I am not one to be so low-brow as to label as "beast mode", but holy Mary, mother of God, Paloma Picasso EDP (vintage at least) is one that really socks you with the soap bubbles up your nose aldehydes, a bellicose coriander that uses you to mop up a floor bursting out with larger-than-life carnations, roses, and hyacinths that tease you about your fallen pedals like those acerbic blooms in Alice in Wonderland.
It's not only pedals that are dropping, though. Drawers and knickers are dropping down after this bombast, as the heart exposes more than just ripe florals, someone or something's hind quarters have sat in the flower patch. I almost hear "ANIMAL! ANIMAL! ANIMAL!" from the eponymously named Muppet as he flails his bandy arms and bangs on the drums. The notoriety of Paloma Picasso EDP has come into full view, and it's enough to make one blush.
Yes, the note breakdown shows a cute little civet and an industrious, fussy little beaver, but there seems like there are other little whiffy, furry creatures here getting their oozing bums into a mess of trouble, barely kept in check by the woody, mossy guardians of the forest. So all of you who feel safest with vanilla, praline, caramel, chocolate, raspberry, strawberry with sprinkles and sugar cubes and ambroxan ennui must steer clear of this. You could not handle this. It's just too sexy. Too damn sexy.
Nobody will accuse the wearer of being donned with a niminy-piminy, delicate scent of pink feminine sensibility. A woman who would wear this would be my kind of woman. A man who would wear this would be my kind of man. Did I just come out as bisexual? Yep. Now you know...
Ahead of its time without a doubt. A wonderful floral chypre, is like being surrounded by a field of fragranced hyacinths. Paloma Picasso blends over the florals with woody notes; is warm, welcoming, resinous, creamy and with moderated almost unnoticeable aldehydes; earthy patchouli, and vanilla for sweetness. The freshness of the top notes vanishes gradually without rushing, and at the end, the scent ends in an explosion of fineness, elegance, and luxurious notes. I simply, absolutely adore it! what a masterfully blended fragrance! and the body cream...oh Lord! it leaves your skin wonderfully scented and velvety . Believe it or not, Parfums de Marly Lippizan is very close to it. Feminine but unisex for daring men searching for extraterrestrial experiences.
I currently own the EDT in the gold bottle. My roommate in college wore the EDP version in the late 90s. I remember it as being a warm intoxicating scent but not something I wanted to wear. (even though I'm a fan of Chypre scents) I decided to pick up the EDT which I assumed was a lighter version of the EDP. The EDT brings back no scent memories so I'm thinking it smells different than the EDP. At first spray I instantly thought this could be my signature scent. It packs a punch right out of the bottle. I agree with other reviewers that this is a dynasty, shoulder pads, boss lady scent. However, it dries down to become more of a skinscent. While I can still smell it throughout the day if I actually raise my arm to my nose, it is not the powerhouse I thought it would be at first spray. And I'm not complaining about that. I'm tempted to pick up the EDP for comparison. I think this scent is a year round scent for me. I'm wearing it in the heat and it's not overpowering b/c it sits so close to the skin. For sure would be a great scent in the winter when wrapped up in a coat.
My little mini of PALOMA PICASSO in the vintage EDP came in today. I've been wanting for aeons to try it, as it had passed me by in the 80's, when it came out. And yes, it's amazing. Call it a dark Aromatic/Floral/Chypre with a generous animalic base. It's definitely herbal/aromatic, not a Green.
I can't get over how many of the notes within it are obviously natural essential oils... jasmine, ambrette seed, oakmoss, bergamot, ylang, patchouly, angelica, coriander, all exquisitely natural. The castoreum and civet might even be the real-deal, too. Now this is the sort of thing they still did back in the 1970's and 1980's: $40 would buy you an EDP just brimming with authentic natural oils. Today, you won't find a complex EDP with loads of naturals for under $200. Anything below that is likely to be all-synthetic, or have a great preponderance of synthetic components.
This scent reminds me, in its curious medicinal herbality, with things like Balmain IVOIRE or Marilyn Miglin PHER'OMONE. Some have called it "the feminine YSL KOUROS" (though, for me, Schiaparelli SHOCKING holds that particular honor). It could be the heavyweight cousin of Clinique AROMATICS ELIXIR, or like a concentrated extrait version of Myrurgia MAJA. I had expected PP to be austere, sharp and cruelly chic like Piguet BANDIT, but no, the floralcy, buried as it is in herbs and animalics, is still quite "pretty", and a certain tart/citrus fruitiness never lets the scent become too imperiously austere.
For being a "1980's Dynasty shoulderpad" "power" scent, it does not have a wild and invasive sillage, but sits rather concentratedly on the skin.
I agree with others-- this scent is a modern masterpiece of its type. This is oldschool French perfumery "comme il faut", the way "they don't do it anymore". I don't think a woman today under 40 would, in her wildest dreams, wear a scent like this. Which is a shame, maybe.
Definitely ultra-glam stuff... opera, classy soiree, pearls, expensive shmattas, your good shoes. Not a PTA, church, office or grocery store fragrance at all.
My two penn'orth on this one is that I find it a smoother and more accessible musky oakmoss scent. It's not as overpowering as Tabu or Aramis 900 for example. I like that the fairly astringent opening dies down to a nice warm and creamy but nonetheless musk-laden perfume for the remainder of it's life-span on my skin. The sprayer on my bottle fires it out like a gun, and this is no meek juice so I have to be careful. The patch here is not too strong but rather gives a subtle backdrop to the main players' animalic antics. To me the various floral and citrus notes, along with the Civet and Castoreum, give a classic but relatively restrained overall scent. But it has great performance and that floral musk keeps going until a mossy, grassy, woody-amber base gradually creeps in. Civet is king here though and remains at the top throughout on me.
This feels VERY vintage. Smell this if you want to know what dirty civet smells like. It's all over the fragrance, from the opening to the late (oh so late) dry down. Flowers and savory spices are well present as well. Beautiful and original, but I can't go past the dirtiness. Sample first. It might not be for you. It isn't for me. Sillage is awesome.