Monday 13 April 2020

FANTASY by Britney Spears

Everybody loves a birthday and the world of perfume is no different. With so many fragrances released annually it’s often hard for some of them to even reach a second birthday, let alone a very impressive fifteenth. Capturing the moment and securing a fan base is what every new launch strives to do, and that is exactly what happened in 2005. In the year that she sang “I see you lookin' at me,” Britney Spears launched the first of her Fantasy perfumes and it took the celebrity fragrance to new heights. So, fifteen years on, let’s go back to where it all began and see if it still leaves “a tantalising trail of embracing sensuality.”

The world of the celebrity fragrance is one that many stars and companies have tried to crack over the years with varying degrees of success. The most famous is surely the legendary White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor. It was produced by Parfums International in 1991, part of the Elizabeth Arden company, and has never been out of production. This became the benchmark that every other celebrity fragrance would be compared to, and many were well and truly left in the shade. So, in 2004, it would fall once again to Elizabeth Arden to start a new celebrity inspired fragrance line.

They decided to collaborate with Britney Spears and originally launched with Curious, which was created by perfumer Claude Dir. The bottle was designed to resemble a cut diamond but, whilst phenomenally successful, it would be the fragrance that followed one year later in 2005 that started a successful series. The follow up perfume was Fantasy and came in a Swarovski encrusted bottle that screamed fluffy femininity, although I’ll admit from the outset that it is one that I have been loving in these days of lockdown. It’s a perfect example of wear what you like and sod the stereotypes.

To create Fantasy it was decided to approach James Krivda. At the time he was based at Givaudan, although subsequently he has moved to Mane as one of their senior perfumers and also Vice President. He was brought up in Pennsylvania and had an early opportunity to study under French Master Perfumer Elie Roger, who was responsible for successes including Knowing for Estee Lauder. James very quickly seemed to develop an affinity for the celebrity style of scent. He was able to create fragrances that were both commercially accessible to a fan-based audience but still retained an excellence of design.

Fantasy is a gourmand fruity floral but, before you switch off, it is addictive. It opens with a tart blend of lychee and kiwi that cleverly pulls in the watery juiciness of the fruit. However, very quickly the jasmine and rose come into play but are almost immediately softened by a wonderfully powdery touch of iris. The notes list white chocolate, and you do get that milky bar quality, but it never becomes overly dominating. With a sensual blend of sandalwood and tonka bean mixing perfectly with a billowing cloud of musk, Fantasy really does live up to its promise of being a “sweet temptation.”

Fantasy is available from The Perfume Shop at priced at £29.99 for 100ml or from most online retailers. [Sample provided by Revlon]

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