Perfume Review: Voce Viva by Valentino

Voce Viva by Valentino

It has been a while since I have done a perfume review and I have missed them.  This summer I spent so much time working in the garden that I stopped wearing a lot of perfumes. They made me targets for bugs.  Apparently, the mosquitos in my area are huge Cartier fans.  I forgot I had it on one afternoon when I stopped to pull weeds and by the time I came in my wrists were bracelet-ed with bites.

Then I tried to use up some of my samples, most of which I already reviewed so there were no new ones to talk about.

Until now…

This Voce Viva perfume sample from Valentino came in the mail.  I believe it is from Influenster.  There were no markings on the mailer and usually when Influenster sends stuff they have campaign information with the product.  This had nothing.  It was just a perfume sample in a box.

The black box of arrival

Seriously, plain black box outside, perfume and card within.  No other info. But for the purpose of disclosure, I believe it was influenster that sent the sample.

The information I found on the perfume came from the Ulta website and according to the page…

Valentino Voce Viva Eau de Parfum is a radiant floral perfume that combines the sound of your voice and scent of your fragrance to celebrate every woman. Like a voice, a woman’s fragrance is personal, intimate and leaves a trace. The harmony of a blooming floral bouquet, made addictive and powerful through an unexpected crystal moss accord. Celebrating every woman’s voice.

Voice of a generation, Lady Gaga has inspired millions of people around the world for more than a decade, and is the ambassadress of VOCE VIVA. With Valentino, the singer shares more than her Italian origins. A symbol of respect for individualities, and for everyone to find their place, Lady Gaga speaks to the same values as those of Valentino.

”I believe today that the true power is to be able share emotions.” – Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maison Valentino Creative Director

Bottle design on right

About The Bottle: A sleek glass bottle; square and notched on the sides, reveals the light passing through its golden-hued scent allowing a V of light to emerge. The emblematic Valentino Rock stud highlights the cap and collar, portraying a modern edgy personality. This iconic Valentino perfume bottle is signed by a vibrant red.

Fragrance Family: Floral, Scent Type: Woody

Key Notes: Top – Italian bergamot essence, mandarin essence; Middle – orange blossom absolute, golden gardenia accord; Base – crystal moss accord, vanilla, tonka bean

As always, I love perfume descriptions.  They can take you away to magical lands if you aren’t careful.  Sometimes I think that I enjoy perfume descriptions almost as much as I enjoy the perfumes themselves.  Sometimes more. Plus there are the bottles themselves. I do love a well designed perfume bottle.

I had high hopes for this perfume after reading the description.  And from hearing that this was inspired by Lady Gaga. I thought if anything, that might make it innovative and new. While Bergamot is not a scent I am fond of, I adore orange blossom and mandarin essence. My only issue with them was that combined with the vanilla, gardenia and tonka bean it could be too sweet. I crossed my fingers and hoped.

When sprayed on the wrist it is very Bergamot forward and it is very sweet. There are light traces of orange mixed in, but it is mostly bergamot and sweet that I smell.  It is also a very heavy perfume.  This is not a light and airy scent.

One spritz on the wrist and I had to kind of air out a little before getting into an enclosed space.  There was a bit of an alcohol smell upon first application, but it faded after a minute of waving my wrists around in the air.

It is the sort of scent that envelopes you and fills the air around you. I tend to prefer my scents to stick close to the skin, almost like a secret scent just for me and those I allow into my personal space. 

This scent is a presence in any room. It will get noticed.

It will not be ignored.

It is not a scent I would consider wearing to an office or in an elevator. Unless you were a character from the cast of Dynasty. The original one not the remake, this scent needs 1980s shoulder pads. It is too potent to sit in an office all day.

After a couple of hours  it fades back a bit, but I sprayed it on my wrist in the morning and it was still noticeable when I went to take my evening shower. It is a scent that lingers.

To me the scent seems a little unbalanced.  It is too aggressively sweet, almost cloyingly floral.  It feels as though it needs one earthier element to balance it out. 

Now while I am not a bergamot fan, I will say that this perfume does smell very expensive. I don’t know what element that is, but something about it pings as expensive on my personal sniff-o-meter. It is also a very mature scent.  When I close my eyes and picture who I would think about purchasing this scent for, it would be my grandmother.  It is a little too mature for me to even think about purchasing for my mother. 

It isn’t that the perfume smells ‘old’.

It’s profile is just more reminiscent of a perfume from the 1940s than it is of what I would think of as a more modern scent.  I could not wear this, and I don’t think any of my cousins or sisters in law would either.  It isn’t something I could see my nieces wear or even my mother or aunts.  I could see my grandmother wearing it. Because of the 1940’s sort of bend to the scent, that seems the right age appropriate level for it.

Not that my grandmother was a circa 1980s Dynasty type character.

While I have appreciated several Valentino scents in the past, (Valentina by Valentino for example, is still floral and sweet, but somehow better balanced and more modern/classic in scent, at least in my opinion), this one is not for me.  Admittedly putting it on does make me feel like I ought to be a Dynasty character.

But no one wants me striding into a law office in a 1980s ladies power suit and heels demanding to know what you think you are doing with my Daddy’s company. Mostly because my Daddy didn’t own a company. Although I will admit it is a fun, if fleeting mental image.

I am happy I got to try a sample, but I don’t think that it will be added to my perfume collection any time soon. Which is a shame as it is such a pretty bottle.  Fantasies aside, the scent just isn’t for me. If you are looking to add this perfume to your collection at Ulta.com the 1.7 oz bottle retails for $100. I think it also sells at Nordstroms and Macy’s.

If, like me, you love perfumes and can never limit yourself to just one, I would like to suggest you take a moment and visit Sobelia’s website.  They have simply oodles of perfume (600 famous brands and over 7,000 different products currently in stock) and at discounted rates. For example a 50mL bottle of Valentina is currently $58.99 instead of $96.80.

And from now until December 12th if you spend $60 you can get $5 off with the code CHRISTMAS5, or $10 off a $100 purchase with the code CHRISTMAS10.  So if you are looking for a gift for a perfume lover in your life, or simply adding to your own collection, now is a pretty good time to give the site a look over.  Personally, I think I will be adding several to my collection this year.  In the past year I tested several samples I really liked and a few that I have been thinking of purchasing.  The first bottle I am planning to pick up is my reward for losing ten more pounds so I will have to wait for a little bit, but there is no reason you can’t take advantage of the holiday sale.


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