Ivanka Trump edp opens up as a crisp but also very fruity perfume with tinges of caramel and cream-and-peaches to it. It works with the idea of creating an indulgent dessert for the senses and skin yet make the texture feel radiant and see-through rather than opaque. It is a distant American cousin to Mitsouko by Guerlain with its peach core and capacity to evoke autumnal daylight in shades of bronze, except the light here is just transparent and suggests just that of day. It is clean air - perhaps more the one trapped and filtered in a New York City high-rise or blowing by the city's sea port than amidst daily traffic...
Once this main harmony of peach, cream and air is set, you distinguish subtler nuances of cedarwood, amber, vanilla but also citruses. Ivanka Trump at the time in 2012 wanted to create a perfume fit for "a professional, hardworking, yet feminine woman" this is why the composition by perfumer Marypierre Julien of Givaudan is both sensual and tonic with a discreet riff on more assertive, hard-nosed patchouli nuances working as olfactory backbone to a mellow opus showcasing the sweet and nice nuances of peach blossom and Chantilly cream. The Italian bergamot is there for a Vitamin-C effect needed to stay alert and ready to go and, probably, kill it.
As the fragrance evolves it becomes clear that the feminine side takes over. The peach motif feels powderier, a bit like cosmetic powder; but the peach motif feels also warmer, almost in a stewy, steamy sense evocative of a sensual, feminine atmosphere not unlike the one found in J'Adore by Dior which was explicitly inspired by a fruit stew cooked with Banyuls wine on a stove. So while Ivanka Trump EDP has for a time a business attitude to it, you can't call it an office scent. It's clearly not relinquishing any of its sexy attributes and is oriented for life after hours in the end. Since its arc of development is not much delayed you will have to decide if you can and want to smell womanly in the office. That mood sets in pretty quickly. Ideally in a 9-am-to-five-pm world, it should happen towards the end. But the days of very slowly evolving perfumes are mostly of the past in 2012. In 2017, check out Annick Goutal Nuit & Confidences to experience such an unusual effect - and call Mathieu Nardin to ask him to make one for you. Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake also can nail it in this area, see Chanel Sycomore.
In the deeper drydown, the sensation becomes that of salty peaches on a bed of caramel; or of slices of peaches on a bed of salty caramel. This savory aspect is a satisfying gustatory illusion but it is also meant to mimic the saltiness of skin sometimes when sweating, and so of human musk. The perfume only turns muskier overtime. There is a hint of organic decay with what smells like a trace of costus (the smell of a head of dirty hair) and a whiff of rotten peaches. These nuances, almost subliminal, are there to prevent the composition from veering into the just-pretty-and-harmless territory that French perfumers have learned to stay away from at all costs.
This scent is an ode to femininity more than anything else. You can wrap yourself in its musky golden amber and invisible stole. It reprises a perfumery template which is a standard. Besides the ancestor Mitsouko, this kind of sweet ambery peach chord has been reprised in celebrity scents. Here, it is particularly well-balanced and pleasant with a plurality of nuances and just enough transgression of polite mores to make it feel like an object of feeling and thought rather than just a copy and a stereotype.
As for the politics of this perfume since Donald Trump has become the president of the United States and Ivanka Trump has become the first daughter, this is another story for another time.
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