Sniff of the Week: Talbots Eau de Parfum


As I get back into fragrance, I’m starting to do what I used to always do – meaning sniff the juice at every opportunity.  So when my wife dropped into Talbots to check out the summer dresses, I took the opportunity to check out the juice.

Well, first check out the overall packaging.  The clarity!  I love the clarity.  Now – you probably see some pink there, and if you don’t, it’s more pronounced in this publicity photo:


But I have to tell you – in real life, I was seeing almost total clarity, and any thoughts that I was seeing pink were bordering on “no – it’s just my imagination”.  F’rinstance, check out this EvilBay image:


See what I mean?  Wonderfully clear!  It’s very impressive in real life.

Anyway, I do love the clear-glass “T” motif.  Did that get swiped from Hermès – known to habitually “drop the H” into their bottles?  Well, if it did, I’M NOT TELLING.  Ok, well, maybe just a little.  It looks so sharp, I insist that Hermès honor the homage!  Soak it in, art house, cuz y’all have just gotten flattered!

And that’s not all.  The bottle looks a LOT like one of my all-time favorite bottle themes, the little box shape of the Gucci feminines, including what may be my ALL TIME FAVE….


So – hey – you can do no wrong by emulating another awesome scent’s iconic bottle – even down to charm-bracelet details.  And while Talbots offers a little “T” trinket instead of Gucci’s stirrup, Talbots’ lineup of leather goods is somewhere between skimpy and non-existent, so GOOD CALL.

Sorry – THAT is the maximum snark you’re getting today, people.  Love Hermès, love Gucci, and LOVE TALBOTS.  They all make my wife either look hot or smell hot.  And you ain’t gonna hear no bitchin’ about that.

But wait – there’s more!

Oh, Lordy.  Blake, please forgive me, but we just have to go there!

In all transparency, let’s remember how they added transparency to Gucci by Gucci EDP.  Namely, by taking everything out (IFRA just smiled somewhere, trust me) and giving us…..


OH YEAH.  Gucci Première.  Which we don’t love just because Blake Lively is hot as you-know-what…


OK – sorry – that’s the EDT.  MISTAKES WERE MADE.  But intentionally, because the hotness just comes through better in the EDT campaign, IN OUR HUMBLE OPINION.


Yes – Blake Lively can do no wrong!  This woman is SMOKING HOT!

But seriously, Gucci Première EDP is where Talbots EDP goes, and in a big way.

There are basically two women’s juices on the market, when you remove all the stuff that’s distinctive.  Super-girly-sweet-red-fruity-floral and Super-womanly-sharp-clear-ethereal-floral.  Talbots EDP, like Gucci Première EDP, is the latter.

Now – let’s be clear.  There are certain distinctive motifs of Gucci Première, such as the beautiful remnant of a chypre (all you can have today, to be honest), which harken back to the Gucci by Gucci franchise, and which are NOT in the Talbots scent.  The scents, happily, are not so similar that there is any – how shall we say it nicely – ripping off of things.  No – none of that.  But, if anything, Gucci Première was targeting the Talbots woman, in my humble opinion, so it’s not exactly surprising that there’s some overlap.

Anyway, let’s sniff.

To quote from the back of the Talbots EDP test blotter, which is a white silhouette of the Talbots EDP bottle:

Created exclusively with the Talbots woman in mind, it has an easy elegance with sparkling top notes of freesia and citrus, feminine floral notes including tuberose and magnolia – and a memorable finish of blond woods and vanilla.

Easy elegance.”  Good grief – Talbots in a nutshell.  Patent it!

There is a bit more information on the website, which also answered my question as to what the rather reserved fruity note is supposed to resemble – pear.


I would say that’s pretty darn right, so no complaining about false advertising.  This is no tuberose monster that screams I’M A GIRLY GIRL, but neither is the citrus allowed to let its wheedling unisex vibe triumph over queen freesia’s insistent yet very businesslike (but still somewhat casual) femininity.  The longevity is excellent, and it holds its form throughout.  The sharpness, coolness and clear floral character persist strongly into the drydown without deformation – definitely a quality base.  Vanilla, like tuberose, is not allowed to hog the limelight, or even get a solo part.  Magnolia is a bit more prominent, but not actually prominent – a good thing.  Everything stays balanced, on message with the packaging (clarity, clarity, clarity), and consistent with the company image.

Bottom line – this scent screams I’M A WOMAN WHO SHOPS AT TALBOTS.  And that would mean classy, upscale but not glaringly so, seasonally aware, ladylike, and generally happy.  Emphasis on WOMAN.  This is not really a poachable scent for me, even though it’s not hugely “feminine”.  Nor is it all that poachable by the daughters, either (although the high-school chick who wears this into an interview is going to get the job, if you know what I’m saying).

It’s sixty bucks in the store, if you want the cute bottle (YOU WANT THE CUTE BOTTLE), or you can cheap out and get some stickish rollerball (NO!!!) for twenty.  You can save some money online, but then that means you don’t go into Talbots and soak up the Talbots ambiance, which goes very nicely with the fragrance, nor do you get the summer dress for yourself, or the jacket for hubs.  And when you add in shipping, the $40 online fragrance is going to look like $50 anyway, I’m betting.

Whatever.  Talbots EDP.  Thumbs up.


PS – Found a great article about Blake’s love of fragrance.  And I quote:

“My mom would have different fragrances for different times of the year. They were a part of her identity,” she told the mag. “I don’t remember the specific ones she used, but I remember the bottles. One was red and shaped like an apple. It was like something out of a Disney movie where you would hold it and be like, “The power!”

LOL!  Oh, yeah.  We know about that one!  But remember – moderation in all things, dear.  Moderation in all things!



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