My Secret Thoughts Stash
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3 years ago - 02.09.2020

How About Revlon Charlie Purple?

As I am curious by nature, and I have both, I wanted to experience this mix on my own skin. The result is indeed excellent! The chypre and floral tones of Charlie Blue blend perfectly with the sweet and floral tones of Charlie Red, giving life to a new sweet, floral, and chypre scent.

I first sprayed the Blue and then overlaid the Red. The result surprises with bright tones of white and yellow flowers on a musky background. The more earthy and masculine facets of Blue blend and balance the sweeter and more feminine ones of Red. I confess that it is the first time I try a layering, which is impressive. And it is even more so if I think that the perfumes cost me less than 5 euro each, practically I have three extraordinary perfumes at the final cost of 10 euros, the free one is Charlie Purple!

In case you are interested in my impressions and missed the individual reviews below, you can find a summary of both. Happy reading, and let me know your opinions.

Take A Chance On Me

"That's all I ask of you, honey, take a chance on me." 1973 was the year that the World Trade Center in New York became the tallest building in the world, films such as The Exorcist, American Graffiti, and Jesus Christ Superstar showed in cinemas, the ABBA became more and more famous in all the radios. Lieutenant Colombo was on the TV in every house. But it was also the year in which they launch the revolutionary Charlie perfume for the first time. If you are a lover of floral, aldehyde, and chypre accords, old-school from the seventies, and more mature stuff, this perfume is for you. I remember my sister wearing it while I was more into Chaz.

Nowadays, the box is in a metallic blue color, while the bottle with an exact triangular shape to the original one is now a little spartan, ordinary, still crystal clear. The spray is excellent, even if the finish is not very accurate. Given its price, what matters is the perfume inside, which appears in a beautiful amber color like fine cognacs. The rating makes me think about an underrated fragrance, probably because it is a drugstore scent, and once was so omnipresent.

Back to the fragrance, Charlie is a bitter green-floral chypre, full of citrus, aldehydes, blossoms, and moss. And today, it's far better on a man than a woman, at least the batch I own. The opening is full and deep in aldehydes, and It reminds me of the Chanel n° 5 Première with those similar hints of fresh carrot juice. As soon as the sparkling molecules calm down, the more floral aspects blooms, it smells like many flowers. The aldehydes and some aromatic herbs give it a bright and somewhat green opening, with a slight licorice facet. It is a crisp snap of citrus, dazzling and a little dry, rounded out by a hint of white floral and an early bitter edge of oakmoss coming in the foreground.

After five minutes, the floral accord intensifies, reinforced by pure jasmine and gentle rose, all sandwiched between relics of citrus and a relaxed, mossy base. It's raw, it's green, it's fresh, a touch powdery might be a healthy shot of orris in there, and pleasant. Its radiant florals are more sporty than sexy, the geranium and carnation greening the fragrance even more. The middle stage is green floral, not sweet.

The base is all about creamy woods and animal musks. The blend of vanillic aroma and sandalwood is dominant, and together with the musk, it results in a manly juice. In its dry down, which I smell right now, having had it on my hand for about an hour, it smells something leathery and rubbery, and it has a faint chypre-like dry down, which makes sense because of its citrusy top note and mossy-woody base notes.

I think I like Charlie Blue. It smells like it's made of cheap materials, but the structure is reasonably well-balanced, and its powdery citrus and mossy profile is unisex, bordering on being downright masculine. Because of the reformulation, its ingredients have been devalued, but the composition is still compact, and each note plays its role well. While the whole bitter chypre trend may feel outmoded, Charlie is always a pleasure to touch and wear, and it's good that I don't smell it on many people. Although they declare it as an EDT, it performs as an EDP. It smells earthy, woody, warm, not overly sweet, so it is suitable for cool evenings and nights in autumn. For the price, it's worth a blind-buy and a few outings. I have heard that Red layered on Blue is very interesting. Definitely worth trying with such a great price!

