Guess by Marciano, as reported earlier, represents the brand's effort to offer a more sophisticated and upscale Guess perfume on the occasion of its 27th anniversary. Smelling the perfume having forgotten all promises, it is unexpected to discover the unfolding of a composition that should be going more firmly in the direction of one of those "pink" or "fruit-salad" fragrances for young women with their fruity-floral and milky tonalities, and see it in fact renew the genre by smelling deeply ambery.
Instead of the light white musks and usual pinkish touches like rose, peony, and litchi, we discover a rolling-out of a more substantial and satisfying ingredient, ambergris, treated almost in an old-fashioned way, that is in an animalistic way. Distant references like Weil Zibeline and Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles pop up, only as if they had fallen into a vat of fruits and dulce de leche, in a good way.
The fragrance was created by perfumer Barbara Zoebelein of Drom Fragrances and developed by Parlux Fragrances, Inc. It could be seen as a milky woody oriental with a powdery overtone. Something of the spirit of Le Feu d'Issey can be detected here in the intensity of a lactic and spicy (cardamom) impression that feels grown-up rather than babyish. The vintage allusion found in the scent is reinforced by the fishnet motif on the flacon which precisely aims to reflect the spirit of a bygone era. Jasmine is showcased both on the bottle and in the scent.......
The perfume opens on liquorishy and syrupy fruity floral notes which quickly take on marked ambery and milky-carameley characteristics. The tart notes of star fruit, grapefruit, curaçao orange and a dash of creamy caramel all mingle with candied notes. At this point it seems like another incarnation of a popular feminine genre of perfumes for young women. The scent is quite sweet but it is also nicely balanced out by woody notes (raw wood) and ambery ones.
Something in the texture and the mainstream references of the fragrance makes one think that this might be a form of socially acceptable "new musk" worn by young women who wish to seduce. The texture is deep, warm, dark, and behaves on the skin like the enveloping presence of musk except that it is also candied, milky, and fruity-floral. It is not overtly dirty. But like the aphrodisiac musk, it gives the impression of being a natural second skin, only better (there is musk, but the treatment here makes the whole composition feel as single-minded as a few grains of musk rubbed on the skin). Guess By Marciano although using all the stereotypes found in younger women perfume today, manages to transcend them by being much more interesting, more intense, very well to extremely well blended depending on the stage you are in, and bringing in a dark sensation; it is not "pink" at all.
The suspicion that this composition is somehow in touch with fragrances of olden days while using a completely trendy language, that of the cell-phone-accessorized-with-lip-glosses generation comes through more as the scent develops and reveals more ostensibly musk and ambergris accents.
If Guess By Marciano a priori could be seen as one of those sticky-lollipop scents that abound in the market, it surprises. When the jasmine note peeks through, it feels once more like a modernized version of a classic idea. The dry-down is warm and woody and a bit boozy with the lingering on of the Curaçao Orange accord, which is very realistic. And it works, it smells good.
Surprisingly good. An inventive perfume. Recommended for lovers of milky, ambery, boozy, and jasmine perfumes, soft nostalgics of vintage fragrances and people ready to wear a candied, easier version of Le Feu d'Issey.
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