Before we start, I just want to say how much I love Jean Paul Gaultier. I love the twinkle in his eye and how he has never taken himself too seriously. He has fun with fashion and is never afraid to put it out there.
When Scandal came along, I thought “this should be good”. After all, this was the designer who made a perfume bottle snow shaker for us to play with and who gave Madonna rocket boobs. I still love him from his Eurotrash days with Antoine de Caunes. It was the perfect 1990s post pub TV show, and best accompanied by a bowl of Supernoodles and some Alka Seltzer.
Ok, I’ll shut up now and tell you what the fragrance is like, shall I? The notes are blood orange, honey, gardenia and patchouli. The blood orange came and went. I barely noticed the gardenia. In fact, the first half hour was a JPG Classique moment for me. There were accent s of it poking through: that unmistakable nail polish/face powder combination that’s so original and almost exaggeratedly ladylike. That phase didn’t last long enough for my liking, and was shortly replaced with some kind of syrupy vanilla sundae with synthetic and unremarkable patchouli. So far, so what.
However, then a great big dollop of honey comes along and plonks itself in the middle. Now to me, honey is a kind of sexy smell. It smells like dried spit, which can either mean your pillow needs washing or you’ve just had a massive snog. I like it in small doses, preferring the massive snog to the dirty pillow. In Scandal, it was a redeeming feature.
Unfortunately, the overall lasting effect of Scandal is that of a Lancôme La Vie est Belle flanker. I couldn’t tell you which one because there are eleventy billion of them, but if I had smelled this blind, I would have hazarded a guess that this was La Vie est Belle Honey Summer Blah Blah or whatever it might be called.
There has been a popular generic confectionary/patchouli accord hanging around since 2013 when LVEB launched. It has infiltrated way too many fragrances for my taste, although sales figures disagree with me. On the other hand, if that’s what’s selling and if consumers are voting with their perfume dollar, then it would be foolish not to capitalise on it. I’ll just have to sit a few launches out until my stuff comes along. That will happen when green mossy chypres and seventies aldehydes make a come back on the High Street. Oh well. I’m in for a long wait.
By the way, the bottle reminds me of a much earlier fragrance by Revlon called Head Over Heels. It doesn’t make the bottle any less fun, but neither did it make this curmudgeon gasp at the originality of it.
Meanwhile, enjoy the still-fabulous-anyway bottle that has the typical wink of JPG humour about it. It makes me think of someone falling backwards into a taxi at 3 am. Ah! How I mourn my lost youth.
Check out The Candy Perfume Boy’s take on Scandal. Thomas writes brilliantly, as per. Dammit.