Two minis of this fragrance came with the Memorial Day Hoard. Their only labeling (found on the bottom of the bottle, and printed in infinitesimal type) declared them the output of "Parfums Stern Neuilly Cedex". A Google search of these words first led me to this post by Carol of WAFT, who declared Parfums Stern Neuilly Cedex a "wonderful perfume". Though I seldom question Carol's perfume knowledge, that name still sounded more like that of a manufacturer than a fragrance, so I kept searching. Finally here at Gisellez I found visual confirmation of my find: So de la Renta (1997), distributed by Parfums Stern Neuilly Cedex.
Only then did I open it for a sniff-- and while I did not love it as Carol did, I feel I must leaven my opinion with an explanation.
Beauty being in the eye (or nose) of the beholder, I am certain a person who loves white florals (such as Carol, if I'm not mistaken) would enjoy So de la Renta to the hilt. A powerful blend of jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, and freesia carries this fragrance forward; only peripherally do you notice watermelon, kiwi, and a touch of warm coconut in the mix. All this spells out perfume perfection for those who love beaches, sunlight, and warm tropical weather... of which I am not one. For me, beauty remains in shadow. Vetiver, moss, galbanum, leather, incense smoke, evergreen, animalics and hard spices: these are more my speed.
By way of a coda to this tale, I gave one of my twin minis of So de la Renta to JC before my sniff test... and she felt the same way about it after conducting her own. JC adores the beach, but in an entirely different context; she finds salt, smoke, and cedar accords closer to her own experience of the shore-- as do I.
It could be because we're Jersey girls... or maybe we're both scandalously overdue for a tropical island vacation.
Scent Elements: Clementine, kiwi, gardenia, freesia, mango, watermelon, cardamom, peony, tuberose, jasmine sambac, lotus, narcissus, plum, musk, vanilla