Halle Berry Halle Pure Orchid ~ fragrance review

Halle by Halle Berry Pure Orchid fragrance

Halle Berry's debut fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry, was something of a love-it-or-hate-it among perfumistas, but it did well enough on the mass market shelves.1 Not surprisingly, Coty has the first flanker out in short order: Halle Pure Orchid. From the looks of things, they just took all the original publicity shots and tinted everything, including the sand and the sky, a nice pale-ish purple.

The scent follows about the same trajectory. Remember how the somewhat-difficult gourmand Covet (Sarah Jessica Parker) turned into the crowd-pleasing purple floralated flanker Covet Pure Bloom? That's about what has happened here. Pure Orchid reportedly has notes of jungle cactus flower, lemon, blackberry creme, star anise, masdevallia orchid, giant sequoia and patchouli, but you really needn't bother with any of that: this is a standard-issue, sweetish floral with fruity undertones and a somewhat tropical feel, and it doesn't smell like anything much in particular other than "purple floral perfume, reasonably priced". It doesn't smell bad, mind you, and it's quieter than than it might have been (it's much softer and drier than Covet Pure Bloom, which I found rather too loud and rather too sweet), but it isn't particularly interesting or distinctive.

I will come clean and admit that I only wore it twice — it did not seem to me that it held any hidden secrets that would reveal themselves with time. It also didn't seem worth the effort to figure out which other mainstream purple florals it might smell like, but I'm sure it smells like something or another.

Halle Berry Halle Pure Orchid is a limited edition, and was developed by perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Christophe Raynaud. It is available in 15 ml ($16) or 30 ($28) ml Eau de Parfum.

1. According to Women's Wear Daily, the original Halle "spent six months as one of the top three women’s mass fragrances and continues to sell well". 1/15/2010.

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64 Comments

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  1. scarlett_flesh says:

    Pure orchid, to me is more like pure purple berry headache. I had high hopes because i liked the first one,

    • Robin says:

      Oh well. Halle did one that was apparently to her taste, so I’ll give her props for that.

  2. Daisy says:

    Okay, this sounds excruciatingly boring….except that it might give me a moments entertainment if I got to tell someone that I smelled of the Giant Sequoia !!! And then see if I can resist any snarky yet filthy comments about really big wood. which, apparently, I can’t.

    • Robin says:

      Yeah, but they’ll know you’re lying — you won’t smell at all like any kind of Really Big Wood.

      • Daisy says:

        Ha! I’ll just be quiet…..

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Biting tongue… slapping hands over mouth…

          • Daisy says:

            I’ve been waiting for you to comment ! :-D

        • Robin says:

          You can do it.

  3. jonr951 says:

    What a bummer. I really enjoyed the 1st one. Will still have to try it. The lemon or star anise dont pop out at all? Its better then Pure Bloom though right? I simply hated pure bloom. Is it in the same awful catagory as Beckham Signature cuz that one was just scary! : (

    • Robin says:

      Actually, I don’t think it’s better done than Pure Bloom. It smells cheaper (and it is cheaper), and while I didn’t think Pure Bloom was particularly distinctive, this is even less so. But because it’s quieter, I’d rather wear it.

      There’s some citrus (but hey, there’s always some citrus) and it’s slightly (very slightly) spicy. But really it doesn’t smell like any natural materials to me at all.

      • jonr951 says:

        Id wear anything over Pure Bloom. What a shame. I hope she makes a mens one. : )

      • jonr951 says:

        Just went to Walgreens and it wasnt there. Well they didnt have a tester for it. They had a display for it but it was empty. Someone probably stole it. Jerks. : (

        • CynthiaW says:

          Did you ask the cosmetics lady? In some Walgreen’s they keep the testers behind the counter to avoid the stealing.

          • Robin says:

            Yeah, mine does.

  4. Jill says:

    Hmm, too bad. I did think the first one was nice when I tried it at Kohl’s. I’m a fan of Covet, but I never did try Covet Pure Bloom, so I wouldn’t be able to compare it to this one.

    • Robin says:

      CPB was quite different from Covet — very much as this one is quite different from Halle. In both cases, I’d say more obviously geared towards mass appeal.

  5. CynthiaW says:

    Well, I think that we all know how I feel about the much-maligned (by me) Halle – so, I suppose that I’m relieved that this is just cheap and boring. Masochist that I am, I’ll probably sniff it if I see it in Walgreens – it shouldn’t be quite such a horrid experience since we’re not in the middle of a heat wave.

    Plus, it can’t be any worse than the day that I accidentally sprayed myself with Very Hollywood and wanted to saw my arm off. Right?

