Bobbi Brown Almost Bare (2008): Almost Real {Perfume Review}



As announced earlier, makeup guru Bobbi Brown has launched a new perfume called Almost Bare because she does not like obtrusive fragrances and prefers barely-there scents that remind her of smells rather than complicated luxurious fragrances. She explained why. I am sure she is not the only one.

Almost Bare is a well-made, well-balanced clean white floral perfume that is pretty and subdued. It is no wall-flower though. Although a tad more perfume-y than you might expect at first, it keeps its promise of bringing up smell associations found in the real world......   

This summer's bronzed pink look 

In this case, it magically conjures up a huge bouquet of white flowers straight from the florist's refrigerator. The sensation is very fresh and dewy and very real. To the point where it made me instinctively turn around to see where the smell was coming from, before realizing that it was me wearing Almost Bare. It could be renamed Almost Real.

Another smell I pick up in the perfume is that of a light tea mixed with a glass of icy 7 UP. This is also what Tommy Girl feels like to me, white tea and sparkling sweet citrus-y soda as in a freshly drawn tumbler of 7 UP. 

So, how does the scent evolve? At the start it is greener than expected and the floral bouquet comes through as fresh and clean, with no particular flower emerging. The perfume is not completely ethereal as it is anchored by warmer, but not too warm, notes of discreetly powdery musk and amber. The sparkling, sheer aspect of the perfume is contrasted with a light creamy one as a pretty vanilla note weaves itself in. To me, this delicate vanilla swirl (it appears quite a bit this season in different fragrances) saves the perfume from being completely standard and predictable.Then the florist's bouquet really start fanning out with its green stem-y and sappy notes. The dry-down is simple with a dominant note of Tonka bean, which smells close to vanilla, but less creamy, more watery and almond-y in this case. With time, it betrays a little bit of the elegant soapiness of Chanel No. 5, like a distant quote.

If the name of the fragrance is inspired by a makeup concept, almost bare, that insists on a low level of ostentation, the perfume itself is a little bit more coquettish than the type of nude, natural-looking makeup one would imagine resulting from the idea. It is more like a pretty summer dress with a nicely colored floral pattern.

This perfume should please people who like white florals and uncomplicated pretty scents rather than perfume as ART. It is well-done in this genre of fragrances and has good lasting power.

Notes: Italian bergamot, violet leaves, soft muguet, jasmine petals, soft cedar, warm amber.  

Almost Bare is priced at $60. It is available at Bobbi Brown and Neiman Marcus. 

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7 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. This sounds well worth trying. While I'm not a white-flowers fan, I am a big fan of the green, sappy notes that smell like they've just been brought out of the florist's fridge. You do a powerful job of making this sound just right.
    Didn't want to schlep out to NM AGAIN, so maybe I'll wait till it drops to Nordstrom level.

  2. Sniffed this today at Nordstrom. I didn't get as much out of it as you did, but it does have a nice green element and is altogether pleasant and would be great for the office. I didn't love it enough to buy it, but I just ordered L'Eau D'Hiver, and that took a big, juicy chomp out of my budget.

  3. I never heard of Bobbi Brown Perfume. This I got to try. But then almost everyone who is a celebrity has perfume after their name but Bobbi Brown. Hmm.

    John Smathers
  4. L'Eau d'Hiver is in a different league.

    I just wanted to add that it is interesting to see that the bouquet-straight-out-of-the florist's-fridge impression happens away from the skin, like an olfactory hologram detached from one's person. I know you were interested in this sensation. Pity it was not at the rendez-vous at Nordstrom....

  5. Bobbi Brown also offers perfumes called Beach and Bath.

  6. What a fabulous review! I really enjoyed reading this.

  7. Thank you! I hope it works for you.


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