's Covet Pure Bloom and Mariah Carey's Luscious Pink. I surprised myself by liking Fancy the best of the three. Covet Pure Bloom is arguably more sophisticated (not hard to accomplish: despite Jessica Simpson's optimistic "To me, Fancy is just that, fancy", Fancy strikes me as anything but), but gosh Covet Pure Bloom is loud and pink, and gosh it sure stays that way an awfully long time. I'll take a little warm caramel taffy over loud and pink any day. As for the Mariah Carey, more about that tomorrow.

Jessica Simpson Fancy fragrance bottles

Fancy Jessica Simpson was developed by perfumer Alexis Dadier. It's available in 50 ($49) and 100 ml ($59) Eau de Parfum and in matching body lotion (177 ml; $30). The official launch date is August 15, but you can find it on counter now at Macy's.

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86 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It seems her brand is still marketing toward a very young age group; that seems risky, considering the shift she'll need to make as she transitions into her next decade. All anticipated Jessica- Simpson-related-silliness aside, I'd find it painful as a woman in my late twenties, to market any fragrance called “fancy”. “Fancy”, really? Isn't that how kids describe things that are otherwise meant to be called “sophisticated”? Poor blondes; they've already weathered many years of stupid jokes and lower pay than their peers, it's a shame that one more blonde pop-star peddles the baby doll (headed for “Baby Jane”) image and loses their $5,000 pay raises for them. Thank goodness for Helen Mirren.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But these things aren't meant to have that kind of shelf-life — if it sells this year, that's all she needs, right? It will help finance her transition into her next decade, LOL…

    Helen Mirren is amazing, seriously. I can't remember where I was floating through cyberspace recently when I came upon a recent picture of her in a bikini and almost fainted — I have NEVER looked that good in a bikini, and I certainly never will now. She ought to have a perfume, except I'd be disappointed in her for selling out if she did. So you can't win ;-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    God that is so true. I adore Helen Mirren, but if ever she did decide to shill for something, I would not be happy, either. As for Ms. Simpson, you're not missing much, and her Dessert Beauty line was pretty pathetic. I imagine that this is just another foray into something that she will eventually flit out of in favor of something else.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me that I have been meaning to rent all the Prime Suspect dvds & watch them all over again. I'd also like to see Mosquito Coast again. For that matter, I'd watch her Elizabeth movies all over again quite happily, and I saw those fairly recently.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You're right; it's meant to be temporary. Just something to get by until the next flanker, “Fancy; too, too sexy” or “Fancy; fluffy pudding pops” :). It's sad enough when a young girl dreams of being a “Lolita”; sadder, still, when she still clings to this limited aspiration well into maturity. “Fancy” is baby-speak!

    I say: Go Helen Mirren! I also got that subliminal internet message–she's sexy and smart–and doesn't seem to believe that talking like a three-year-old will project either. That's something to grow into.

  6. Anonymous says:

    For me, it's the Jessica Simpsons, Britney Spears, Miley Cyruses, etc. that embody all that has gone wrong with celebrity. Fortunately, someone like Helen Mirren shows us that there is still something right about it. Although, the number of “right” ones is dwindling.

  7. Anonymous says:

    OMG you are so right that “sexy” will appear in a flanker name for this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Whenever I hear the word “fancy” I think of a Reba Macinntyre song (not a great one) about a young girl (named Fancy)whose mother makes her a red dress with her dying breath and sends her off to be a hooker…

  9. Anonymous says:

    In the UK, 'fancy' means have a mild crush on someone. I can imagine flankers being called something atrocious like 'Fancy Me…Jessica Simpson' or just 'Fancy Me?'. I don't think I do…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nlb, Fancy Fluffy Pudding Pops is perfect!

  11. Anonymous says:

    It can mean that here, although it sounds old-fashioned now — I don't think people say it anymore?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for smelling the sugary stuff so that the rest of us don't have to.

    I agree with everyone that “fancy” is a very juvenile word. Being the mother of a 6-YO girl who is in love with the “Fancy Nancy” books, I have to say that Jessica sounds just like the protagonist of those books when she says “To me, Fancy is just that, fancy.”

    I've heard about those Helen Mirren pics and would really like to see them, but am afraid of googling anything at work that includes the word “bikini!”

  13. Anonymous says:

    My now 12 yo daughter used to refer to the “popular” (aka rich) kids as “fancy girls”…and she didn't mean it as a compliment, lol. They were the ones dressing much too old and wearing makeup…in third grade.