    • Robin says:

      Halle does wear much better in cool weather.

      But then, I liked VH better than this. So who can say ;-)

    • Daisy says:

      see? I told you that later you’d be glad you didn’t saw your arm off.

      • CynthiaW says:

        I seem to remember it being your idea….

        • Daisy says:

          no no no —I’m the one who recommended NOT sawing….you just don’t remember because you suffering from oxygen deprivation from holding breath, trying not to smell said arm…..

          • CynthiaW says:

            Hmm.. that could be true – I’ve tried to block the entire horrifying incident from my mind.

        • Joe says:

          I think in fairness, you and Daisy BOTH deserve to give Halle (hey, she won an Oscar… LOL) another spritz now that it’s COLD and there’s no chance of you being trapped in a hot car with it. It’s really not *that* bad… but I know, I know… the PTSD! ;)

          • CynthiaW says:

            Maybe with the fresh horror of the “Very Hollywood Incident” in my mind, Halle will seem lovely by contrast. The price is terribly tempting isn’t it?

            Probably best not to try Halle on the same day that I’ve worn both Rue de la Paix and Eau Premiere though. ;-)

          • Robin says:

            LOL…no, pick another day. Maybe one in which the bar was not raised quite so high.

          • Daisy says:

            awww, Joe….you worried we don’t have enough perfume? heheheheh

            SOTD= Havana Vanille —I smell like cookies!!!
            Earlier I was wearing Champagne de Bois (which I know you don’t like that either) put the two together and I smell like delicious dessert…..Cynthia wants to saw off an arm, but I want to eat one of mine……

  6. TwoPeasInAPod says:

    *sigh* All this did was remind me how much I love & miss Covet.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Was it discontinued?? Why am I always the last to know about these things??

      (By the way, count me as the one loser who really liked Pure Bloom. I have to stick with it past the initial Febreze blast for the drydown, but it’s really worth it. Do I ever wear it? Ok, maybe not so much..)

      • TwoPeasInAPod says:

        It was d/c just a few months after it launched – not even a year.

      • Robin says:

        I am quite sure you’re not the only one who liked CPB.

    • RusticDove says:

      Don’t despair – Covet shows up regularly @ Marshall’s and TJ’s, usually in a set with the body cream to boot. I got a bottle for a song from Ebay about a year ago too.

      • TwoPeasInAPod says:

        Thanks for the eBay tip! I regularly stalk my local TJ’s to pounce on Covet whenever it shows up.

      • Tama says:

        Yeah, I just got a back-up gift set with shower gel, cream, 100ml bottle of ‘fume, and a purse spray for $19.99 at TJ Maxx.

    • Jill says:

      It’s so strange to me that Covet was unpopular enough to be discontinued. I really like it!

    • Robin says:

      I liked Covet too, it’s really too bad it flopped.

    • Flora says:

      Try TJ Maxx or Ulta for Covet, I saw it in both places recently.

    • JuicyFruit says:

      I purchased Covet recently. It hasn’t arrived in the mail yet but when it does I plan to post a comment on Robin’s review. It was Robin’s review that really intrigued me the most. I usually go for things that are a bit different, and even though I read both positive and negative reviews on Covet, the positive ones struck me as from wearers who are true and unique and therefore appreciate same. I can’t wait for Covet to arrive – just a couple days now. It’s a shame that SJP didn’t stand by Covet just b/c it wasn’t a huge boring mass appeal seller at Macy’s! There is a SJP website specifically to showcase all of her perfumes including Lovely, (which I like but don’t own yet), Dawn, Twilight, etc., but not Covet. It’s like she’s ashamed. I think that’s awful! Clearly, Covet has a good fan base out there. She should have stood by it! If I love it, I hope it won’t be discontinued completely. It seems available on-line at different on-line retailers even if it’s not sold in stores anymore. As for this Halle Orchid one we’re discussing, I was at Walgreen’s today and tried the tester. Didn’t care for it, neither did the sales person behind the counter.

  7. RusticDove says:

    Well, not excited at all about this one. Speaking of not excited, in the February issue of InStyle, one of the scent strips is SJPNYC and another is that Kim Kardasian one. Oh SJP – how could you?! I think it was the sweetest fruity floral ever – so disappointing. Granted, it was just a test strip, perhaps it will be better on skin – doubtful, though the packaging was cool. The KK one is all about gardenia.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      The SJPNYC is all about the strawberry. It smells like what I wanted Suave strawberry shampoo to smell like when I was a kid. I’m sure there will be plenty of people that will love it. But yeah, count me out.

    • Jill says:

      Oh no, I can’t believe SJP is going in for a fruity floral!

