When the Perfume Gods Close a Door, They Open...an...

When I was in high school I worked at a cosmetics and fragrance shop, and one of my favorite pastimes during was guessing what the customers would buy before they approached the counter. I had about a 98% hit rate on the Red Door customers. Either you could smell it on them several yards away, or you just knew.

Released in 1989, Red Door was – and is – certainly one of the most polarizing fragrances of its day (check out the reviews on Makeup Alley; they range from “BLECCH! Headache inducing!” to “the only fragrance that I get complimented on all the time” and “men love this”). In the end it all comes down to skin chemistry (and if you’re a diehard Red Door fan, resisting the urge to dunk yourself in it).

photos1.blogger.com Having been subject to serious Red Door overdose by so many of those customers back in high school, I never dared wear it myself. But when I heard there was a new version, Red Door Velvet, hitting the shelves this month, I decided it was finally time to open the Door, so to speak.

Softer and more modern than the original, Red Door Velvet opens with a lovely Earl Grey tea note that evaporates within a few minutes, revealing a floral heart of peony, freesia, and jasmine. At this point, the fragrance really begins to warm up (and I suspect this is the part of the original formula that drew all the “men love this” comments), with honey and patchouli, finally drying down to a rich, warm vanilla musk that has incredible staying power.

I was surprised at how much I love this; last week I put it on just before bed and in the morning I could still smell it, warm and delicious on my skin. It is indeed quite potent; I suspect that as with the original Red Door the potential for overdose is still there, but applied judiciously this is just gorgeous.

Note: Don't be fooled by the title of this post; original Red Door is not being discontinued!

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