Four quick reviews: Bobbi Brown Bed, Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses, Nicole by Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom

In my continuing (hopeless!) effort to catch up on the 2012 releases before 2013, some very quick reviews: Bobbi Brown Bed, Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses, Nicole by Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom. Do feel free to add your own quick reviews of recent(ish) releases in the comments!

Bobbi Brown Bed

Bobbi Brown Bed perfume oil

Bobbi Brown Bed is a web-only limited edition, and it's basically just a mixture of neroli, orange flower and jasmine in a cute (but small!) glass bottle. If you like all three notes and are after something simple, it might appeal — I found it very pleasant, with a bright but calming aspect that does, in fact, work well for bedtime. It's also balanced enough, with perhaps a tilt towards the neroli, that it would work for either gender. Do bear in mind that it's an oil, so it stays relatively close to the skin. If you want something similar but heavier on the jasmine (and with more oomph in general), try Rodin Olio Lusso Perfume.

Verdict: I liked it, and the lasting power is good, but I'd have a hard time spending $70 for it.

Bobbi Brown Bed is $70 for 6.7 ml Perfume Oil.

Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses for Her

I thought Love & Luck was a fun scent, but otherwise, Ed Hardy has not impressed me (although admittedly I never smelled last year's Villain at all). I'd guess the packaging goes a long way towards selling the products? The latest, Skulls & Roses, is a sweetish strawberry fruity floral with a pale, clean woody musky base. The addition of pear and waterlily keeps things light but shampoo-y, and the longer it's on skin, the more the pear overtakes the strawberry.

Verdict: I'm not sure we needed another sweetish strawberry fruity floral with a pale, clean woody musky base, but this one is fine and not as heavy or cloying as some — and hey, it's the only one sold in a skull. I look forward to seeing if the brand ups its game under new licensing arrangements with Elizabeth Arden.

Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses for Her was developed by perfumer Marypierre Julien; it is available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum. The notes include strawberry, pear, gardenia, waterlily, sandalwood, musk and caramel.

Nicole by Nicole Richie

Nicole by Nicole Richie fragrance bottle

Nicole Richie, really? Does she have enough of a fan base to warrant a perfume? (That's a serious question, I really have no idea). Her debut scent is a sweet floriental with a fruity opening and an amber-y dry down, slightly creamy and slightly powdery, with clean patchouli and darkish woods softened by vanilla, and just a touch of earthiness from the papyrus. It gets darker and drier (and heavier on the powder) the longer it wears. As has been pointed out everywhere, it's vaguely related to Calvin Klein Euphoria.

Verdict: It's no masterpiece, but it's far better done (and less youthful) than I'd have expected. I didn't love the top notes, but the longer it was on skin, the more I liked it, in fact, I liked it better than Euphoria, which can be a bit overwhelming. Granted, it has not been a great year for celebrity fragrances, but this would be my second favorite after Madonna's Truth or Dare. Still, I have no desire to own it and doubt I'd reach for it if I did.

Nicole by Nicole Richie was developed by perfumer Steve DeMercado; notes feature blackberry, orange, amber, Moroccan rose, lily of the valley, papyrus, cashmere woods, sandalwood, sugared patchouli and vanilla. It is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de parfum.

Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom

Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom

Vintage Bloom is the latest from Jessica Simpson, and it's a soft floral, which is something of a rarity on the celebrity perfume market. It has a zesty, somewhat sharp citrus opening softened by a smidgen of raspberry lollipop, after that, it's dewy, very clean florals over a pale base.

Verdict: Vintage Bloom reminds me of some of the recent soft, clean florals from Jo Malone, but with heavier synthetic fresh notes (although thankfully it's not as aggressively clean as Jessica Simpson I Fancy You). It's wearable enough, but despite flashes of citrus peel, the dry down verges on bland — it could easily be the scent of a shampoo or body wash. I couldn't bring myself to care about it either way and predict I will forget all about it in no time.

