Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sasha Varon Soulgasm : fragrance review

Sasha Varon Luxe Parfums is behind Soulgasm, the first of what seems a new line of perfumes self-positioning into niche territory. The main factor that I was interested in trying it was that part of the proceeds for each sale of Soulgasm goes to the charity Vitamin Angels.
Vitamin Angels reduces child mortality by connecting infants and children under five with vital nutrients, especially vitamin A and zinc, and has been working in 40 countries around the world in 2009. Vitamin Angels has been awarded two consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management, so I guess they do send over the "green". (visit for more info)

The company boldyly presents itself thus: "Established to create masterpieces uniquely rebellious of today’s status quo, Sasha Varon steals the stage with its first offering; SOULGASM, Heaven Sent, Hell-bent…
In an oversaturated market where packaging differentiation is crucial for sales success, Sasha Varon’s Soulgasm, with its provocative, sexy, vintage-inspired styling & feel takes you back in time, telling a story that reaches out and dares you not to pick it up and satisfy your curiosity".
NOTES for Soulgasm:
Head: Succulent Peach, Anjou Pear, South African Freesia, Ripe Black Currant
Heart: Wild, Night-Blooming Jasmine, Delicate Eurasian Lily, Multi-Faceted Woodberry
Base: Clean Musk, Warm Amber, Sweet French Vanilla

Sounds cool? Hmmm....Colour me sceptic.

I can't say I was impressed by Soulgasm's scent, certainly not in reference to the expectations that the ad copy creates (paradisial and inferno-touched at the same time, please note)! And the retro packaging and burlesque-inspired playful images (boosted by 40s-style jazzy music on the site) that accompany it prepare one for something completely different! In that respect there is a serious incongruity between image and scent: I'm sure they have their reasons.
Left to one's own devices, one (not me, I'm afraid) might appreciate the fragrance for what it is: a very mainstream and potent fruity floral. Certainly in a sea of fruity florals it is difficult to differentiate between them and indeed smelling Soulgasm reminded me of something I couldn't put my finger on. Was it the peachy Maybe Baby and the pear-meets-wet-dog-note of Petite Cherie rolled into one? Perhaps. The thing is the scent is VERY fruity, peach-dominated with strong berry notes and not especially floral, more shampoo-directed. One would be hard pressed to distinguish specific notes under the fruits, although I'm sure there is synth lily of the valley and synth violet to help expand the feel and open up the fruits ~as if it was necessary. It is very lasting and judging by my small sample vial which allowed a few squirts it projects quite a bit. Fruito-phobics should keep their distance.

The fragrance is available exclusively online and at
You can check out for yourself at Soulgasm (The site is really well done and the music is great auditory backrground if you're doing something menial, like washing dishes or taping envelopes at the office, while thinking about 40s classic noirs: I guess they did those things then too but more glamorously!)

In the interests of full disclosure I was sent a sample vial via a PR promotion.


  1. guerligirl14:46

    I assumed this was a joke company and scent from Sacha Baron Cohen. I guess not?

  2. What guerligirl said!! This was exactly my thought--a joke by the incomparably and brilliantly inappropriate Mr. Cohen.

  3. 'Vintage-feeling'? What? Just looking at the notes, I can't imagine what vintage they're talking about.

  4. Guergirl,

    if only. It's quite serious, it seems.

  5. Queen cupcake,

    well, see above. I think they're planning to launch more later on.

  6. prosetry,

    that was my first thought as well! I believe the vintage part goes only to the visual part (have you checked the site? It's very well done!). The juice smells like modern juice coming out of a designer's line.

  7. The juice may be excellent but the whole presentation screams I'm soooo sexy and fascinating that it effectively repulses me.
    Thinking of it, the perfume advertising hardly ever appeals to me, I don't remember any single advert or presentation that would make me think that it's cool and I should try it. Or that I'd like to have that poster at home. I remember that when Feminite du Bois came out, I thought the spreads ugly, I thought the bottles ugly and I avoided the fragrance for years. But in general, I'm hard to advertise to:D

  8. The whole ad campaign is so over-the-top that it seems like an elaborate joke. And the ad copy is just... eww. This must have been designed to appeal to teenagers, with its vampiric overtones and its sweet fruity notes. I mean, that is a legitimate target market, and I predict this will actually sell, but I find it in very bad taste.

    And I haven't even smelled the scent.

  9. Liisa,

    I wish the juice were excellent. But...
    The advertising is rather focused on some modern-retro thing a la Dita von Teese or something, which I suppose sells. (only not everyone is Dita, I guess). It's very heavy, for something completely antithetical. It's there I find the weakest point. And yes, I know you're not the advertisers' prime aim ;-)

    But the FDB spreads ugly??? Featuring my friend Elena (Lutens's favourite model)?? Ah...bad Liisa, bad!*

    (*just kidding of course, everyone's free to like/dislike whatever)

  10. Mals,

    you could be very right, you know!! Vampiric overtones for weak-blooded vampires. :-)
    Is it the Twilight saga demographic? I can't place the jazzy music anywhere if so. Oh well, it's all very confused, I thought.

  11. Helg,
    I'd have to find the advert again, I remember only the general impression. And mind that I was, like, 17, which is almost a synonym to stupid:D

  12. Wow. There is just not a single thing about this that appeals to me. I stopped reading the notes after 3 of the 4 top notes were fruit. I am really, really tired of the whole burlesque trend. And I never, EVER want to respond to the question of what I'm wearing with anything that has "-gasm" in its name. For pete's sake...

  13. L,

    it's this one.
    Admittedly Lutens's vision on women is a bit too ethereal. But never vulgar.

    And I bet you were never stupid!

  14. SS,

    I should think that the burlesque is quite passé, but evidently not everyone must think so. Because I see a professional team behind the site and probably a marketing team thinking about the presentation. So it begs the question: is there more "milking" of the concept afoot or not?

    What...not even "Q-gasm", the one involving Qtips and ear canal cleaning? (I found this in the INternez!!)


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