You might think my failure to keep up with celebrity news and gossip would be a handicap when it came to reviewing celebrity perfumes, but it's really an asset: it's much easier to consider a perfume objectively when you know little or nothing about the person fronting it. And since most celebrities have little or nothing to do with developing the perfumes released under their names, it seems silly to worry about who they are and what they do anyway, other than insofar as their shenanigans might affect perfume sales.
Elizabeth Taylor is another matter. She's an icon, for heaven's sakes — even I know who Elizabeth Taylor is. Plus she's 78 years old, and not in the best of health. I readily admit that if her latest perfume, Violet Eyes, turned out to be hilariously vile, I'd have a pretty hard time saying so.1
Luckily, it isn't hilariously vile. It isn't going to go down in the history books, but it's fine. The opening is sharp citrus, slightly green and woody, with pale peach skin. It isn't overly fruity, and it isn't overly sweet. The heart is a soft blended floral — apparently jasmine, rose and peony — and the base is a creamy, just-slightly-powdery pale musky woods with a touch of vanilla sugar. It's feminine, romantic, clean, and very middle-of-the-road safe. It is about the last thing you'd picture the Elizabeth Taylor pictured in the Violet Eyes fragrance ad wearing, but that is neither here nor there: it ought to make it a perfect Mother's Day present for the right Elizabeth Taylor fan.
The quick poll: name your favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie, and give Miss Taylor's character the perfect fragrance.
Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes was developed by perfumer Carlos Benaïm. It's available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, $52.
1. "Hilariously vile" was Tania Sanchez of Perfumes: The Guide on Paris Hilton Heiress.