Sunday, June 3, 2018

Pinrose: Can A Non-Millennial Appreciate These Scent?



I have noticed the Pinrose brand, which was introduced in 2014, but never felt the need to sample. I lumped the brand with others that Sephora carries like Commodities and Jason Wu, where the sheer number they introduced at once overwhelmed me and didn't raise my interest. But I had made a pact with myself this year that I would start using all those little samples that have come my way, typically as a freebie when I order something online.  I have some samples that are so old that the company has gone out of business and I haven't ever tried the scents.

I was going to a meeting the other night and was in a hurry so I grabbed one of the Pinrose samples, which happened to actually be named Pinrose. It wasn't a spray or a vial, but a small wipe, or petal, as they call it. This further lowered my expectations, as I am not a fan of this method of applying perfume, but this wipe was a little bigger than normal and had a little more fragrance than is normally contained. I wiped my wrists, dropped it down into my bra, and ran out the door and forgot about it.

I noted that the initial scent was a little sour but was busy talking and meeting new people so didn't dwell on what I was smelling. Later as I was listening to a speech I noticed that someone smelled really good, not recognizing the scent, then I realized it was me. The rose had turned jammy, then deep. It is described as a leather rose on the Pinrose website, but to me it has that smell when I'm wearing a chypre; dark, dense, warm and mysterious. I think this is labdanum, a note that I love and that is often in chypre perfumes. It adds a cloak of warm, mysterious, darkness to a scent and dresses up the fragrance. Ambergris, another note found in Pinrose, heightens this warm effect. I'll admit that I was expecting a light, girly and fresh rose scent when I applied Pinrose so the scent caught my attention and I found I really enjoyed wearing it.

If you haven't read the background history of this brand, it was founded by two Stanford business school grads, Erika Shumate and Christine Luby. Shumate studied the psychology of smell and how synesthesia can affect and reflect scent preferences. They created a quiz algorithm that is available online or at Sephora stores to suggest which three scents a consumer might like. That night when I got home I was so intrigued that I took the online quiz which gives choices between colors, shapes, and nature-inspired photos. I felt like the initial choice of pink or green was probably the most important choice in their algorithm's determination. I love green, but I'm always going to choose pink (or red). Anyway, it brought up three scents that I should try, and lo and behold, one of the three was Pinrose. The other two were Sun Saint and Wild Child. Reading the notes, both sounded promising.

I first tried Sun Saint. On the website, each scent has the following guide which I'm sure is meant to appeal to their millennial target group and is kind of fun:
Vibe:  Relaxed   Hypnotic Serene
Perfect for:  Sun kissing and skinny dipping
Sips like:  Coconut Spritzer

The last bit, coconut spritzer, turned out to be a pretty good description of the scent for me. There was the element of suntan lotion and sandy beaches, but in the end the coconut ruled on my skin. I like a dry coconut scent, but this one veered a little sweet and foody on me and that made it a no go. I'm sure there are those that relish this coconut note but I decided it was perfectly pleasant but not something I needed to add to my already large collection. Longevity was good; I could still faintly smell it twenty four hours later.

Wild Child is described with the following copy:
Vibe:  Energetic  Playful  Flirty
Perfect for:  Girl's Night Out
Sips like:  Cosmopolitan

Another millennial friendly feature, instead of the traditional descriptives of Top Note, Heart Note, Base Note, Pinrose has changed this to the following, as shown with notes for Wild Child:
SMILE   Tiare Flower   Bergamot   Freesia
HEART   Gardenia  Jasmine   Frangipani
SOUL   Vanilla Bean   Amber   Plumeria

I bet you expect me to be snarky about this, but I actually think it's cute and very on brand for their intended market. Their website also has other millennial-targeted features such as Pinterest boards (love!) and Sound Like short music tracks (hate!). But as the only millennial thing about me is my kids, take it all with a grain of salt.

So back to Wild Child. I actually like it. We've seen white tropical flowers done hundreds of times and this isn't anything groundbreaking or unusual. But for the price point -- 50 ml for $65 -- I can't complain. I would be happy to own this one as an easy to wear summer tropical fragrance.

So the algorithm worked fairly well for me. For one last experiment I tried to branch out on my own, and I chose Merry Maker, mainly because I liked the name and its cute tagline: Radiant sunshine with this refreshing nectarine blend. Best worn when you need an extra skip in your step.

Merry Maker has notes of grapefruit, cassis, nectarine, rose, violet, plum, musk, moss, and tonka bean. I am very particular about fruity scents. They have to be just so for me to like them, and on my skin this was just a fruity and frankly boring mess. I probably should have picked something else to try, but got caught up in the name and description, sort of like how I used to buy wine solely based on how cute I found the label. If you like fruity scents, and specifically nectarine, this could possibly work for you.

Photo from Pinrose website. Perfume samples: thank you Sephora.


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