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YSL Parisienne Eau de Parfum — Forget Paris


When I first sprayed YSL’s Parisienne perfume on my wrists, it instantly made me think of my mom — to the point where I practically sensed her presence in the room (and mind you, she leaves in an entirely different state). Scents have the ability to linger in our memory banks, perhaps for a longer duration than any other sensory experience (certainly taste and feel) so, when I smelled Parisienne, it brought me back to the days when my mom doused herself with YSL’s Paris (and yes, douse would be the correct term since my mom tended to be rather heavy-handed when it came to spraying the fragrance). In essence, Parisienne is meant to appeal to a younger woman — one that finds Paris a bit too matronly but who has outgrown the whimsy of Elle and Young Sexy Lovely. But does it actually appeal to that thirty-something set?

In my case, not really. Perhaps my slight disappointment had to do with my expectations. I was enticed by the commercial for the fragrance, in which we see Kate Moss snuggled into the leather backseat of a luxe sedan, wearing a black leather corset and black skirt, holding a pale pink flower which she traces over her neck and face, breathing heavily while doing so and writhing in the seat as if she’s reaching orgasm. The commercial is dark, mysterious, and yet sensual in that leather-and-lace kind of way. Having seen that spot, then, I expected sex in a bottle — nothing tawdry, of course, but rather a scent that would make me feel like I was fully in control of my feminine mystique. And with its notes of blackberry, Damask rose, and sandalwood, Parisienne isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

The Damask rose heart is perhaps a bit too predictable, too common in fragrances these days, and not at all what I’d expect to smell on a vibrant, liberated woman having passionate encounters in Paris. The blackberry and sandalwood notes are barely detectable and without a woody or musky backbone, the fragrance loses its carnal immediacy. The rose scent is strong at first but fades rather quickly, becoming this wispy, airy floral. While it’s not as powdery as Paris, the two smell entirely too similar for my taste — especially since, while I adore my mom, I don’t particularly want to share her signature fragrance.

In the end, I’ll pick YSL Elle every time.

YSL Parisienne, $39 for 1 oz. Visit YSLBeautyUS.com

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