Inspired by a new generation of Italian "it" girls, Valentina embodies a rebellious Italian heiress - cool, free-minded, and carefree, she drives us on her quest to experience today's Italian Dolce Vita (good life) with utter freshness, irreverence, and attitude.
Given that characterization, it appears the target audience for Valentina Eau de Parfum is a 25-35 year-old women. So, why I do I like it so much? The notes. Fragrance is always about the notes and their harmony on the skin. I love elegant, fresh, fruity florals, and that's what you'll smell when you try Valentina. It's another department store hit I like. I think the last year has set a record for drawing me back to department store fragrance counters.
Who is the Valentino woman, no matter what her age? Rome, the home of Valentino couture, remains the inspiration and ideal stage for her. The incomparable, aristocratic layers of sublime artwork and architecture, history and patina, emblems and stylistic elements generate a sumptuous texture of moods. The breathtaking splendor of slender neoclassical columns and baroque caprices, endless view and secret spaces, dazzling reflections and shadowy corners symbolize the magnetic and contradictory allure of the Valentino woman. She knows and appreciates couture that redefines fashion's legendary looks with exclusive contemporary materials and techniques, precise silhouettes and volumes, meticulous and elaborate intarsia and cut-outs, all-over embellishments.
The woman imagined by Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Directors of the Maison Valentino, is bewitching, mystifying, and utterly stunning. She knows how to stand out in a crowd. She lets her imagination fly, interpreting Valentino style as her own, wearing couture masterpieces that, like Rome, are unique and timeless.
Now, she has a new fragrance to portray her style. Valentina comes to life in the advertising campaign for the perfume shot by David Sims and the television film directed by Johan Renck along the dark and secret streets of a sumptuously deserted, nocturnal Rome. Watch the captivating video and listen to the romantic portrayal of the scene to get in the mood.
Two master perfumers, Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morillas, created Valentina as a tribute to today's sophisticated Italian woman. Sensual with insolent beauty and blatant femininity that eludes conventions, they created a fragrance that's classic, yet modern, light, but seductive.
Valentina marks out a solar, unexpected trail, classic yet modern. With attitude, sophistication, and unexpected characteristics, the bouquet of Valentina blends an irreverent Italian floral oriental in which each facet reveals a paradox. Calabrian bergamot is a hymn to exuberance and freshness, shaken up by the insolence of alba truffles. In their trail, jasmine, orange blossom, and tuberose celebrate radiant beauty, while offset by the rebellious delight of wild strawberries. Finally, the nobility of cedar is seduced by the captivating sensuality of amber.
Valentina opens with the exuberant freshness of Calabrian bergamot with an unexpected twist of alba (white) truffle to ground and soften it. The heart of Valentina is a white floral bouquet, composed with Amalfi orange blossom, tuberose, and jasmine (a few of my favorite notes), kissed with wild strawberry. The fruits make this scent edible. The base notes are soft, sensuous, and gentle. Amber is caressed with the noble cedar, adding an intoxicating (but faint) reminder of a cedar closet, a luxury for most of us. Every phase of Valentina's life on my skin is luscious.
As you'd expect from Valentino, the packaging is gorgeous. The transparent crystal bottle is sleek and pure, round to echo Valentino's art of curves, but laden with flowers to celebrate the Maison's emblematic couture flowers. The refined signature spray cap, with its silver ring and black pearl, is reminiscent of a vintage Italian perfume bottle. Soft shades of nude, ivory/beige, and white - recurring colors in Maison Valentino's most recent collections - contrast with black to pay homage to the Maison Valentino - modern but also a signature of a woman's body.
Even the outer packaging is pretty. A harmony of ivory, white, and nude, with a mysterious touch of smoky black, the colors express Piccioli's and Chiuri's shared vision of femininity - both innocent and dangerous, the vixen who surprises.
In celebration of Valentina, our regional account executive purchased cakes from his favorite artisan bakery. Was it a coincidence that the cakes evoked the signature colors of the Valentina packaging? He had provided Valentina to me, but then he went further and introduced me to a special gift from Vanilla Sugar, a DC bakery that had created the dearest mini cake I'd ever seen (or tasted). I was reluctant to eat the three-inch Glazed Almond Cake with Citrus Curd and Bergamot Essence, boxed and wrapped in pale pink tissue. I overcame my reluctance and enjoyed one of the best cakes I've had in years. Although it was a meal for me, I devoured every morsel. It made my first Valentina experience unforgettable. Fragrance and fine food, both dear to my heart!
Valentina Eau de Parfum is available in an Eau de Parum Spray ($108), Eau de Parfum ($80), Body Lotion ($48), and Bath & Shower Gel ($42). You can find it at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other specialty stores.
Photo at top courtesy of Valentino; cake photo by Best Things in Beauty