"What is Beauty?" is one of the oldest questions and since Baumgartner it became the object of a new type of science. But the new creation from Calvin Klein is not exactly the perfect candidate to explain the subtleties of aesthetics. More than 20 years after Beautiful (Estée Lauder), with its refined and devilishly complicated formula, beauty is today a) whatever you like b) whatever people like but sells well.
Beauty (Calvin Klein) is the interpretation of the fresh jasmine note surrounded by several fruity accents and softly underlined by a light lily note. There is not very much to say about because this type of note is almost universal today, from body lotions to fragrances from J'adore (the green multi floral fresh version from Dior) to Jasmin Noir (the spicy very ambery version from Bulgari). Beauty (Calvin Klein) offers this common note in a pure version, without accents, twists, decoration. In other days this was probably a base or an accord inside a more complex perfume. The drydown reveals benzyl salicylate, jasmonals, jasmine lactones, all the basic ingredients of a cosmetic jasmine base, surrounded of course by a musky veil, a transparent cedar and touches of vanilla. A similar idea in a more fresher intepretation called "Voile de Jasmin" was already launched in France by the mass market brand Yves Rocher. Now, Calvin Klein bottles an accord that was used in many contemporary perfumes. After a beautiful top note that captures the fruitiness (pear-peach-apricot) and the green facet of sambac jasmine buds, the perfume becomes in less than an hour a very flat floral, without personality, like something you have smelled thousands times before. The drydown of the perfume shows several unusual clean molecules combined with woody elements suggesting the drydown of Womanity. Unfortunately, the perfume doesn't capture the natural richness of flowers, like J'Adore Absolue, nor the different facets of jasmine, like Surrender (Kilian). The floral heart of the perfume is said to be the "calla lily" or "neo-lily", a modern interpretation of the lily note, but this is less obvious.
Beauty is uncomplicated, easy to understand and universally known. This also how the new Calvin Klein perfume, presented by Diane Kruger, smells: a beautiful start ending like an Avon body lotion, universally used. Beauty, it touches everything.
Calvin Klein Beauty featuring Diane Kruger. Directed by Craig McDean.
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art