Baby Doll has a bad reputation. She’s sweet, sickly, cloying and immature, a ‘tween’ phenomena well before celebrities tried to take over the fragrance market. Baby Doll falls into the fruity-floral category, hence the bad reputation. This genre of fragrance instills fear into the hearts of many perfume aficionados as it conjures the feeling being drowned in fairy floss sweetness and suffocated by lolly scents posing unconvincingly as varieties of fruit. Unfortunately; this is sometimes an accurate description of a typical fruity-floral fragrance.
Whilst doing a little reading before I settled down to write this post I came across the reviews of Babydoll on Basenotes.net, one in particular made me laugh. After comparing Babydoll to toilet water the reviewer then went on to say ‘Shame on anyone over 12 wearing this.’ Many other reviews, even those with a more positive slant, deem this fragrance young and sweet – certainly not to be worn by anyone who aims to have a sense of taste and sophistication. Tania Sanchez of The Perfume Guide also brushes Baby Doll to the side with a poor two-star rating.
But you know what? I like Baby Doll and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Baby Doll originated as a flanker to YSL’s more widely-loved Paris fragrance, as they both share a prominent rose note over a powdery, vanilla base. Baby Doll’s opening is tart and fruity, I get a shock of pink grapefruit initially with a slight orange and pineapple scent behind it. It smells like a delicious fruit cocktail, the type that takes you by surprise with how sharp it is. However, this sharpness fades quickly and the rose bursts through.
Baby Doll is a lot more floral than I anticipated when I first purchased it back in June this year (just as my perfume obsession was kicking off). The rose is beautiful and sweet, not sour as some roses can be. The peach note comes through early, keeping the rose light. In the dry-down there is a powdered softness over sheer vanilla. Overall it’s fresh and uplifting, not the cloying, candy mess that many believe it to be, at least it isn’t on my skin.
I think it’s one of those perfumes that mature perfume enthusiasts love to hate – it’s the dreaded ‘pink juice’ as I’ve seen these fragrances called before. Plus it’s wrapped up in a faceted pink bottle that looks like it was made for young girl’s dresser. Inside, however, I think it’s a totally different story. Baby Doll is simply misunderstood. I find that Baby Doll works best in warm but not hot weather, hot weather can make the rose sour a little on the skin and in the cold months it just doesn’t shine – but on those days where it’s too warm for your favourite oriental Baby Doll is a pleasant surprise.
Top notes – Grapefruit, Orange, Redcurrant, Rhubarb and Pineapple
Mid – Rose, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Heliotrope
Lower – Peach, Grenadine, Cedarwood, Tonka, Vanilla