It’s often far too easy to rip apart cheap designer fragrances with one’s words, much less fragrances that call themselves “cheap”, or worse still, flankers with ditzy, nonsensical names like Cheap & Chic I Love Love (henceforth referred to simply as I Love Love). The question is: do I love I Love Love or do I not love I Love Love? (How’s that for a mouthful of love?) We’ll get to the answer near the end of this review.
I Love Love is somewhat true to its name. It’s definitely cheap, and can often be found for under $30 at the discounters. Is it chic? According to the Oxford Dictionary, chic is defined as:
“Elegantly and stylishly fashionable”
It would be chic only insofar as one thinks a sugary, effervescent citrus floral is elegant, stylish and in fashion. I don’t know about fashionable, since things tend to swim in and out of fashion faster than Michael Phelps at the Olympics. One day it’s iris, the next it’s oud (feels like forever since it got into “fashion”); perhaps one day we’ll head straight back into D&G Light Blue and cK One territory. I’m pretty sure I Love Love isn’t in any way elegant or stylish, because if it were a dog it would be Paris Hilton’s chihuahua – vulgar and trashy but strangely upbeat and happy. As for the bottle, was Olive Oyl from Popeye ever in vogue?
In fact, very happy would be the best way to describe I Love Love, because wearing it in the first few minutes, when it is all syrupy lemon and grapefruit, I can’t help but wear a huge smile on my face. It’s like that friend at the parties who never stops talking and who has such an infectious laugh that being in her presence you can’t help but laugh along, too, even though you don’t get her jokes, which tend to border on the frivolous. I Love Love possesses the humour of those silly, low-brow videos you get on America’s Funniest Videos, where someone trips on something and falls awkwardly. You don’t really want to laugh at some poor chap’s misfortune, but you do, anyway. I Love Love is all radiant citrus and exuberant sunshine, and although citrus fragrances aren’t usually my thing, the funny thing is that here in I Love Love, it works, and it makes me smile.
Later on, the floral notes (it’s a mishmash of this and that, I really can’t tell them apart) attempt to add a tiny measure of sophistication to the citrus concoction, but even so the cheerful citrus notes remain very much the focal point, as if thumbing their noses at the very notion that elegance is beauty. Who needs elegance when you have HAPPY?
Too bad, then, that as I Love Love dries down it starts to enter the wrong side of cheap, because the shapeless detergent musks take over, and you realise just how vapid your friend at the party actually is, how tasteless it is for you to laugh at the guy who got kicked in the head by a donkey, and how ridiculous it is for a person to carry a chihuahua in a handbag.
But it was fun while it lasted.
So, to answer the question of whether I love I Love Love or not love I Love Love: yes and no. There are times when I need the cheap thrill of the opening to perk me up, to make me laugh, and nothing else will work. But then I get nearer to the drydown and it becomes awful and I have to wash it off my arms.
~ The Smelly Vagabond