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.
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.