Oh dear me, I do love some poppies. It's what makes me drawn to Flower, by Kenzo. Not that it smells like poppies, mind you, because poppies don't smell like anything, really. Wait... I'm getting ahead of myself. This is going to be a little discussion of two sisters - closer in relation than the last sisters I talked about here. These sisters are both from the Kenzo family: Flower and her newest sibling, Flower Tag.
|Flower the skunk, from Bambi. |
FlowerLet's start at the beginning, with Flower. It was created in 2000 by perfumer Alberto Morillas and is now considered the flagship scent for the line. The Flower flacons, designed by French sculptor Serge Mansau, are iconic in my opinion. I'm sure you've seen them, even if you haven't smelled the perfume? They are elegant, sleek, subdued, but somehow quite eye-catching. I intend to buy most of the scents from the Flower line and think they'll make a lovely vignette on a dresser, don't you?
Just as the bottle is gently curving, pretty, and chic, so is the perfume inside. Flower is powdery violet and soft rose, reminiscent of vintage powders. Other notes include wild hawthorn, cassie, opopanax, white musk, hedione, and cyclosal, all of which add to that clean, streamlined, yet uber-feminine aura.
Flower wears long and well, losing it's initial bright and green crispness quickly but hanging around as a powdery second skin for ages. It's not over-bearing, but definitely present. I believe sillage is minimal, but when I cross my own path I can smell it - and it's soft, soothing, and lovely.
From what I've read, Flower is meant to be a tie-in between rural, country life (wildflowers) and city life. I think the bottle and scent both do this incredibly well.
Which brings us to flankers. Naturally, since Flower does well, Kenzo had to spin-off the original with slightly-tweaked versions.
- Flower Essentielle, from 2008, basically dials up the primary characteristics of Flower with notes of Damask rose, jasmine, vanilla, musk, black pepper, pink pepper and incense.
- 2008 also brought Winter Flowers, which used the same principal as the original but using flora typically found in the cooler season. Notes for Winter Flowers include Bulgarian rose, Parma violet, mandarin, violet leaf, mimosa, camellia, hellebore rose, patchouli, absolute vanilla, and white musk.
- There have been occasional other seasonal versions of Flower, too: Summer, Spring... where's Autumn?!
- There was a Flower Oriental (with notes of flowers, incense, violets, bulgarian rose, pepper, and vanilla) from 2005 - it has a black poppy on the bottle and box and I need it!
- For the artists in the group, Flower Edition d`Artisteswhich, and correct me please if I'm wrong, was the same scent, just packaged and bottled differentlly: three painters (Pierre Mornet, Rebecca Dautreme, Lorenzo Mattotti) created special works for Kenzo .
And now they have introduced...
Brand new this Summer (2011), Flower Tag still has that lovely new car smell. Wait! No, it doesn't! But it is new. The urban-country juxtaposition is still in play, but more urban-leaning. Tag references the art of graffiti, whose artists "tag" walls with their work.
Notes for Flower Tag are: mandarin, blackcurrant, rhubarb, jasmine, peony, lily of the valley, tea, vanilla and musk. It definitely starts with mandarin - a nice juicy blast. For awhile, that note predominates, which makes me happy. A sparkly and peppy mandarin is a lovely way to start the day. I never get much lily of the valley in this, but the tea adds a nice twist to the florals. As the scent ages on the skin, the tea gets stronger (at least on me) and almost hay-like, before settling down into a sweet and subtle musk.
As for that bottle I keep prattling on about, for this flanker it's red glass with graffiti-style tagging representing the iconic poppy and the word "flower" over and over and over. Pretty!
Flower Tag is what I consider "a proper flanker". It's a tweaked version of the original, where the ties to the original are still apparent. So let's compare them, shall we? I have Flower on my right arm, Flower Tag on my left...
|more Banksy. i'm addicted.|
Where Flower is soft and powdery, Flower Tag is brighter and sharper. Where Flower is classically floral, Flower Tag is... well, less so. It's not that peonies aren't classic, but they surely aren't on the same level as the delightfully retro violets and roses of the original. Where Flower wears forever, softly wafting, Flower Tag is not as tenacious and sits closer to the skin. However, both scents are fairly streamlined, both are chic, and both are wearable in most situations.
Both are well-done scents - clever, lively without being noisy. I suspect the "younger version" prose and "fruity-floral" descriptor will keep many a perfumista away, but I hope the tea note draws a few of them back. I think this is a pretty good perfume and I'm pleased to have it.
I will stop before saying "If you like Flower you'll like Flower Tag". I suspect if you enjoy fruity scents and you like Flower, you may like Flower Tag. I also think that if you enjoy the old-fashioned-modern twist of Flower and luxuriate in its powderiness, you may not like Flower Tag, because that just-opened-a-vintage-compact smell is not here.
Tell me: do you like Flower? Have you tried any of the other flankers? How about Flower Tag? And have you ever eaten those candied Parma violets?