Eaudemoiselle de Givenchy (Givenchy)

From the pretty fluted bottle and the equally pretty perfume inside, you'd expect a pretty girl to represent Givenchy Eaudemoiselle. Preposterous headband aside, Taylor Swift is the one my mind's eye sees when I breathe in this lissome and sincere floral. It's just too bad she has her own fragrances to shill-- with her artless combination of fresh-scrubbed good looks and schoolgirl/geek appeal, she'd have been perfect to front this one.

Instead, Givenchy draped an anemic blonde in the ghastliest black weeds imaginable and turned her loose to frolic wanly upon the sunny green lawn of the Château de Courrances. Here's what her handlers have to tell us about her:
Of aristocratic origin, the Givenchy Demoiselle has inherited her natural elegance and self assurance from her prestigious French lineage, driven by its values of excellence and an inimitable lifestyle. But she is independent, free and determined, and her inner strength gives her the confidence and audacity to express her unique personality and stand by her own choices, without extravagance or provocation... In the romantic setting of her garden, her presence is unexpected, almost intriguing. Naturally elegant, her intense gaze communicates a captivating magnetism, not easy to forget.

Yes, vampires are reputed to hypnotize victims with their eyes... but really? Are we meant to derive centuries of privilege and breeding from this chilly little flower? Poor thing, what a responsibility! No wonder she looks so careworn and pale-- and that soot-black cloak does not help matters. If they had to put her in Riccardo Tisci, why couldn't they have picked something from this fanciful collection-- silly headgear and all?

Never mind. Dress it up however you wish-- even like a finishing-school Nosferatu, if that fries your burger.  Eaudemoiselle is still a jolly little number: light and sweet, totally charming, devoid of all menace.  You can't overthink the experience of wearing it, no matter how you try. Believe me, even a wonk such as I can relax and enjoy this!

(Side note: the Eaudemoiselle website -- beautifully designed, if you ignore the jarring spectre looming over it all -- invites fans to join "The Order of the Demoiselles". Rosy-cheeked sorority? Ladies' auxiliary branch of the Knights Templar? Creepy cult of weekend Satanists à la Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate? Dare you to find out!)

Scent Elements: Mandarin, lemon, shiso, rose, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, musk, ambrette, tonka bean, cedar