6/24/13

Lucky You For Women (Liz Claiborne)





Although I am not a big fan of Liz Claiborne's fragrances (or any of her company's products), I think I understand what is happening with Lucky You. The masculine was a pert little shampoo-green thing, completely lacking in complexity and sophistication, and given that masculines are cheap to begin with, this blatant devaluation of the most banal discount-downmarket structure seems lazy and pointless. Why make a soapy floral for men on a budget barely adequate enough to make a bar of floral soap? Better label it "deodorant" and stick to functionality. Any adult guy who wears Lucky You is both clueless and careless - you can get a quality violet leaf in Grey Flannel for the same price, and for ten dollars more you can get Cool Water and surpass everything. Being in the market for a fresh-green masculine means studying the basics of fresh-green masculines - I suggest a brief perusal of the Leffingwell chart. Guys, just use the general cheapness and durability of men's frags to your advantage by getting one of the classics. The older the fragrance, the better its chance of smelling good: genuinely crappy scents rarely survive beyond a few years because people don't want them. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Lucky You for women is a different story. While men need their fragrances to enhance their masculinity, women need fragrance to enhance their personas. Your average lady actually doesn't need fragrance at all, because a pretty woman in a smart outfit already has all her bases covered, merely by existing and having the sense to dress well. Perfume is superfluous. Yet many women have distinct personalities, with noticeable complexities, and even streaks of darkness that beg for accessorizing. Enter feminine fragrances, with all their floral-musky sweetness and brightly-colored bottles. Unlike the basic mantra of "I Am Man," feminine fragrances aim for specifics: "I Am Easy To Spend Time With Once You Get To Know Me," "I Can Build A Basement More Efficiently Than You," "I'm Not Interested In Sleeping With My Boyfriend," "Work Is My Life," etc. For a girl, choosing a fragrance means choosing a character identity within a gender identity.

When a woman chooses something like Lucky You, it suggests that she's in touch with the more casual and breezy aspects of her femininity, and doesn't mind putting it out there. This fragrance says something like, "I'm approachable, but so is the next girl." It smells friendly in a blank-smiley way, a facelessly-bright aldehydic fizz of grapefruit, peony, and creamy synthetic woods, with an almost dandified, powdery drydown to white musk. It's inoffensive and perfect for office use. The fresh-floral characteristics of Lucky You's formula are balanced by solid synthetic sandalwood, and an admirably dense, musky base. If I'm not mistaken, a female co-worker of mine wears this, or something very close to it. There are literally five hundred thousand feminines out there that smell like Lucky You. I think that's just fine.

Still, given that Lucky You is a cheap thrill that broadcasts its sunny cheer via short-wave, I find myself wondering why the world's female twenty and thirty-somethings don't pass it by, and just wear Canoe instead. Maybe I'm old-fashioned or something. I'd be keen on anyone wearing an old-school floral-fougère in lieu of a traditional fruity-floral. But hey, that's just me.









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