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 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 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
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.