Since the reformulation of my beloved Opium, I have been searching for a new signature fragrance. I am still looking, but Spellbound is certainly in the running. Richly oriental with great lasting power, the edt is wonderful, I would love to get ahold of the edp.
Smelled lovely on the test strip, lovely when I first put it on, then the dry down. Sickeningly sweet artificially flavored caramel and scorched fabric. Total scrubber. I find the bottle garish and pretentious.
Heavenly. Rich and complex, and the drydown is so light but also so full of civet and incense - how'd they DO that??? The only reason this doesn't share a five star rating with my beloved Opium is a weird top note that gave me a sense memory of my elementary school art room, full of slightly open plastic bottles of paint and wooden tables baking in the sun. But in only lasts a moment and then I'm a very happy person.
Sneaked a sniff and a spray from a bottle at a discount store - the packaging is fun, and the bottle is a cute little red pop bottle. Smells like warm berries in milk - not super sweet like strawberries in cream, but maybe raspberries in weak herbal tea and skim milk. It's not unpleasant, but it is a bit boring, with no development. Good as a gift for a young person new to perfume? Sure.
I just can't believe mine is the first review of this treasure. I was tempted to keep it that way, and keep my secret weapon safe! It was created in 1968, and I thought in my youth it was an expensive perfume that could only be had in Hawaii; I prized my bottle and used it for only the most special times. I didn't find out until my honeymoon on Maui that it was a drugstore brand! That didn't detract from it for me though - I was happy to buy loads and loads to bring home so I could properly slather, where before I had been frugal. Now, it can be had anytime from any number of Hawaiin online stores, and I'll never be without. My tastes have changed and grown over the years, but Wicked Wahine is one of my staples still.
Wicked Wahine is officially composed of orange flower, island rose, pikake (Hawaiian jasmine), a bit of white musk, and sandalwood. Sounds safe enough, right? The edt lasts and lasts on the skin, and has amazing sillage. It is floral, but I would call it a floriental - rich, heady and warm, and that first rush can be headache inducing, so be gentle on the application. Once that initial roar of orange/jasmine is over, though, it dries down into a mystery. Something about it reminds me of Patou's Joy, but I don't know what it is, and I haven't actually sniffed Joy in 20 years. I should invest and compare (what a great excuse to indulge in a bit of luxe shopping!) Funny that it's at the opposite of the price range from Joy. You can pick this up at any ABC store (a mini corner drugstore/gas station chain for island tourists) in Hawaii for less than $20 for a nice big bottle.
All my other perfumes are old hands, as it were - my tastes run to the 70's and before, often well before. Although I started wearing and choosing perfume in my teens in the 80's, I never made peace with modern perfume; who wants to smell like air freshener? Or food items?
But Lolita I like. It's modern but it's complicated like the oldies I love. Violet and licorice and vetiver, oh my! I got a mini with a mail order make-up purchase and was pleasantly surprised. I kept going back to it. Sniff sniff sniff all day. It goes through so many changes that the final rather boring vanilla musk dry down doesn't bother me - it lets me go to bed without all kinds of scent sticking out all over, which is nice. I got the big edp and it's worth it to me, it's nice to have something from a recent decade that isn't boring and isn't omnipresent. This is my only everyday fresh light scent (or at least the most everyday stinkum I own!), probably the only perfume I have that I'm not habitually underdressed for. Perhaps that seems weird to some, but I've been known to wear Bandit under my pony tail with jeans, flip-flops, and a black tee shirt to run errands and go to the PTA meeting.
The bottle is a riot! I love it so, and I keep my empty mini next to it. So many bottles are dull as ditchwater. I know some people think it's gaudy and horrible - perhaps it is. But at least it's not some pencil-pushers idea of a bottle that will sell well to the mass market - somebody who loves perfume designed that bottle.
I got this as a gift, and used it as a room spray, as a cleaning solvent, I even spritzed the dog between baths (just his fur, and very lightly, don't worry). A boring, soft floral, dusty-powdery like grandma's bedroom. Not surprised it got DQ'd, this one was all sentimental advertising and packaging, nothing more.
In 1977 when I was a child my beautiful black-haired Thai aunt wore Opium, and she smelled like Siam to me. She ate the most fireliciously strange and interesting food I've ever smelled (I didn't dare try it - she made us Westerners watered-down versions that made us sweat copiously and drink gallons of milk). Somehow Opium and her own personal smell, which was unique, and on the verge of unpleasant, complemented each other perfectly. I didn't know it was Opium until years later in high school, when a friend gave me her bottle, a BIG bottle of edp no less! "This smells vile," she said. "Take it."
What a trip! I whiffed the bottle and was instantly transported to winter 1978, my aunt's first snowfall - she was from a small village in Thailand and I don't think she really believed in snow. She was so thrilled, she stayed out with us playing and building an ornate snowman, marveling at the dead trees that we assured her would be back, alive, in spring. When we came in and took off our Winter clothes, she was redolent of Opium and the smell of her own hair.
Of course, it smells different on me. Still, the druggy, toasted wild vanilla and spice qualities, the almost-rotting falling apart florals, are so beautiful, so enjoyable to wear, I feel very sorry for people who can't wear it. For indeed, when my friend tried it again (I made her, I couldn't believe she didn't love it) she smelled horrid - all bergamot and cat urine. At the time I had no idea perfumes depended so much on us to make them live, and I have been interested in scent, and what it can do, ever since. Opium was my first olfactory love. Even now I wear it way too often. It is certainly an evening scent, a scent for special times, but I tell myself it's OK for daytime if I wear just a teeny bit!
This is a classic worth giving a solid try. Get a sample of the the EDP or pure parfum, and put this on your pulse points after a workout, or when you haven't bathed for a day. You'll be amazed at this young classic.