Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Jardin Du Poete from Eau d'Italie and Bang Bang from Marc Jacobs (2011)

[Review of Bang Bang based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by in 2011; review of Jardin Du Poete based on a sample of eau de toilette obtained in 2011; fragrances tested on skin.]

The pixies and elves of Marketing Land would have us believe that Bang Bang is for "men who strive for perfection". I could understand if they'd said 'repetition', 'alliteration' or 'exaggeration', but 'perfection'... hardly. They'd also like us to accept that this is a fresher, lighter version of last year's Bang, to which my response would be that they need to unglue themselves from their focus group stats once in a while and actually smell some of the stuff they're pushing. The truth is that Yann Vasnier's Bang Bang is more substantial, weightier and more enjoyable than last year's offering, but it's also somewhat derivative. The pepper opening is intact, but it's been laced with a lactonic, woody, cardamom heart that instantly calls to mind the superior Jungle Pour Homme from Kenzo. It's harmless, cologne-like stuff and I must admit I hope it becomes sufficiently profitable to warrant the creation of another flanker next year, just so I can see whether the pixies and elves decide to call it Bang Bang Bang or come up with some other ingenious use of the word. The mind boggles.

If you’re after light and fresh, I’d recommend Bertrand Duchaufour’s latest creation for Eau d’Italie, the aptly named Jardin Du Poete. It doesn’t display the larger-than-life personality of his most beloved work – presumably because he was obliged to meet the terms of his clients’ brief – but it’s unmistakably the work of someone with an innate appreciation of perfume’s story-conjuring potential. Granted, such associations are prompted by the fragrance’s name, but Jardin does genuinely evoke the sensation of lying in a hammock in a quiet garden on a day when there’s a gentle breeze blowing in from the sea. In other words, there’s a pronounced salty-marine note – supported by a judicious blend of musks – beneath a green, fruity, floral heart where one occasionally catches hints of rose, lily of the valley, mango and lime zest. I’d say its closest cousin is Lauder’s Beyond Paradise For Men, but whereas Calice Becker’s formulation is intent on providing a static, infinity-pool-like image of a pristine coastal vista, Duchaufour is quite happy for his garden to move and sway with the wind, occasionally revealing subtle facets as the hours progress. Those who wish to spend time seeking perfection can stick with Bang Bang; I’m off to the hammock.

And finally... I can't resist asking this: if we are treated to a third version of Bang, what do you think it should be called?



  1. How about "More Bang for Your Buck" for the next flanker? Too cynical?

    -- Lindaloo

  2. LOL! I love "more bang for your buck"!

    I was thinking, Banging. Or, B3. Or, Banger (and mash?).

    Ha! Ok, sorry. I just can't help myself ;)

  3. 3Bang
    BangBangBang (perhaps it's too obvious, but I'm sure they will like it)


  4. TripleBang, Bang On! or Chiti Chiti are my favorites.
    I think my third suggestion would layer exceptionally well with Bang Bang.

  5. Lindaloo, I would actually love to see a perfume called 'Less Bang Than Our Crotch-Centred Ad Campaign Would Suggest'... and I'd like ELdO to make it.

  6. deeHowe, Banger And Mash is genius. Just think of the smells!

  7. Vizcondesadesaintluc, I could see them using the number 3 in there somewhere.

  8. Queen Cupcake, oh my God, another classic! I burst out laughing when I read that one.

  9. Olfactoria, these are getting better. Chitty Chitty is utter genius too.

    Keep them coming, people. I don't want this smile-induced endorphin rush to stop :-)

  10. With all that post-50 banging that Mr. Jacobs is doing we might need to call the 3rd installment Viagra.

  11. First thought was Bang Bang you're dead, but perhaps that won't actually sell that many bottles. Bang Noir probably would though ;-)

  12. Just thought of two more: There's of course Big Bang, and first female flanker could be SheBang.

  13. I like the suggestions so far, especially Asali's inspired "SheBang".

    I'm thinking "BangGalore" for the Exotic version (and I'm drawing a veil over the 007 Bond potential for the women's version!).
    Channelling Lulu's EuroVision charmer, "Boom Bang-A-Bang" is for the mother of all OTT Bangs.

    Heaven help us if they are thinking along similar lines already!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  14. how about "just shoot me" beyond cynical I know

  15. Kevin, I wonder if even Mr Jacobs would consider that too crude.

  16. Asali, maybe Very Noir Bang would be even better ;-)

  17. Asali, just saw your second message. She Bang is brilliant. I can already see the smile on Ricky Martin's face.

  18. Goodness, you're all on a roll here. BangGalore is inspired, Anna!

  19. Tomatefarcie, Just Shoot Me certainly has an enticingly non-commercial ring to it.

  20. I still say they should create some peppery sillage monster and call it 'Whimper' just to stir things up a little...

    But Bangalore is brilliant...

    Just Shoot Me if anyone I know actually buys it...;)

  21. Tarleisio, I'm sure loads of people will get the 'elegant' blue bottle under their Christmas trees this year, to go with the equally refined silver bottle they received last year.

    Actually, I don't know why I'm being so catty: I quite like the original Bang bottle.

    But yes, a powerhouse called Whimper would be pretty cool.


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