Among the better new perfumes this fall of 2017, we recommend The One in its new eau de toilette concentration, by Dolce & Gabbana. The composition is signed by perfumer Michel Girard of Givaudan...
The scent explores one of the new ideas for feminine fragrances since, in the recent period, L'Occitane Terre de Lumière (2017): to blend honeyed notes with aromatic ones. We'll quickly add that Lalique Le Parfum for women (2005) previously had featured a bay leaf note which could be smelled against a rather sweet amber backdrop (but not honey). Then even before that, La Fuite des Heures by Balenciaga (1949), for instance, was an aromatic perfume for women. One could argue that Jicky by Guerlain (1889) is de facto an aromatic scent thanks to its lavender note, which ultimately was branded as feminine ca. 1910.
But let's go back to 2017. This year, the innovative feminine olfactive tonality is a sweetness, which is that of honey specifically, contrasted with drier, more aromatic nuances. It was explicitly done, to start with, by a trio of women perfumers for Terre de Lumière by l'Occitane (2017), which is in part inspired by a gustatory recollection of lavender honey. Dubbed as the "first aromatic gourmand" of the house, it so happens that behind the scenes, the triumvirat of noses Calice Becker, Shyamala Maisondieu - who proposed the lavender-honey accord idea - and Nadège le Garlantezec all work at the same fragrance development company as that of Michel Girard, namely Givaudan, which, no doubt, helps create industry-wide trends which are coherent beyond the universes of brands.
We didn't know that it was Girard who created The One edt when we first smelled it, so this review is based on an innocent apprehension of the perfume in a perfumery aisle, wondering if it's more useful to choose a new perfume to slam or one to laud for our readers. We went with the latter.
The first impression is that of a very well balanced composition. It feels easy to wear, feminine, with a nice level of subtlety. The fragrance stands out for its discreet but undeniable charm based mainly on an aromatic nuance interspersed in the middle of a golden, mellow and supple perfume. While no aromatic notes are listed, mandarin seems to add that greener, rawer nuance. It almost smells like pine at times. Instead of straightforward gustatory honey as in Terre de Lumière, the perfumer turned to the honeyed range of the broom flowers. Combined with orange blossom absolute, the honey-like slant of the fragrance is unmistakable, even though it's not underlined by the brand. Broom however is a natural honeyed feast for the nose. It is like breathing in honey air.
All the other notes contribute to form a perfume which is like a piece of material in which all the details interweave to form a supple, golden, low-key textile for the skin. While the advertising campaign by Matteo Garrone gives pride of place to a street banquet in Napoli, the scent is not gourmand, just pleasantly sweet. Actress Emilia Clarke is the spokesperson for the perfume reminding you of a long line of English travellers to Italy discovering the joys of a less insular existence in a sunny - and apparently now grimy - clime. Dolce & Gabbana have opted for a carnivalesque reversal of codes mixed with Italian Neorealism and contemporary interest for street culture to tout their latest designer scent. The imagery is completely dissociated from the perfume itself.