In my teenage years, I was an absolute sucker for idealistic sci-fi and detective stories. My favourites were always those in which the protagonist - whoever he or she happened to be - ended the tale with a bittersweet smile and a declaration that the "forces of good cannot exist without the forces of evil, for the universe is held in balance by the eternal battle between light and darkness. We need evil just as much as we need goodness, because without one, the other would be meaningless..." blah blah blah. You get the picture, right? Well, my adolescent days are long gone, but the pseudo-Buddhist philosophy is relevant to the subject of today's review.
Escada's 2011 'summer' fragrance is a representative of the forces of darkness, which makes it an extremely useful calibrating device for those times when you need to be reminded just how awful a scent can be. Take one sniff of its stomach-churning hopelessness and watch as your perspective on all other perfume releases becomes deeper and broader. Remember when you thought Traversée Du Bosphore may have been too sweet? Well, get down on your knees and plead with Monsieur Duchaufour for forgiveness. Next to Taj Sunset, his creation is like a wispy supermodel who hasn't been within a 12 mile radius of a Krispy Kreme since last December. And do you recall your mild disappointment about the fact that Portrait Of A Lady was slightly too linear? Well, hurry up and send Monsieur Ropion a card saying 'Sorry', because Escada's new release makes his dark rose seem like the most multi-faceted piece of art since Shakespeare decided to write about a mad prince.
Taj Sunset is a vile, offensive cocktail of garish coconut, synthetic fruit and those foul, rubbery sweets that are systematically dumbing down the taste buds of the planet's children. In short, it is the very deepest, murkiest pit of perfumery evil. I won't say it's the fragrance equivalent of Darth Vader, because at least he wore a cool black cape and could do nifty tricks with his fingers. And it's not like Professor Moriarty because he was a genius and gave Holmes a good run for his money. It doesn't deserve to be compared to a formidable adversary, as it doesn't possess a single memorable feature. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say that it's like the baddie from some crude, mindless 90s action movie... something starring Jean Claude Van Damme... something like Double Impact! There you go: Taj Sunset is like the baddie from Double Impact. Can you remember who the baddie was?
Didn't think so.
[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by Escentual in 2011; fragrance tested on skin.]