Friday, October 28, 2011

Chandler Burr reviews 07 Brazilian fragrances

Photo credit: Mr. Chandler Burr

Chandler Burr, the former perfume critic for the New York Times, spends his time today curating the Center of Olfactory Art at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.
While he is not writing books, giving lectures or curating, he is promoting olfactive dinners and sharing his fragrant opinions worldwide (small contributions of pleasures to his fans).
Invited by Atualidade Cosmética, a Brazilian magazine about ideas, trends, launches and business of the beauty industry, Chandler reviewed 07 Brazilian perfumes (issue #120).
I will not publish the article here, but I will share with you some of his comments that as usual, brings a little humor to the fragrant world of perfume reviews:

HUMOR Deo Colônia by Natura - the name is self-explanatory: 
Inspired by or to inspire HUMOR.
Natura brings a deo (stands for deodorant) Colônia (translated to English as cologne) that IMO, did exactly what they promised to deliver - a huge laugh to all of us who are used to wear decent perfume, and one more commercial masstige fragrance for the less privileged ones by the price of R$79,90 (app. USD47).  

Chandler Burr's:
"The body of this scent looks Ferrari, but Natura didn’t pay for a Ferrari engine as well".

My comment on the comment:

"Natura Humor brings a fun vision of everyday relationships. The organic forms, hot colors and cartoon box translate the concept with a bold, sophisticated and simple design at the same time. The cartoon box was worked to surprise the consumer: the way it invites to be opened, what is left becomes a cartoon stripe, signed by the most popular cartoonists from Brazil. As every Natura product, Natura Humor also comes with the Braille system". 
Source: Worldstar 2006 winner
Designe Prize winner: ABRE Design e Embalagem, Brazil

With this info in my hands I can assume that all the budget went to the package & bottle design projects (since there are no Hollywood stars endorsing this fragrance) as the most  common marketing strategy used by the mentioned company.
So, Chandler said in a very HUMOROUS way what I am saying now with all the words - The outside might look good, but the juice is cheap. The shell (bottle, concept) might be compared to a Ferrari (I would not go as far as Chandler did - a BMW would do the trick, but the juice is...just another Natura fruity deodorant cr#$!

Another  Natura fragrance reviewed by Chandler is Perfume do Brasil PriPrioca.
The perfume belongs to Natura Ekos line of products with 16 different local raw materials. 

As explained in their website "Natura Ekos  draws on the wealth of Brazil’s biodiversity and on the traditional knowledge of the millions of Brazilian people who live from the land and understand it better than anyone else. They use the plants as food, remedies, cosmetics  and perfumes. 

Natura researched the most interesting Brazilian plants and their traditional uses and brought to the Ekos range the exuberant colors, textures, smells and active ingredients from nature, with clinically proven results".   
"Originally, Priprioca was planted by the Indians of Amazonia on their land and was grated or scraped with dried pirarucu fish for use as medication and an ingredient in baths. Its medicinal use has dwindled, but Prioprioca continues to be renowned for its striking and unusual scent".

Also from the website: "The Priprioca is cultivated today using an agricultural technique of indigenous origin. It is grown on the island of Cotijuba in Boa Vista and is washed by hand in local streams.  The essential oil extracted from its roots is quite rare and of much value to perfumers.  It has an earthy richness of the forest and mixes well with the opulent floral of muguet and the velvet touch of peach".

Now, Chandler's pearls:
"Again, the problem is that Natura seems to have calculated that the riqueza (*Portuguese word for richness, opulence) of its consumers was less than the riqueza of the matas (*Portuguese word for Forests), and so “Priprioca” is merely nicely done. One smells a certain lack of money for the most refined materials, but this may not matter..."

My comments on his comments:
The fragrance is sold in the Brazilian market for R$192.50 (app. USD113.23) - not that cheap  IMO.
Here, once again all the budget went to Olivier Pescheux fees (the perfumer designing the fragrance); to the development of the project of sustainable raw materials and their extractions; to the fees of the Brazilian designer Filomena Padron who created the perfume bottle; to the fees of Brazilian jeweler Renata Camargo; and to the packing itself. 
So maybe priprioca goes well with muguet and vetiver, but in order to get a real quality accord Natura would have to spend more money buying these raw materials, n'est pas?

Unfortunately the other 05 fragrances from O Boticário - Lily Essence & Floratta in Rose Belle; Água de Cheiro Attractive; Mahogany's Angico Branco; and L'aqua di Fiori Evolution, will not be commented here in this blog because they are not worth my time and effort.

Chandler spent his, so here it goes:

O Boticário: 
Lily Essence & Floratta in Rose Belle - "By contrast, “Lilly Essence” and “Floratta in Rose belle” (2006 and 2011, O Boticário) are immediately identifiable contemporary masstige florals, a style that give you the idea of a flower while removing any trace of the complexity, depth, or roughness of real flowers. The masstige floral is, at best, pretty in the way that a girl with good, clean skin, a bright smile, and not too many thoughts cluttering up her head is pretty: You’d enjoy meeting her for cocktails, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to sit next to her for an entire dinner. On the other hand, sometimes a quiet feminine murmur can be just the right thing, and “Lilly Essence” murmurs very nicely".

Água de Cheiro:
Attractive - “Attractive” is an interesting minimalist neo-powder, post-modern in its rejection of everything that traditionally reads “perfume” – no flowers, no berries, nothing you can identify—and its embrace of an interesting synthetic gauze, like milk spun into rayon fibers".

Angico Branco -  "Unfortunately “Angico Branco” (2010, Mahogany) is an extremely persistent perfume without being a lovely one".

L'aqua di Fiori:
Evolution - "Both these perfumes speak to their customers. “Evolution” is a citrus version of “Lilly Essence,” and it does its job competently, fresh with enough weight to anchor it to skin. L’Acqua di Fiori is, very clearly, aiming at giving its women clients the perfume men will want to hang out with after both the cocktails and the dinner are over".


* included by me

These are only parts of Chandler Burr's reviews - if you wish to read the article in Portuguese, please contact the Publisher's at 00 55 11 33922584 or

My comments about Mr. Chandler's reviews are my very own opinion and my very own understanding of what he meant to say. It is not necessarily what he in fact meant. If you wish to have your own "interpretation" of his words, enter to his website and check how to contact him.

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