Last week, Aspasia Karras (Marie Claire SA ed) hosted an intimate little function at the Krut Gallery in Parkwood, JHB. I attended with the mother of all hangovers due to a Halloween party the previous evening, and my greatest fear was that I was going to karate chop the first waiter that comes too close to me with a tray of bubbly.
The invitation stated that the dress code was Noir Chic, and I squealed a little when I saw that even the canapés were adhering to it. Now THAT’S how you stick to a theme…
I was chuffed to meet a couple of local bloggers and other media peeps – the ladies from Neofundi were amongst them, as well as darling Hasmita from Jozilicious blog. She was so darling, in fact, that she sent me a whole bunch of pics because I had forgotten my camera at home*. So all the pretty pictures above are hers, thanks H! By the way, Aspasia is an amazing hostess. I swear she actually had a chat with everyone there. We’ve only briefly met once before, but before long we were chatting and giggling away about that last meeting (which was when she hosted Cindy Gallop of Make Love Not Porn – if you’re not feeling particularly conservative, read my article about it here. Maybe not you, Mom).
The whole Dahlia Noir concept is unmistakably Givenchy, and thus unmistakably Haute Couture. There is a ‘muse’ instead of a model, loads of black lace and ruffles, and that nod towards the darker, more intense side. A very valid point made by David White, Givenchy SA Brand manager, is to bear in mind that the EDT is not a ‘lighter’ version of the ‘EDP’ – they’re very different from each other.
Givenchy Dahlia Noir EDP
About the fragrance: The concept is for it to express the power of a fragile woman. There’s an immediate ‘familiar’ powdery note, which I read is to evoke maternal gentleness, and a traditional vision of femininity (if they insist). The fragrance is based on rose, iris and mimosa, and is enriched with sandalwood and patchouli. These are the intense, woody notes that initially overwhelmed me, but when used sparingly adds depth to create a magical, mysterious scent.
My Experience: We were given wrist ribbons doused with this fragrance on arrival (bonus points to me for remembering to not apply a scent beforehand), and initially I wasn’t very fond of it. It’s unmistakably Givenchy, and it fits the campaign perfectly, but I experienced it to be very woody, heavy and almost masculine. I have since spritzed myself with it a couple of times, and much can be said about skin chemistry. It has grown on me at a rapid rate, and while I still find it too heavy for daily use, it’s earned a spot amongst my ‘special occasion’ fragrances.
Givenchy Dahlia Noir EDT
About the Fragrance: Meant to still be intriguing and mysterious, yet more open, the EDT has top notes of mandarin, lemon and peach. The rose heart remains, but it’s a fresher rose petal scent utilized, combined with pink pepper. Base notes are amber, vanilla and sandalwood.
My experience: A balanced, beautiful, easy-to-wear fragrance. I immediately pinned it as a pretty, almost summery scent which I liked instantly. Strange as it may seem, this almost disappointed me – I smelled this quite a while before I got hold of the EDP and the communication around both fragrances, and I didn’t quite get where a black dahlia** fits in with this light, flirty fragrance. Now, of course, I get it… Definitely the safer, younger fragrance of the two.
I was also happy to hear that we’ll be getting the candle and bath & body products in SA soon – we so often get the bare minimum of these things, I already have a huge complex that we’re the ugly stepsister in the international cosmetic industry.
Givenchy Dahlia Noir EDT: R575 (30ml) – R1000 (75ml)
Givenchy Dahlia Noir EDP: R660 (30ml) – R1145 (75ml)
*Turns out it was in my bag all along. Whoops.
**Dahlias are naturally odourless, and you don’t get black ones. The adaptation is thanks to the imagination of Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy Creative Director.