Thursday, June 20, 2024

Blue Sapphire: A Startling Fragrance Failure

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Many of my absolute worst scent-related memories stem, unsurprisingly, from middle school. There’s the unforgettable grease odor that hovers around the cafeteria and the never-purged stink of the bathroom. But the absolute worst smells came from the combination of familiar funk and loud, artificial fragrances. I’m talking about the Axe vs. body odor calamity that haunts the locker room, and the unfortunate fragrance-as-hygiene strategy employed recklessly throughout the halls. Something about the familiarity of common, unpleasant smells makes them bearable in small does, but when merged with the screech of artificial fragrance, the overall effect becomes hideous.

Speaking of which, here are the notes for Blue Sapphire by Boadicea the Victorious.

Blue Sapphire Notes

Top Notes: Lemon, Chamomile, Sage, Tagetes, Saffron

Heart Notes: Rose, Indian Jasmine, Magnolia

Base Notes: Oud, Patchouli, Amber

Looking at the top notes, you’d imagine that Blue Sapphire opens with a balance of herbal, citrus, and floral notes, with a hint of its darker base peering through. I imagine that some noses will experience just that as they smell Blue Sapphire. It’s gathered quite a lot of hype over time. As Blue Sapphire holds on to the brighter aspects of its opening well into its wear, a wearer who likes its opening will likely find the scent’s performance impressive. It’s also undeniable that the bottle is gorgeous, which is to be expected given the perfume’s monumental price tag – one 100mL bottle costs close to a thousand dollars.

However, the story that Blue Sapphire tells is not one my nose wants to hear. If the opening paragraph of this review didn’t make it obvious, Blue Sapphire presents its smoky aspects directly alongside its floral-herbal opening. This might be alright if not for the department-store sheen delivered by the citrus note. The end product recalls nothing short of the perfumey-skank accord of middle school horror.  Or, as Kori puts it, “like someone smoking outside of a JC Penney.” One unmistakable aspect of the perfume is the collision of a super-familiar woody-amber accord that’s indistinguishable from your average designer perfume and a sharp floral-oud that scrapes ruthlessly against it.

I imagine this sort of disgusting discord is what some wearers experience when they put on Interlude Man or Hyrax, both favorites of mine. If I can make a single distinction between those fragrances and Blue Sapphire, it’s that Blue Sapphire bears an unmistakable air of department store familiarity – and this makes it feel simultaneously uninteresting and unpleasant. I love perfumes that challenge me and take me places. Wearing Blue Sapphire, I feel like I’m still sitting exactly where I am, except that something stinks – and someone else is, rather poorly, trying to cover it up.

You can pick up a sample for $11 here.

The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated. 

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