I can honestly say that I've never had the slightest curiosity about Clive Christian fragrances. After all, if your claim to fame is that you sell the world's most expensive perfume, you're probably going after people's wallets first and their noses second. But I received a trio of free samples recently, and when presented with a sample, I am incapable of letting it alone. So today I'm wearing Clive Christian No 1 for Women. The first thing I notice is that it appears to forgo its fruity top notes entirely-it's supposed to smell like pineapple, plum, mirabelle and white peach in the opening. What I smell instead is rose. A LOT of rose. And sandalwood, perhaps a touch of orris, and carnation. It smells somewhat dusty to me-but I should note that artificial rose notes in fragrance have that effect on my senses quite frequently. And during the drydown, it seems to be getting sour. Honestly, if this is really what people are getting for their $865 per 1.6 oz bottle, I have to question whether they've been casting a wide enough net before deciding on a fragrance purchase. I mean, when I compare this to the ingenuity of Parfumerie Generale, or the artistry of L'Artisan or Serge Lutens…there is no question that Clive Christian is taking people for a ride. Perhaps the grossly inflated cost can be mostly attributed to the bottle?
You can find Clive Christian fragrances at Saks, by the way.
Today I'm giving Clive Christian another go. I'm happy to report that I like Clive Christian X for Women much better than No 1. It's still not worth its outrageous price tag. But, at least this time I don't feel disgusted. This is a very pretty, well-blended scent. Improbably, it opens with peach and pineapple and jasmine. The two former notes are not really something you tend to think of as being extravagant or costly, so it seems unusual coming from a house that prides itself on sparing no expense on ingredients. They're not very fruity, though-it's a bit hard to describe, but the peach and pineapple are more like accents, edging around the jasmine but never coming close to overtaking it. As the scent dries down, the jasmine begins to blend more with vanilla and a soft musk. I would say that X has a younger feel to it than No 1, and I would guess that it would hold more of an appeal for the masses…if they could afford to spend $850 on a bottle of perfume. And it's not worth $850. It's essentially a more refined version of any number of fruity floral fragrances already on the market. My advice, if you want a refined fruity floral, is to go buy Acqua di Biella's Janca. It's a superb fruity floral, and superior to this one-and a bargain in comparison at $120.