Flushed with failure… Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

What is that smell?

It reminds her of something.

Somewhere on her travels?

At first she thinks it’s a spry Parisian tarte au citron.

She recalls that opening burst of freshly squeezed Sicilian citrus, the sheer exhilaration on the tastebuds.

The pairing of sharpness with a subtle wood baked puff pastry. A light dusting of icing sugar lifting the whole to the status of a truly sublime pie.

She inhales again and it’s gone.

Instead of citron by way of cloying lemon curd and soft underdone meringue, in short minutes, the aroma is turned first to sunken souffle then gee-wizz generic ceramic and enamel miracle clean creme.

Sadly and all too swiftly, lacklustre lemon bathroom foam has displaced delectable desert.

Florals so unspecific that they are undeserving of names fly by.

Soon everything settles down to a silly sweetness that smells more of good sanitation than fine fragrance.

The overall effect is strangely, suffocatingly comforting. An exercise in apparent inoffensiveness.

Then she is, on an instant, able to place the smell precisely.

It’s sort of classy…

Just like a well kept water closet in a just short of luxury hotel she stayed in once.

Exactly like that in fact.

To compose a scent so completely of a single note is an act of bravery, or in the case of D&G Light Blue something that seems more akin to bloody-minded bravado.

The best minimalist perfumes, like the music and the architecture of the same name, deceive with their hidden complexities and depth.

They modulate where they appear not to change. Have acres of back story and back stairs behind false walls.

Structurally they are engineered to perfection.

That is this scent’s failing:

It lacks both the complexity required to retain our interest and the structural supports to sustain the first high, clear note that is all it ever had to say.

These key components missing nothing remains but gradual dissipation, dilapidation and mostly disappointment.

Ultimately everything falls away to the very edge of being merely functional fragrance.

More suited to ladies and gents conveniences than the folks themselves I’m afraid.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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36 responses to “Flushed with failure… Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

  1. Too funny, Mr. Dandy! Yet, oddly I find this scent mesmerizing..there is a woman at work who wears it often and I can’t but help sniffing the air whenever she is around! Tart green apples is what it brings to mind!

    • Dearest Brie
      You see the thing is that this is actually based on a real recollection on The Dandy’s part. I struggled and struggled to work out what this reminded me of, was scratching my olfactory head when it came to me… the bathrooms in a quite nice hotel in Marrakech I stayed in about three years ago!!
      Once the thought had settled I just couldn’t shift it and well, whilst they were some of the more pleasantly perfumed restrooms I’ve ever come across I don’t think The Dandy could ever really countenance consciously smelly like a public convenience!!
      I realise as memories go this one isn’t up there with Marcel Proust and his macaroon, but I can assure you I was most definitely transported…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  2. See my smile throughout this brilliance.

  3. ojaddicte

    Bravo, Mr. Dandy! I am still giggling. A fabulous skewering. πŸ˜€

    • Dearest Ojaddicte
      This is a perfume that deserves swering more than wearing… at least for me… I can’t get the thought of hotel loos out of my mind whenever I smell it!
      Thanks as always for the kind words.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Alice

    Excellent, you did make me laugh! Those are stunning bathroom fittings, I especially admire the matching toilet roll holder.

  5. lol
    I forgot how Light Blue smells like but I admit to having encountered several perfumes that unfortunately smelled like, well, toilet air fresheners (and I don’t mean that in a good way).
    That said, I also found an air freshener I wish someone would turn into a perfume. πŸ™‚

    • Dearest Ines
      You actually hit on quite a serious point here, the lower end of the fine fragrance market and the upper end of the functional fragrance industry (air fresheners, bathroom cleaners, detergents and so on) are actually merging into one.
      Relying on the same aromachemicals for their effects, they are increasingly smelling very similar. There are even some high end room scents designed to smell like well known perfumes… more on that in another review to come.
      I’m with you though, occasionally one comes across a product that one wishes they would make into a scent. The grapefruit diffuser I have in my bathroom would make for a wonderful sharp, waxy slightly bitter cologne!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Dearest Nukapi
        I’m so glad that we’re at one on this… many people have mailed me to tell me how much they adore this antiseptic number from D&G!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • The thing is, sometimes people just want to smell “fresh and clean”. Unfortunately those are also the main features of a bathroom cleaning product’s desired odour profile. I don’t find D&G’s effort offensive, but it’s just a little too functional for my perfume-wearing tastes.

      • Dearest Nukapi
        That’s it… it’s not offensive, just to reminiscent of something somewhat upmarket and totally functional.
        If people are in the mood for something ‘fresh’ I always think a good old school cologne (in the European sense of the word) or something like Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria series is more likely to bring general pleasure.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • Traditional colognes are enjoying a bit of a revival now anyway πŸ™‚

  6. πŸ™‚ What a fitting tribute to that popular perfume!

