Friday, February 06, 2009

Betsey Johnson

A reader sent me a sample of Betsey Johnson perfume sometime last year. (Thanks Kim, if you're out there!) This week has been so cold (for Atlanta, and I'm a wimp), and the job search so bewildering, that I decided I needed a little kick. Originally I planned to wear Bandit today, but when I saw that vial of Betsey Johnson, I instantly though of the hot pink interior of her stores, her ruffly feminine dresses, so I pulled it out and set it on my desk. The news said Friday would be warmer, with temperatures near sixty. With a little boost, I thought I could help spring arrive early, at least mood-wise.

The notes in Betsey Johnson are:

Top: pear, tangerine, grapefruit, black currant
Heart: freesia, lily of the valley, red apple
Base: cedar wood, sandalwood, praline, amber, musk

That Vegas showgirl of a bottle pretty much says it all: pink and sparkling, a little exotic (it's billed as an Oriental on the Betsey Johnson site), a little artificial. This is a "happy face" perfume, a costume (fitting, really, given her designs), something to wear when you need to fake it, when you need neon lights and a little glitz, however false. The opening goes from tart to sweet in a heartbeat, the juiciness is fresh but it falls away rather quickly. The red apple keeps the heart sweet and upholds the delicate freesia and lily of the valley, which would probably pale too much on their own. As it warms into the base, it has caramel-apple mixed with a pretty typical Oriental dry down.

Right now, all I want is a vacation. I want the middle of summer in searing desert heat, I want the singing and clanging slot machines, a fruity cocktail, and the Bellagio fountains. I want to put on this dress and some strappy sandals, spritz myself with this scent, and be someone else for a weekend, someone faking she has not a care in the world.

*images from