When the Perfume Gods Close a Door They Open...Another Door


When the Perfume Gods Close a Door They Open...Another Door
When the Perfume Gods Close a Door They Open...Another Door

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).

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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