Escada Especially Escada Delicate Notes ~ fragrance review

Escada Especially Escada Delicate Notes advert

I have to confess that I haven't tried many fragrances from Escada. I don't know much about the brand in general, and its colorful, youth-oriented summer scents like Rockin Rio and Sexy Graffiti just don't appeal to me. Nonetheless, when a sample of Especially Escada Delicate Notes came my way, as part of the annual pre-Valentine roses-and-all-things-romantic perfume promotion, I decided to give it a try.

Especially Escada Delicate Notes is the 2012 flanker to Especially Escada, which I completely missed when it was launched in 2011. It's described as a softer, fresher fragrance, "a blend of sophistication and light-hearted escapism," with notes of rose, ylang ylang, pear and ambrette. It's packaged in a pale pink, frosted-glass version of the Especially Escada bottle, with the same gilt double-E logo cap.

So I wore Especially Escada Delicate Notes for a few days, and then I rounded up a sample of the original Especially Escada for comparison, and while I don't think I'll be revising my list of twenty-five must-try rose fragrances as a result, I found this new fragrance enjoyable enough. Delicate Notes begins with a clean pear note (similar to something you'd find in a shampoo), followed by some apple-like ambrette and a very pink-smelling rose accord. This combination of pear, ambrette and "dewy rose" puts me in mind of Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais, if Goutal decided to rework that fragrance with lower-cost ingredients for a more mainstream audience.

Delicate Notes's dry down is slightly pale and flat, but still rose-based, with some sheer musk and a generalized white floral note (lily-of-the-valley?) joining the rose. It has better staying power than I would have expected from an Eau de Toilette, and its sillage is mild throughout. As Robin said of the original Especially Escada, "To anyone afraid that rose might be too old-fashioned to wear, it’s probably perfect." However, this scent is definitely lighter and softer than Especially Escada, and it lacks its predecessor's sour berry-rose note and potent hairspray-musk base.

Especially Escada Delicate Notes could very well appeal to women from fifteen to fifty and beyond. It does smell a bit like a functional fragrance, but it's pretty and it would work well in all daytime situations, even the office. I still don't feel as though I've learned much about the overall Escada brand, but I'll just have to leave that broader research for another day.

Escada Especially Escada Delicate Notes bottle

Escada Especially Escada Delicate Notes is available as 30 ml ($46), 50 ml ($62), and 75 ml ($84) Eau de Toilette. 

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  1. mutzi says:

    If you can get your hands on it, you must try the discontinued Collection. Escada Collection is sublime. It’s a crime they discontinued that one and keep pouring out things like Rockin Rio.

    • Jessica says:

      Mutzi, I do have an old carded sample of that one, tucked away in my drawer!! You’re absolutely right. So many lines have discontinued their earlier, more complex fragrances…

  2. Tara says:

    The bottle looks beautiful.

    • Jessica says:

      The bottle *is* pretty—there are plenty of frosted-pink bottles around, I guess, but I still like that look. The cap, when you look down at it, is a rectangular double-E, kind of like a belt buckle.

  3. annemarie says:

    I’m afraid you lost me at ‘pear’ and shampoo’. But I do want to say that my 10yo daughter and I sit down together sometimes to leaf through a fashion magazine to drool or exclaim at the pictures. We always chuckle these Escada ads with the topiary hedges. They are pretty and cute and have no cringe-worthy sexual angle (like the perfume perhaps?). They remind me of the Miss Dior Cherie ads – the first ones – girl with balloons and ribbons and bicycle. Lots of fun.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Jessica says:

      Annemarie, this one is probably not quite your style!! ;)

      I agree with you about the ads. They’re fun and harmless. And they remind me just a little bit of Alice in Wonderland, “painting the roses red”! (Although she’s watering them, not painting. But it’s definitely a fantasy scene!)

  4. Carine Yezn says:

    I’ll be passing by the mall downtown tommorow & I may pass by sephora to try this out again as the first time I got the paper strip confused with jeann lanvin’s one. I may also try some new chopard for valentine’s day if I may find it and idylle edt. I thought escada is similar to body shop new rose fragrance from voyag range or is it just me? I’ll find out tommorow I guess.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s easy to get confused after trying a few things at Sephora! I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

      I really need to get over to The Body Shop so that I can refamiliarize myself with their fragrances…

      • Carine Yezn says:

        I’ll get the japanese cherry blossom body spray as I always use it to scent my closet & some clothes as well, other than that body shop fragrances have zero sillage to them, escada is way better along with all high end brands. I may update as soon as I can about the delicate notes fragrance :)

        • amarie121 says:

          Carine, I recently bought Santa Maria Novella’s Rose Wax Tablet for my closet. It is beautiful, with dried roses and satin ribbon. I hang it from an unused rod, and everytime I walk in there I think “yum, what is that fragrance?!”. You might like it; I got it at Aedes and the price was not awful but I don’t recall how much it was (surely under $35)…

          • Carine Yezn says:

            Thanks there, I’ll write that down to test it later if I ever find it.

  5. C.H. says:

    Thanks for this Jessica! I had actually quite liked Especially the first time I tried it, but after reading a few reviews, all I could smell was the pear/berry/shampoo thing. I’m intrigued by the idea of a version that at least has less of the latter two.

