The original Gianni Versace parfum is something I've been wanting to try since reading Marina's mighty tempting review in her Perfume-Smellin' Things blog. So the other day, after occasional hunts, I lucked out on fleaBay and found an inaccurately listed bottle of the parfum for $9.99. Whoohoo--here are a few thrills left on the flea, I guess it goes to show.
I can't tell a whole lot about the top notes, because they're a little damaged in the bottle I've got: rich, subtle fruit (no jam or stewed fruit, thank goodness) and florals is my main impression. After a few minutes, though, I get the love. This has a similarly raspy, animalic quality as the vintage Rumeur I reviewed a while ago, but with sweeter, tuberose-laden florals in the middle notes. It's both earthy and nectarous.
And perhaps because this is the parfum, it's quite deliciously relaxed--not as much an '80s-shoulderpads and warpaint type of fragrance as I expected. I definately smell the myrrh and especially the benzoin in the dry down, doing its resinous, sexy thing. But I wouldn't have a problem wearing this to lunch with a girlfriend. Not at all what I was expecting from the Versace fashion house, which I'll always associate with Liz Hurley in thigh-high-slit dresses embellished with silly couture safety pins. But then again, Liz in the first Austin Powers movie may be a good metaphor for this perfume. She had a smart, fun-loving, tongue-in-cheek take on the sexpot superagent in that movie, and that does indeed match this fragrance. It doesn't take its juicy, balsamic sexiness too seriously.
One online source lists the following notes. Top notes: aldehydes, spices, fruity notes, and bergamot. Middle notes: carnation, tuberose, gardenia, orris root, jasmine, lily of the valley and narcissus. Base notes: benzoin, leather, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oakmoss, incense and myrrh.