Dana Classic Fragrances (Cover Girl) Navy ~ perfume review

Cover Girl NavyCover Girl Navy

Dana Classic Fragrances Navy Eau de Cologne. I remembered the ads with their crisp motif of navy blue and stripes (it was Cover Girl Navy in those days), and the bottle, a deco-inspired oval, reinforced the image. The Dana website describes the fragrance as “a refreshing classic citrus floral blend of Rose, Jasmine and Orange Flower with a hint of sweet spices of Coriander and Cinnamon.” Further research showed it debuted in 1990. This should be a light, tidy fragrance, I thought. A great contrast to yesterday’s review of Chantilly and perfect for a summer day.

Not.

Navy is a floral oriental loaded with powder and old-fashioned orange flower. Refreshing? As refreshing as a dusty eiderdown comforter in August. Citrus? Not unless you count the “orange” in “orange flower.” Navy? Even the Village People would have trouble with that one. Navy and Chantilly are sisters, but where Chantilly accepted her lot in life and is running with it, Navy needs therapy.

Once I got over the disconnect between image and fragrance, I found a lot to like about Navy. One light spray from eight inches above skin produces a soft blend of ambery, musty orange flower and clean musk that smells like the best kind of gas station soap. (Warning: two sprays, especially in the heat, suffocate.) After a few minutes, an edge of the promised cinnamon and cardamom appears but doesn’t even come close to standing up to the sweet, sodden cardboard aroma of the orange flower. For an Eau de Cologne, it has hearty sillage and lasts a while.

Worn lightly, Navy could be a charming, tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to studded leather and body piercings, and at two small bottles for six dollars, it won’t break the bank. I’m neither young nor chic enough to pull off the irony required to wear Navy well, but I’m not old enough for Navy to feel entirely at home on my skin, either.

Fancier folk who like Navy but would prefer something a little more complex, made of higher grade materials, might try Boucheron de Boucheron. Really, though, if I were going for a powdery orange flower bomb, I think I’d prefer the less self-conscious approach of Navy. Sure, it’s cheap, but like box cake mixes and Harlequin romances, that’s part of its charm.

Dana Classic Fragrances Navy is available at drugstores. 

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67 Comments

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  1. breathesgelatin says:

    Navy was my first fragrance. It was gifted to me when I was in seventh grade. Looking back, it was probably re-gifted. LOL. At that time, it was Cover Girl Navy. I just had a small amount – I think a purse spray??? – but I nursed that sucker for a long time.

    I loooooooved it. I remember going to an 8th grade dance and putting it on and it made me feel so grown up. My mother did not wear fragrances at all (maybe some body lotion), but my grandmother did, and I always thought of perfume as completely sophisticated and adult as a result (my grandmother being more into fashion and style). Getting Navy was part of my entre into womanhood.

    I haven’t worn Navy in years and years, but I remember it as a bright floral oriental. I think my love of all things powder in fragrance is a direct result of Navy. I loved the stripey ads (sailor stripes have been a major player in my wardrobe since I was 13 or 14 – and I’m now 29) and the ad image in general, even if now I realize the disjoint between the image and the fragrance. Even I remember thinking that the powdery floweriness of it felt so clean, even though I bet many of my peers would’ve disputed that!

    I’m not even sure when Navy came out – when I received it, it had to be around 1996. I feel like it was new then, but I’m not even sure. God I loved that stuff.

    After I used up my purse spray of Navy, I moved on to Oscar de la Renta’s signature fragrance which I ended up using exclusively for years. So I think I was always just very different than my peers in terms of fragrance preferences… given this was the late 90s/early 2000s and I was in my teens and twenties!

    Reading this now definitely makes me long for a little purse spray of Navy… or maybe I should try Boucheron, which in all my time around department store perfumes, I don’t think I’ve ever sprayed on skin!

    • ggperfume says:

      You have to try Boucheron – then give us your review!

    • Angela says:

      Try Boucheron and Navy and tell us what you think! Sometimes it’s really fun to sniff a fragrance you used to wear years ago and see what it brings up now.