Jessica Simpson Vintage Bloom was developed by perfumer Stephanie Hakes; the notes feature lemon, Caipirinha lime zest, raspberry blossom, peony, musk and sandalwood. It is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

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26 Comments

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  1. odonata9 says:

    Thanks for the reviews! I just saw an ad for the Nicole Richie and thought the bottle looked nice. I stopped into Nordstrom last night to finally try the JM Blackberry & Bay and I love it. Think a bottle is in my future. I also sprayed Marc Jacobs Dot, just since the bottle is so cute. That was a mistake, especially since I got some on skin and I ended up smelling like a jolly rancher.
    (And I agree with you on Love & Luck – I have a bottle and it is fun!)

    • Robin says:

      I thought Blackberry & Bay was much more attractive than the florals JM released over the past year, but haven’t yet had time to really wear it.

      Love & Luck really is a great scent…I don’t know how it sold, but it’s a shame if it didn’t sell well.

      • I think Love & Luck sold poorly – when I was working in fragrance retail at Macy’s in 2010, it got pulled from shelves, whereas Ed Hardy Woman and Hearts & Dagger remained. Just anecdotal though, I know.

        • Robin says:

          Yeah, but it doesn’t surprise me. It wasn’t a “challenging” scent, but it was less generically pleasing than the others.

    • Lucy says:

      I’ve been really happy with Blackberry and Bay too, but I haven’t worn it as much as I would like. After a few weeks I transitioned to more fall-appropriate scents. I wish they would have released this earlier in the summer. They did the same thing with their Wild Bluebell last year. I would love to talk with someone in their marketing department and ask if there’s a reason behind this game plan, because it doesn’t make sense to me.

      I received my Birchbox today and it had a sample of Atelier Colognes Rose Anonyme. I think it is new? New to me anyway and I can’t find anything on it under the perfume house. I am really enjoying it. It is a darker, velvety rose. It’s much more sophisticated than what they usually send me – Viva la Juicy La Fleur and Kate Spade Twirl were in the last two months. I have never had the pleasure of smelling Un Rose Chypre, but I imagine this has some similarities based on the love it gets here. I already plan on wearing this on Christmas day, if there’s any left.

  2. Veronika says:

    Oh dear Robin! How do you have the nerve to test fragrances you know in advance you wouldn’t like at all. I even can’t make myself to test all the 2ml staff sales persons put in my shopping bag when I’m buying something I do like. Have 30 ml of different types of newer Miss Dior versions – Cherie, Eau Fraiche, Bloom smth – won’t even try those. Can’t make myself. Why would I waste a wrist when I can apply something interesting instead.
    Maybe that’s what makes a difference between someone who loves perfume – and a real hardcore perfumista – almost scientific curiosity – and that’s why you own the best perfume blog:)

    • Veronika says:

      Buy the way – I’d love to smell a Christina Ricci perfume (I mistakenly thought it was her instead of Nicole girl at first – and got overly excited…)

      Imagine what Wednesday Addams would smell like if you saw the movie:)
      Ahhhh…

    • Robin says:

      Well, but you never know when you’ll find a winner! I wouldn’t have guessed I’d like Love & Luck, for instance. And I test plenty of expensive niche perfumes that I don’t like one bit. So there are surprises everywhere.

      (And thank you, that’s sweet!)

      Wednesday Addams is hard because most of the appropriate scents seem too old. It needs to be reasonably youthful, but dark w/ a serious chemical edge. Hmmm.

      • Dilana says:

        As delightful as Ms. Ricci was as Wednesday Adams, that was a long time ago. Ms. Ricci has a very busy career as as an adult actress, mostly in television dramas. Since she often plays 60′s glam gals, I imagine Ms. Ricci in Shalimar.

