Cherryade and the fluff: G de ROMEO GIGLI (1994) + DIAMONDS AND RUBIES by ELIZABETH TAYLOR (1993)


Sometimes I wake up and my brain has already, instinctively, reached out for a particular kind of smell: I know upon opening my eyes that only that smell will do. And yesterday it was cherry. Something sweet, light, and fruity. Reminiscent of freshly plucked cherries, the stalks intact, but also that deliciously cheap and artificial, cerise-coloured drink from my childhood: chip-shop cherryade.

I have two scents in my collection that happened to fit the bill perfectly (…the joy of a large collection and being able to pinpoint the specific in mood by reaching into ones cabinets!):  G by Romeo Gigli, an early nineties concoction that fell by the wayside rather quickly (possibly because of its luridly overdesigned harlequin flacon) and Elizabeth Taylor’s cheerful, fulsome Diamonds and Rubies, which I have in perfume extract and which complements the greener, more bracing Gigli perfectly (wearing the rubies on my wrists and spraying the Gigli liberally elsewhere as I headed out to Tokyo on Saturday, I enjoyed their company throughout the day immensely). Both perfumes were released within a year of each other and comprise a very similar basic accord that is pleasing and somehow serotonin-boosting when you are in the mood for easy comfort.

Despite the complexity of the notes contained in G, the perfume comes off as simple and buono, a warm yet fresh fragrance with a gorgeously Italian optimism: two different themes fusing deliciously with each other after initial apparent frictions. The vanillic cedar of the base, with its clean, gentle orchids, wisps of sandalwood and oakmoss, is far from apparent in the Milanese zest of the opening: an inventive, herbaceous scherzo on pineapple, citrus, green notes and a curious dose of fresh tarragon leaves that is quite frankly delightful.  Cloves, not listed in the official notes but apparent to my nose, cleave to the floral heart (cyclamen, jasmine, rose and orris), but the tarragon remains throughout like star anise in a fragrant compote de fruits. When spritzed, G de Gigli is immediately happy and uplifting, but subtle: it lasts for hours yet remains close to the skin like a flower-patterned silk.

A more American riff on morello is Elizabeth Taylor’s Diamonds and Rubies, which is also constructed on a ambery cedar base with lashes of orchid, but which is richer, more powdery and, well, Elizabeth Taylor than the Romeo Gigli: a thick-waisted embrace of sweet cherry liquor: heliotrope, ylang, orris, cyclamen and bitter almond; red rose, benzoin and peach. The base of the scent is significantly erotic, in a mature, experienced kind of way, while the opening – tender, as fluffily romantic as a puffed up angora sweater, has the blow-dry glamour of a pressed, immaculate Floridian dame:  soignée, not a hair out of place on that dandelion head: yet benign, loveable; sweet.

I have tried Diamonds & Rubies only in parfum form, but can say it is surprisingly enjoyable and well-made: recommended for those who like an ‘occasion’ floriental. Although I wear these two only rarely, I like knowing they are there: scents with a ripe, cherry-lipped goodness. They are both available for a song at online discounters.


Filed under Floriental, Perfume Reviews

20 responses to “Cherryade and the fluff: G de ROMEO GIGLI (1994) + DIAMONDS AND RUBIES by ELIZABETH TAYLOR (1993)

  1. brie

    After an exhausting work week followed by an exhausting weekend filled with the kids’ extra-curricular activities I am drinking my cherry blossom tea right now and loving this post wishing I had some cherryade perfume to start my work week…it sounds so perfect!

    • I shall be vialing it up for you very soon: I should have put it in the last package, I just forgot.

      This is no dreamland scent: but it is easy, and extremely pleasant, and that is sometimes just what we need.

      • brie

        Can I tell you that I LOVE YOU!!!!! ???
        All kidding aside, I am working my way through all of those lovelies (running out of skin on my skinny body!) but I am really stuck on the Chloe…. wearing it for three days in a row and I love it! And someone else in the house has been using it when I am not home for I find the bottle out of place with remants of Chloe wafting in my second bathroom….never thought the kids would appreciate vintage…guess I was wrong!! (but wouldn’t it be a hoot if it was really my “perfume-adverse” hubby!)

