‘Who’s smoking a pipe? I could swear someone’s smoking a pipe’ said my Japanese colleagues as I sat, silent and embarrassed (but amused) at their reaction to my wearing Hot Couture to the teacher’s room one cold winter morning.


Trying to decide what I thought about this perfume (given to me by a friend who had found it just that bit too much), aromatic, flavoured (raspberry) tobacco was actually the first thing that had come to mind, so it was hilarious to have my initial instincts confirmed. Hot Couture, which came in a fantastically passé and non-ergonomic sculptured bottle – so eighties, so c h i c  – is a peppery, aromatic and vanillic framboise: an unusual main note for a big house perfume, and perhaps the reason why, like all the best perfumes, it has disappeared (the eau de toilette is a fresher, floriental raspberry scent). From a distance, though, the eau de parfum really did smell exactly like pipe smoke; curls of thick, woody, vaporous raspberry.


Hot Couture is a pretty good scent I would say, worth picking up if you find it cheaply somewhere: nice on either sex, cosy and distinct, but with its atmosphere of smoke-infused nightclub cloakrooms – and swathes of thick, rising, dry ice on the dancefloor – I have to say it doesn’t leave much room to breathe.


Filed under Floriental, Perfume Reviews, Raspberry, Tobacco

16 responses to “BLOWING RASPBERRIES: HOT COUTURE (eau de parfum) by GIVENCHY (2000)

  1. So funny that your colleague nailed it! Hot Couture. I could never get over the pun of a name 😦 Red berries in perfume are not really my thing though. I do happen to like pipe tobacco . . .

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  3. brie

    Love raspberries and love tobacco in perfume but not sure if I would enjoy the combo of the two.
    Your story brings to mind one of my own….wearing patch straight up and someone at work says “why am I smelling mushrooms?” and another person ratted me out by saying “It must be Brigitte” She walked over to me, sniffed my neck,made a face and said “yup it’s you…very earthy”

  4. Debbie Lauri

    Raspberries are one of my fav things on earth. AND…not to be second place…pipe tobacco reminds me with fondness of a gentleman I knew not so long ago. Wonderful combo

  5. I used to like this perfume when it came out and liked it all the way through one half of a bottle (50? 100ml? – I don’t remember). And then I couldn’t stand it any longer. Why did I have to get rid of that bottle?! I didn’t have to keep wearing it – I could just have stored it for the reference… Oh, well.

    I do not remember the tobacco note in there at all (not saying it wasn’t in there, just don’t remember it).

    I guess, it’s not one of the scents you like and plan to wear: do you often wear perfumes you’re testing to work? What if you hate it midway?

    • ginzaintherain

      But this is very interesting because this is EXACTLY how I came to own the perfume, which incidentally I ALSO gave away (to my mother): my friend got sick of it half way through as well!

      There is definitely no actual tobacco note in this perfume: I just think of it as so thick and amalgamated with its ingredients that from a distance it actually really does smel like tobacco – and my colleagues actually thought someone really was smoking a pipe!

      I wonder why we all gave it away though? If a perfume has that effect it has failed.

      • Why failed? We bought it in the first place (i.e. paid the full price) and then gave it away half-way through becoming eligible for the next purchase. A definite win for the brand.

      • ginzaintherain

        Interesting angle! But how many perfumes that you have bought do you give away? We shouldn’t get sick of them in that way. Hot Couture was too thick and clogged: I liked it but it was a bit crass ultimately.

      • I agree. I was joking.

  6. Love pipe tobacco. My grandad always smoked one so I associate the smell with him. He had a little pipe rack full of different models – odd quirky things, with their swan necks and chewed ends, some smart and straight with a wood finish, others made of cheap clay,shaped like a scottie dog or thistle – souvenirs of his many trips back home to Scotland. When I was 13, after a riotous evening of card games, Dorothy Squires and martini drinking, I pestered him to let me have one. I can’t tell you how much I loved this pipe – it had a smart walnut bowl and whistled beautifully when you inhaled. Raspberries are funny fruits I find. I like them – much prefer them to strawberries – a bombastic fussy fruit by comparison – but they always make me rather wistful. Their sweetness and texture – all soft, dry, subtle – over too quickly. Must try this one.

  7. serafinarose

    “I like cigars
    Beneath the stars,
    Upon the waters blue.
    To laugh and float
    While rocks the boat
    Upon the waves – Don’t you? ”

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  8. Great fun to read your views of this one, but as a hater of fruit notes, I don’t think that I will try it. Thanks for the warning!

    • It is an irrelevance, just one more perfume that has bitten the dust. Too crass for your tastes I would say, but at the same time, compared to the current fruities, the reach and the heft of this scent is like a masterpiece. Really thick, and honestly quite like tobacco. The fact that the teachers at my school noticed that immediately was kind of interesting.

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