Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Empressa or Penhaligon's Hacks Out Their Own Coco Madamoiselle

I'm going to be honest my reaction's to Penhaligon's Empressa have been rather crass. They have been somewhere along the line of "Victorian my ass!" I know that is rather severe but I have to tell you it is because Empressa is such an utter disappointment in the creativity/new department.

Empressa is Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle with a bit more fruit, a heightened rose, and a better defined woody dry down but let it be clear Empressa is a fraternal twin to Coco Mademoiselle. There is no getting around the fact that the structure and inspiration for Empressa is Coco Mademoiselle. They amped the patchouli and reduced the vetiver and jasmine. They added an inkling of fruitchouli.
The worst part for me may be the damned ad-copy that suggests that this is Victorian era inspired scent that suggests faraway lands. There is nothing Victorian or faraway lands about this unless your idea of a faraway land is the Chanel makeup counter, then land ahoy for you.

So how did this get created? My thought's Penhaligon's looked at their roster of scents and reputation and thought must get that "Young Modern Woman" demographic and looked to the perfumer Christian Provenzo and said "Just make it Coco Mademoiselle, tweek it a bit, and we are set." Apparently they are set because if you go to the Penhaligon's website Empressa is currently being proclaimed as one of their bestsellers.

Does Empressa smell bad? No, but the joke is you can basically get this for cheaper from Chanel. For me Empressa just feels like a gross example of a scent that was utterly created by marketing. On the other hand they way Penhaligon releases perfumes these days as though they throwing out whatever they have to see what will stick maybe they found that gum everyone wants to chew.

Image from Little Movie Nerd

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