Light Blue (Dolce&Gabbana)

You're probably thinking, "Oh great, another review of Light Blue by D&G. Just what we need." Well, do a little blogosphere search and see how many reviews of Light Blue you come up with. You'll find it's a victim of its own success, a well-regarded scent that has enjoyed the dubious honor of being immensely popular, completely unisex, and consistently in demand, which makes it a pariah among the "fragrance elite." Nobody feels the need to review it because nobody wants to stoop that low. Nobody, except me.

In but a few words, Light Blue is the epitome of perfume banality. So much so, that having a masculine version of it is superfluous, redundant, pointless, etc. If this is your shtick, just man up and wear the lady's version. I assure you, it doesn't smell "girlish." But it lacks originality, its intent is dead obvious, and its effect on the nose and spirit is lackluster. Unless you love the smell of lemon. And cedar. And musky floral notes of no discernible heritage, and zero density. There's a touch of apple, which balances the tartness of the lemon and woods, and prevents Light Blue from becoming Transparent Blue. If you enjoy the smell of lemon and aromatic woods, then you may find a lot to love here.

I find the fragrance uplifting and rather simple, which makes it ideal for a dreary summer day of scorching heat and humidity. If you stick a bottle of this in your fridge and apply it intermittently throughout the day, it will surely refresh you. It smells in some ways like a modern eau de cologne, replete with citrus, woods, and a good synthetic musk. It smells delightful; it would be disingenuous of me to say it smells bad. The citrus does turn a bit "grey" in the far drydown, and may sour if the application is overly heavy. Don't make the mistake of thinking that Light Blue is ultra-light, and therefore requires a heavy hand in application. It's still a solid EDT, with surprising longevity, so don't overdo it, and that sour citrus effect will be held at bay.

As for artistic merit, well, I don't know what to tell you. If you're in this for an abstract experience, you should refine your expectations. Light Blue satisfies on an immediate level, smelling playful, but not deep. It surprises me a little that they haven't released a flanker named Deep Blue to appeal to intellectual aquatic lovers, but then again the venerable house of Jacomo beat them to it.

About the advertising - I love it. It's cheesy, it's unoriginal, it's technically awful, awful stuff. But I can relate to awfulness. I've been to Capri, and it was one of the most beautiful locations I've ever had the pleasure to visit. The Green Grotto, White Grotto, and Blue Grotto were gorgeous. Actually, I didn't have the opportunity to go into the famous Blue Grotto because I couldn't abandon my rented skiff, but I did wander close enough to peek in, and caught a glimpse of its trademark iridescent indiglow. Most of my time was spent floating in the emerald shade of the Green Grotto, wondering if being there would transform me into some hunky Mediterranean guy. No such luck. Next time I'm in Capri, I'll spritz myself with Light Blue, close my salt-spray encrusted eyes, and successfully envision what rock band Stereomud calls the "Perfect Self."