The Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier brand, which as near as I can tell involves designer Christian Audigier creating fashions inspired by Ed Hardy's tattoo designs, was established in 2004, and in the relatively short time since, has made an impressive number of licensing agreements. The brand name appears on a multitude of items ranging from beer and energy drinks to remote control airplanes and motorcycle helmets. The fragrances, which debuted last year under arrangements with New Wave, have done especially well:
Through June, the Ed Hardy Women and Men scents ranked as the top and third-best selling new fragrances in the U.S. market, with $7 million and $3.5 million in sales respectively, according to NPD, which tracks perfume sales. The Ed Hardy scents, which cost $55 for 1.7-ounces and $75 for 3.4 ounces, beat out new fragrances from heavyweights Burberry, Guess and Vera Wang.
So far this year, New Wave has moved $33 million of Ed Hardy fragrances in the United States and around the world. (Miami Herald; 10/27/2008)
Not surprising, then, that they're following up with a new duo. Under consideration today: the women's version of Love & Luck, developed by perfumer Adriana Medina and featuring notes of bergamot, blood orange, red sake accord, cherry blossom, black currant, pink peppercorn, nectarine, jasmine, forbidden plum, sensual musk, cedarwood, sandalwood and patchouli.
Let's start with the packaging, since I'm sure the packaging of the original Ed Hardy Woman (aka Love Kills Slowly) had more than a little to do with its success. The original had tattoo-inspired design elements on the plastic outer cap, which extended far past the spray mechanism to cover most of the inner glass bottle. I thought it was fun, if perhaps (as is usual with plastic) maybe a little bit less wonderful when you saw it in person than it was in pictures. They've gone a more conventional (and I assume much cheaper) route with the new Love & Luck Woman: the design, featuring a stylized sort of geisha, is on a paper label that wraps around the bottle. It's nice enough, but maybe not quite so much fun.
The Love & Luck juice, however, is way more fun, at least to my nose. Given that I'm not in the target market and that I wouldn't have worn Ed Hardy Woman, perhaps that is the kiss of death for Love & Luck, who knows? Anyway, it starts off fizzy, with bright citrus, sweet fruit, and loads of pink pepper. The pepper, along with wine-y undertones that must be the "red sake" accord, save it from smelling like candy (or like the strawberry bubblegum of Ed Hardy Woman). The dry down is nondescript floral notes with musky woods; it stays fruity pretty much throughout, but the base is surprisingly dry, with just a touch of clean patchouli. Unfortunately, it gets a bit bland and flat after an hour or so on skin — as is so often the case, most of the fun is in the early stages
Love & Luck isn't a masterpiece, and I wouldn't call it sophisticated — I rather doubt that it's going to be a surprise hit with the perfumista community — but it's nicely done for what it is: a young, easy to wear, energetic scent. I'm not going to be buying it, but at least it made me smile. It also reminded me strongly of some other perfume I haven't been able to place — if you've smelled it, do comment and tell me what it reminded you of.
Ed Hardy Love & Luck is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.