    I guess we can at least be thankful that they didn't call it “JS Luxe”? ;)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I once read a biography of Liberace (I know…but he was actually much more interesting than you'd think) in which he was asked whether people making fun of his 'flamboyant' lifestyle and laughing at him to his face bothered him much. His classic reply “I'm the one laughing…..al the way to the bank”. I rather imagine Jessica, who has spent so much of her pulbic life promoting herself as the blonde version of Betty Boop is laughing all the way to the bank as well.

    I can't imagine the fragrance appealing to me in any way, but I have to admit that if I were a tween, I'd LOVE to have that pretty pink foofoo bottle sitting on my vanity. lol :)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I like that usage much better–it allows some dignity to a word that otherwise makes me think of a little girl spinning in an Easter dress, i.e. “I'm fancy!”. The bottles are cute, even if they look like a cheap cross-breed between those of “Lovely” and “Lolita Lempicka”. Helen Mirren + clever usage of “Fancy” in this context = 2 up for the Brits.

    Who wants to bet that Irving Berlin's “No Strings” will be playing in the ads? No betting, will we be shut down ;)?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I was at Macy's the other day and they were giving out free spritzes of “Fancy.” Unfortunately I had to walk past and was “treated” to a blast of something that smelled like vanilla kool-aid, if such a thing existed… and I don't think I'm a snob. I like Stetson, and Miss Dior Cherie and I was picking up my laundry and the girl smelled good and she told me she was wearing Britney's “Fantasy.” However, I guess I'm truly beating a dead horse when I say that if this fruity sweet trend continues, 30 years from now, the smell of “Old Lady” will be very much like this, and Youth Dew and Tabu and Arpege will smell fresh as daisies…

    BTW, I saw that Helen Mirren in bikini pic, too and WOW! It's on gofugyourself.com

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ah, c'mon, that's a great song!

    She handed me a heart shaped locket that said

    To thine own self be true

    And I shivered as I watched a roach crawl accross

    The toe of my high heeled shoe

    It sounded like somebody else that was talkin'

    Askin' Mama what do I do

    She said be nice to the gentlemen Fancy

    And they'll be nice to you

    Here's your one chance Fancy, don't let me down…

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think that's a great/interesting point about “old lady” scents — will things like Fancy, Mariah and Pink sugar conjure up hopelessly out of date senior women? I'd like to think those scents would just disappear into oblivion, but probably not.

    PS Robin — cannot believe you tried this! You are a brave, brave woman. Can't wait to read about the new Mariah!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dear nib, How true about your definition of “fancy”. My daughter used to love the “Fancy Nancy” books (anyone with a grade-schooler will understand) but even she realizes that “fancy” is just another way of saying “over the top”. As for the fragrance, well, does the world really need another sickeningly sweet, caramel confection? If that's the current state of the frag industry I'd rather go to the fair and not wash after eating cotton candy…it's cheaper. Give me Dioressence or Christal any day.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Miley Cyrus? Whoever she is, she must not have a perfume, never heard of her!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Those “fancy girls” are presumably wearing something fancier than this ;-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don't know those books at all, are they new-ish?

  23. Anonymous says:

    LOL — thanks, now I don't have to go searching on YouTube. Sounds like a country song, don't it?

  24. Anonymous says:

    The bottles don't look as “fancy” in person as they do in pictures, but they're not bad — seen way worse at Macy's.

    If Irving Berlin anything is playing in the ads, I'll be a monkey's uncle ;-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    Ok, that's the second “Fancy Nancy” mention. They must be recent? Anyway, my son isn't reading them, no surprise there.

    See below…the pic is at Go Fug Yourself.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I'm sure she is, and well she might, she & Paris Hilton.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Vanilla Kool Aid might be a perfect description, although I do think the dry down is far better — and that's not always the case. Fantasy was actually pretty well done (better than this), and Stetson is pretty darned nice. We'll have to agree to disagree on Miss Dior Cherie though…I can't seem to make myself like it.

    Will wait impatiently to smile to myself the first time someone calls Fancy an old lady scent…

    And huge thanks…gofugyourself must be exactly where I saw it, I read it every day.

  28. Anonymous says:

    You know, Fancy isn't great stuff, but as we both agree, neither is the spendy Feerie, is it? At least this doesn't cost an arm & a leg and have a top that would poke your eye out ;-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    The inagurral book,” Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy” came out in 2007 and featured a little girl who preferred to dress in bows, tiaras, and animal prints…like I said, over the top.

