First Impressions, Perfume

Xtina-mas Perfume Advent Calendar Day 1: Christina Aguilera, the Pretty Base(ic) One

Well, well, well. Color me surprised like Christina Aguilera colors her lips: aggressively. On the first day of Xtina-mas, Xtina gave to me an unexpectedly fresh and fruity floral with delicate, softly sweetened base. And while I’d love to jump right into Christina Aguilera’s eponymous 2007 perfume, let’s take a moment to add some context, shall we?

2007 was a helluva year to be alive if you were into exclaiming “Yikes!” whenever you checked your celebrity news Google alert, because breakdowns were in! Britney Spears had a public breakdown and released Blackout; Lindsay Lohan had a public breakdown and starred in one of the most important works of art in the 21st century, I Know Who Killed Me; Trya Banks ostensibly had a public breakdown, because what is America’s Next Top Model if not a 5150 with craft services; and Christina Aguilera…toured for Back to Basics and released a perfume. Poor Xtina: once again the bridesmaid, not the bride.

[Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage, via Huffington Post]

Moreover, when you look back at it, 2007 feels like such an odd year for Christina Aguilera to release her new fragrance line because celebrity fragrances about owning a part and living in the fantasy of a celebrity’s image, and while Xtina circa Back to Basics was certainly jockeying for the old-school Hollywood glamour that makes Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds so appealing, she’s also “Still Dirrty”, and lest we forget, this is Xtina when she’s “Dirrty”:

I don’t know what dirrty smells like, but I feel like it’s not a smell anyone wants to reach for when you’re going out to the club, unless that club is for extreme fetish enthusiasts. My point is, then, that 2007’s Christina Aguilera comes as quite the surprise by being so very…subdued. It’s undeniably girly, as fruity florals are wont, but it’s also surprisingly light, fresh, and even tasteful.

The box says there are notes of peonies and jasmine, and Fragrantica lists a variety of fruits including blueberries and pineapple as well, but I’d be lying if I said I got any of that beyond a pleasing albeit generic fruity/floral accord at the opening. It feels a touch soapy–almost powdery–but undeniably airy, before going through a more distinctly floral middle and landing at a rather lovely base of amber, musk, sandalwood, and a kiss of vanilla. None of the notes are particularly distinct, but the base is sweet and creamy yet almost powdery in its lightness. There’s a surprisingly deft touch to this perfume, which probably explains the packaging’s lace theme and unavoidable proclamation that it’s part of the “No. 1 Awarded Celebrity Brand”:

And in case you thought the lady doth insist too much, DON’T WORRY, Y’ALL, XTINA HAS THE RECEIPTS:

Next up: Inspire!

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