The global pandemic could not have had a worse timing when it started spreading at a breakneck pace last year. It caused the entire world to come to a standstill, ruining plans like outings, vacations, birthday parties, and weddings. One such important event that had to be postponed due to the widespread disease was my wedding. Yes, I am still very disgruntled about that.
However, after a lot of discussions regarding everyone’s safety and taking necessary precautions, we organized a small wedding this year. With our closest friends and family members in attendance, the ceremony took place in my parents’ backyard, where two of my cousins set up all the required equipment to record this momentous event of my life. Fortunately, everything went well, and by the end of the day, my surname had changed from Martinez to D’Souza.
With the wedding came heaps of presents, covered in wrapping papers bearing various designs. From blues and greens to reds and oranges, there was no color left of the rainbow that did not cover the surface of the long table holding all the gifts. The tablecloth was hardly visible to my eyes underneath the mountain of gift-wrapped boxes lying on top of it. Among those boxes was one wrapped in a bright, glossy, red paper lying on top of a pale yellow one, making it stick out like a sore thumb. Needless to say, my eyes kept being dragged back to that particular box repeatedly, and I decided then and there that the red box would be one of the first ones I open.
The next day, when we sat down to open the presents, my hand reached out and grabbed the red box, carefully removing the gift wrap. The rectangular box was an odd mixture of pink, green, orange, and white. “Escada Summer Festival – Limited Edition” was scripted in a pink font on the top part of the front side. An image of perfect red lips was printed right at the middle of the front side, surrounded by pink musical notes and green leaves spread across the orange and white background. The box was very ostentatious and gaudy, to say the least, managing to make me frown in distaste.
Escada is a German fashion brand founded in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley. The fragrance I had been presented, Summer Festival, was a newly launched, limited edition perfume by Escada. The bottle came in two different sizes – 50ml for $29.32 and 100ml for $33.50. The Eau de Toilette I had in possession was the 100ml bottle and I already had a feeling I was not going to be using it too often.
In spite of the inkling I had, I took the glass bottle out of its box, examining the object I held in my hand. The bottle was a hot pink colour at the top, which slowly lightened to a softer shade at the bottom. It was, for the lack of better words, shaped like a hot air balloon. It had a silver, cylindrical cap at the top. It was unlike any other perfume bottles I had seen before, and admittedly it was a little cute.
Perfumers Amandine Clerc-Marie and Gabriela Chelariu were the noses behind this creation. Inspired by a group of girlfriends assisting in a Summer Festival, they tried to create a fruity-floral fragrance using a bowl of five ingredients. The top notes were cherry blossom and ice. The middle notes were green mandarin and jasmine sambac. Sandalwood was the only ingredient used in making the base note. Since cherry blossoms are one of my favourite flowers, seeing it listed as the top note gave me a tiny sliver of hope that the perfume may not be as horrendous as my mind is conjuring it up to be. Boy, did I regret getting my hopes up even the slightest bit.
The first spritz onto my wrist filled the air with an excessively sweet and saccharine scent. Whereas I expected to get the beautiful smell of cherry blossoms, there were only faint notes of this ingredient in the air. The middle notes made their appearance rather briskly, the green mandarin’s citrusy smell overpowering the jasmine sambac, making the latter hardly noticeable at all. The milky soft note of the sandalwood was the only saving grace of the entire fusion. The woodsy scent was what made this otherwise awful perfume tolerable for me.
Regardless of my disdain towards the Eau de Toilette, I still decided to try it on, thinking that it might get better as time passed. I sprayed myself with the fragrance the next time I went on a shopping trip. It was the same experience during the process as before. The overly sweet scent made me subtly cringe as I walked out of my house. I expected to have my nose slightly scrunched up the entire day because of the perfume, so I was genuinely astonished when I found myself completely at ease an hour after I left the house. It barely lasted the entire sixty minutes! I never knew perfumes could have such short longevity until I tried this one on. The silage, as one would probably guess by now, is not the best either. I returned from the shopping trip within three hours altogether and did not find any trace of the Eau de Toilette in my room. To make sure, I even asked my husband, who had been working from home all day, if he could detect the smell. All he ended up doing was shaking his head side to side and asking whether I had applied perfume.
I still have the perfume bottle sitting nearly all the way full on my vanity. That initial feeling of mine was right all along. As much as I appreciate the person who went out of their way to get me a lovely wedding gift, I would not recommend this to anyone, nor would I be using it myself ever again.
Here are my preferred ratings for this disappointing fragrance:
Here is a summary of my review of Summer Festival for Women (2021) by Escada to cut a long story short:
The Pros are:
- It is from a famous brand.
- A nicely crafted bottle.
The Cons are:
- The fragrance is way too sweet.
- Longevity and silage are disappointing. The perfume barely lasts an hour.