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Queen Latifah is certainly not helping the nation's diabetes epidemic with the launch of QUEEN. After a briefly enticing opening featuring a variety of alleged notes, including tequila, none of which seems clearly identifiable to me--I mean, aside from vanilla and patchouli, of course--QUEEN draws the wearer into a vortex similar to the one which I imagine is produced by an industrial-sized mixer in which vanilla cream frosting is churning at the Duncan Hines factory. The promising opening is thus abruptly terminated as none of the potentially interesting notes unfurl or develop in any way, suffocated as they are in the thick vanilla-sugar-Crisco paste. The sole survivor from the opening, perhaps predictably, is patchouli.
It's probably not a coincidence that I recalled two movie scenes while wearing this perfume yesterday. First was the scene from Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) where the Kim Novak character plummets to her death after climbing to the top of the stairs in the bell tower. Second was the scene from Luis Bu˝uel's Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (1933), where the goat hurtles down the craggy mountainside, also to its death.
The veritable wall of voluminous frosting lasts for quite some time, making QUEEN a dubious choice for public settings. On the other hand, it's also a dubious choice at home, devoid as it is of either complexity or depth. This fragrance might work as is for full-fledged vanilla fanatics, but it seems rather flat and blunt to me. Since the occasions on which I wish to smell literally like Duncan Hines vanilla cream frosting are few and far between, I might try to mix this perfume with a dry incense or perhaps a rose soliflore composition to cut the sweetness somewhat. When all is said and sniffed, I regard QUEEN more as a super-sweet oriental vanilla base than as a complete perfume.
24 September, 2011