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I’m guessing she didn’t have a choice. I really do hope she is able to do the unisex fragrance she was talking about.

        • Jill says:

          Me too, I think she’d do a good job with a unisex scent.

      • Robin says:

        It’s being positioned sort of as a movie tie-in, and in that sense it’s probably a good fit.

    • Robin says:

      I have not yet smelled either, but admit to not being excited about either.

    • CynthiaW says:

      The KK is a gardenia? Is it a good one? I almost hope not – I would be horrified with myself if I actually had to buy it. Not that I would ever admit that was what I was wearing.

      • TwoPeasInAPod says:

        KK smells *exactly* like “Michael” from Michael Kors, which is her signature scent. Not very original, that one.

        • CynthiaW says:

          Hmmm… I’ll probably give it a sniff if I see it, but since you can find Michael Kors just as cheaply on-line, I’d rather buy that.

          • RusticDove says:

            C – yep, all about gardenia. I didn’t detect much else. You never know with test strips though – there’s no sense of what it will do on skin. The bottle is actually tasteful looking too – it’s black which is cool. But I have the same reservation about actually purchasing a KK fragrance. Do I really want to contribute to her celebrity? Tell me again, why is she famous? *Puzzled* Oh right. Her derriere. haha

  8. Absolute Scentualist says:

    When I tried this, it smelled a great deal like the original Halle to me. Maybe not quite as sweet due to the lack of fig and the like, but it wasn’t different enough from the original for me to even consider purchasing it. I have Halle and like it well enough, and I expected this flanker to be as different and interesting which, sadly, it wasn’t, but I’m sure there’ll be another in a few months so who knows?

    • Robin says:

      It didn’t strike me as that much like the original…I would have liked it better if it had.

  9. Joe says:

    I will definitely walk on by this one… even if I do pass it in Sears on my way to electronics or garden tools.

    However, I now really have an urge to smell the original Halle again, and should probably just pick up a cheapie 15ml of it for a thrill. I mean, one could easily live life without it, but for a cheap thrill, why not, right?

    • Robin says:

      Can you imagine how many perfumes we’d own if everything were available in 15 ml for $16? I’d need a new house just to store it all.

      • Joe says:

        Can you imagine how many perfume decants I own that are 5ml-15ml in size? BWAHAHAHAHA! Ack!

        • Robin says:

          LOL…I have a ludicrous # and was just realizing I’ve outgrown the cabinet I’m using now. Still, bet you have more!

  10. monstabunny says:

    Speaking of cheap thrills, Robin, I love Chere Louise but not the wax delivery. Is there any frag like it but in juice form?

    • Robin says:

      Well, first off, not that are *also* cheap thrills. Most of the comparisons I’ve seen are to other rose + saffron combos, like People of the Labyrinth Amaze or Safran Troublant. I don’t know, it wasn’t quite that rose-y to me, but perhaps if you took one of those and layered it with a creamy/woody iris you’d get something sort of vaguely like?

      I wish I still had it so I could put some on & jog my memory.

  11. Nina says:

    I love ‘purple floral perfume, reasonably priced’. Perfect! Can you imagine if they used that for the ad copy, in a fit of mad honesty?

    • Robin says:

      LOL — it would save everybody time & trouble!

  12. jonr951 says:

    AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!!!! Its the worst thing since Pure Bloom & Couture Couture!!! It smells like cheap bubblegum & hair spray!!! Such a disappointment!!! Why Halle, why! I LOVED the 1st one!! WARNING: DO NOT WEAR OR SMELL!!! : (

    • Robin says:

      You hated it more than I did! It is a disappointment though, esp. after the first one.

  13. Lovetosmell says:

    I have to say that I wasn’t impressed with Halle’s first perfume but I used up a 50 ml of it in two months and craved a new one after that.I think that when I try other celebrity perfumes Halle is one the best ones next to Lovely and White Diamonds.Its no surprise this is a big seller.Its cheap and affordable.I don’t understand the need for flankers.Why not stick to what works I think she should not of gone there with this flanker its been done before and didn’t work like Covet Bloom.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know…these flankers cost much less to market than the originals. Relatively little advertising, and in both cases they just photoshopped the original ads. Then you figure it will rake in another 10 mil with very little effort on the part of either Coty or Ms. Berry.

      • Lovetosmell says:

        Yeah its a way for them to milk as much money as possible without having to spend the money.But, its getting kind of lame now.Like with Britney’s Fantasies just changing the color of the bottles and box there is not an effort in imagination.But, they make a fortune.Its all about money in the end I guess.

  14. calvin says:

    I love this prefume!! Got it as a gift,I liked it so much i bought more!! LOVE IT!!!

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