  30. Anonymous says:

    AHHHHHH! You smelled Luscious Pink??? It MUST be on its way here!!! I'm going freakin crazy! Fragrances NEVER take this long! If It isn't here by Friday I'll have a Nervous Breakdown!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Those pics of Helen Mirren in a red bikini created a stir here: no one could believe a woman in her sixties could look so good. Yeah, well, there aren't many women who are as good-looking as Helen Mirren was in her twenties. I remember her wandering around Stratford-upon-Avon in long hippy skirts in the '70s. She has always been stunning. Theatre critics (she wasn't in films) used to get distracted by her beauty when she played Shakespeare. Now she obviously works out and is certainly on HRT. She is lovely to look at, and a very nice person too.

    She is a serious woman; she will *never* have a perfume named after her.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Aha…I'll stick with Little House, LOL…

  33. Anonymous says:

    J, Seriously, I did not look that good when I was 16. And you know, she knows how to look sexy without looking like a complete idiot — and many younger women just don't.

    Agree she would never do a perfume, and so far, luckily, nobody I really adore has.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Good grief – I don't think I look as good as Helen Mirren in her bikini and I could be her grand-daughter! What an inspiration. Only sushi for lunch today methinks.

    I think I would sniff Fancy out of curiosity for that burnt sugar note but I will try to do so on the sly. That bottle is frou frou embarrassing!!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just smelled Can Can, I mean Fancy. It smelled EXACTLY Like Can Can. The only difference is Can Can is more spicier. I'm patiently awaiting your Luscious Pink review, Robin! I hope its here by the time I wake up!

  36. Anonymous says:

    If I try this I will have officially gone off my diet, “Excuse me Miss, can I have a little flowers with my fruit?”

    But I really do love the name; I used to have a cat named Fancy.

    Poor Jessica. At least she has a very cute and stylish shoe and bag line-oh and she has hair extensions and clip on pony tails and such and all that seems to be well. I love her shoes. I have some of her silver square toe low wedge kinda flats. *my princess shoes* as my friend says. They go with almost everything and are well made.

    Gosh I'm glad she's good at something.

    Joy,

    becca

  37. Anonymous says:

    the creator of Clean took a bar of Dove soap to a chemist and said “make this a perfume”…..hm, not exactly inspired. we live in the same city, she has quite a reputation, its not about perfume, its about $$$$- nuff said.

    as for Simpon's edible Dessert line- the market for that line was very young- i'm sorry, belly button edible perfume marketed at tweens? even my daughters found it “gross” – i found it disturbing. who listens to that woman's music? 14 year olds at best.

    and i totally agree with the name “Fancy” being painful for a product being marketed by a woman in her 20's. it might as well be called “Nice” can someone give this woman a thesaurus?

  38. Anonymous says:

    I love that you've preserved plausible deniability on the delicately sardonic note of 'if these appeal to you'. Or perhaps I just hear it that way…I don't think these sugary fumes would have ever appealed to me, even in my teens (at age fifteen, I discovered, and stole from my mother, a bottle of Madame Rochas.)

    How delightful that a discussion of a Jessica Simpson perfume can magically transform itself into a conversation about Helen Mirren. I wonder if she likes perfume at all, and if so, which ones…I could imagine her in something like L'edition imperiale. I admit I've been on a kind of perfume bender with that one, wearing it every day this week.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, HRT? I saw those pictures, but hadn't thought of that….I never looked that good either, even on my own youthful hormones. Yes, Mirren is intelligent-sexy, that's what's so compelling about her.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hey, that's a perfect name for a cat! But did not know JS made shoes & whatnot. Where do they sell them?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I liked this way better than Can Can — did you try it on skin? And sorry, haven't even finished the LP review yet! Early afternoon, probably.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hey, but the other great thing about HM is that she isn't waif-thin — she's got curves! So have LOTS of sushi, LOL…

  43. Anonymous says:

    The great success of the Clean line is really interesting, and apparently it does well in parts of Europe too. She really must be raking it in!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I know several women on HRT — that cannot be the whole explanation as none of them look anything like HM ;-)

