Thursday, February 08, 2007

Banana Republic Alabaster

As I've said before, I like pretty things. On second thought, I should clarify. I like pretty and unique things. Banana Republic's fall 2006 fragrance launch promised unique and interesting scents. Of the three, Alabaster sounded most like my cup of tea. With lotus flower as the top note, wild rose as the base note, and white amber as the drydown, this fragrance would perhaps fit my tastes perfectly.

Banana Republic very generously offers samples of this fragrance. Just ask any BR sales person and you will receive multiple fragrance cards which you peel open to reveal a damp, Alabaster scented swab to dab on your skin. I appreciate their generosity! Fragrance samples have become difficult to attain lately at department stores.
Although its description is quite lovely, all I get is a very watered down, quite generic lotus flower. That to me is a contradiction in terms since lotus flowers are anything but generic. Ancient Egyptian religion revered lotus flowers as symbols of sun, creation and rebirth. The pure white lotus is the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously. It seems any scent devoted to the lotus should be extremely complex, contradictory and interesting. Unfortunately, Alabaster does not fit the bill. The rose never makes its appearance on my skin which would be quite lovely if it did.

The irony of the marketing campaign is quite abundant. The exotic nature of the lotus flower juxtaposed to a very generic bottle and a very Caucasian (although beautiful) woman clearly states its marketing target. Those of us with a penchant for more rare and exotic scents will find this .... well .... boring. Nice try Banana Republic. Although I am sure you sell quite a bit of this scent for its mass market appeal and inoffensive qualities, I need something a little more unique. Maybe I'll sniff Jade next time.


chayaruchama said...

Dear T-
How goes it ?

This effort was completely 'meh', IMHO [as opposed to 'feh', which is upping the ante a tad !].
They do a great job on the packaging.
Next time, try the men's- they're a bit better.
Nonetheless, all will sell, and sell well.

[BTW- email me. if you will-
I have a lovely, inspiring vintage that will make you feel good, and I'd like to send you some !]


ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

"Meh" is definitely accurate! I definitely look forward to trying the men's. You are too thoughtful! How do I e-mail you? (Excuse my ignorance and newness to blogging.)