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January 25, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue : Perfume Review


At a time when there are 600+ annual releases, a fragrance that stays on the list of best-sellers is as much a rarity as a source of intense curiosity. My first encounter with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue did not promise to develop into anything but a brief acquaintance—it was lighthearted, and sparkly, in marked contrast to my usual more brooding favourites. Yet, as I continued to study and delve further into perfumery, Light Blue would appear again and again. Not only is it one of the most popular fragrances on store shelves, it is also highly regarded by many top perfumers. Therefore, I resolved to take a closer look at Light Blue and decode its allure….

Created by Olivier Cresp in 2001, Light Blue opens in a panoramic fashion, revealing a sheer amber accord accented with tart fruity notes. The effect is reminiscent of polished quartz stones, with their tiny embedded crystals shimmering in the sunlight. The same contrast is at play in Light Blue—the dry chill of amber and the brightness of green floral and fruity notes. It does not change drastically on the skin, maintaining the green apple-amber pas de deux.

At first glance, Light Blue is indeed effervescent and youthful. Yet, as I have been wearing it on and off for the past few weeks in the interest of science, I find that it is immensely appealing. Light Blue is easy to wear, yet it has a sophisticated character. For all of its free spirited appeal, the fragrance is neither girly nor clichéd. The woody facet of the amber in Light Blue lends its fruity notes an intriguing character. Here we have not the sweet and sugary fruity punch, but an abstract sketch.

The striking thing about Light Blue is its diffusiveness and presence. The sillage (trail left in the perfume’s wake) of Light Blue is marvelous—gossamer light, yet distinctive, and it is one of the most fascinating aspects of wearing it. It never feels overwhelming, tiresome or heady like some heavy sillage fragrances, yet the shadow of the fragrance is always there. No doubt that it is for this reason that Light Blue is one of my most complimented fragrances.

One might note the similarity between Light Blue and Paco Rabanne Black XS, one of my favourite 2005 releases and another composition by Cresp. While Black XS has a dark, somewhat somber character, hinting at desiccated woods and dried roses, Light Blue is luminous and bright. Both fragrances share the transparent amber accord, which is very diffusive and appealing. While Light Blue is marketed as a feminine and Black XS as a masculine, both fragrances have enough androgynous elements that would make them wearable for both women and men.

Light Blue includes notes of Sicilian citron, bluebell, Granny Smith apple, jasmine sambac, bamboo, white rose, cedarwood, amber, musk. Dolce & Gabbana fragrances are sold at Saks5thAvenue, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and a variety of other retailers and discounters.

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