Vamp: a woman who uses sexual attraction to exploit men. Oh my, what a racy name Honoré des Prés gave to Vamp à NY Eau de Parfum ($98)! Is she designed to attract? Yes, but in a lovely way. She's sultry. She reminds me of a French charmer, with overt beauty and a little mystery - a femme fatale.
The certified organic We Love New York Collection of fragrances by Honoré des Prés was developed by Olivia Giacobetti, perfumer for many successful scents by Guerlain, L'Artisan, and her own IUNX line. In Vamp à NY, she blended surprising notes to create an enticing tuberose rum.
Giacobetti asked, "Can we cry in front of a field of tuberose?" Vamp à NY represents an entire field of nature - all the beautiful balms, all the heady ones, as well as the fragile, with New York's explosive atmosphere. There's a lot going on in this scent.
The top notes, which instantly attracted me, are tuberose and rum. I detected the heady white flower immediately, but I wasn't sure what the deep, dark secret was until I read that it was a flavorful rum - the kind you're served in the islands, an experience you can't recreate in a local bar. Those memories are only evoked in the islands. The heart note is bourbon vanilla. This bourbon is aged and smooth, infused with a vanilla bean to round the edges. The base notes are tuberose, Peru balsam, tolu balsam, and benzoin. The resins in the base notes ground Vamp à NY, giving her a sophistication that earns her "heart breaker" reputation.
Vamp à NY is unlike any other fragrance in my expanding collection - probably because she's infused with contradictions. She's bold, but soft, floral, but not too sweet, and fashionably flirty without a trace of tramp. The raw essences in Vamp à NY draw a world-wide map, just like New York is a cosmopolitan city, influenced by its many cultures and diversity. She's favored by Jessica Alba, a California beauty whose mother is of Danish and French Canadian descent and father is Mexican American. That seems fitting to me.
With Honoré des Prés' emphasis on organic and natural notes, I was surprised by the clever, but somewhat wasteful packaging of Vamp à NY. The bottle arrived packed in a take-out, New York coffee cup, complete with a cap (with a hole for a straw) and shredded black paper to cushion it. While attractive and recyclable, it provided a juxtaposition that seemed discordant, just as the notes may read "incompatible." Just sample it, though, and the blend will seize your attention - just like a vamp - for a day-long fragrance fest. She's out to capture your heart. Be prepared; she may break it.
You can purchase Vamp à NY at Spirit Beauty Lounge and Beautyhabit.
Photos courtesy of kabbage101 at Photobucket and Honoré des Prés