Puckrik on Perfume

Katie Puckrik ON Jun 05, 2009 AT 12:48 pm

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

When not sniffing up a storm, Katie Puckrik is a broadcaster, performer and journalist. Her television hosting work in the US and UK  encompasses the entire pop culture pu-pu platter. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Marie Claire and The Guardian. She began her career as a singer and dancer, including a tour across the globe with the Pet Shop Boys. Her memoir, Shooting From the Lip, is published by Headline.  Her perfume review channel, KatiePuckrikSmells, can be seen on YouTube.

Read on below for the fifth instalment of her regular Friday column.

Ralph Lauren Notorious
By Katie Puckrik

Perfume-wise, we are living through caramel-filled, chocolate-coated times. Angel, Thierry Mugler’s bombastic triumph from 1992, has made sure of that. But Angel and the rest of the current batch of foodie fragrances can trace their recipes back to the great vintage Orientals. These early thigh-lickers (or wherever you happen to apply your perfume) fall into 2 categories: the Play-Doh (ie Guerlain Shalimar) and the Coca-Cola (ie Estée Lauder Youth Dew). The Play-Doh types are snuggly, sensual perfumes with varying combos of vanilla and amber notes. The Coca-Cola ones blend aromatic spices with darkly fruity syrup, and are more of an invitation to a throw-down – whether erotic or pugilistic.

Ralph Lauren Notorious

Ralph Lauren Notorious

Ralph Lauren Notorious harkens back to the vintage cola style, but this is retro with a face-lift: a lighter, brighter and absolutely Diet Coke – with a slice. This low-cal concoction actually has a refreshing little fizz at first application. After a spell, chocolate shadows haunt the edges of this eau de parfum, and it finally settles in for the long haul with the subtly sweet scent of finely milled face powder.

The Notorious ad campaign gives us a Lauren Bacall-like model shot in black and white. Her long hair is sleekly side-parted, her eyes challenge our “we’re not worthy” gaze. I actually buy the inference that this sultry miss is ponging a spritz-load of Notorious, but only because she’s trying to cover up the olfactory traces of last night’s bone-fest with something more genteel.

Notorious lacks the wild abandon of something truly “notorious”. Where’s that adrenalin sweat, that predator animal funk? If you’re going to be notorious, at least smell like you’re at the top of the food chain! Notorious is a bad girl’s scent for good girls only. It’s classy and carefully pretty, but it won’t get your face on a mug shot anytime soon.

Info and stockists:

Katie discusses the “Play-Doh Oriental” of Estée Lauder Amber Ylang-Ylang on her YouTube channel, KatiePuckrikSmells.

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