Mimosa Glow

Mimosa - 05, originally uploaded by Marie-Poppy2.

Early evening yesterday, I stepped into the drugstore to check my mail, and swept by the $19.99 shelf to find the tall frosted JLo Glow awaiting redemption from its place of non-glory. I thought I’d snatch it as a gift for my friend Tina, who loves spraying it on her hair and clothes (and it always makes her smell like she just washed her hair when she does). And right than and there, I decided to give it another try.

When Glow came out, I dismissed it as too sharp, too synthetic and too soapy to my taste. While this remains true for the first few minutes, I became pleasantly surprised when trying it on my skin for the first time in 8 years. In a world that sees a rapid life cycle for celebrity scents, JLo’s Glow is probably considered a classic by now, rivaled only by Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.

What awaited me after the initial rash of synthetic orange blossom was something I did not expect. Although familiar, it took me a few minutes to figure it out… Provence! Shimmering mimosas, honeycombs and good old French milled soap. And a little bit of freesia too, which gives it just a touch of peppery greenness. And than a sweetness crept in, vanilla against mimosa, and I was in heaven for a few hours. By bedtime most of what I could smell was musk though, and that was the song I woke up to the next morning.

If Narcisso Rodriguez’s dry down resembles laundry detergent musk, Glow resembles whatever musk they like to put in milled soaps to keep your skin fragrantly “clean” for hours after washing. In that regard, the scent really is true to what it always claimed to be, starting from the ad copy, frosted glass that is reminiscent of a shower cell’s sliding doors and shaped like a yuppie shampoo bottle, to the image of Jennifer Lopez herself scrubbing all the ghetto-dirt from her perfectly carved abs and curves.

Diamond in the Rough?

Ever since I watched Jennifer Lopez’s mind blowing performance in U-Turn, I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen in her perfume line. I know, this is a rather nive wishful thinking, but we can all dream a little… I don’t know what the future holds for the J. Lo perfume line, but so far the only one I can smell myself wearing is the newest one - Deseo. That is not to say that Deseo is even remotely close to mind blowing in perfume terms. But at least it’s nice to find a fragrance to like bearing the name of such a talented actress (and I do prefer Ms. Lopez acting than her music). However, while Glow was too soapy, Still just not interesting, Miami Glow mouthwateringly artificial (and so were most of the others to follow – Live and the rest of the limited edition sequels for Glow) – Deseo is easily wearable and falls exactly into the fragrance category I would have belong to if I was the typical modern woman of my typical social cross section (which I’m not).

Deseo joins the growing family of modern chypres, and to me smells like a hybrid between Pure Turquoise and With Love (Hilary Duff). It starts fresh and citrusy, yet not as brisk as Pure Turquoise. It brings forth some milky notes, but is not quite as milky as With Love, as it stirs towards beachy coconut-milk, skin and sand notes. The floral heart is obscure and I can’t say I recognize any particular note, but if you are familiar with star jasmine, this might be the only thing I can somehow relate to that resembles a living flower. Star jasmine is not a true jasmine, and has a fresh, fleeting green-floral note. It is easy to see why it’s getting so popular with recent fragrances released – it’s a white floral sans the drama, i.e. with the indole left out. The underlining notes are not any more articulate than the heart notes – mostly musks and woods of vague origin, yet upon dry down the oakmoss starts to really shine through, which is very encouraging for all of us true chypre lovers who are being fed a non-oakmoss chypre diet for quite some time…

Judging by the packaging and name (Deseo means desire in Spanish) is meant to symbolize something deeper than it may seem – the bottle being in the shape of a diamond in the rough, and that got to have some deeper meaning in regards to Ms. Lopez’ life story, perhaps even with some implications to other diamonds out there yet to be discovered... What I’m smelling though, is fresh citrus notes of no particular identity, slightly beachy with nice smelling yet nondescript floral bouquet, over woody and and slightly warm and skin like base anchored in moss and salty mineral notes. The base would definitely suit a man very well. Deseo is simple, clean, easy to wear (even more easy to wear than Pure Turquoise), cool yet neither aloof nor distant, fun but not overly beach, serene without being pretentious - and that is precisely what I like about Deseo. After all, any diamond, even a diamond in the rough, is just a cold stone; and unless it's adorning a certain piece of jewelry, it is about as meaningful as a virtual lover or an imaginary boyfriend...

Top notes: Watery Bamboo Leaves, Garden Yuzu, Sicilian Bergamot, freesia.
Heart notes: Star Jasmine, Pink Geranium Flower, Orange Blossom, French Mimosa.

Base notes: Warm Amber, Oakmoss, Sensual Musks, Creamy Sandalwood, Atlas Cedar, Patchouli, Mineral Accord.

Image of bottle via Fragrantica

Other reviews of Deseo:
Now Smell This
The Scented Salamander
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