    But perhaps what I really need to find is Ce Soir ou Jamais!

    Vis-a-vis the Escada brand, to my mind it’s one of the strangest ones for the perfume-clothing synergy. The fragrances seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with the clothes, which I think of as clean strong lines, bright color but definitely elegant, adult: nothing trashy or too out-there in any manner. Not really in the “Rockin’ Rio” vein (or anything with a dropped final consonant!) Anyway, probably just means you don’t really need to know about the design house, given how little light it sheds on their fragrances!

    • Jessica says:

      See, that explains why I’m confused! I have vague memories of reading about certain female politicians and/or politicians’ wives wearing Escada, which doesn’t seem to mesh with Rockin Rio et al. … lol.

      • C.H. says:

        Yes that’s exactly it! Like, what the better-dressed among the D.C. political class would wear–i.e. expensive but still very conservative. I have no idea how they got into fragrances that project something so vastly different. It really seems like they dropped any pretense of connecting to their design aesthetic and developed the composition solely on the basis of profitability. Which, fair enough, but it’s curious to me that they still used the Escada name; it’s hard for me to imagine that their brand’s image would attract the demographic that might wear Sexy Graffiti. But I guess it probably does sell better than inventing a brand literally no one has heard of.

  6. Mitzi says:

    I think it’s again the case when perfume and clothing brands are owned by different companies.
    If only I could get my hands on the original Escada in the red box, such elegant and spicy chypre it was!

    • Jessica says:

      Too bad about that one in the red box!

      I’m trying to think of brands where the fragrances *do* suit the clothing and vice versa… Missoni was one, but I think those fragrances have been discontinued.

      • C.H. says:

        This would be a fun weekend open thread topic! Chloe fragrances strike me as one of the lines that does a better job than most at matching the design aesthetic–having some sophistication, feminine, more intellectual than carnal.

  7. Omega says:

    I’ve only sniffed a couple of sweet and juvenile that I don’t want to try anymore.

    • Jessica says:

      The summer limited editions are certainly very sweet and fruity and young! Not my style. But I was able to wear Delicate Notes; I don’t love it, but I didn’t feel like I was wearing the equivalent of a neon-pink miniskirt, at least!

      • Omega says:

        lol..neon mini skirt, nope, I don’t think I could pull that off, haha.
        When I first sniffed an Escada, I thought of Hello Kitty, cherry gumballs and a plastic headband..I think a neon one, lol.

  8. amarie121 says:

    I tend to love most rose fragrances, and wondered how this compares with the Rosines? Which Rosine could sub for this? That will help me decide if it is worth pursuing! (Confession: I wore Costume National Scent Gloss yesterday; I am not above wearing pink “happy” scents, but no bubblegum fruit syrup accord please!)

    • C.H. says:

      Good question! I am working my way through my Rosine sample set–makes me want to try Rose d’Ete today. My suspicion is that that might be closest but I’m just speculating!

      • Jessica says:

        I’m thinking Rose d’Ete, too! That has a nice apple note (but not shampoo-like!). Diabolo Rose and Zephir de Rose are also lighter roses, but Diabolo has mint and Zephir has anise.

        • C.H. says:

          Haha yup Diabolo was the other one that came to mind too, in terms of a similar style of rose (soft and softly sweet, but not overly), if one added in a big dose of fruit. Whether or not one would like a fruitified version, of course, would vary!

  9. Carine Yezn says:

    At last guys :D
    Just got home & I tested the delicate notes fragrance a few hours ago on paper strip. I think it smells of roses & musk if you like that kind of scents, so similar to body shop roses range. The bottle is so beautiful & luxurious, just my style. I also tested the new lacost perfume but I fell in love with gucci flora fraich, the green one. I won’t live without that one really, I need it in my life, way too clean to be true. Now my beloved vera wang doesn’t even come any closer after I tested gucci, it’s a true love & I’m so gonna buy it along with dior addict eau sensuell & j’adore l’eau cologn floral. I may also get victoria’s secret bombshell.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m glad you found some new scents to love!!

      • Carine Yezn says:

        Yeah, I can’t believe it too :)
        not anything out there would suit me.

  10. AnnieA says:

    For me Escada is home of the first $1000 blouse I ever saw in person: baby blue chiffon with beaded collar and cuffs. It uncovered a deeply held, deeply buried belief that blouses shouldn’t cost more than maybe $100. The only point in common between their clothes and their perfumes is their colourfulness, if that makes any sense.

    • Jessica says:

      That *is* pricey. I’m sure it was lovely, but… wow.

  11. eminere says:

    I’ve always found those youth-oriented summer scents to be completely at odds to Escada’s fashion business.

  12. Nile Goddess says:

    In Europe the summer scent is out already, it’s Cherries in the Air this year – the same jammy notes with cheerful cherry on top. Not bad actually, better than Rockin’ Rio anyway

  13. austenfan says:

    (Whispers) I used to wear Rockin’Rio.
    Still own a bottle that is languishing in one of my cupboards. I cannot bring myself to finish it.

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