Adora is the third and newly out fragrance by tattoo artist Kat Von D following Saint and Sinner in 2009. Its name means "Beloved One" in Latin. The tag line is "Life holds new meaning when you're in love." If you are current with your people's news you know she is now in a relationship with Jesse James, Sandra Bullock's ex-husband, or at least was as of Sept 2, 2010 (things can evolve lightning fast in this area in showbusiness especially.) Kat Von D said,
The word Adora has special meaning for me,” explains Kat. “I chose it because it takes me to some of my most passionate and tormented moments. The emotions that love evokes are unforgettable and this fragrance is like my reminiscence.
Like her previous perfumes, the new fragrance reveals better than her makeup line does (except for the extraordinarily buttery texture of her lipsticks) the soft side of a woman who is daring visually but much more subtle in her choice of scents. If her color philosophy is more about calling attention to herself, her perfume preferences seem to go in the direction of intimate scents. The description "She's a romantic soul with an edgy exterior" is apt in translating the feel of this new scent...
Notes: lychee, boysenberry, thyme, cassis, hyacinth, jasmine, mango flesh, patchouli, sheer musk, amber wood.
Adora opens on a peppery berry, boysenberry accord with a certain roundness and mellowness to it contrasted with fresh citrusy musks and for a while it seems to want to travel in the direction of a creamy, lactonic and sweet accord, but instead remains interestingly fresh with the appearance of a nuance not unlike green cardamom. It turns out to be more exactly an accord based on the juxtaposition of "mango flesh" - young rather than ripe - and thyme.
I say "interestingly fresh" because instead of smelling more classically of citruses, Adora much more characteristically smells of a dark foresty background. There are woody and loamy nuances, which looking at the list of notes, can be felt to result from the blending of "amber wood" with patchouli, the latter being often used to create damp, earthy effects in fragrances, all this plunged into an underbrush light thanks to green notes of hyacinth, cassis, thyme, mango flesh which make the scent feel vegetaly.
The blend is unxpectedly subtle in case you expected like me that the Gothic style of the bottle would unleash a fiery red tongue paying homage to punk aesthetics and vye for a spot in your Halloween fragrance wardrobe. Rather, Adora seems to reference the balsamic air one might experience strolling around the grounds of the Drachenberg family castle in Germany.
The scent is much more romantic in mood, and soft, than transgressive as Kat Von D can lead us to believe with her fondness for spectacular tattoos and dramatic black and red makeup. The perfume is more in tune with the sinuous, vine-like Art Nouveau style and atmosphere of a Mucha painting which is in fact the reference explicitly made in this case with the metallic red motif on the flacon as he is reported to be one of Kat Von D's favorite Art Nouveau artists.
You can decide to come away with a blended impression of Adora, which then conveys a sense of being like a light fougère for women drying down to a woody berry-musk accord, with airs of being a descendant of Lauren by Ralph Lauren. You can also easily focus on the mango flesh accord which is rather present and see Adora as a fresh, woody mango skin perfume. You could also see it as a feather-light fruity chypre. There are smoky bonfire-like nuances in the longer drydown as well. Rosy cosmetics-like ones too. This is where I detect complexity in the composition, for its capacity to be able to be interpreted differently albeit consistently coming across as an understated, murmur-like olfactory signature.