Charlie (Revlon)

There's a certain irony to Charlie. Look at those women up there. They're wearing pants! The ad campaign featured Shelley Hack and Naomi Sims, and was geared toward feminists taking the office culture of the seventies by storm. 

Charlie is a bitter green-floral chypre, full of citrus, aldehydes, orange blossom, hyacinth, lily, and moss. And today, it's far better on a guy than a girl, or at least that's what contemporary under-40's would likely think if they smelled it. Its ingredients have been cheapened, but every note plays its role well. Even though the whole bitter chypre trend has seen its day with modern women, Charlie would still be a treat on them. It's a shame that I don't smell this on people. Only my grandmother wears it.

Tania Sanchez likened the current formula to an older version of Balmain's Vent Vert, yet disparaged it and said a gal can't be expected to drop hard-earned coinage for it, or some such thing. Makes little sense, unless Ms. Sanchez disliked older versions of Vent Vert (Luca Turin loves the stuff). You can take that odd sentiment for whatever it's worth, or you could just take it from me: Charlie smells good. 

The opening is a crisp snap of bergamot, very bright and a little dry, rounded out by a hint of muguet and an early bitter edge of oakmoss. After five minutes, the muguet intensifies, bolstered by orange blossom, all sandwiched between remnants of citrus and a cool, mossy base. It's basic, it's green, it's fresh, a touch powdery (might be a healthy shot of galbanum in there, similar to Silences), and altogether pleasant. 

Does it capture the imagination and send its wearer to tranquil places? Definitely not, as it's too cheaply made for that sort of romance, but if you're the type that doesn't want to bend light with your perfume, and would rather settle for a simple "smell-good," you should see if this is signature-worthy. For the price, it's definitely worth a blind-buy.