Perfume Directory

Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna (1985)
by Fendi

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Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna information

Year of Launch1985
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 148 votes)

People and companies

HouseFendi
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchFlorbath

About Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna

Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna is a feminine perfume by Fendi. The scent was launched in 1985 and the bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna fragrance notes

Reviews of Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna

Getting to grips with Fendi is no easy task. It's a long, old-school formula with various facets that move in and out of focus as it develops. Fendi is a bit of a shape shifter, but that's not due to any fine blending, in fact the crafting is a bit crude. Fendi's mobility comes from the fact that it's a hybrid of styles.

Sitting down as the juice unfolds on my skin, and with the note pyramids before me, it soon becomes clear there are two principles at work. A balmy-soft oriental, which doesn't have any definite character, and a neutral, black, piquant tone of aldehydes and moss, which is the top part of a chypre.

These two form the structure, the background on which Fendi's rosy theme is played out. But this is no ordinary rose bouquet. It has a side serving of fruitiness which is difficult to pin down. No fruity notes are listed in the pyramids, a fact that - along with the obscure nature of the fruitiness - makes me wonder if this isn't some kind of Nahéma-like hologram where the 'fruitiness' has been edged around by various fruit-like nuances coming from different materials : citruses, coriander, florals, vanilla etc, and possibly the stained glass rosy note of damascones. This type of crypto fruitiness adds another layer of ambiguity to Fendi's hybrid structure of oriental and chypre.

The chypre part is then underscored by spice and labdanum which come through in the mature phase. But when a green nuance is added to this the whole thing starts to feel a bit overworked.

But that's a secondary issue. The biggest problem is the conflict between the two sides of the perfume, the soft oriental and the sharp chypre - they don't sit quite right together.

As a hybrid of oriental and chypre, Fendi was trying to bridge the gap between Shalimar and Mitsouko, an ambitious but ill advised venture. These two styles of perfume are so different, so utterly opposed in their conception of femininity, if they were brought together they would probably cancel each other out, which - to a certain extent - is what happens here.

Fendi was a good but flawed perfume, ambitious but ill focussed; possibly more interesting for what it tried to do than what it actually achieved.

4*-

Two sample vials, one part used, the other unused in box
06th February, 2020 (last edited: 07th February, 2020)
Fendi went deep. It was a bottomless pit of pure, dark uncompromising chypre-ness, the type of fragrance that ravages your soul, and not always in a nice way. But the only formulation that achieved this vision of depth, richness, breadth and dynamism was the perfume. The edp was too harsh, and somewhat cruel. The perfume version had a deep feline purr that smoothed the chypre roughness.

It was very luxe, very rich, reminiscent of fur and leather - all things congruent with a deep touching of a primal area in ourselves. But what made Fendi work was that it was so refined we enjoyed this experience. I always felt the purr while wearing it. No, it wasn’t the purr of a housecat, more of the big beautiful wildcat, so there is that slight edge of the danger of the not-totally-tamed purr. To be honest I think Fendi was a bit too much as a seductress perfume, unless you’re hunting big game that can hold its own. Most people might feel like prey. I think ClaireV got it right when she said it would strike terror in the heart of a teenage boy confronted with the Fendi temptress. That image made me laugh.

Not for all places and times. Fendi did play into all that over- and mis-use of the powerhouse fragrances of its time, the 80’s. So it carries a bit of that baggage. Fendi could be smelly if worn inappropriately and as a whole, it was capable of being abused, and was. Is it the fault of the fragrance? No, of the users. If used as it was intended, it was formidable and impressive.

In spite of its refinement, the times I liked it most were during a blue funk, when the raw edges were hanging out, drinking Southern Comfort (my funk drink), not trying to seduce anyone except myself. Fendi then became good company, like it understood you and commiserated. And seduced you.

Very long lasting. The fragrance clung to clothes until you washed them. I never really cared for its bottle - it deserved better.
23rd May, 2019 (last edited: 22nd June, 2019)
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Not for the faint-hearted, this Italian, discontinued edp packs quite a punch. I love to wear it in the depths of winter, when it blooms on the skin and especially on fur (fake of course!)To me it smells like a liquid fur coat in fact; multi-layered red flowers, vanilla, woods, leather and spices. It goes on a bit harsh but warms up and mellows given time.

Do go very easy on the sprayer with this one or it becomes a weapon of mass destruction. Less is definitely more - one spray to a wrist in the evening and I can still smell it the next morning.

I think I am just about old enough to wear this with aplomb, now I am in my sixties. It would be wasted on a young ingenue. You have to have lived a bit to wear this gem.
I treasure my bottle and save it for the right occasion.
01st December, 2017
What TOTAL IDIOTS to discontinue their fabulous and legendary Fendi for women. I don't believe they discontinued it because it wasn't selling, because many women I know wore it and it was still very popular. The Fendi Uomo was also a classic that should have NEVER been discontinued. How can a company discontinue their original namesake fragrances!? It's appalling in my opinion. However, if you miss Fendi and want something similar, I found that if you mix The Perfumer's Workshop's Tea Rose with Clinique's Aromatics Elixir that you get something very similar to the original Fendi for women. Try it! Perhaps Fendi will re-release both Fendi and Fendi Uomo in their ORIGINAL concentrations sometime in the future (hopefully within the next couple of years). Demand that Fendi bring back Fendi EdP for women and Fendi Uomo!!!
16th August, 2017 (last edited: 10th November, 2018)
A great piece of olfactory art and one of the super giants of classicism full of refinement, exoticism and vintage enigma. Mysterious, "classist", commanding and baroque. It exudes culture and "marbles". Really "Roman" and evocative of the unparalleled roman (burgeois) class you can breath around visiting the old aristocratic buildings or just standing in front of monuments and ancient fountains. Fendi original strikes soon for its deep multifaceted soul of spices and indolic floral twists. In the same vein as Roccobarocco, Gabriela Sabatini Magnetic, Bruno Acampora Sballo, V&A First (and I would also add Chanel Coco, Ungaro Diva and Cinnabar) Fendi enchants by soon for its huge and forbidding luxuriant decadence, for its earthy rootiness, the exotic spiciness, a chypre grandeur, the floral richness, the articulation, a veritable darkness (a real darkness, a sort of sinister mystery evocative about several artistic venues of the movie "The great beauty"). The Fendi's opening is classically hesperidic, spicy intoxicating, floral melancholic and aldehydic. The distinguished "old high bourgeoisie woman" vibe is provided by a rich and "eastern" old-school central floral/fruity accord (orange blossoms, ylang-ylang, rooty orris root, violet, jasmine, carnation, rose) a la Magot over a classic semi-oriental chypre "basement" represented by woodsy resins, oakmoss, amber, probably benzoin, fur-suede and woods. Orris root, rooty patchouli, earthy vetiver, dry spices and woods provide a depth of endless spicy holiness. The utterly classy, luxuriant and almost neo-baroque trail is velvety, extremely decadent, mossy, vaguely soapy (a precious cosmetic-make up vibe), barely leathery (golden leatherwears), deeply fruity floral (a secret dry fruits touch?), slightly burnt sugar/roots veined (one of the diverse undertones indeed) and "cerebral" (the same vibe elicited on me by Acampora Sballo). I've yet received a Fendi's sample as present by a dear friend, she writes me " Happy Halloween, wear it" and yes, few juices are so darkly compelling as this superb classic. Enjoy.
24th October, 2014 (last edited: 02nd November, 2014)
Ahh, I miss Fendi. I think Coco is in the same wheelhouse, but Fendi is still the best in my opinion. ReLAUNCH please!
24th October, 2014

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