  45. Anonymous says:

    Last night I told my husband about this review and how it became an appreciation of Helen Mirren as kind of the perfect foil to Jessica Simpson and he was amused. I agree that, although the sweet stuff for the most part doesn't appeal to me personally, it probably shouldn't be dismissed outright. HOWEVER, it does smack of a “dumbing down” thing, and one simply couldn't expect Jessica Simpson or Britney or any of these starlet-types to put out anything BUT a fruity-sweet floral. The problem is when all of the major perfumers start putting out fragrances (in response to what is popular) that are getting progressively sweeter and less complex… And I agree that the whole edible thing is “gross,” when marketed for teens…

  46. Anonymous says:

    Too true. Hard to retroactively second-guess one's younger self (whew), but if I were thirty years younger, I might be wearing Purple Patchouli. Which I am sure would never have found a place on my mother's dresser!

    Actually, my reaction to the notes given for 'Fancy' was so intense I now feel honor-bound to try it. It's that unshakeable Calvinist conscience kicking in again :-).

  47. Anonymous says:

    I don't know, if the current feminine woods craze continues, I think we'll see celebrity scents in that category, don't you? I think celebrity scents are always going to be in whatever category is popular with young women. So far, most of the woods things have been geared towards older women, but we'll see if it trickles down, so to speak.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Do try it! I'd just as soon not smell the top notes again, but after an hour it isn't so bad. Not Purple Patchouli, mind you, but still. And let's face it, most young women (and plenty of older women) can't afford Purple Patchouli anyhow.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I thought they meant 'fancy' as in the imagination! ha. the range looks nice, very similar to the 'lovley' packaging.

  50. Anonymous says:

    The advertising is very similar to Lovely too, but it's a very different scent.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Hey Robin :>D Here in the Midwest Dillard's and Von Mar are the big Macy like department stores, they carry them. Also Victoria's Secret the catalogue sells them. The average price seems to be $100 bucks. HSN sells her hair pieces on t.v. and online, or pieces of her hair, whatever.

    I ran into The Perfumery online and they sell decants and niche, vintage, discontinued and sample packs of niche, classic, florals and beginning perfumista kits! I just wanted to make sure they were credible??? I've ordered from perfume 99 and they sent me a turned bottle of an old Dana scent “Le Jardin”, with no return form or invoice. That was only $20 but still-me poor. This place sounds like heaven. How much is a 1 Ml. sample in ounces? I've forgotten.

    much joy,

    Becca

  52. Anonymous says:

    Aha, then they've probably got them at Macy's here.

    What's the url of the store you're talking about?

  53. Anonymous says:

    Hey, those ARE some good lyrics! From “to thine own self be true” to roaches…Yes, R it is the epitome of a C&W song!

  54. Anonymous says:

    I'm so sorry, it's the Perfume Court, it's marked by a crown. I had a senior moment.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes, they're reputable. The person who runs it also does the Perfume Posse blog.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I agree the name was a bad choice, especially when she's trying to sing country. She must have realized that “Fancy” is the name of a Reba McIntire hit about a prostitute…she claims Reba as one of her inspirations.

    No matter what this perfume smells like, it will remind me of Fancy, the prostitute in Reba's song. “just be nice to the gentlemen, Fancy, and they'll be nice to you”

  57. Anonymous says:

    Sniffed this today, and it was exactly what I expected…Fancy is something we've all smelled a million times over, of course. I never expect a celebri-scent to be cutting edge, so that part is ok, but the blatant Lovely ad campaign rip off is seriously tacky.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps she meant it as a tribute to the song? I really don't know.

  59. Anonymous says:

    It smells like butterscotch!….it allrite but it not the bomb either….but I do like the bottle it looks alot better upclose…..

  60. Anonymous says:

    It really is a Lovely look-alike, you're right!

  61. Anonymous says:

    I guess it really isn't fair to call it a Lovely rip-off since SJP's photoshoot is a Marilyn Monroe rip-off itself.

    I took Can Can back and got Fancy! I tried it on my skin and I loved it, and it lasts forever! Can Can only lasts maybe an hour

  62. Anonymous says:

    Alot of other blogs are saying if Fantasy and CanCan had a baby this would be it….and I agree its the best of both worlds…

  63. Anonymous says:

    Jlove, I can see the comparison, but like this one much better!

  64. Anonymous says:

    yes she is totally raking it in- BIG TIME, quite amazing the success of Clean, she was determined and her timing was great. after big power scents i guess there was a demographic that just wanted to smell clean. brilliant and all about the bottom line.

    wish i'd thought of it LOL

  65. Anonymous says:

    Yep, you & me both!