        Wednesday was always mature for her age. On the other hand, I am not sure what her actual age is. Perhaps she was one of those preteen Salem witches who simply decided to look like a preteen forever. In that case, I am certain her fragrance choice would be the hemlock scented Ormonde Jayne Woman. On the other hand if she really is just a nine year old from a really Ookey family, she’d probably favor a spicy rose oud. I suspect she spikes her brother’s AXE with itchy powder.

        • FragrantWitch says:

          I could see Wednesday in OJ Woman or Voleur de Roses or Bulgari Black. What would Morticia wear? First thing that comes to mind is Paloma Picasso or My Sin.

          • JolieFleurs says:

            Demeter’s Funeral Home.

          • Merlin says:

            Yes!
            Although, I don’t think Morticia or Wednesday would be buying perfume – I’m sure they brew up their own macabre concoctions!

      • hajusuuri says:

        Yikes! Now I can’t get the Addams Family theme song out of my head. It still better than It’s a Small World over and over again. If you haven’t done so yet, it would be cool to do a scent poll of the Addams Family.

        Staying on “comment” topic, I think Wednesday would wear ELDO Secretions Magnifique ~ a nice innocent looking girl with an impish streak… and she will put black ink inside a Fame bottle and sweetly ask if you would like to try a new disappearing magic perfume. Morticia is Chanel No. 5 all the way.

    • georgiawells says:

      I obsessively want to smell EVERYTHING.

  3. nozknoz says:

    It’s the only one sold in a skull – SNORT!

    I rushed through Nordstrom’s tonight and managed to test Baiser Vole (on scent strips). I was surprised how different the EdP and EdT seemed (which annoyingly complicates any decision to buy it) and pleased with how softly green it is. Totally wrong for this time of year, of course. I hope it’s still around next spring, though! It’s so easy to find fall/winter perfumes that I like, and so hard to find anything that I can bear to wear in our hot, humid summers.

    • Robin says:

      Ack, and did you try the Extrait? The Extrait is REALLY nice. I’ve been meaning to go in and put all 3 on skin at once.

  4. Merlin says:

    Isn’t Nichole Ricchi the one who died in suspicious circumstances, and who was buried in a pink coffin with lots of crystals, and who was a playgirl who married a millionaire???

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know that story! But no, this is Lionel Richie’s adopted daughter.

    • Lucy says:

      Although there could be a Nichole Ricchi that i’ve never heard of, maybe you’re thinking of Anna Nicole Smith? She was famous for being a former stripper, model for Guess and Playboy, marrying a much older billionaire, having a cable reality show, and bore a resemblance to Marilyn Monroe.

      The Nicole Richie mentioned above is the daughter (step or adopted, I think?) of singer Lionel Richie, had a reality show with former BFF Paris Hilton about 10 years ago, and has now created the fashion line House of Harlow.

      I’m so embarrassed that I could type all that without looking it up. I’m not a fan of anyone mentioned above, except maybe Lionel.

      • samantha says:

        Lionel is definitely the coolest one of that whole group!

    • samantha says:

      Are you thinking of Anna Nicole Smith?

  5. samantha says:

    I was hopeful about Nicole…I really like the deco-ish bottle. I agree it was nice enough, but not worthy of full bottle space (bottle space is precious on my dressing table!).

    • Robin says:

      Still, nice to know the people who bought it got something halfway decent…more than I can say for many celebrity perfumes.

  6. amarie121 says:

    I wonder by Bobbi Brown Bed is web only? Did I understand that correctly? Who ever heard of a fragrance being sold that way, unless there is no confidence in how it smells?! Wow, that is a lot of money on a blind buy. It’s like selling paintings that are boxed up; how would you know what you are getting?

    Stranger still, why am I tempted to buy one?!

    • Robin says:

      I assume they did not make enough of it to distribute to all the BB counters…why they made it at all, I have no idea. But it’s a pretty simple scent…if you like neroli & jasmine, I would think you’d like it. But I can think of better things to do with $70.

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