    • mals86 says:

      I am absolutely certain that I bought a mini of Navy at the drugstore in my last year of college: 1990. So, not “old” in 1996, but not new either.

    • AnnS says:

      I’ve worn Boucheron off and on since the mid- 90s. It’s a great fragrance, but less is certainly more. It is very elegant. I always have a bottle, but it gets much less attention now.

      • Angela says:

        When you love fragrance, it’s hard for any one particular fragrance to get a lot of love, it seems.

  2. mariclare says:

    I’m really loving these drug store perfume reviews!

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad! They’re fun to do.

  3. LaMaroc says:

    I totally get the Boucheron reference. Maybe this is what CG was trying to imitate with the blue bottle, but certainly not the name.

    This came out my senior year of high school. I could have (should have) taken summer school and graduated a year early but instead I went to school part-time and worked part-time at a bank through our school’s work co-op program. I liked being a free, crazy dresser (goth one day, surfer the next, etc.) and working at a bank stifled me. I had to get a whole, new conservative wardrobe that I hated. (And yet I was voted in the Top 5 best dressed seniors in my yearbook. Blech!) Anyway, when Navy came out I was agast. Why would anyone name a perfume after a such a conservative, boring, *corporate* color? I immediately had a grudge against this perfume. I associate this fragrance very much with the 90s and not with the 80s as I do most fragrances that came out in ’90, ’91, ’92.

    • LaMaroc says:

      Btw, I should mention I love a dark, rich navy now. In fact, today, I’m wearing *gasp* a navy and white striped sundress! lol

      • Angela says:

        Perfect! You match the ad!

    • Angela says:

      You don’t sound like much of a bank employee type of person! Although I would love to see a goth-clothed teller someday.

      • LaMaroc says:

        Oh yes, bank teller was wiped quickly off my slate after that year. I was a terrible bank teller, too. I found out my mild dyslexia was major when it came to numbers and transposed them so often, I was always the last one to close my drawer. :( I’d love to see a goth bank teller, too, though I’d say you and I are in the minority!

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          I love the idea of a goth bank teller, so I’ll join the club, too! I think we could get away with it in my neighborhood (Hawthorne district of Portland, OR, for those who may know it). We certainly have higher-than-average tattoo and piercing per-capita!

          • Angela says:

            Very close to my neighborhood! Yes, plenty of tattoos and piercings, but not many goths any more, it seems.

        • Angela says:

          I guess there are some professions where it’s best to be a little bit OCD, and bank teller is one of them.

  4. Bear says:

    The CoverGirl Navy has a soft sandalwood basenote that complements the orange flower/cinnamon for me. Lasts ALL DAY and careful application is required.
    Dana usually gets the spirit of their reformulations correct, but sometimes the creations are harsh and “thin.” YMMV

    • Angela says:

      It is definitely a potent fragrance, but I discovered if I sprayed it high above my arm so it diffused over my skin, it was the perfect amount of fragrance. Now I’ll have to look for the sandalwood note! Maybe I’ve been spoiled by vintage Ubar.

      • Bear says:

        Nothing can touch the smell of vintage Ubar.
        Off-topic, while I was typing this SE PA has had an earthquake,
        epicenter VA. I thought my ceiling fan was exploding! Incredible!
        No damage or injuries. I hope it remains that way!

        • Angela says:

          I thought the big earthquake zone was out here, in the west! I’m glad you’re o.k. That’s scary.

        • nozknoz says:

          Bear, I’m in DC and was taking a day off, two stories under ground in the Sackler Gallery of Asian art when I felt it. What a surprise!

          Apparently, although the earthquakes in the eastern US aren’t as strong as those out west, our older, colder rocks propagate the shockwaves farther.

          • Angela says:

            That’s so interesting. I was surprised at how far flung people were who felt the earthquake–that explains it.

