Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss (2015): The Oldest Selling Pitch in the World {Perfume Review & Musings}


"Dagger of Love" featuring Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss © 2015 Chant Wagner

A Review of Diesel Loverdose Red Kiss by Chant Wagner

Loverdose Red Kiss by Diesel is the latest intallment in the Loverdose series of launches since 2011. Diesel launched the first Loverdose in 2011, which was soon followed by L'Eau de Toilette, then Loverdose Tattoo, then the Tattoo Eau de Toilette. Diesel, a youth-oriented fashion brand, wanted to tap into that market by promoting the message that their love potion was scientifically concocted to be fool-proof...

The Advertising Of Aphrodisiacs

Since time immemorial, perfume and love and its more physical enactment, eroticism, have been partners in crime. Time and again, you will find yourself in front of a new advertising laying the stress more or less heavily on that tradition. The funniest and most explicit I've seen recently is a French TV reportage segment on the perfume oil derived from the pink dolphins swimming in the waters of the Amazonian river, the Botos (Inia geoffrensis). Instead of having fragrances for men and women, the Brazilian sellers propose Boto perfume oils for penises and vaginas. The seller will tell you that you need to apply the perfume directly on your sexual parts by making an explicit gliding gesture with his right index finger on his left index finger. The fragrance industry is really a simplication of the variety of "fragrance industries" that exists - you won't be able to get that type of experience at Sephora, nor pink dolphin love potion. Also, you can apparently add the Boto to the list of animalic notes of perfumery, which is pretty short.

In the case of Loverdose Red Kiss, we get an aphrodisiac of sorts officially aimed at men and for women. In France, the advert for the original Loverdose edp states,

"Beyond a sexy, carnal fragrance, it is a spellbinding essence which makes the female wearer irresistible, and the male who gets near her crazy with love...

(Au-delà d'un parfum sexy, charnel, une essence envoûtante qui rend irrésistible celle qui le porte, et fou d'amour celui qui s'approche...)

Where Diesel have gone a bit farther than your average tantalizing advertising scheme regarding the love powers of fragrance is that they claim their formula is studied, and even benefits from scientific research. It is fairly easy to find ingredients that have avered sensual influences - and very often in fact it seems that they overlap with gourmand notes, like here. It appears that the olfactory recall of pleasant, nurturing memories have an erotic effect on men as a study on born-and-bred American men has shown. So pumpkin or doughnut are erotic smells to a certain group of men. Hedione more recently has been shown to have a neurological impact on the sense of desire lodged for its hormonal manifestation in the hypothalamus in women. Vanilla is an iconic aphrodisiac and would benefit from pleasant regressive memories as well.

How do you turn on people with fragrance can become quite philosophical a pondering since you have to wonder who needs to be turned on with what scents? The wearer or the target? Imagine a cold female wearer of a hot aphrodisiac destined to males? Is that a desirable thing? The answer of course is "no".

The original Loverdose eau de parfum is still the one which is most like Loverdose. With Red Kiss, we get a variation which is based in part on a reminiscence of a past perfume and you will understand below why I can confirm that in fact Loverdose Red Kiss is also intended for women to feel good about themselves, comforted, at ease and therefore more sensual.

Loverdose_red_kiss_piece_heart.jpg "A Big Piece of My Heart" featuring Loverdose Red Kiss © 2015 Chant Wagner

How Does it Smell Like?

Loverdose edp composed by perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui is a thick, sweet potion lifted by watery notes. Loverdose Red Kiss edp is meant to be the ideal marriage of hazelnut amber with orange blossom.

It starts off smelling more of red fruits while fusing into a thick, sweet and even chewy caramely concoction. Out of it slowly emerges the hazelnut accord which you could say evoke a bit Nutella but also a more vegetaly hazelnut tree. A snapshot of the first act of the perfume would be that of a fruity, milky and fluid caramel.

Regarding the orange blossom component of the perfume, it smells a lot like Cacharel Catch Me... (2012) by Dominique Ropion.

As far as the texture of the fragrance goes, I think it evokes best the kind of intensely thickish, ribbony, confectionery yet sexy fragrance that Magnetism by Escada (2003) is.

The Venus who is supposed to wear this latest ode to love is bathed in milky amber with the fruity-woody tonality of Hazelnut.

But the fragrance evolves also into a distinct second act. It took me a couple of hours to pin down the past fragrance reference which is buried very well within the composition. This is also due to the fact that the composition develops slowly. I kept thinking that it felt familiar, yet elusive at the same time. This is a typical reaction you will get from a familiar smell. There is an instant recall effect, but it may take you longer to put a name on it.

The surprising twist in Loverdose Red Kiss is that it starts smelling of violets, right after becoming more sophisticated thanks to a rose note. This is a completely unadvertised layer to the perfume. My mind hovered between Aimez-Moi by Caron - also by Dominique Ropion - and other soft, powdery violets I couldn't quite nail down. It felt however very pleasant, comforting and sensual in a more womanly, i.e., more restrained way. The aha moment finally came. There was here in the heart of the composition the presence of Sonia Rykiel Woman (Not for Men), a work by perfumer Anne Flipo from 1997 which I intermittently smell on the streets of Paris. It is in the main, a blend of roses and violets with a fruity-woody date note. Replace it with the fruity-woody hazelnut, et voilà!

Sonia Rykiel Woman (Not for Men) (1997) I have come to finding out, has been much copied. This is a less well-known fact than for Angel by Thierry Mugler or Narciso Rodriguez for Her, but its sillage you can smell for instance in Nuxe Body Relaxing Fragrant Water. This powdery violet component adds a romantic twist to the fragrance which then becomes less "hot" and "clubby" while creating a throwback charm for it, even if you didn't know the referenced composition - violets have always been throwback, since the Belle Epoque at least.

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