While some may dismiss Lancome’s Tresor as a Product of Yore, I love it. I still wear it and have just finished a bottle of Tresor in Love, the Kate Winslett-faced lighter edition which arrived a couple of years ago. I remember the original launching in 1990 and thinking how grown up it was. It was peachy, rosy, lightly spicy and quite unusual at the time (to me anyway); voluptuous, warm. It wore well, it was almost edible. But not, crucially, ‘grown up’ like Dior’s Poison, a scent I have always detested.
When Lancome announced earlier this year that Harry Potter star Emma Watson was to be a new face of the brand I thought that was a really smart move. Gradually over the past few years, Lancome has been repositioning successfully, and it has a responsibility to itself to do that – brands have to look for a younger customer to keep market share up, it’s just good business. So we’ve seen the hip Aaron de Mey come in and helm the makeup, which is increasingly cool, and Emma’s now the face of a new generation of Tresor, Midnight Rose. This is clever thinking, to bring a new flanker of a classic from the perfume portfolio to a brand new audience.
Except, there’s one thing, isn’t there. It seems to me from the juice I’m sent to try and the launches I attend that today’s younger girls are being raised on a fruity floral-soaked palette of vanilla, honey, saccharine, celebrity scents, lychee, pink pepper and all round sugary froufrou. That’s what’s out there in the mass market, and that’s what they are being trained to like unless they look harder and further.
And that is, unfortunately, what’s going on here. It opens well – I sprayed from the absolutely beautiful bottle into the crease of my arm and inhaled. MMm. Ymm. Classic, gorgeous, full bodied Tresor. Except, immediately, the fruity floral note develops. And of course it does. It has to, in order to sell to the target market.
This is however significantly better and more refined than many similarly age-bracketed perfumes I have tested of late, some of which have literally knocked me backwards at how raw and chemical they are. In the case of Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose, I know it’s the new notes my nose doesn’t like, and lets be brutally realistic: this is not aimed at over-30s me, so it’s a fair cop.
Yes, there is a discernible hint of the original but for my nose it’s marred by what comes next: fresh blackcurrant bud absolute and intense pink pepper. There’s also vanilla in there, and it bothered me so much, and threatened a migraine, that I had to go and vigorously scrub it off. As a point of reference, in general, I gravitate towards green white florals and citrus scents.
If you love fruity, sweet fragrances, you’ll adore this; I think fans of the original should probably try before they buy. Scent is a hugely personal thing and this review is not about me saying ‘this perfume doesn’t perform’ in the way I can for a makeup product – because what’s one woman’s (Jean Patou) Joy is another woman’s (Dior) Poison.
Scent is emotional, and it works in a different way. My nose might not go for this – but that is not to say it won’t have its fans, because I absolutely know it will.
Tresor Midnight Rose EDP is available from 1st October 2011 from €39 for 30ml