Thursday, November 12, 2009

Helena Rubinstein Wanted: fragrance review

Helena Rubinstein proposed that Wanted "unveils the ineffable and mysterious link that binds a woman to her love, a woman to her desires, a woman to her fragrance". Supposedly the name derives from the advertising phrase "All you've ever wanted" (Yeah, like another PhD, a second summer house, this one on Santorini so I don't end up paying exorbitant prices when there, and my offspring to behave at all times...fat chance I'll get! Anyway...)

The daring muse for Rubinstein's first foray in fragrance in 25 years (last one was the rococo typical of its era Barynia in 1985) is none other than Demi Moore, who I suppose is more daring for her choice of a much younger soulmate than anything else (no offence meant, just pondering on the "dare" factor these days). When all is said and done, more power to her and I have to note I always liked that, despite whatever procedure she has had done, she never plumped up her lips the way so many Hollywood stars do ending up like trouts. In the advertising commercial she showcases her best assets (come-hither eyes, great shape) and does a sexy speak-over with her husky, suggestive voice dressed in a Donna Karan look-alike dress (which if my memory serves me well had been her hit a decade ago).

On the other hand Wanted is daring to the degree that a chicken and asparagus casserole can be described as such: surely a nice combination of flavours, but not unheard of and the only folks who won't touch it with a six-feet pole are small children (and even then...). Likewise Wanted recalls to mind shades of Dolce & Gabanna's The One, in a lighter, more citrusy incarnation, and woodier rather than fruity-orientalised; stepping from the sauna with a lovely peignoir on the colour of cream, all pores cleansed and exctracted (the lily of the valley touches of "scrubbed clean" along with what I deduce are white musks at the base).
Magnolia grandiflora is shaping to be the newest iris (i.e. a huge trend) and after a dearth of florals in favour of gourmands, it seems they're getting back with a vengeance, possibly as a result of the mega hit of J'Adore by Dior which also features magnolia. In Wanted it's a fantasiacal accord of woody and creamy-floral facets (a special LMR extraction of ylang ylang) with a radiant dose of sugar spun crystals sprinkled on and an acqueous feel, which was inspired by a stay at Portofino of all places. It's certainly sweeter than Magnolia Nobile by Aqua di Parma. Perfumers Dominique Ropion and Carlos Benaim of IFF figured women who turned to their favourite cosmetics brand would expect a comforting, polished and rather delicate composition, like pampered face cream (similar approach in Eau de Fleur de Magnolia by Kenzo), that wouldn't have any hard edges, nor operatic throw-cushions the way white flowers are by their very nature rendered (and doesn't Ropion have tremendous experience with those!). Therefore fans of apocalyptical awe-inspiring florals will be disappointed, consumers with an eye on wearability will make it popular.

The bottle, designed by internationally renowned French jewels and furniture designer Hervé van der Straeten is elegant and striking in a industrial-sleekness-meets-1er arrondissement-sophistication , although the material doesn't look as luxurious up close and personal. (Or maybe I'm just extremely picky)

Notes for Helena Rubinstein Wanted: magnolia, ylang ylang and iris over cedar

Helena Rubinstein Wanted is available as Eau de Parfum 1.7 fl. oz. for $60/50ml for €70, Eau de Parfum 3.4 fl. oz. for $80/ 100ml for €100 and Body Lotion 6.6 fl. oz., $45; exclusively at Macy's from November 5th and at major department stores in Europe.

Pic of Demi Moore via cosmetic candy, Wanted bottle pic via


  1. That is quite an interesting bottle, it's a shame it's not as good when viewed up close - a pet peeve of mine.
    But I'm not interested in the juice, so I guess it doesn't matter anyhow.

  2. I'm just working on a review on Barynia - all I need is to go out in the wild to get a few pictures to illustrate a few points; and I think Barynia was much better than Wanted. Either I'm weird or most of the newest releases use plasticized PVC as one of the main ingredients, including Wanted.
    And, yes, all I ever Wanted. Second Ph. D., as well as the first one, losing 20 kilos overnight, world peace. Sure.

  3. I liked the bottle so much from the photographs, but up close the tester didn't hold a candle (or so I thought)
    It's nice juice, just not that exciting, especially judging by the duo behind it which would raise expectations very highly indeed.

  4. L,

    LOL! You got the joke, we think alike.
    Barynia was so 80s, so I guess Wanted is very....00s. I found it too sweet for my personal tastes though. I very much like sweet in some things, I can only assume it wasn't one of them in this particular formula.
    Looking forward to your take!!


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