Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo is an eau de parfum first released in 2011, created by master perfumer Olivier Polge. That guy rarely makes a mistake. Indeed, when this juice, housed in an elegant grenade glass bottle. came out over a decade ago, I was all ga ga over it. I tend to enjoy gourmands, and this is indeed a sweet treat, although I believe it’s classified as a fruity Chypre. True, it’s not quite edible. Actually, what it is, is a fruitchouli. Here are the notes:
- pear, Mandarin orange, green notes,
- orchid, toffee, patchouli
My take on this fragrance is as simple as the note list is short. This is essentially warmed pear flesh drizzled in a granular sugary toffee poured over a leafy patchouli base. I love all of those notes in themselves, although patchouli is a note I can get fussy about. Together, these notes blend into one enticing mix of loveliness. I especially love the pear note. It’s one of my favourite fruits, next to watermelon. And when I say pear, I don’t mean Asian pears, which are round, crisp, and light. This one has the note of western pear or butter pear, known also as La France pears here in Japan, the ones with higher sugar content, less water, more flesh, and softness rather than crispiness to them. They come with that rich, distinctive pear de France aroma and taste.
However, this is not a scent I can reach for when heading out to the office. It’s simply too sweet, and honestly, one or two colleagues that come to mind would get headaches if I approached their space wearing too much of this. It’s perhaps a good job, then, that this only lasts a few hours for those days when I do pull it out. Jimmy Choo gets two big minus points from me, then. If the lasting power were improved and a few tablespoons of sugar were removed, this scent would be greatly elevated. Personally, I find it too saccharine. It’s rich and candy-like, but not quite 100% in the juvenile territory. Although the sugar doesn’t obfuscate all the sensuality in the fragrance, it is girly, I’ll give it that. And no, refined and sophisticated it is not, but it is unpretentious and very yummy!
Perhaps I can also add a third minus point: As a fruitchouli, this is very much a designer, mainstream scent that suffers from its genre’s popularity. Too sweet, too fruity, too much patchouli, too… everywhere. Don’t wear this if you want to be unique. I do want to say a word in defense of patchouli here. Patchouli is a divisive note, but it’s notes like patchouli that balance out the overly pretty and sweet notes in a fragrance. Rotting organic matter like indolic petals and oud, substances for animal glands, butyric acid, fecal matter, whale vomit – all these things give a fragrance a sexiness or sensuality or that va va voom or je ne sais quoi. Please don’t poo-poo the patchouli. Perfumery would be unsavoury and sanitized without such notes. But it is interesting how the patchouli is front and center here, yet this fragrance is not as polarizing as it could have been. Perhaps it’s the type or quality of the patchouli note used, but I think it comes down to Olivier Polge’s blending magic.
With those three minus points, you’d think I wouldn’t recommend it. However, actually, I still enjoy this one, mostly due to the pear, which you will get to after enduring the first few minutes of synthetic, migraine-strength sweetness at the top, which you’ll also have to suffer through when you reapply a few hours later. If you like sweet scents from Mugler and YSL or something like La Vie est Belle from Lancôme, you’ll probably like this, too. The obvious comparison to me Viktor&Rolf’s Flower Bomb, which also embraces the grenade concept, and was released 6 years prior. So was Jimmy Choo copying with regards to the flacon at least? Or is it just a coincidence? Or maybe beyond the basic bottle shape, they are different enough from each other. Opinions may differ here. My personal opinion is that companies will emulate what has already been proven successful. Note that Olivier Polge was also a perfumer for Flower Bomb, so I guess the similarities in smell shouldn’t be surprising, although that one has no fruit and as the name indicates, more florals.
I’m told that Jimmy Choo cofounder Tamara Mellon had no small part in the bottle design. FYI, she has started a second eponymous brand, if shoes are your thing.
Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo has a few flankers, some of which are different enough to be their own fragrance. If the bottle is different enough, then my guess is so is the juice it contains. This one here is Jimmy Choo Exotic, an EDT of which there are at least three versions, apparently – this is the 2014 edition, and the DNA is indeed similar to the original. Here are the notes for this one:
- black currant, grapefruit
- passion flower, orchid, raspberry, patchouli
This version of Jimmy Choo Exotic is lighter and airier than its parent, which is definitely heavier and thicker – unsurprising just in the fact that it’s an EDT and not an EDP. The pear that makes the original so grand is missing, however, and for that reason, even though I do appreciate the berries, this one will soon be sold. I feel there is a bit of redundancy, having both, and I prefer the pear.
Both these fragrances are versatile. I don’t recommend them for hot and humid weather, but they could be formal and night appropriate for some people, as well as for daytime weekend wear, which is when I wear this. I tend to enjoy sweet fragrances outdoors at social events, when the air is cool, or at least not warm.
I have the 100 ml bottles of these concoctions, and although they used to also be offered in 40 ml versions, you can probably get them also in the common 30 and 50 ml formats. Since this fragrance has been out for a while now, a good thing is that if you shop around, you can find great discounts on these. Or do what I do and buy second hand. I think I paid the equivalent of 15 US dollars for each of these in an online peer-to-peer marketplace here in Japan. For that price, you can’t go wrong.