Jessica Simpson Fancy (2008): Sweet Medley {Perfume Review} {New Fragrance} {Celebrity Scent}

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Jessica Simpson Fancy is the singer's first debut fragrance and second foray into the world of perfume following her dessert line of edible scents, which was based on a personal idea of hers. I do not remember exactly how I came up with the subsequent idea, but I remember reading about that range in an interview given by Jessica Simpson and coming away with the impression that she must have been a gifted child and that these sweet-tasting scents were an expression of her own idiosyncratic outlook on the world. What we can also retain from this is that for the young singer and actress the confluence of perfume and food is there as one of the pathways built into her brain and as a personal interest of hers from early on. With Fancy, she did not waver from her initial interest. Despite the fact that the new fragrance is described officially as a floral oriental, it is at the same time very much a gourmand and a fruity-floral scent, done in a girly way.

My preamble about Jessica's personal emotional investment in the idea of what a fragrance can be is not to say that Fancy is an original perfume. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Fancy is very much in tune with a trend of perfumes that was especially exploited in the field of US celebs scents and which are built around a main self-indulgent sweet variation of fruit-salad-drizzled-over-with-cream, a very popular accord. The little difference we witness in this case is a slightly more grownup furry ambery facet reminiscent, however distantly, of classics such as Zibeline and Tabu. This vintage, retro touch, with a sprinkle of less-distant-in-time louder 1980s fashion-sense at times, has made a comeback recently in Guess by Marciano and others, and matches the style of the bottle...

At another level, it is very much related in spirit to the candied ambery impression of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb eau de parfum, but with more fruits and tasty accents.

Fancy was composed by perfumer Alexis Dadier of Mane who has visibly tailored the scent to the American audience (the white floral jasmine and gardenia heart; the powdery sharpness; the sweet candied notes) and to a specific demographic, the 15-35 years-old group we are told with, no doubt, a focus on the lower rungs of that age group.

Fancy From Top To Bottom: Sweet Like America's Sweetheart

Fancy opens on a main impression of pear and caramel lying on a fruity-floral bed standing like a less definite chorus in the background. And like a chorus in a Greek tragedy, it has to be there.

The next stage offers a very sharp and in-your-face powdery musky and ambery facet which makes me think that it is less bad here than when it appears in small, disguised doses in more upscale perfumes. At least in this case, the effect is overdosed and instead of hiding its bling-like character the lady stares right at you while popping chewing-gum and making a clanking noise with her bangles. Fancy comes across as a scent for not-so-subtle dames with an overdose of attitude. It is sweet but not exactly gentle. The powdery musk, the pear and the caramel fuse together leading to a creamier stage. A little burnt-amber touch was added for spice (toasted almonds).

Fancy smells so contemptuous of the canons of classical good taste that you have to give it to it that the scent sticks to its own idea of what a classy broad wears to smell good and sexy. Somehow, it evokes for me Madonna in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan asserting her own unique brand of individualism in a telling, character-building scene where we see her drying her hairy armpits in a public bathroom by using air blown from the topsy-turvy mouth of a hand-dryer.

Fancy dries down to a skin scent, continuing to rest on this linear pear-and-caramel main accord. A little sophistication comes from the ambergris and burnt amber making you think of such distant relatives as Tabu or Zibeline but painted the colors of vanilla and strawberry ice-creams.To be fair, the drydown does not smell bad with its furry Zibeline touch dipped in Italian vanilla gelato.

The perfume is so transparently uninterested in universality and timelessness aiming instead at a particular target group of young women in love with candied scents that it will probably not appeal across the board. The overdose of vanilla ice-cream was probably intended as being both comforting and aphrodisiac to young people (of both sexes.)

Those who were socialized to perfume via the celebs scents recreating a sensation of Del Monte salad with English cream will appreciate, or not, the deeper ambery twist.

Notes from the press release:

"FANCY Jessica Simpson opens with the radiance of sparkling Pear and juicy Apricot Nectar wrapped with the glow of Red Fruits. The heart of FANCY is the captivating draw of dewy Gardenia laced with the delicacy of Night Blooming Jasmine. Toasted Almonds and Caramel notes provide a playful element. Creamy Sandalwood, infused with the sensual energy of Amber Crystals, unites with the embracing warmth of Vanilla Crème as FANCY clings to the skin at dry down."

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