Monday, November 24, 2008

Vera Wang's Look: fragrance review

Vera Wang is synonymous with nuptials, wedding gowns, flower arrangements to compete with the roses in all of Surrey and generally romanticism in the 9th degree. Her original fragrance, Vera Wang, as well as Sheer Veil and Truly Pink, were romantic affairs of flowery fragrances that would fit the entourage of a bride ~or the bride herself~ effortlessly. Imagine my surprise at smelling Look, her newest fragrance, which takes the path of a fresh approach that is more upbeat and contemporary, less traditionally floral. Where is the white-gown in all that? Nevertheless, it wouldn't be terribly misleading to think that the perfectly-cut flacon of Look which resembles an emerald-cut diamond when faced from the front, is Vera's allusion to the sine qua non of a wedding proposal.

According to the press release: "The bold, modern, captivating scent of Vera Wang Look embraces a woman’s confidence and creates a seductive effect through complex textures and layers of fragrance notes. It introduces notes of mandarin, watery greens, lychee and golden delicious apple in the top notes. The heart incorporates lily, freesia and jasmine, while the base notes introduce a rhapsody of sweet vanilla, musk, oak moss and patchouli."
Look was created in co-operation with Firmenich by perfumer Annie Byzantian, the creator of mega-blockbuster Aqua di Gio and co-author of Pleasures and Safari pour Homme. Whether following her individual vision or not, the above fragrances should give you an idea of where Look is veering to. To me Vera Wang's Look is poised between a fresh fruity floral with all that entails and a "modern" chypre: one definitely wouldn't mistake it for a fragrance heavy in the classic perfume-y ingredients that characterise the chypre family. And it's definitely not a white floral affair either no matter what the given notes would denote. The refreshing burst of the greenish mandarin opening cedes to a lathery cleanness and a microscopic vanilla and sweet patchouli hint in the drydown. Despite initial impressions, it has a suggestion of sweet powderiness that reminds me of cherry blossom scents and which would likely it make it quite popular with young women. Opposed to the very uncharacteristic teeny-bopper Princess, Look takes its place in the Vera Wang line-up nevertheless; although it does so with a less traditionally feminine or romantic approach than her first ~and in my opinion best~eponymous fragrance. I see it as more of an everyday, office scent choice which lasts satisfactorily. I suspect the Parfum Elixir is a more sensuous concentration that might be highlighting the lusher aspects compared to the sparer Eau de Parfum.

The advertising prints, featuring model Anna Selezneva, were shot by Steven Meisel and they are poised at an intriguing angle since the bottle, a glass prism, is set in the foreground, while the model dressed in bright mandarin hues is standing behind it and is looking into us through it, as if she is watching the world through this prism. Which I realize is the whole concept behind naming a fragrance Look of course...

Look has benefited from a classy presentation: A modern geometric prism flacon with facets polished to perfection. Inspired by Vera Wang’s pret-a-porter, contrasting proportions are architectural and refined. The slender silhouette of the clear glass cap is a reflection of simplicity. The packaging utilizes matte grey with light grey contours visible on the box and on the name Look, which is written in vivid orange in the middle of the box.

Notes for Vera Wang Look:
Top: mandarin, green notes, lytchee, green apple
Heart: lily, freesia, jasmine
Base: vanilla, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

To learn more visit the Vera Wang site and listen to Vera Wang explain the concept here.

The perfume is available as Parfum Elixir in 30ml/1oz flacon with crystal stopper and wand (300$), and as Eau de Parfum in 30ml (1.0oz) ~outside of US~, 50ml (1.7oz.) and 100ml (3.4oz)bottles ~in the US. Look is accompanied by a line of body products: body cream, body lotion and shower cream (200 ml each). Available at travel retail worldwide and Nordstorm.

Pics through Vera Wang and Moodie Report .


  1. Mike Perez17:38

    What a beautiful bottle for what sounds like a very lackluster fragrance. How sad.

  2. The bottle really is beautiful, but that is only thing I have ever liked about Vera Wang fragrances, the packaging. I sprayed this on card and at one sniff I put the card down and walked away to find something else.

  3. How unexpedted... I must try it...

    Love the bottle too.

  4. Helg, I have yet to find a Wang that I like.
    As for the bottle - well, its sort of boring to me. Sorry.
    I shall have a sniff when it hits my shores all the same. LOL

  5. J,

    I admit it hasn't grabbed me either. Her first is her best I feel.

  6. Daily/J,

    the presentation is very classy, they did a marvellous job. The scent is rather predictable.

  7. M,

    the bottle looks better in person admittedly (not too exciting on screen, I know).
    Can't say am crazy about them, although some are nice.

  8. Vera Wang have really gone for it with the fagrances haven't they. It seems like we get at least one a year now! I feel less would perhaps have been more.

    I actually don't mind the original Vera Wang but the others have left me cold so far.

  9. K,
    It's probably true for every brand, alas. "The magnetic power of the new" and all that, I bet, in the minds of those who launch a million creations.

  10. Anonymous19:32

    I sprayed this on my wrist and thought it to be so-so. After walking around for about 10 minutes I just happened to smell it again on my wrist and it was so much better! Love it love it love it!!

  11. Anon, how fabulous for you! Do enjoy it, it's not always that that happens.

  12. Anonymous18:01


    Just wondering, is the lid on the 50ml parfum strong clear plastic or glass?????

  13. Anonymous05:35

    I love Vera Wang's new scent "Look" . . In fact, it smells really good after showering in my favorite gel from Bath & Body Works - Orange Ginger!


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu below the text box (Anonymous is fine if you don't want the other options) and hit Publish! And you're set!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin