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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Kate Moss Velvet Hour: The Unbearable Naffness of Bottle

In an earlier post I spoke of the limited budget perfumers have at their disposal to create celebuscents, and decided that I owed the ones which smell half decent a new respect because they had been developed on a shoestring. Kate Moss Velvet Hour is one such, featuring notes of blue pepper, freesia, cashmere incense, patchouli, nutmeg, sandalwood, amber, ebony and wood. Blue pepper? I am not knocking it, for it smells very nice. The scent was created by a nose I have never heard of - Emilie Copperman of Symrise - marketed under licence to Coty, and billed as an "enigmatic, woody floral". And d'you know, it kind of is! It is smooth and silky and a bit peppery and a bit dark, but not in a Gothic, Czech & Speake kind of way, more in a "not daytime" way. Yes, this is definitely a going out scent, though its sensuality is subtle and restrained. I do not foresee any writhing on slippery fabrics in the back of a taxi, as per the latest ad for YSL Parisienne.

So far so good, and I should point out that this scent is cheap as chips - a gift set of the 30ml size can be had for as little as £9.99, and I have been thinking of buying myself one for Christmas. But I hesitate....because the bottle - cheap, plastic, and a nasty shade of blue - is hideously naff. I have seen vinegar bottles in transport cafes with more aesthetic appeal. It is like some ugly, squat UFO or inverted mushroom. Now I don't like to think of myself as superficial, but that bottle is seriously getting in the way of a sale. And this is by no means the only ghastly receptacle to be found in the celebuscent sector at the moment - in my view most of the Britney Spears bottles are absolute shockers, especially the Fantasy range (glittery grenades), although the chunky glass bottle used for Believe has a pleasing geometry to my eye.

But the key difference here between Velvet Hour and the Britney range is that I like the Kate Moss scent but hate the bottle, hence my dilemma.... Maybe I should bite the bullet and just decant the whole lot. Extreme measures, but it may be worth it!


  1. I remember we were at Dougals and you pointed out to the scent and I thought, OMG this is so ugly (not only cheap-looking, U G L Y!) that I did not dare to touch the bottle. Might be interesting what happens if you smell it "blind".

  2. Blind smelling is the way to go with this one, for sure!

  3. I'm owning up to having bottle issues too - Agent Provcoateur Strip, to be precise. A bottle shape that really works for the original AP and Maitresse just looks dire in its Strip Incarnation. At least the opening "plimsoll" note of Strip was love/hate, the bottle is just plain hate for me I'm afraid, I would hate to see it in my perfume drawer whenever I opened it.

  4. oops. I meant Provocateur of course, though Provcoateur Strip has a certain DIY product appeal.

  5. As an adjunct to steam machines, perhaps?

    Yes, the Strip bottle isn't great. The red bomb look again. Top it off with black spikes and you would have Kerry Katona Outrageous. Though credit is due to her for the self-irony in the name...

  6. Yes the bottle is very naff, but on the plus side it reminds me of a sixties comedy called I Dream of Jeannie, that had the most brilliant theme tune...