Friday, January 15, 2010

SOTD: Jessica Simpson Taste (Braving the Pink Side)

Photo of pink-topped confection.
This time, when I ordered from BeautyEncounter, I remembered that I'm entitled to rack up three of those "surprise me with a perfume sample!" things, and I did. They sent me samples of Ellen Tracy Linda Allard Limited Edition, Hugo Boss Boss Woman, and Jessica Simpson Taste Delicious Dessert Deliciously Kissable Fragrance Somethingorother. The card has me confused; I'm just calling it Taste, because that's the word with the biggest print.

I tend to ignore new designer or celebrity perfume samples. I always mean to try them, because who knows?, but they have to get in line behind the carefully chosen niche or classic stuff, and much later I come upon them and I don't know how old the sample is, or even if the perfume still exists. So they never make it to the head of the line. I thought that I should break that habit.

In addition, I decided that I must work on my perfume-snob traits and either break myself of the snobbery, or develop a really enjoyable self-righteous glow of justification about it. So I'm going to try these samples. And I'm going to start with the scariest one.

All of which explains why I just removed the (pink) vial of Jessica Simpson Taste from its (pink) card and decanted its few (pink) drops of perfume into a (plastic - I have limits, and putting pink perfume into glass strains them) atomizer.

And nervously read the card, which did not still my fears:
Fresh flirty & exotic... totally inspired by the Island Girl in me. Warm Tahitian vanilla, luscious white chocolate, coconut cream, apricot & honey. Wear it, then share it. Enjoy!

Kisses, Jessica
The first thing I noticed was plastic vanilla and coconut. That wasn't a surprise.

The second thing that I noticed was that it took an unusually long time to dry, and had an odd big-drops-of-liquid texture as it did. Is there no alcohol in this? Does that signal that it's a children's perfume? Or is the name more literal than it seems and you're supposed to eat the stuff? No, the card addresses that: "THIS IS NOT A FOOD". OK, then.

The third thing that I noticed was that it's surprisingly light, to the extent that the nightmarishly horrible fragrance of the dishwashing soap that I used earlier was drowning it out. The comparison was actually useful - if I was tempted to compare Taste with household-products scents, the smell of the soap on my hands assured me that, no, Taste does not even begin to plumb those depths of awfulness.

But back to what it smells like. After waiting for it to dry, and washing the dish soap awfulness off my hands to the best of my ability, it still smells like plastic vanilla and coconut. Do you know what I mean by plastic vanilla? It's hard to explain, but almost every vanilla-dominant fragrance below stratospheric price points smells plasticky to me, like you soaked a clean piece of rubbery plastic in a dish of vanillin and then cut it open and sniffed it. Some more so, some less, and fragrances that just have vanilla as one of many notes don't have the problem, but this is an ongoing problem with me and vanilla. It's why I keep being tempted to pay the money for Indult Tihota.

OK, back to Taste. I do keep veering, don't I? Plastic vanilla, coconut, no appreciable white musk (thank goodness), a little bit of powder, and a little bit of New Barbie Doll. In fact, it's what I can imagine Barbie wearing when she goes out to the arboretum with Ken on Valentine's day. I'm afraid that it doesn't pass the "would you rather wear this or nothing?" test, but that's my nose, and my nose is extremely intolerant of plastic vanilla.

So it's not good, and if I got it as a gift I'd give it away, but it's not dreadful. It has that childhood, Barbie doll, pink candy and fake feather boa vibe that could make it a guilty pleasure.

Review Roundup: None, because I can't determine with any confidence exactly what the thing's called, so I don't want to point to reviews that may be for something somewhere else on the flanker family tree.

Photo: By Oatz. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Hilarious! Thanks for the review. I know *exactly* what you mean by plastic vanilla. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a snob, too, when it comes to even sampling fragrances. I stay away from Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Harujikus, Britney Spears, etc. I'm not saying I don't try any celebrity frags....I'm just particular about them. If I don't care for the celebrity, I won't bother with the frag. I do try SJP ones, as well as Rossy de Palma (ELd'O), and am still dying to try CdG's Daphne. Am I starting to cheat?????

  2. Thanks! Yep, SJP is my main exception to avoiding celebrity fragrances - I haven't bought one yet, but I try the new ones and I have hopes for this rumored 'body odor' fragrance.

    I think that CdG counts as a "real" fragrance name, though if you demanded that I give you my criteria for "real", I couldn't. :)

  3. :) Very brave of you - I don't think I'll be braving this after your review though. ;)

  4. You go girl! Everyone should venture over to the wrong side of the fragrance tracks sometimes, and I agree that not all celebrity scents are bad. I also like Lovely (and own a bottle) and can highly recommend Kate Moss Velvet Hour, despite the tacky blue UFO of a bottle - if it had nicer packaging, I would own it too. Britney's Believe is pretty decent too and J Lo's Glow in the Dark and Deseo (I have the last two). I don't even have to like the celebrity to try them, but like Lovethescents I dabble rather than systematically sample.

    One of the worst pink scents I ever tried - not even a sleb one - was JPG's MaDame, which was like bubblegum and PVC.

    CdG Daphne was ghastly on me, for what it is worth.

    Ines, the pink might clash with your hair, if you need any more convincing not to try this one!

  5. Heh, Yep, Ines, I wouldn't recommend spending the sampling time.

    Flittersniffer, I'll add the ones that you speak well of to the sniff list. It'd be nice to have some signposts in the giant and somewhat dubious world of celebrity scents.

    I keep debating Lovely, but I think that while it's good, it's just too gentle and well-behaved to earn a physical space. Now, if I were to break down and dedicate another shelf to the collection, that might be different.

  6. "Plastic vanilla"-- I know that precise smell, and forever on, now, it will be forever linked with "New Barbie" smell for me!!

    I laughed out loud at the "This is not a food" thing-- yikes!!! Makes you realize someone might try to lick it...

    Well, when you're off on a scent adventure, you have to be willing to take both the low road and the high road...

    Count me in as a SJP "Lovely" fan-- that's as far as my celebrity sniffing has gone, with the sole exception of "Catherine Denueve"-- a disappointing middle-of-the-road chypre. Boo. I was ready to walk a country mile to smell like her.

  7. Hey, LCN - some amongst us might even contemplate surgery. : - )

  8. "...forever on, now, it will be forever linked with "New Barbie" smell for me!!"

    Yay! I like embedding my strangeness in other people's brains. :)

    I was sort of hoping that Taste would be the scent equivalent of Hostess Ding Dongs - not something that you're proud to be consuming, but still freakishly enjoyable. But no such luck. Maybe if I keep on trying a few of these scents once in a while, it'll happen.

    OK, I just had to look up Catherine Deneuve, and judging from Perfume Shrine ( she looks like a serious perfume freak. Cool.