There is a current phrase which has become overused; “stay in your lane”. What it means is for you to keep traveling in the direction you are currently going without trying to move outside of the “lane” you’ve created for yourself. There are places where that is good advice. There are other times where that is counterproductive. In perfumery, it depends on what a brand is looking to be. If you’re an artistic independent niche brand you probably should never find a lane. If you’re a mainstream brand your success probably depends on finding a lane which your consumers like and traveling within it as long as you can. One fragrance brand which has known its lane for a long time is Michael Kors. The most recent release Sexy Ruby shows how well they understand this.
The Michael Kors fragrance collection has been around since 2000. Fairly quickly it did find its place on the department store shelf. It followed the major trends of the time. They were streamlined versions of those trends; often a little lighter in presence than others in the same sector. The collection was perfume for the person who wanted to smell nice without taking risks. If I said it was a collection of office-ready fragrance that is not damning with faint praise it is actual praise. For those of us who love perfume and have delved into every corner of the fragrant universe Michael Kors doesn’t necessarily offer that much interest. Although maybe it should.
What Michael Kors in their fragrance offerings has done more than a few times is to find a little space in their well-traveled lane. When that happens, I can find something pleasant in something familiar. Sexy Ruby is a beautifully done fruity floral chypre by perfumer Pierre Negrin.
I really have a problem with the overuse of raspberry in the plethora of fruity floral fragrances out there. It is usually thick overdosed sickly sweet. M. Negrin goes entirely the other way as he takes shimmering source of raspberry which acts opaque. To provide a bit of depth apricot replaces the overt saccharinity that would have been present if he had just upped the concentration of the raspberry. It also does the same with the floral part as jasmine is the central floral note. The raspberry acts as a veil which shrouds the jasmine. A bit of rose helps deepen the jasmine as the apricot did for the fruity keynote. The domesticated chypre base is made up of green aromachemical Crystal Moss, the woody aromachemical Cashmeran, and Vanillin. This is a tame chypre meant to provide a foundation and not to realty stick its head up above the fruity floral opening.
Sexy Ruby has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
What drew my attention to Sexy Ruby was the decision by M. Negrin to not clobber me with the fruit and the floral components. It is that overpowering nature of too many fruity florals which turns me off to the style. Sexy Ruby shows there is some give even when you know your lane.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Michael Kors.