Private jets, superyachts, diamonds and roulette. It's a dream of wealth and glamour where every whim is indulged. Imagine a vintage convertible whisking you down the Amalfi Coast to an elegant dinner, taking you to a time and place where a gentleman would never let a lady pay. Live the fantasy with Billionaire Boyfriend. Indulgent and sensual, this floral-oriental fragrance opens with succulent fruit notes, including bergamot and tangerine wrapped in lush green leaves. The scent intoxicates as it blooms into a provocative blend of black jasmine, velvet orchid, gardenia, and a touch of patchouli flower. As the fragrance dries down, it exudes an addictive, sensual, warmth and a sense of wealth with hints of vetiver, cistus, sandalwood, and golden amber. Even the Billionaire bottle is one of a kind: opulent, rare, crafted, and disruptively beautiful. Inspired by a special reserve champagne bottle, the antiqued platinum-mirrored finish exemplifies the wealth and glamour of an old world atelier.
I never lead with the PR script, but here we are. It's not lazy writing, I swear! It's called "setting the scene".
We are talking extreme wealth. We are traveling in Italy! We are in classy gambling joints! We are wearing amazing jewelry worth more than our own homes! We are being driven around in a vintage vehicle with the top down, wind whipping through our pricey extensions and impeccable highlights! I'm sure the scarves around our necks are Hermes! We are hopping on private jets to go see George Clooney! We are drinking fine wines and toasting with expensive champagnes from the best grapes from the finest vineyards stomped by the pampered feet of pure and beautiful virgins! We are partying on yachts with royalty! We are rich (or at least with a rich man!)! We are having our whims indulged! We are the "after" in Pretty Woman! We are living a life we have always wanted to live. We are so damn lucky!
Kate Walsh, who created the "boyfriend" perfume concept, has followed-up the success of her original scent, Boyfriend, with this "upscale" version, Billionaire Boyfriend.
The concept: her scents are meant to smell like the lingering blend of your lover's scent as it intermingles with your own. It smells like the pillow you sniff when he's gone. Like the shirt you hang on to and wear when he's on a business trip.
Notes: Bergamot, Tangerine, Green Lush Leaf, Black Jasmine, Black Velvet Orchid, Gardenia, Patchouli Flower, Amber, Cistus, Vetiver, Sandalwood.
Style: Decadent. Opulent. Intoxicating.
The feminist side of me wants to bitch about the concept here. I don't need to smell like a man, especially one who left. If I want to wear men's perfumes/colognes, I will. What if my lover is a woman? Why do I need a boyfriend? Why do I need a rich boyfriend?
But today I am just going to focus on the scent. It's pretty good.
Billionaire Boyfriend is basically a citrus-woods with an amber drydown. As suits the concept, it's a bit "masculine" (the topnotes and woody basenotes) and it's a bit "feminine" (the gardenia and jasmine). In my world we tend to call that "unisex". And indeed: a man could wear this just as well as a woman could.
Is it "decadent, opulent, and intoxicating"?
Er... not really, in my opinion. Sometimes when I spray a scent, it just smells "wealthy" to me. Does anyone else experience that? I'm thinking in particular of some of the Hermes scents and some of the Chanels. Billionaire Boyfriend doesn't take me there. And it's certainly not intoxicating. It's not eyes-rolled-back good. But it is good.
A note about the packaging:
This bottle is catching a lot of flack for looking "cheap". C'mon - it's not that bad. At least it's different from the rest of the bottles in Sephora! The brushed metal is nice. The cap has a cute little "BF" on it. The "diamonds" are, at least, well-done and not going to fall off of the bottle. And the flacon is not a fingerprints-magnet. I do kind of have a pet-peeve about being able to see the sprayer inside a bottle, but that's just me being picky.
For a full disclaimer: I do happen to enjoy perfumes in the "Woods" family. I think many of them do evoke a nice "expensive" frame of mind, and the others are just cozy or clean or sleek. This perfume, Billionaire Boyfriend, is a decent woody scent. I prefer deeper tones and more nuance, and I definitely prefer a more indulgent amber base, but when all is said and done, this perfume is pretty nice.
*Want a great woody perfume "for women"? Try Sonoma Scent Studio's Winter Woods. Delicious.
If you are a tentative woods-wearer, Billionaire Boyfriend is probably a great choice. It's a starter-woods. A gateway woody perfume. The patchouli is clean and light. The sandalwood is not too sharp. The florals give a good balance without taking over the whole scent. The citrus in the top is pretty nice. Billionaire Boyfriend is gifted with great longevity [insert joke here]. It's an all-day scent on me, but after the first few hours it wears fairly close to the skin.
The thing is, I think I prefer a bit more. Hard to imagine, right? A rich guy like this doesn't have all I need?! He's got no soul. I do not have a sample of the original Boyfriend, who in my head I now think of as "poor Boyfriend", but I feel like my brief test drive of that scent went better than this one.
I think Kate Walsh is onto something here, though, if you can skip past the niggling doubts being pushed upwards from your feminist hind-brain. The scent concept is clever and is a lovely antidote to the super-sweet and synthetic all-caps-bold-letters-multiple-exclamation-points FEMININES!!! being sold in the mall. If this line helps some women start branching out and trying new types of perfumes, I'm all for it. And there are certainly times I will be glad to wear Billionaire Boyfriend, his (better) poor brother, and any of the next boyfriends Kate introduces me too. I just wish this "billionaire" smelled a bit more classy.
Disclosure: This bottle was provided to me for consideration only. Read about my policies here.