Motivational Message in a Bottle
Celebrity "juice" or celebrity perfume? That is the question when it comes to gauging a big-name celebrity output in the fragrance industry. So many olfactory stereotypes abound in this lucrative field. It is a rare thing when you happen on a celebrity who creates a perfume - and not just an ersatz fragrance paying lip service to the art.
With Rise by Beyoncé you will mostly get her signature or brand name together with the empowering message attached to the fragrance meant to be a wake-up call for women who feel stuck in the rut of their daily lives.
She said, "The spirit of Rise encourages women to be all that we are," Apart from that, Rise is a celebrity juice. It rehashes a few select olfactory titbits plucked out from a plethora of predictable perfumery accords. It is not unpleasant but if you "follow perfume" it is rather dull. It is certainly not at the expressive level of the forceful poem by Maya Angelou which stands behind it...
If you smell Rise from the angle of ithe scent being something akin to a pop music piece, you may find it too much on the side of noise and not enough on the side of music.
A more charitable take on it would be to look for the immediate pleasure quotient outside of any pretensions to originality or distinction. With that in mind, the four main initial impressions derived from the fragrance is that it is sensual, gourmand, elegant and a bit vegetal/raw.
The woody base, comprising notes of cashmere woods and vetiver, comes through almost immediately pegging the perfume as a woody floral in the line of Sensuous by Estée Lauder, i.e., the woods have been made feminine by making them feel mellow and a bit buttery. The vetiver offers a slight coffee nuance.
Rise is sweet, vaguely floral, vaguely woody and nutty made with a good helping of harsh, soapy musks. It is completely formulaic despite or precisely because of a talk of a "Gold Symphony Orchid accord" said to be Beyoncé's favorite flower.
We are certain that there are people - especially people belonging to Beyoncé's fandom - who will enjoy wearing the perfume promoted by their beloved diva. Apart from that, there is no strong necessity to turn to this perfume for embellishing your days.
Rise is mostly a motivational piece using fragrance as pretext. The scent itself feels like a humming sound, a vague chorus accompanying the grumbling sound of revolt you can hear in the background of Angelou's words, as it is in fact an appendage to her 1978 poem "Still I Rise" which inspired it,
Still I Rise
"You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
If you're mostly interested in the musicality of perfume then turn, say, to Lorenzo Villoresi Donna which I find has an operatic temperament. If you're mostly interested in Beyoncé, then you are going to love her latest output no matter what probably and also thanks to other kinds of associative sensations.
Notes: Bergamot, apricot, basil sorbet, Gold Symphony orchid accord, freesia, jasmine sambac, cashmere woods, musk and vetiver.
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