  2. Olivia

    ‘Occasion’ cherryade floriental? I need it.

    I have a serious soft spot for these kind of naff, unloved ’90s tutti frutti things (Even though they’re often stuffed with a whole clattering mishmash of notes they usually have less of the chemical tang and sinus stabbing sweetness that modern fruities tend to.)

    I’ve always had a clandestine love of synthetic cherry flavoured muck ..
    and am now craving a Panda Pop and a neon stained tongue 🙂

    I sent you an email over the weekend, by the way..just in case your hotmail junk folder is as lively as mine (eats everything in sight.)

    • I think it might have, as I would surely have replied otherwise. Shall look more closely. This is a GREAT pandapop cherry I would say; thinking about it I realize that it is actually twenty years old now, when things really were of so much higher quality. Even the mainstream releases were absolutely gorgeous compared to the crap that is flung at us now.

      • Good point. I can remember that in the 90s it was quite possible to identify perfumes on people around me because they actually smelled different from one another. Now I can walk through a department store and the scent around every counter is the same fruityfloralsomething. I can still tell Opium from the others even in the reformulated version, but other than that there is a nondescript cloud of FlowerPoppyDaisy stuff that leaves me wondering why anyone bothers. I have a little bottle of ET Black Pearls that I wear every now and then when the mood and weather are right, and while not perfectly crafted by any means, it is pleasant and individual. I think I paid $7.00 at some online sale, and it’s better than much of what I can get for $70 at my local dept. store.

      • brie

        Amen to that last comment, N! The mainstream releases in the 1970s and 1980s were indeed gorgeous AND affordable! Now one usually has to pay an exhorbitant amount, as it is the niche lines that have taken over the higher quality fragrances (with the exception of SSS).

      • Olivia

        Very true. So much of the mainstream stuff on offer now is totally devoid of character. There is no art in it, just sloppy sugah. My youngest sister (24) wrinkles her nose at anything that doesn’t smell like a chernobyl cocktail (I’m trying!) There is some sad conditioning going on.. How do you learn about how wonderful, how varied, how emotive perfume can be if you grow up surrounded by rubbish? Many people wouldn’t dig far enough to find the perfume rabbit hole.

      • I agree, and yet I have been quite delighted by my Japanese ‘younger sister’ Aiko, who despite liking a few of the Chernobyl cocktails as well initially, came to my perfume collection without any preconceptions or prejudices for that matter, and really took to some quality things, not knowing anything about their image or reputation (because in Japan, there isn’t really any perfume culture, so perhaps she was less conditioned, as you say…)

  3. Lilybelle

    How nice to be able to reach for precisely that smell that you wake up craving! 🙂

  4. Sono impressionato dalla qualit delle informazioni su questo sito. Ci sono un sacco di buone risorse qui. Sono sicuro che visiter di nuovo il vostro blog molto presto.

    • Mi piacerebbe molto! Come l’hai trovato? Magari cercavi delle informazioni sui profumi di Romeo Gigli?

      Parlo anche l’italiano, quindi anche se non posso rispondere perfettamente, potro capire quello che scrivi qui. Ci vediamo!

  5. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    What a delightful breakfast cherry bonbon on a grey grey day. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you mr. G

  6. I used to rather enjoy the Romeo Gigli, during that chapter of my life…which seems like a millennia ago.

  7. Julia Burke

    I love this Neil – you have reminded me of my life-long love of all things cherry scented.

    At age 11 the smell of my cousin’s newly acquired and highly prized cherry lipgloss was so irresistible that I’m ashamed to say I hid it under my pillow until she went home (in other words I stole it). Only thing I’ve ever nicked and one day I will confess (and apologise to her) in person – although I’m pretty sure she suspected at the time. I still love fake cherry scents although I have more self control these days (and a conscience of course).

    • I love our shared cherryhood.

      Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry is a full on amaretto kirsch fuckfest ( perhaps too much ?)

      For daywear at home alone I do recommend these two – though they might not be overtly cherry enough – Escada’s Cherry In The Air would be fun for a girl’s night out with Amber et al at the Mason’s. I sometimes quite enjoy wearing it in a cherry boiled sweet kind of way

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