          • LaMaroc says:

            Yikes! Glad you’re all ok. Even the Midwest isn’t invulnerable. Our “big one” (5.3?) was back in 1988. But I was in several out in Seattle, including the “big one” in 2001. The Sackler Gallery! *sigh* Jealous. :)

      • AnnS says:

        I think, yes, you would be spoiled by vintage Ubar!

  5. bookgirl says:

    I remember that ad! I recall seeing it in one of my older sister’s Seventeen magazines and I remember thinking how sophisticated and pretty the model looked. I must have been a tween. Haha. Thanks for this trip down memory lane, Angela!

    • Angela says:

      Trips down memory lane are what drugstore week is all about!

  6. megank4 says:

    my first perfume too! Wore it my entire freshman year of high school. Still some left in that bottle, good grief. I can’t wear it now, reminds me too much of high school. Also makes me hungry for some reason.

    • Angela says:

      I have to watch out with perfumes that make me hungry. Too much else makes me hungry, too.

  7. Peggspark says:

    I used to wear this one when it first came out. I bought a bottle about 2 years ago but I just can’t bring myself to wear it – it reminds me of a bad time in my life with my ex!! It was nice at the time…..

    • Angela says:

      It’s amazing how perfume can remind a person of bad–and good–times! Same with music.

  8. JolieFleurs says:

    I am really enjoying drug store week, too, Angela; thanks!

    I have no memory of this one at all. I was swanning about in clouds of Fendi at the time.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, you smelled really nice! I’m so sad about Fendi being discontinued.

      • JolieFleurs says:

        Well, they had butchered it pretty bad before they finally killed it, which was merciful in a sense.

        It’s one of the ones I REALLY miss, though, and I get outbid on ebay!

        • Angela says:

          I hope you stumble on a big cache of it soon!

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Oh, maybe that explains my feelings towards Fendi? I bought a mini on ebay, having heard many-a-positive word and was less than excited by the juice when it arrived. I just figured that meant that it wasn’t for me. Maybe mine is too new? Any way to tell which formulation you have by the bottle?

          • Angela says:

            I can’t help you there, but I bet there are plenty of Fendi fiends who know.

          • AnnS says:

            Marjorie: I wanted Fendi so bad when it came out, mostly because the ad was so elegant. I have a bottle that I picked up at Kmart a few years ago. Boy that stuff is super potent. Literally a pin prick is all I every can stand from it, and then it smells just fine. It is definitely a room clearer, if need be. They sure don’t make them like that anymore!

  9. helenviolette says:

    You know- I don’t think I have ever smelled Navy- which I am pretty sure was being worn like crazy by people in middle school (along with Xclamation and Electric Youth!)- but I too busy drowning myself in CKOne, New West, and Colors by Benneton.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Electric Youth!!! How could I forget Debbie Gibson! I’ve even seen her in concert. . .kinda embarrassing to admit, now!

      I remember Navy, CKOne, and Stetson/Lady Stetson getting a lot of play in my trailer-trash-neck-of-the-woods. Navy definitely was considered one of the more sophisticated options available to us!

      • Angela says:

        The Stetsons are pretty great, I think. I’ve never tried Electric Youth, and I’m not sure I could bring myself to…

      • LaMaroc says:

        Debbie, ehem, Deborah Gibson’s a whole new kind of hip now – ubergeek, I believe it’s called. She and Tiffany (yes, that one) starred in a Sci-Fi Channel movie called Mega-Python vs. Gataroid! Campy with extra cheese.

        • Angela says:

          That’s hilarious! Camp is best though, I think, when it’s not intentional. Still, that one sounds worth seeing.

    • Angela says:

      Those names sure bring back memories….

  10. FragrantWitch says:

    I used to really like Navy; it was sat proudly in on my dresser next to Chantilly, Emeraude, Jaclyn Smith’s California, Camp Beverly Hills and Musk by Alyssa Ashley. They all suffered neglect when I discovered Shalimar and L’air du Temps! Sadly all of the aformentioned have been reformulated and I dare not smell the drugstore fragrances for fear of tainting the wonderful memories they conjure. L’air smells all wrong to me now as well. Shalimar still smells largely as she did when I discovered her at age 15 in 1989 though I prefer the EDP to the EDT. I have a dribble of vintage Shalimar perfume and yowza! I feel dirty just sniffing it…like I need to close the door and listen out for footsteps!

