Friday, January 27, 2012

Laura Biagiotti Venezia

Dislikes and Blind Buys

I haven't written in a while, mea culpa. The same old excuses apply: life, work, new commitment to the gym, yadda, yadda.

In my last post, the lovely JoanElaine complained that I was giving too many glowing reviews (making her lust after more perfume) and could I please review something bad for a change. She was joking but it's a fair criticism. Most of my reviews are positive because positive reviews are the most fun to write. Who wants to wear a terrible perfume for 6 hours or more just to see how it develops? I also have the natural reluctance of an amateur to criticize professionals. Someone, somewhere worked hard on this perfume and who am I to say that it is crap. Maybe it's just me?

But, by not giving any bad reviews, I make it hard for you, dear readers, to decide if my tastes match yours and it makes me seem a little lightweight, I suppose. So, I will try to post negative reviews more often and I encourage you all to keep in mind my motto: "You might be different, so go forth and sniff."

The Blind Buy

A little while ago, I was contacted by a friend, who was ordering the newly re-released Venezia, by Italian fashion designer Laura Biagiotti. This friend has been raving about Venezia for years to me. She was ecstatic that it was being re-released and wanted to know if I wanted a bottle too. I said yes, even though I had never smelled the original. The notes sounded nice and the original had very good reviews from people I respect, like The Non-Blonde.

The original Venezia (1992) had notes of: black currant, mango, plum, peach, bergamot, osmanthus, geranium, carnation, iris, amber, cinnamon, jasmine, cedar, rose, sandalwood, tonka, musk, benzoin, civet and vanilla. It was, by all accounts, a sexy, fruity-floral oriental.  From blog comments I know that there were many people like my friend, who had been desperately missing Venezia since it was discontinued.

Then, in 2011, the word was spread that Venezia was coming back! The perfume was being reorchestrated by Lucas Sieuzac and the original nose Michel Almairac. The new notes were: plum, jasmine and vanilla. Maybe the drastically shortened note list should have been my first clue.

How It Smells

When my bottle arrived, I eagerly opened the box, and gamely ignoring the cheap-feeling, red plastic cap, I spritzed on a generous amount. I was hit with the smell of nail polish remover and hairspray. Well, ok, top notes can be deceiving. I waited and sniffed again. Sweet jam, fake vanilla and a heavy synthetic cedar note. Oh dear. Synthetic cedar I don't mind; I actually love the way it's overdosed in Omnia. But in Venezia, the whole thing is a mess and it smells cheap. I couldn't wear it.

Luckily, my friend was more than happy to have the bottle back. She loves it. I'm glad and I hope she doesn't read this, so that I don't spoil it for her.

House: Laura Biagiotti
Nose: Lucas Sieuzac, Michel Almairac
Notes: Plum, jasmine, vanilla


  1. Oh, dear, what a pity. I have a mini of the original, and it's lovely-- sexy but still very delicate. (Why haven't I reviewed it yet?) Let me know if you'd like a sample for comparison & if my brain isn't too mushy, I'll mail it to you.

  2. I hope your friend doesn't read the review, too! (Keep the friend, ditch the 'fume.)

    I don't think I even would have enjoyed the original, so I wasn't interested when news of the refo hit the blogs.

  3. Thanks for the warning. I like reviewing terrible perfumes, and I love reviewing great ones. The middling, mediocre ones are no fun to write about.

  4. The original sounds very interesting; it's too bad reformulation usually stink (pun intended ;)

  5. Bravo! I have no desire to run out and buy this perfume!
    It's too bad it turned out to be a real stinker for you. Nail polish AND hair spray?

    My wallet and I thank you! ;)

  6. nice opinion. thanks for sharing...

  7. Thank you for the stellar review of Venezia. I enjoyed reading all of your reviews. :)
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  8. I think that the universe conspires to punish blind buys. Not always, but more often than sheer statistics can explain.


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