Perfume, Reviews

Some “Ones”: Thoughts on a Few Flankers of Dolce&Gabbana’s The One

Whoever named Dolce&Gabbana’s The One either has an excellent sense of irony or zero sense of foresight, because there are no less than ten different versions of The One currently or previously available, and I’m not counting any of the versions marketed towards men, but I digress.

Last winter, I got a few different versions Not “The One”, Technically Speaking because I really liked the smell of the Eau de Toilette on the sample card the saleswoman at Macy’s handed to me. Also, I had just gotten my holiday bonus, and besides, I’ve never had a $20 bill I didn’t want to set on fire if it would turn into perfume.

Anyways, I had every intention to comparatively blog about them until I tucked them away in the back of my fragrance library, and only just last week did I finally made the conscientious decision to bust them out and try them on. So what I did think? Are any of them aptly, albeit ironically, named? Were they worth the wait? And can we even call it “a wait” when the reality is I would kinda conscientiously try to find something, anything better to wear whenever I remembered I had them? Let’s talk about these perfumes and find out, y’all!

The One Eau de Parfum is, I will just come out and say, quite good. Sure, the projection and longevity make this one feel a bit more like fragrance specter than a perfume proper, but I still like it. It’s a fruity floriental with a tart, juicy lychee top note, a dewy lily of the valley tucked away within a heart of white florals, and a tasteful powdery vanilla at the base. Since I’m inherently suspicious of anything with broad appeal, I had assumed that the whole lot would land squarely in “Fine Fragrance” territory, particularly seeing how it’s been so successful that D&G has regularly milked their cash cow nigh dry with flankers and special edition bottles, but The One is actually a much appreciated example of popular taste and good taste finding common ground. Not “The One”, but worthy an extended courtship so long as you can still see other people.

Rose The One, meanwhile, is a reminder that popular taste and good taste needn’t always be on speaking terms or involved in the decision making process, and also that flankers needn’t be part of–or even have–a discernible idea so long as they can still act as brand extension. Based upon the name, you’d think (or hope) that Rose The One would essentially follow the formula of its predecessor, trade out the white floral heart for some fresh rose, place it over the same powdery vanilla base, and then call it a day. You’d think so, sure, but you’d also think wrong! Rose The One is a muddled, floral blob of a thing with something shrilly acidic and sour up top (“grapefruit”?), something weirdly soapy-esque the rest of the way through (my guess is an accord of cheap cynicism), and nothing of any apparent relation to the original. Rose The One recalls something from Christina Aguilera’s line with only slightly better ingredients and none of the decency that comes from a reasonable price tag or being blessed by one of the most under-appreciated pop stars of the last several decades. This The One is possibly better than I’m making out to be, but it’s impossible to not be disappointed by such a missed opportunity. Hard Pass: The One!

Given the above Abomination The One, I was pearls: clutched and fainting chaise: fetched for Disappointment The One when it came to The One Eau de Toilette. Sure, I thought it smelled nice on a card some six months ago, but times change, tastes change, and when it comes to perfumes, PAPER LIES, Y’ALL. (Paper doesn’t actually lie, per se, but it does offer a radically different experience, and that’s a fact.) Anyways, while The One Eau de Toilette does continue the downward trend Rose The One suggested, it at least has the decency to hit the breaks before it ends up a full on wreck. It’s a real wisp of a thing with barely-there longevity and sillage, an opening that smells briefly of cheap alcohol and a rather non-distinct way of being (crisp…fruits! White…florals!) right up to a curiously denser, muskier vanilla base that lands a bit like a bag of bricks compared to the powdery ephemera of the Eau de Parfum. Still, the Eau de Toilette at least has the good sense to recall the original, even if only for a faceless paraphrase. Not Rose The One, thank goodness, but lacking the easy, obvious pleasures of the EdP, so this The One can one be one thing: a Fine Fragrance.

I guess, in summation, the original The One is in fact quite aptly named, because the Eau de Parfum is the only one really worth getting. That said, it’s not like I’ve really learned my lesson here, because I’m already eyeing The One Desire (because it has tuberose in it, and I’m a slut for tuberose) and The One Baroque (because if the beginning of this Ryan Murphy profile in The New Yorker is any indication, “baroque” is the new “camp”), and as I said about $20 bills…

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