    • Dearest Undina
      I know, it’s terribly popular isn’t it? I can’t say I was really ever that aware of it until I tested it and know I keep smelling it everywhere.. I guess people just like to blend into their environments….
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  7. “Flushed with failure” – love the wordplay in this review, sir! Maybe it should be renamed “Light Blah”. =)

    • Dearest Elvin One
      Hurrah! The Dandy does love a good pun and that is one indeed… and perfectly descriptive of one of the must anodyne perfumes I’ve ever come across.
      It is it’s aching inoffensiveness that irritates me most!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • I found myself somehow bemused and repelled by that um, interesting washroom, and couldn’t shake off the feeling I’ve seen that odd shade of yellow somewhere. Then it dawned on me – it’s the color of a local brand of cheap, artificially-sweet margarine we have here. πŸ˜›
        Excuse me while I pour myself a cup of peppermint tea …

      • Dearest Elvin One
        I think that yellow as a demarker of industrially mass produced tack wherever it might be found… ceramics, margarines and (what it reminds The Dandy of) bad cheap custard!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Funnyboy

    We have the same thoughts on D and G fragrances.mostly Bathroom cleaner ,air freshener or fly spray!
    Loved the lemon throne room by the way, hope it wasn’t chez toi!
    p.s I didn’t say vous as we are fragrant pen pals!!
    Oh , now I have read the comments it must be to camouflage all those bananas in the caribbean

    • Dearest FunnyOne
      Now how could you ever think The Dandy would have a throne like that… he knows his place and it is with people of fashion and quality… not royalty!!
      But D&G… so far so bad! Thankfully there don;t seem to be anymore on the horizon for me to try… everyone here has to good taste!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  9. rosestrang

    Very Funny Sir Dandy! Even the name suggests a cleaning product! I’ve never sniffed Light Blue but it’s very popular, Actually someone is sending me Givenchy’s Dahlia Noir as part of a swap which will be interesting, strikes me as one of these bland perfumes but I might be wrong, have you ever tried it? I suppose I could wear it when I’m feeling…bland!

    • Dearest Rose
      Now you have me guffawing and thinking of that awful stuff ‘bloo’ that used many years ago to have the voice of Kenneth Williams advertising it… I wonder what Mr Williams would have made of this awful stuff, in his diaries I recall him using the term ‘crapola’ rather a lot, it would seem more than appropriate here!
      Do let me know how you get on with the Dahlia Noir… having read the notes it certainly doesn’t excite The Dandy.
      But you dearheart could never be bland, no matter what perfume you were wearing!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • rosestrang

        Ah, Kenneth Williams – his voice alone just cracked me up!
        For your interest, I received my Dahlia Noir today and, how can I express its particular blandness? – if such a thing is possible it actually screams ‘BLAND’. You’d do a great review of it Sir T.P.D! It has me wondering about all sorts of things – some ‘scientists’ say that beauty in features is about having the most average face, maybe this perfume aims for that message of averageness, what can I say? – as an artist it’s anathema to me (can imagine Kenneth Williams saying that). Long live discernment – it aint the same as snobbery!

      • Dearest Rose
        I have one word for that kind of aggressive blandness “tapioca”.
        The stuff of my childhood waking nightmares, wallpaper paste made pretend desert. Uuuurgghhh!
        Well, I will only to “happily” review Dahlia Noir if it receives the requisite support… should I take this a “recommendation”?
        As for St Kenneth of Williams, I will forever recall his speaking on “Just a Minute” uninterrupted for the full sixty seconds on the topic (of his own concoction) of eating crisps whilst dressed in Hungarian pyjamas.
        The Dandy is still laughing now after all these years!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  10. Lilybelle

    You are a hoot, Mr. Dandy! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to try Light Blue again soon to see if it’s as awful as all that. ^^^ I suppose it will be now that I have images of matching yellow porcelain toilet roll holders in my mind, and juxtaposed against that lemon meringue tart I suppose I’ll now lose my taste for that. Blergh! :p I have Lanvin Eclat d’Arpege which is similar, but much better, imho.

    • Dearest Lily
      The thing is this doesn’t out that badly, the associations of the first instant are quite lovely. But it’s the opening of a scent with the heart and the drydown missing.
      That linearity and the instant quality of the lemon, which over time cloys is what gives rise to the detergent quality… it’s as though the aroma were created to mask something horrible rather than be something beautiful.
      Then once the toilet connection is made… well then there’s no going back!
      Loving Arpege and thinking Lanvin, like Van Ckeef and Arpels, rather underrated I’d be interested to try the citrus Eclat.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        If you’d like me to send you some Eclat just pm the address. πŸ™‚ Yes, I know what you mean…an opening with no middle or end. And there is definitely no going back now from that mustard yellow suite!

      • Dearest Lily
        Thank you so much for the kind offer… I wonder if it is still available here for me to try. It’s not that The Dandy would ever look a gift horse in the mouth, but the postal restrictions of Her Britannic Majesty’s Royal Mail have made us very much an island in terms of perfume import and export even in the smallest quantities.
        Woe is I!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  11. Oh my! What a review!!! You do realize that, and I might not be alone in this realization, every time I smell this caustic lemon scent I shall think of you and a buttercup yellow, gold trimmed toilet….with a smile of course.

    • Dearest Cairo
      I am beginning to realise that is my fate… forever to be associated with a custard coloured ceramic bathroom suite of highly dubious taste.
      As long as the recollections are fond though, I shall be happy man.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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