I used to be a “signature fragrance” sort of person (a.k.a. too lazy to think so I’ll just wear the same perfume every day), but lately I’ve been switching up the fragrance I wear every day, and I can’t quite seem to settle on one. Recently, I’ve tried Zadig & Voltaire This is Her!, Donna Trussardi, Elizabeth Arden Always Red and Ne’emah Laya. Here’s what I thought:
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her!
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her! lives in a translucent white rectangular bottle with a “cracked” side that’s meant to fit nicely with the black bottle for the matching male fragrance, This Is Him! This Is Her! is described as woody, floral and gourmand – I’d say it’s mostly woody and gourmand, with a creamy and sweet scent that has a bit of flowery jasmine added in to stop it from smelling too much like dessert.
The most striking notes are sandalwood and vanilla. You can also pick up some of the pink pepper and chestnut around the edges, and a hint of jasmine too. It reminds me of a smoother version of L’Artisan Parfumeur Bois Farine. The scent is quite long-lasting, but it doesn’t project too much. It’s more of a soft, comforting, close-to-the-skin scent. I really didn’t expect to find this sort of scent in a mainstream store, but lo and behold, it’s in Priceline! I’ll be wearing this a lot.
Donna Trussardi comes in an elegant white and gold bottle that looks a bit like a fancy liquor flask.
In short, Donna is jasmine on full blast. It isn’t too cloying or headache inducing though, thankfully, since the jasmine leans more towards a jasmine tea scent, and there’s some citrus in there to keep it light. The base is oriental (white patchouli, cedar, sandalwood and vanilla), but it doesn’t come through very strongly. This is a very straightforward, clean, friendly floral that smells like summer breezes, and is difficult to dislike unless you hate jasmine. I can see myself still wearing this in 10 years – it’s refined and elegant, without being dowdy.
Elizabeth Arden Always Red
Elizabeth Arden Always Red comes in a stunning bottle, with a black/red ombre over the iconic Red Door shape. It’s from the floriental family – for those of us who aren’t hardcore perfume nerds yet, that means a floral scent that’s based around rich notes like amber. Always Red has a almost-smoky-but-not-quite-smoky base of amber, mahogany and praline that’s detectable the whole time it’s on. At the start, there’s also a hint of sweet fruit (plum, blood orange and passionfruit) that fades quickly on me and is taken over by a very feminine, slightly heady mix of rose and jasmine (hello!). There’s also freesia in there, but it doesn’t stand out for me. On my skin, it lasts a whole day, and one spray is enough.
I really like this scent – it’s slightly girly, but sophisticated enough that there’s no mistaking it for a generic celebrity teen-targeted scent. The only downside I’ve found is that it goes a bit sour on me if I exercise while wearing it. From reviews online, this only seems to happen to some people (I assume it just doesn’t play nicely with my sweat), so I’d recommend trying this on your skin before you buy it.
Ne’emah Laya comes in a black square bottle with a wooden lid, and comes from Kuwait. Surprise! It’s a jasmine-free scent! Laya is a woody oriental, with powder, vanilla, cedar, agarwood (oud) and musk notes.
My first impression of Laya was that it smelled like caramelised resin – very sticky, treacley, intoxicatingly rich sweetness. It’s difficult to describe. While it’s undeniably sweet, it doesn’t hit your nose like a typical sweet fragrance, but has more of a smooth, lingering, slightly smoky quality that’s very addictive. I’m guessing it’s the oud that’s mostly responsible for this effect. It’s a very exotic, unusual fragrance and very long-lasting, and doesn’t seem to change too much as you wear it. I think this is a cold weather scent – in hot weather it’s probably a bit too sweet unless sprayed with a very light hand.
Unfortunately, at the moment Laya is only available in the Middle East and at Sephora Australia.
These fragrances were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.