Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trussardi for Women & Donna Trussardi: fragrance reviews

There are fragrances which appear like a ghost from another world: New apparition, same old quirks; there's just something immediately common and yet at the same time quite different. Trussardi has two classic feminine fragrances in their repertoire which are great and they're both utterly lovely in differing ways, yet with a common calling card: Italian elegance and panache!

Trussardi for Women is elegant and chic as befits a classic floral chypre: Essentially timeless, yet so characteristic of the 1980s when this type of fragrance romped the executive ladders across the Western world, Trussardi came out in 1982. This is a cool customer: I can imagine that the all-white mock-crock flask bottle with the superimposed tabac leather medallion with the afgan dog profile (leather goods company Trussardi's trademark) is appealing to a certain type of person: She is always elegant even in 100F heat, preferably in all white, intelligent in a non studious way, more than a bit of a ruthless calculator, rather like Kathleen Turner in Body Heat (Surely Barbara Stanwick's best successor!) The fragrance inside however is all that and more: Hell, it can melt even the kindest of hearts! The characteristic perfume-y start is typically 1980s power chypre fragrance and directly derived by such powerhouses of unabashed audacity as the classic Bandit. Lovers of the very perfumey, very arid Gucci No.3 will recall how Italians embraced this type of fragrance and suffused it with a sense of luxury.

Trussardi for Women is indeed a sharp, arid composition with a good amount of pungent leather, centered around the classic bouquet of rose, jasmine and lily of the valley; the latter for its expansive properties which boost the effect of the deceoptive "cleanliness" inside and lets the other florals bloom ~among them a hint of tuberose. None of the notes are especially airated, creating a dense, pungent and slightly masculine effect with a hidden sensuality: the sandalwood, styrax resin and patchouli detectable at the dry down phase of the fragrance create a come hither vibe that is hard to miss. 

"You're not too smart, are you?...I like that in a man" she says....

On the contrary, Donna Trussardi, this time composed by Jean Guichard in 1994, is a much sunnier, open-hearted and more outwardly seductive composition that veers into floriental. Although there is a floral heart once again, the ambience is different, set on warmer tonalities, like the smile of a genuine seniora Italiana. The departure is much less sharp or perfumey, choosing instead the synergy of mandarin and ginger which imbues the fragrance in the saturated colours of the grand Italian masters. From then on, if you lean closely, you might detect several flowers, all singing in unison yet sometimes one can overtop the other in a game of hide &seek. I detect ylang ylang, carnation and a smidge of tuberose. But the real deal in Donna Trussardi comes from the unfurling of a classic balsamic accord like sweet suede, built on labdanum and benzoin (which compliments the sweeter elements of the tropical ylang ylang with its vanillic undertone). Although a couple of elements from the chyprish predecessor are surviving (the citrusy counterpoint, the rose, the patchouli layer), those who experience Donna Trussardi in the squarish bottle with the rounded shoulders are a long way away from the prayer mantis mating game of the first version in the white bottle. Their seduction is more woman-next-door and for that reason more insidious.

I love them both for all the wrong reasons...

Somewhat confusingly, Trussardi for women (or Trussardi by Trussardi)  is also seen as Trussardi per Donna, which might make some believe the 1994 version is the older one: beware, the packaging is totally different and easy to distinguish. Both Trussardi for Women and Donna Trussardi are a rare sight nowadays in my corner of the world, but discounters and online auctions might be a source of procuring some.

pics via


  1. Great and truly welcome review, thanks a lot! Both are among my favorites and to my opinion they could easily fit any of the niche brands. It was always a question for myself: why Trussardi decided to discontinue them? They were selling well and at that time if I m not mistaken there havn t been any restriction in raw materials.

  2. sharyl18:50

    Goodness!! If your enticing review combined with this seductive clip from Body Heat does not arouse intense interest in these Trussardi fragrances then nothing will. I have never experienced any of these Trussardi scents and have not seen Body Heat and now both are on my radar! Thank you as always for an inspiring and imaginative review. Your lovely blog is such a great way to begin my morning.

  3. Hmmm both sound wonderful, I wish I could smell them right now.

  4. Aromacasa,

    you're absolutely right: These are mainstream releases which could stand effortlessly in a niche line. I shudder to think what this says about the state of current mainstream perfumery...
    Absolutely crazy that they axed them. I remember them being successful back when they were relatively "new" here, but I seldom saw them in recent years when I found out they had been indeed discontinued. It's a shame.
    I believe the reason has to do with a recalibrating Trussardi parfums' portfolio: they were aiming at fresh (Light Blue was making waves) and forgetting the leather tradition. Or so I think...

  5. Sharyl,

    awww, you're so very kind, thank you for the wonderful compliment.

    Well, I think if you get a chance to get these for a song, don't let it pass by. They're great. And so is Body Heat in its own way. More than a bit erotic and not stupid at all ;-)

  6. TFC,

    I expect there will be some rekindled interest in them re:decants, ebay auctions etc. Someone needed to spark some interest in them because they're so great. Trussardi by Trussardi (the white crock one) especially is fabulous! As good as niche and then some.

  7. Anonymous00:41

    I love Trussardi by Trussardi. I have a bottle I bought from OS in 2007. I love the deep sexy sensual smell, it lingers on the body for hours & hours, I just place it on the pulse points. I have about a half of the bottle(3.4 oz. size) left. I was planning on restocking it for my collection. I came to this Blogspot only to find out it's been discontinued. I'm sad to find out that It may be a difficult perfume to purchase again. So many great beautiful perfumes from the past have been discontinued in the last few years. A perfume should create an appeal of desire to being closer to the wearer of the perfume, not giving a message to the mind that one should be eating a piece of candy or fruit while being next to the wearer.

    Thank for your commentary about Trussardi for Women. You wrote wonderfully about this fragrance.


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