Daisy Eau So Fresh is the new twist on Daisy by Marc Jacobs, which launched in 2007. Described as a 'vibrant, charming, whimsical' twist on their 'classic', one has to realize after smelling the fragrance that the brand is not saying much anything really about the fragrance and remaining safely vague.
"Fresh" is a keyword in the name of the scent and might lead you to think, too logically perhaps, that it is a fresher version of Daisy. Well, apparently, that would be too obvious an interpretation, because it isn't.
What they say:
"A whimsical interpretation of the original Daisy fragrance, this scent is more fruity, more bubbly, more fun! Open the bottle and you'll be transported to a field of sunshine that bursts with the flirty scent of flowers and the cheerful sweetness of fruits. Its light, woody base infuses a subtle but sharp glimmer of musk for an unexpected twist of radiance."
The advertising campaign was indeed shot in Southern Spain. The bottle, signed by designer Wilhelm Liden, does look more like that of an Eau de Cologne. But turning to the juice itself is like discovering a scent that talks past all the advertising and marketing discourse to do its own thing.
Notes: red grapefruit, natural raspberry, green leaves and pear; the heart has violet, wild rose, apple blossom, lychee and jasmine. Base notes rest on musks, warm plum and cedar wood.
The perfume opens on a tart, fruity note followed by an interesting-smelling accord which evokes something like an overripe meringue, with woody overtones. It is as if the meringue knew how to behave like a fruit, yet retained its nature as an egg-based meringue, if you can see what I mean. It is a bit odd, in a good way. The sensation points to the abstract nature of the perfumery accord detected, which is not really translatable into a spontaneous, everyday language pointing towards real-world objects.
Going back to the list of notes, I am able to now decompose the feeling and think that it is the association of violet with pear, with some plum in the background, which creates this slightly incongruous sensation...
As the scent mellows, there are nuances of sleek sesame-seed oil, which for me is associated with a certain type of white-floral accord often involving osmanthus, it seems. Off the top of my head, I remember spotting this smell in Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane, Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte, and also Mally.
Daisy Eau So Fresh decides then to settle a bit and take on a musky cast counterbalanced by woodsy notes, eggy-vanillic gourmand notes, and the slightly odd-smelling fruity-floral impression mentioned above.
In order to translate the scent onto paper and into words, one has to resort rather to description of effects such as "ripeness, medium sharpness, medium warmth, medium depth and medium diffusion." The scent really does not smell of much anything except convey olfactory effects, which is fitting since daisies are unscented. Unscented flowers are the symbols of the freedom of perfumers to create as they wish their own imaginary scents and play God, something the author, perfumer Alberto Morillas already did famously with Kenzo Flower.
The colors of the flacon are correctly reproduced in the composition: if it smells of any color, it would smell of white and yellow.
From afar, the green, slight grassy aspects of the original Daisy come through more easily. As is logical, the fresher notes are better smelt upstairs while the warmer, base notes are better smelled downstairs, closer to the skin. The apricoty osmanthus note is also more detectable in diffusion mode than in skin-scent mode. The scent has been freshened up somewhat by nuances of peony and lychee which sometimes manage to morph into an impression of sweet apple blossom. It is like the scent of apple, but more floral and a bit almond-y. The fleeting, delicate apple-blossom note is perhaps here the main reason one should get this flanker.
Overall, while there are fresh, tart accents, Daisy Eau So Fresh is curiously for any literally-inclined mind, warmer and more full-bodied than advertized. if its image seems easy enough, its scent is more cerebral and abstract than one might expect. If the codes are mainstream and the smell familiar, since this is a true flanker, at the same time the composition turns out to be an excellent reminder that perfumery is more often than not an art of the abstract.
In the end and paradoxically, Daisy Eau So Fresh smells less fresh than the original. I have the Eau de Toilette version, and I can see that the desirable green crunchy nuances are less prominent in the Eau So Fresh. I also find the original to be made of a subtler fabric than this iteration; the almond note in it is fresher and daintier, although the Eau So Fresh interestingly and more boldly underscores the weird, abstract, unnatural accord on which Daisy rests.
The drydown of Eau So Fresh is the most disappointing part of the fragrance. It thins down to a mere, simplistic expression of itself, smelling a bit like the trace left by a laboratory bottle spill on a counter. When reapplied in order to get more meat out of the perfume, it manages to retain more of the Ionones of the violet and ends up smelling powdery and more boudoir-like.
Are markeeters trying to play mind games with our expectations? I expected Daisy Eau So Fresh to be sparkling at least. It feels like perfumer Alberto Morillas did not want to upset the delicate, quasi perfect balance of fresh fruity and green notes found in the original and instead went for an experimental study by pushing the fruity-floral accord towards more velvet, depth, warmth and slightly darker tonalities in Daisy Eau So Fresh (warm plum.) Where one finds a sense that it might be faithful to the idea of a fresh flanker is when you realize that it does not last too long on skin.
My shopping advice in the end is that if you are looking for a fresh Daisy, then the Eau de Toilette is the way to go. If you collect bottles of perfume, then by all means, consider getting Daisy Eau So Fresh. If you are looking for a slightly deeper Daisy, go for the Eau So Fresh. If you want to feel feminine and sexy, the Eau de Toilette does the job more efficiently in my opinion. If you are interested in comparative perfume notes, you can go smell the new iteration to see how a fragrance formula gets permutated around while retaining its original personality. If you like the perfume of apple blossom, try to capture it in the middle of the scent, like a fleeting butterfly in the springtime.
For more background information, you can go to the news announcement.