Close your eyes, let’s go back in time for a moment. The year is 2001 and you just spritized Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Eau de Toilette on your pulse points. The lemon, apple, and cedar notes fill your soul with the spirit of a Sicilian summer. You are cheery. You are energized. You feel alive. Those are the exact emotions master perfumer Olivier Cresp conceptualized when he developed the jasmine and white rose-based fragrance more than 20 years ago. The idea was to capture the essence of a South Italian summer with a campaign that showcased the playful passion of the iconic Light Blue couple, David Gandy and Bianca Balti. He nailed it.
Now, almost 22 years later, Cresp has launched Light Blue Italian Love Pour Femme, the 11th iteration of Light Blue. The latest fragrance has notes of calabrian lemon and crisp Granny Smith apple, which are softened by jasmine and pure white rose. You’ll also find base notes of cedarwood, amber, musk and a creamy sandalwood that smells like facets of coconut.
“When I'm creating fragrances like Italian Love, I don't create it [for a specific person],” Cresp tells me. “It's for anybody, anytime. It's for the lovers of nice fragrances.”
The new iteration is a welcomed twist on an old favorite—and there's still something wildly familiar about the fragrance that speaks to our younger selves who fell in love with the original Light Blue. The familiarity can be found in citrus. Cresp was also inspired by the lemon fields that grow near the Italian seas; he wanted something “fresh, juicy and inviting.”
At first spritz, Italian Love instantly conjured feelings of summer evenings of my childhood. The lemon notes made me feel like a carefree teenager relaxing by the sea with nothing but energy and time to devour my grandmother’s lemon pound cake. But when the basenotes of cedarwood and sandalwood set in, they ushered in a hint of sexuality to my nostalgic moment. All at once, I felt confident, strong, and passionate.
“Citrus reminds us of happy, summer days for a variety of reasons—slices of lemon in tall iced drinks, orange ice lollies, and citrus sorbets are all part of that nostalgia,” says Nick Gilbert, perfume expert and Creative Director at fragrance consultancy Olfiction. “Cedarwood and cedar-like materials often provide a sensation that is similar to warm skin. Combining them with citrus notes can give a summery, beach impression.”
As I plan to wear Italian Love for the remainder of the season, I’m looking forward to escaping present moments while leaving a trail of enticing citrus and white musks in the wind. And, as Cresp so eloquently put it, allow it to please me and bring me joy. Once again, he nailed it.
Shop Dolce & Gabbana's Italian Love
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Deena Campbell is the Beauty Director of Marie Claire where she oversees beauty and health content on all platforms. Deena joined Marie Claire after a decade-long career as an editor in print and digital media. Before joining the brand, she managed editorial content for L’Oréal owned Makeup.com and Skincare.com. In 2015, she launched Essence.com’s hair channel where she received Time Inc.'s Henry R. Luce Award, shortly before joining Allure.com’s staff as Senior Beauty Editor. Along with her editorial positions, she also consulted on content and marketing strategies for beauty companies including DevaCurl and Dove, and has appeared at various speaking events and live television segments.
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