  66. Anonymous says:

    haha, fantasy and cancan's baby! well i like both of those so here's hoping. I've got some of her 'dessert' fragrances, I'm always drawn in by a nice bottle/ packaging!

  67. Anonymous says:

    #1 album on iTunes and a hot selling perfume?! Jessica Simpson is taking over!
    I can't wait for the next version, Fancy Smancy!

  68. Anonymous says:

    LOL — that will be the first flanker!

  69. Anonymous says:

    Oh poo on you all!
    At lease Fancy has more staying power once on than any of Paris, Mariah, Britney or Kimoras fragrances do.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I'll agree with that, Danu. I was very surprised at Fancy's lasting power

  71. Anonymous says:

    I hope this is in the uk soon…I got a sample a couple of weeks ago. very sweet but i love it!

  72. Anonymous says:

    Should think it would be, but couldn't say.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment. In my teens I loved Opium (still do). But as that seemed too glamorous … does this wordeven still exist in its real sense? Anyway, instead I wore Ispahan by Yves Rocher which is rather similar.

    So certainly no girly sugary stuff back then. Though I admit I love Angel now. But my excuse is that I live in a much colder place now.

  74. Anonymous says:

    of all celebrities that have their “own Fragrances” Jessica Simpson is the one that I dislike the most….
    I opened vogue magazine today and it had that paper srtipr of fancy…Unfortunately I decided to try it on my skin…..and most unfortunately I liked it….and I'm very embarassed to admit it….
    I might be a good comfort scent for me, since I'm not very fond of gourmands!
    I remember to like lhoukom(Keiko mecheri)when I wore it….but the lasting power is so good that everything i touched while wearing the perfume became “contamined” by that smell…..YUCK!

  75. Anonymous says:

    Hope the Fancy will work for you, even if you don't like JS!

  76. Anonymous says:

    I bought the fragrance pen (6ml) on ebay for a reasonable price, especially considering it was from the US…I couldn't stand the wait! lol.I don't think it'll last me very long but by that time it should be released here :-) i think it's quite a nice one for winter.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Glad you like it & didn't have to pay premium for it!

  78. Nenalata says:

    That bottle is so pretty! I wish it would hurry up and be released in New Zealand. D:

    • Robin says:

      Is it still not there? That’s a long wait!

      • Nenalata says:

        Apparently we didn’t get her Dessert range until three years after it originally came out.

  79. Nenalata says:

    So, I got myself a sample of this, and I love it! It’s sweet, but not too sweet (at least to me). I was kinda expecting it to scream at me the minute I took the cap off the vial and give me a headache for several hours (like Flowerbomb and Pink Sugar did), but it was rather pleasant. I could definately pick up the white flowers, which pleased me since I like those types of notes, but I also got a hint of a tangy smell (I thought it was something citrus at first). So yeah, I love it! I just have to wait a few more years before I can buy the full bottle. D:

    • Robin says:

      So glad you found a sample!

  80. Parul says:

    I love the bottle–to me it screams retro–I just wish the top weren’t quite so shiny. It cheapens the look a little. And I don’t like the top notes either, but to me the rest of it was yummy enough that I bought the full-sized bottle. Then again, I like vanilla anything and I honestly do enjoy smelling like a bakery so I guess I’m not the best judge of it.
    I am a fan of Helen Mirren but I’m not a fan of her views on date rape.

    • Robin says:

      Hi Parul, glad you loved Fancy! We’ll have to see how she does w/ the newer Fancy Love.

  81. AnaD says:

    I LOVE THIS PERFUME!!! TO ME IT’S PERFECT AND THERE ISNT NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!! I WENT INTO MACY’S AND SAW IT THERE, I AT FIRST THOUGHT..WHATEVER. BUT SOMETHING TOLD ME, SMELL IT. I WAS CURIOUS, AND AT THAT MOMENT, I FELL IN LOVE!!!! THIS IS FOREVER GOING TO BE PART OF MY COLLECTION AND AS WELL “FANCY LOVE”. THOSE TWO PERFUMES ARE JUST DELICIOUS! GOOD JOB JESSICA SIMPSON!! =D

  82. nightwisp1957 says:

    I love Fancy—sweet, with a dash of vanilla, and hint of musk. And, it’s long-lasting, at least on me it is! Yet, not overpowering.

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