Almost a year to the day, I reviewed singing star Rhianna’s first fragrance, Reb’l Fleur. The fragrance was nice, and the bottle, an homage to a stiletto heel, stunning! For those who are simply not into pop culture, it’s important to note that Robyn Rihanna Fenty (better known as simply “Rihanna”) is a multi-award winning, best selling R and B recording artist and songwriter, from the beautiful island of Barbados. The young star is known having and edgy image. She’s a fashion chameleon who likes to change up her look. It is a no brainer that she would find fragrance, fun.
The latest in her fragrance collection is Rebelle by Rhianna in collaboration with Parlux. It’s categorized as “Gourmand Chypre.” If you don’t know the term, a classic Chypre usually features an accord composed of citrus top- notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks. Chypre perfumes often also contain patchouli and usually vetiver, labdanum, ambergris and sandalwood oil. Reb’’ Fleur was a fruity chypre, but Rebelle has gourmand notes that you almost want to eat when you smell them: very strong and coffee and cacao plus vanilla. In Rebelle, these notes trump the rest. I don’t smell the fruity top notes of spicy: plum, strawberry and ginger at all, although I do sense the heart of heliotrope, vanilla orchid and cocoa absolute, plus the sensual base of musk, coffee, patchouli and amber. But in the end, I mostly smell vanilla and a creamy bottom.
For sheer “wow!” the bottle can’t be matched. It’s just sexy and gorgeous and covet-able. The first thing you’ll notice is the striking carton, done up in red and soft gold, with an over-sleeve of Rhianna in a photo close up, looking very sultry. But it’s the bottle inside that thrills. It is similar to the black and gold bottle from Reb’l Fleur, but Rebelle by Rhianna has been done with sweeping curves of bold red trimmed with gold, and enough clear space on the trumpet-shaped bottle to let the pale, gold juice shine through. A pretty, gold metal textured Cartier style “rolling ring” tops the slim, elegant, red enamel topper. I mean, it’s perfume jewelry!
Rebelle by Rhianna was created by noted perfumers Caroline Sabas and Martypierre Julien, who also worked on Reb’l Fleur. Like many chypres, Rebelle lasts and has presence. It will stay on the skin for a while, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Everyone has a different way of interpreting a fragrance, but this is my review, and so I feel free to say that even while the top notes are listed, I can’t smell them. I just can’t get past the vanilla and musk. I personally love chypre scents that have both feminine and masculine aspects, but when it comes to Rebelle, it’s so creamy, vanilla-y and “yummy” smelling, I find it in yoru face (maybe a bit of what Rhianna, intended with this empowering scent). Rebelle by Rhianna reminds me a of Theirry Mugler’s Angel fragrance. You either love that strong gourmand scent, or you don’t. On the other hind, while Rebelle may be over the top in the gourmand department, for women who want a “man magent” I think they’ll find Rebelle undeniably sensual.
What I do get from Rebelle is the message Rhianna wants to convey – a sense of being able to take control (this, especially significant after she ended her abusive romantic relationship over a year ago), but still remaining a lady. Says Rhianna of Rebelle: “My new fragrance is about taking control but still being a lady. There’s a feminine, romantic element to the fragrance — but there’s also a defiant quality in it,” Rihanna explains in lit for the product, “I love its duality.”
Although Rhianna is a stylish young woman and a music sensation, I feel like Rebelle will appeal not just to her younger fans, but also to their mothers and maybe, grandmothers. Rebelle just isn’t a typical, fruity floral that so many celebrities put their name on because these uncomplicated scents, sell. Like it or loathe it, this fragrance is special.
The Rebelle Collection will be available Spring 2012 in Department stores: ¾ fl. oz. Eau De Parfum Spray is $59.00; Eau De Parfum 1.6 fl. oz $49.00; and a 6.7 fl. oz. Body Lotion is $30.00. *if you want it now for Valentine’s Day you can order it from Macy’s online.