Maybe orange blossoms smell differently in the land of Prada than they do anywhere else. If so, I still find it hard to believe how this perfume can so accurately smell like the Glade lilac aerosol air freshener my grandmother used to keep in the upstairs bathroom of her house. There is a fleeting waft of sweet orange blossom when you spray from the bottle, then it is quickly knocked over by something jasmine, and soon overwhelmed with the sickening, pungent, sappy, generic, disgusting aroma of lilac aerosol air freshener. After about the first 15 minutes, the lilac turns soapy. Nice white french milled soap with lilac and a little lavender hanging around. But the dryness of the soap doesn't last long until you're spun around into the sickening high notes of lilac again. After an hour it's still faint, disgusting lilac. At one point just after the soapy phase I was caught off guard and thrown into the 80s with a very Bob Mackie whiff, but now that I think about it, it was probably mixing with a residual scent on my hands from a scented soap I had used a while before. Why o why o why can I not find the perfect neroli? I had hoped that Prada of all would have been able to expertly use some Amber as a base from which the beautiful orange blossom could suspend. Very disappointed.
On the right individual, this fragrance is pleasant and inviting - sweet without being immature, sugary, thick, powdery, or overwhelming. It depends on your chemistry. I bought a bottle ( I am in my mid-thirties ) and after a dozen wearings, tired of how it broke down into a spiraling nightmare on me. So I gave it to my 60-something mother, thinking it might work on her, and it did. It is wonderful on her. She exudes brightness and warmth in a way that is appropriate for her age. On her I don't sense the tinge that used to make my nose crinkle on me. On her, I smell quite prominently the notes I used to have to bury my nose on my skin to get after a couple of hours. Try it. If it works, you'll be very pleased.
If I were sent away and told that I could bring only one fragrance, I would bring Lauren. It is timeless, both clean and fresh enough for day wear, and sensual enough for evening. It has excellent staying power and implores your nose to sniff deeper, taking in all the complexities and details not found in its peers.
Lauren was my signature fragrance my senior year in high school, and I have gone back to it time and time again. I am still very fond of it. I have a very difficult time with most a lot of fragrances. They either turn sour, too powdery, too sweet, fade quickly or just end up as a dirty mess. In contrast, Lauren becomes richer and more clear, developing more voluptuously over time each hour it is on my skin.
The newer formulation does seem to be weaker than the original, but still reminiscent of classic Lauren. Younger women have asked what the fragrance is; apparently it has fallen out of circulation in the current fruit vs. vetiver market. Here's hoping to a Lauren renaissance.
Insolence for me is like a tragic (or is it comic?) scenario out of a movie about dating. Boy meets girl (or in this case girl meets perfume), and is immediately attracted to the sparkling eyes (the tempting fruit and sparkle at the top), the quality structure and namesake (Guerlain), the attractive packaging, and the promise of something new. Boy asks girl out and they begin dating. The first hour is wonderful. There's the rush of many sensations, all popping out at different moments, each unique, each exciting. Some youthful, some wise, some beautiful, some nostalgic. As they go on, boy begins to realize that something is not quite right with the girl. She is in fact too good to be true. But the more boy tries to cool it with girl, the stronger she comes on to him. She grows and grows into a cloud of suffocation and eventually smothers him into a sea of dizziness. The perfume collapses into a sickening pile of powdery cotton oxygen-depriving mess. Boy swears he will never date girls again. Their child, My Insolence, by the way, retains many of the psycho properties of mother Insolence, but is tempered somewhat by the father's good sensibilities.
I swear to you I wore this perfume once on a night out with my husband and was an experience I won't soon forget. I was uplifted from post-shower dousing to dressing. I realized during dinner something wasn't quite right. I suffered through a movie, and by the time I got home, I had to strip off the turtleneck I was wearing and ran immediately to the shower. A collapsed mess of powder, cotton candy and AquaNet hairspray. Simply awful.