    • FragrantWitch says:

      Ps- thanks for the always fab review, Angela. I am looking forward to rest of Drugstore Week!

    • Angela says:

      Isn’t Shalimar perfume really kind of filthy? There’s nothing else like it, really. I love it.

      • FragrantWitch says:

        Absolutely. I need more but it is tricky to track down outside of eBay and I am not always a happy eBayer as I’ve had a few bum experiences. I need some clueless nephew emptying out his old aunties house and having a yard sale with her fabulous vintage collection that I could by for a fiver….. And then run away with, cackling with glee.

        • JolieFleurs says:

          I literally dream about this happening. Constantly.

          • Angela says:

            You and me both.

          • mals86 says:

            IT COULD HAPPEN. How else would I have gotten a beautiful 1 oz bottle of No. 5 parfum, still in the original 1950s packaging, for $36 shipped? Somebody did not have a clue as to what it was worth.

          • Angela says:

            That’s amazing!

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            I found mine at an estate sale. The owner clearly had been a Guerlain fan, as there was also Habit Rouge, and a few others I didn’t know so well. Funny, I don’t find it filthy, just lovely and seductive. . .does that say more about me or the juice? : /

          • Angela says:

            You don’t get that civet-y skank? Well, nasty or not, it’s fabulous either way!

        • Angela says:

          Yes! There’s plenty of old Shalimar out there. I predict you’ll find some soon.

    • annemarie says:

      L’Air reminds me of sand paper. It’s like all the moisture and juiciness that should be there has cleared out and gone to join some other perfume. I’ve never smelled vintage, that must be the problem.

      • Angela says:

        I bet you’re right. I haven’t smelled vintage, either, and I haven’t been moved to do more than sniff the current version briefly.

  11. mals86 says:

    I bought a mini of Navy the spring of my senior year of college in 1990. I liked it very much – mostly the spices, I’m sure, as I tend to not be much of an orange blossom fan. Since it was a mini, I dabbed it, and I don’t remember it being either heavy or *very* powdery (as I think I mentioned yesterday, the powder of Chantilly was way too much for me). Our choir went on weekend tours, and I left it somewhere on one of those trips. I didn’t bother to replace it, and I took Xia Xi’ang with me instead on our European trip.

    • Angela says:

      I love all the little stories that go with perfume!

    • LaMaroc says:

      Ohhhh, X’ia X’iang, good choice! I just bought small vintage bottles off *bay and it is a nice, warm trip down memory lane for me. Prices used to be exorbitant a few years ago, but someone must have found a stockpile, because prices have dropped considerably. Now if this would only happen to my beloved Ultima II Maroc.

      • Angela says:

        Is that what your NST handle is named after?

        • LaMaroc says:

          It is indeed. It’s the fragrance I can definitively call my favorite fragrance of all time. It represents fond memories and even though I was a teenager, I didn’t mind that my mom liked it, too. :P I have the Irma Shorrell version, which is well done but it doesn’t have the super-dry chypre that the original has. Somehow the perfumer (still don’t know who it is to this day) managed to make it feel like you were inhaling a big gulp of bone dry desert air. The “La” I know is grammatically incorrect, but as I explained to Bela, I’m a La and not a Le. lol

          • Angela says:

            It sounds like an amazing fragrance. I’ll keep my eyes out for it at thrift stores, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen it (sadly).

  12. dee says:

    Navy was one of my first fragrances after Love’s Baby Soft— and I haven’t revisited it since my last bottle ran out around fifth grade! Navy was the predecessor to the more sophisticated (in my little girl brain) L’Effleur ;)

    It seems my love of dense fragrances may have begun here… Lol!

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like it did! Chantilly was your gateway.

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