Donna Karan, Woman

I don’t usually think of vetiver as adding “greenness;” its grassy heritage tends to impose more of a texture than an actual smell: in Woman, that texture is extraordinarily refined–the sandpaper grit that always catches my attention has been worn smooth to the point that it’s just a haunting: ghostly traces outlined in smooth, smooth green.

It’s this aspect of Woman that appeals to me. It’s not dramatic. It might not revolutionize the industry. But it does what a perfume ought to, and that, in this case, is two-fold: smell good, and tell a story. It’s a brief story, more of an axiom, really, but sometimes that’s enough. It’s been enough for me, and I’ve worn Woman a lot. It says, “I’m a grown woman, and I like perfume. I don’t smell like your mother or grandmother, but mine is a smell you will remember.”

Woman smells nothing like my great love, Amouage Memoir, but it has a similar bone structure–I think of Memoir when I wear Woman, and it might just be that they’re both slightly unusual, though I suppose that Woman is generally more approachable; it is a mass-market release, after all. If Memoir is my “Queen of the World” scent, then Woman is my “Let’s Get Things Done” perfume.

A special thanks to Ashley over at Austin Neiman Marcus, a SA worth visiting!
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13 thoughts on “Donna Karan, Woman

  1. Love the picture you chose to go with this one.

    I agree about vetiver not being “green.” It’s hard for me personally to wear vetiver… it smells so manly. I like it on my man. I thought Donna Karan Woman was super-super-classy and well-constructed, but not “me” at all.

    Of course that new Turtle Vetiver Back just came out and for some reason I’m contemplating a blind buy… stupid.

    1. Anna Wintour is my hero! She’s a lady who gets stuff done, so she seemed like a good fit for Woman 🙂

      Vetiver is so manly! I tend to lean masculine in my tastes, though, so I completely see why it wouldn’t exactly be your cuppa… Turtle Vetiver sounds good, but don’t blind buy! 😉

  2. I have only tried one Donna Karan and that was Gold which I love. Now this one sounds really nice. And I like the idea of a perfume to wear to get things done! Brilliant.

    1. Gold is SO good. A favorite of mine. I really like what the people behind Donna Karen have been doing 🙂

      Woman, despite the name, could probably go either way, so I do hope you’ll try it out!

  3. Maybe I didn’t give this one enough of a chance. When I first sampled it, it didn’t stand out in any way,leaving me shrugging my shoulders and wondering why anyone released it. But I wasn’t looking for subtleties, I’ll have to try this again.

    1. Sassa, it really grew on me. When I had my first sample, I thought the same thing. By the time I’d been through a few samples, I realized something was happening… Lol! I bought that huge bottle, and I don’t expect it to last the year (so weird when you have a sizable collection!), so I started to think about why I was wearing it so much… And here we are 🙂

  4. When I tried it (not on skin) I remember thinking: good mainstream perfume but not distinctive enough to justify joining my collection.

    I’m glad you like it though: it’s a nice perfume to like and not overly expensive. One can’t always wear Memoir, right? (thanks to you, I love Memoir now even though it wasn’t an immediate love for me)

    1. Undina, I shared your thoughts the first few times I tried Woman–both on paper then on skin. But I kept returning to it, and couldn’t completely understand why. It shouldn’t, by any means, be able to seduce me into almost signature status (just the sheer volume of it I’ve been through in a short time means I’m wearing it almost like a signature!)… and yet. The evidence speaks for itself, haha!

      It thrills me more than a little that you’ve been won over to the Memoir side… ❤

  5. I’m part of the crowd that has respect for vetiver instead of love, at least for myself; it’s my favorite note on The Engineer, though. Vetiver so easily takes over everything else, I’m intrigued to learn that it can be a bit more subdued. And considering that Black Cashmere is firmly in my top three, I really should give this a try.

    1. Oh! I’ll make myself a note to send you some! It’s very well balanced here, and, worst case scenario, you can pass it along to the Engineer, and he’ll never know it was meant for you… lol!

      My mother wore vetiver when I was growing up, so my association with it is feminine–I wonder how much those memories effect my perception of the note now?

      1. Just got the chance to try it at Sephora, Dee. It was more of a like than a love for me, but I’m really impressed DK is doing something mainstream that doesn’t smell mainstream.

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