Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier released a duo of signature perfumes this spring meant to convey the spirit of the vintage tattoo brand which is young, with a mix of fusion sensibilities,
"...fusing the best elements of tattoo, hot rod, and cholo culture along with a tinge of his native French heritage. The brand is rock and roll with soul, California through and through." (see previous post)....
Ed Hardy for Men and Women came out in a seeming fanfare of arresting images and commercial promotions. Apparently, it is very efficacious because the perfumes are sold out in many places due to, among other things, a GWP in the form of a desirable white tattoo tote that is now already a collector's item on auction sites.
Scent-wise, of the two the masculine Ed Hardy feels more original, most noticeably in that part contained between the top and base notes, while the feminine version safely replays youth-perfume codes centering on the category of the milky fruity-floral, with a little added twist: the apple-soufflé accord.
Ed Hardy for Men was created by Olivier Gillotin from Givaudan and Ed Hardy for Women was composed by Caroline Sabas, from the same fragrance company.
These are plainly commercial perfumes but which aim to strike a chord with the hipster crowd; the efforts went beyond the packagings to include some gadget-like fun sensations in the scents, especially the masculine version which incorporates a Thuja (thu-yaa) note, a coniferous tree belonging to the Cypress family. From Thuja is extracted an essence which contains Thujone, a mentholated substance also found in the infamous drink of the poètes maudits, Absinthe. Ed Hardy for Men takes this potentially lethal drug (in its original state) and skipping on the neurotic chapters of its history turns it into a high-risk sport athlete's quest for extreme sensations. The feminine version is much more risk-free but shares a common taste for Japanese rubber eraser scent with its masculine counterpart, waiting for him to return from a mountain trek with a warm apple soufflé served fresh out of the oven.
The opening for the cologne is rather conservative at first letting out sweet lavender, woody, and amber-y notes. However very soon a less familiar accord surfaces which mixes persistent citrus notes with an aromatic evergreen impression, Thuja, together with an artificial, modern fruity floral Japanese rubber gum nuance, in a good way. Next an incisive citrusy and ambery accord seems to suddenly distinctly appear like an arrow shot skyward. The scent being a masculine one and our mind being in the gutter, it irresistibly evokes the symbolism of an erectile movement. Later, the perfume confirms this interest in dynamism as it seems to be constructed to mimic a surfer snowboarding from the top of a snowy mountain hill to the base, at full speed.
The background of the composition is now slightly mentholated, then gains in strength, smelling like eucalyptus and even later, Vapo-Rub. This impression does not court pleasantness but rather attempts to develop the idea of a mint julep accord to the full extent. The amber hovering in the background is more commonplace, offering a little techno flavor as in CKIN2U.
The perfume becomes airier with time, more oxygenated as if after smelling the forest of thuja you were now surfboarding on a snowy mountain slope as there is the suggestion of something glacé, icy, and white, like a thick coat of snow.
Then the composition starts warming up, becoming a dash powdery, with a subtle juniper berry scent weaved in it. For a moment it evokes a masculine, original version of L'Artisan Mûre et Musc, but as if the blackberry had been replaced by juniper and the musk had been made a bit powdery and snowy instead of being clear and transparent.
The scent then becomes more discreetly resinous while keeping its fresh and snowy aromatic crest. The dry-down is rather trite, like a more adolescent version of a conservative men's cologne, and it does not aim to be complex. The longer dry-down lets out a pleasant musky smell.
Ed Hardy for Men is a cologne that certainly offers a signature. It lacks depth in the end, but not quirkiness. From top to bottom, it is like one of those exciting rides where you are in it to experience strong sensations of speed, freshness, and risk. You arrive at the bottom of the slope and there ends the story and the sensations.
Ed Hardy for Women
The scent starts on a fruity-floral opening with salty milky caramel accents. This has been done over and over again, precisely for the young women segment of the market and the new scent does not add anything noteworthy to the idea. There is no particular finesse nor originality to be noted here.
The composition then segues into an edible sensation that is the "apple soufflé" accord. Later, it smells realistically of a buttery tarte aux pommes (smells different from its apple-pie equivalent), with a dash of cinnamon. Not bad in and of itself. The green apple scent, reminiscent of Donna Karan Be Delicious, mixed with the nuance of Japanese rubber gum and the white musks feel harsh although the soufflé accord is warmer and rounder.
All in all, Ed Harry for Women is more formulaic than Ed Harry for Men. Its ingredients come across as cheaper too, tending to assault the nose.
In this genre of unabashedly girly and gourmand perfumes, we much prefer M by Mariah Carey whose style may not necessarily be the one you are looking for, but which is good at what it is doing.
Ed Hardy for Women has notes of apple soufflé, mango, wild strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, black freesia petals, watery muguet, linden blossom, warm amber, musk, hot skin, tonka bean and vanilla pudding. Ed Hardy for Men has notes of bergamot, mandarin, clary sage, thuja, mint julep accord with ozone, musk, sequoia forest and black amber.
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