Womanly, Appealing, and Pleasant

I finally got my hands on this jewel. It was sitting on the shelf for €4,90, next to its sibling, Blue. And it turns out to be glorious! Well, I was looking for some reviews for Charlie Blue, which wanted to find out if it's the same scent as the classic Charlie, and I came across Red, which builds around the white flower's punch of tuberose, jasmine, and gardenia. Sometimes fragrances are initially not for you, and they need time to break through your heart and soul before you finally fall in love with them... and this is one of them. By the looks of it, Charlie Red doesn't seem to have many fans on here. However, I am proudly one of them from now on. With more notes than a magnum opus, Charlie Red has everything you could imagine, you name it, it's in there. This could be a general mess in the wrong hands, but the nose has fiddled with the dials until everything is just at the right volume. It smells more expensive than it is.

Charlie Red starts out very boozy as soon as I spray it. At first, it mightn't smell pleasant, with a familiar fruity-floral hairspray vibe, and I can understand some negative opinions here and there, but that is typical of such cheapie scents. So don't be hasty. It's quite good after a short while, all too tuberous, honeyed, and green, but then morphs into a delicately sweet white floral bouquet with no single flower taking center stage. The perfumer here attempts to keep the screaming tuberose on a leash by pairing it with a creamy magnolia and a very fresh Lily of the Valley. It almost works. The tuberose still muscles its way to the front, but in a more restrained, well-rounded way than usual thanks to a rich dose of honey, peach, and mellow orange blossom. When the violet leaf rises, it is pleasantly powdery, enforcing the make-up vibe. Let me tell you, I grow my own gardenias on my terrace; I know what the real flower smells like, and it surprised me to see how the nose replicated even that fleeting sweetness that comes with every puff. Nothing synthetic about it, if you ask me. The opening of Charlie Red is tender; it has an almost petal-like softness, even though you can smell some things to come.

The more it moves to the heart, the more it gets fruity, floral, burnt, and smoky. On my skin, I can definitely detect the sweetest notes of the yellow flowers, ylang-ylang, and orchid, mixed with the white flowers, which give off a waxy, vintage lipstick vibe. There is the slightly high-pitched whine of berries, rose and blackcurrant floating effortlessly over the top. And yet, it's never sticky-sweet. Instead, the carnation, and I swear some aldehydic note, keep it fresh. That's why people are saying it has a cottony, laundry, and soapy vibe to it. However, I don't find it off-putting as on myself. I catch hints of more of a clean cotton fragrance that I think is actually more of the carnation note. The peach is very dominant. It's ripe, honeyed, and has the peach skin velvet quality that I find rather sexy.

When the dry down comes to the flowery aspect tones down, the sensual notes of precious woods occur. It's woody, and a lot, over smooth and milky vanilla and sandalwood base. The cedar sits in the background. Instead, I get the burnt smell of roasted Tonka, which might come from the coumarin and honeyed amber shades. Somewhat a surprise to me, as I rarely like sweet fragrances, but there is a freshness to it that I love. The freshness even overcomes the honey. At this final stage the fragrance has a familiar aroma, and it took me a while to match it. You know what? That's the delicate fragrance of NIVEA Creme, which takes me back to my childhood and a summer’s day appears in my mind’s eye when I smell that all-purpose body cream in the blue tin. Scents influence our feelings and memories. The Nivea's scent is as pure and "simple" as it is multifaceted, a cream that "tastes good", remembers a soft perfume that pampers you. It is an aroma that envelops the skin and senses and simply ... makes you feel good!

I love the fine, casual, slightly intoxicating mash of florals and booze. Sillage softens dramatically after the first hour, but it has impressive staying power. Even after half a day, I was still getting friendly little floral whiffs floating up to my nose. I tested it last night before going to bed, and this morning I woke up with a gentling and cuddling redolence coming from my wrist, and yeah, it still was there under my skin. I can match its floral notes with formal daywear, casual weekend apparel, and it can add a hint of eroticism to that little black cocktail dress. Spring and Fall are the best seasons for me.
A cheapie fragrance that does not disappoint. If you want to take a dip in the past to rediscover joy and carefree, that typical hint of spring that looks timid, a fragrance that does not invade but remains soft on the skin. I have heard that Red layered on Blue is very interesting. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Even blindfolded, there’s no mistaking it: the fragrance of Nivea cream is there. Definitely worth trying with such a great price!

This review bases on a 100 ml (3.4 Fl. oz) I own since Aug 2020.


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