Inspiration (Lacoste)

The further one delves into fine fragrance, the closer he is to realizing that vanilla is an incredibly versatile note. It's useful as a "warming" element to accompany rich amber orientals, but also right at home in fresh bitter-green chypres. Today's variety of "hybrid" fragrances offers several unique variations on multiple scent genres, with "sheer-fruity orientals" as one of the subsets under more traditional products. Inspiration by Lacoste is a good scent to consider from that fruity-fresh realm, as it does a few things very nicely, and rounds everything in its wholesome package out with a fitting name (one could go the extra centimeter and joke the joke to say its name is 'inspiring').

Inspiration's top is chemical and sweet, but if you use your imagination you'll get "pink pepper" and "plum" out of it. What you'll sense overall is a sweeping vanilla note that arches over everything else like a rainbow. The fruity opening rapidly assembles itself into a bouquet of white flowers, with hints of orange and some sort of berry (synthetic pomegranate I guess), but the vanilla remains soft, maintaining Inspiration's friendly soul. At the far end of the drydown is a tentative sandalwood that competently upholds the silky texture of all that came before, adding depth to whatever orientalism there is. This isn't the sort of fragrance you spray on and immediately think of as an oriental. Its primary purpose seems to be to smell fruity and bright, and ineffably modern. It's hard to argue with the blinding florals and fruits as being commercial stabs at contemporary hipness. Ironically, its sweetness grounds it, preventing it from becoming air-headed and dull by providing soft contrast against crisper, colder things. I think whoever put this one together succeeded on that front, but more importantly they composed a mature oriental that smells good without demanding a tux or a ball gown to be enjoyed.


  1. I'm so glad you reviewed a fragrance from a brand like Lacoste. It's interesting to hear you describe this fragrance. It sounds like a super casual scent... for the gym perhaps?

    1. Thanks, yeah I guess you could use it at the gym, but I think it's a little better suited to casual wear at work or at parties. It's an oriental so there's enough spine to it to make itself known a bit beyond the call of duty, but it's "fresh" and never becomes heavy and cloying.


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