Reported by WWD that Proctor & Gamble would be spending at least $30 million on a global ad campaign fronted once more by Scarlett Johansson, I was more than curious to try out the Dolce & Gabbana fragrance release, The One Desire. The name is right, the packaging is dark and beautiful using classic Dolce & Gabbana black and gold, so would the juice deliver on it’s desirous promise?
The first difference is its claim to be an ‘after hours’ fragrance for a special occasion or an evening out….working on the premise if it’s classed as special, it retains an air of aloofness or mystique. Luigi Feola, Vice President of P&G Prestige division follows this up with, “This is for the woman who wants to feel unique, beautiful and sensual. She owns the room when she enters. She’s not just noticed, she attracts the attention of everybody and is sexy but not vulgar.”
There’s certainly a lot of rhetoric used around a new fragrance launch like this. There’s talk of ‘femininity and seduction‘ and of ‘a mysterious world of light and shadows, of temptation and seduction’ but little to guide the reviewer in its olfactory make-up so here we go.
There’s an immediate fruity blast to The One Desire which isn’t unpleasant but still strikes me as youthful when the much more favourable depth and strength kicks in as a backbone. As the fragrance is built around a woman’s strength and confidence, I’d expect a gutsier, more gargantuan largesse from an occasion perfume, but it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s what can be called a grower, as this definitely built with time.
The initial sharp intake of mandarin, lychee and bergamot is obvious, not so much the lily of the valley, but it is the warming middle notes that darken and add depth and warmth within a few minutes – tuberose and jasmine are unmistakable with a surprising kick of plum. I’m liking the latter. Plum is beginning to be used a fair amount in new fragrance releases and it’s a welcome change from the insidious creeping over-use of pink pepper. I think I can safely say, we’re over that.
It’s the murky depths or the near as dammit murky like depths that a huge mass market launch can go to that makes this fragrance interesting – the sweet caramel tinged vanilla sticks like a tacky toffee apple and, merged with sandalwood and musk, gives the perfume a much needed grounding of depth and taste.
This isn’t a va va voom vamptastic launch. It is nevertheless a good launch to the market and one that will have women spraying and spritzing aplenty in dept stores and big name chemists throughout the county. It will carve out it’s own following. But The One Desire’s strength is more in its approach to marketing and persuasion rather than juice alone.
The One Desire is available as a 30ml (£45), 50ml (£64) and a 75ml (£79) EDP and will be available from 28th February in Dolce & Gabbana boutiques and licensed perfume stores. The One Desire is exclusively available from Harrods for a limited period from 22nd January.