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Bombay Duck London

Fresh Eat (from Eat, Pray, Love fragrances)

The Scent Critic is pretty over-excited at the prospect of Eat, Pray, Love bursting onto our screens shortly.  (And yes, The Scent Critic would probably have cast Julia Roberts in the starring role, too.)  I’ve probably given away a dozen Penguin paperbacks of this, since I first read it, to friends nursing broken hearts – or who simply lamented the lack of a recent good read.  And since this is going to be the slightly-more-evolved-chick-flick for autumn 2010, it’s pretty smart of Fresh – the American fragrance and beauty brand – to have signed up to create the official Eat, Pray, Love collection of fragrances.  Currently they’re only slated to be available in the US, so I am particularly pleased to have got my hands on them*.

It seems only right to echo the progress of the book/movie and start with Eat, which has been confected – and with its sugary overtones, that’s definitely the right word – to conjure up Eat, Pray, Love’s calorie-laden first third, in which Elizabeth Gilbert piles on the pounds while healing her broken heart in The Eternal City.

Fresh as a squirt of Sicilian lemon at the start, it also has basil adding a certain crispness – not pesto-esque, rather drily aromatic.  But since this is a gourmand fragrance, Eat then rapidly goes prettily sweet and gauzy – as if  if Marcella Hazan were standing over the fragrance, dusting it with icing sugar from a shaker.  ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Cannoli’ are both mentioned are both mentioned in the note-list – (cannoli being those ricotta-filled tubes which are the pastry embodiment of the phrase ‘a momentito on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’).

And yes, it’s that sweet:  I get marshmallows, too, though I’m not sure how Italian those are.  And a whole scoop of hazelnut ice cream.  (Actually, if I close my eyes, at times I’m in an American mall, walking by a jellybean store.)  There’s certainly a creaminess that lovers of Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist would probably fall for – and lovers of Laura Mercier’s more gourmande scents (in particular Crème Brulée) are probably going to be falling over themselves, for this.

By now you’re probably thinking this is a fragrance for your daughter/goddaughter/the official office cupcake-baker – but then a funny thing happens to Eat:  after it’s settled down, it comes over all sophisticated.  Rather like starting with dessert, and then moving on to cocktails.  Fresh talk of notes of Limoncello and sparkling Prosecco:  I totally get those, with certain whispering echoes of Caudalie’s lovely Fleur de Vigne fragrance, at this point.  It never quite develops an Anita-Ekberg-in-a-Roman-fountain va-va-voom.;  more innocent flirtation, in my  book.  But after it’s been skin-warmed (or, if you happen to be in Rome, sun-warmed) for a while, a distinct deeper sensuality does emerge – with a nuzzleable, rather than nibbleable, musky warmth.

As with many Fresh creations, it’s well thought-through and worthy of attention, especially if you veer towards sweet scents.  It just does beg the question of how to respond should a friend ask:  ‘What are you wearing?’  Just don’t blame me for the weird looks when you reply:  ‘Eat…’

And tomorrow, by the way, I’ll be moving on to Pray…  (As it were.)

*  Non-US followers of The Scent Critic:  you can always ask a States-based friend to ship them to you – or Fresh do themselves offer a mail order service by phone, rather than the web, on 1-800- 373-7420.

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