My mother is a wonderful woman.

     As awesome as my mother is at everything she does, there’s one thing I’m better than her at: cosmetics. When she approached me about teaching her to wear makeup last summer, she initiated a bond that we continue to carry. She has a skincare/fragrance/makeup problem, and I have the solution. It’s a wonderful way to spend time together, and to get to know each other better.

     One thing I’ve learned about her through this is that we have extremely similar tastes when it comes to fragrance. What I love, she loves, and what I hate, she hates. We have a few ‘likes’ that we disagree about, but in terms of the extremes, we’re right there on the same side.

     You’d think this would make shopping for perfume together easier, but you’d think wrong. Place my beloved mother in a Sephora and she loses her bearings; “What about this one?” she asks, picking up a bottle. “Mom,” I sigh. “We just smelled it, and you said you hated it.” “Oh.”

     Her signature scent for the past five years or so has been DKNY’s Be Delicious, a pleasant composition that she’s completed five bottles of. When she finished her latest bottle, she asked me where to buy the next one. I asked her, another one? Isn’t it time for a change?

     The change came in the form of Escada’s limited edition 2014 fragrance, Born In Paradise. I was never one to bother with Escada’s fragrances, so when I saw an inconspicuous display at my local drugstore, I almost passed it over. But then, I didn’t; I smelled it, I loved it, I told mom about it. She smelled it, she loved it, and it was decided: for the first time in too long, she’d buy a different perfume. Hallelujah!

     We patiently waited a week for Sephora’s 15% sale, and were disappointed to find that the Canadian stores do not carry the 100mL bottles, just 50 and under. We settled for the 50mL, promising ourselves we’d find her another 50mL of something or other to make up for it (right now Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Girl Brights is a prime target). So this week, my friends, let me review for you the latest and greatest in terms of Escada – this is their 50mL Born In Paradise, which retails for $62.

Escada Born In Paradise box & bottle

Escada Born In Paradise box & bottle

     The box for Born In Paradise is made of medium-thin cardboard, with a wrap-around tropical motif of plants, exotic birds, fruits, the ocean, and a red-head lady holding an umbrella that seems almost oriental to me. The bottle is the same shape as all recent Escada’s, made of heavy glass that gradients from blue to clear at the bottom. The chrome cap is hot pink on the inside, with what I’m assuming is Escada’s logo on top. The stubby atomizer has good distribution. It is noteworthy that the ‘ring’ accessory that comes with the bottle is not made for the bottle, but seemingly, for wearing. It is near impossible to put it back onto the bottle after it is removed, which is slightly annoying because it enhances the presentation so much. Overall, a cute bottle, if nothing terribly remarkable.

     Born In Paradise was released in 2014, and the perfumer is specifically unlisted. You can, however, take your pick from the long list of noses that have worked with them in the past: Creations Aromatiques, Pierre Bourdon, Ilias Ermenidis, Dominique Ropion, Francoise Caron, Annick Menardo, Steve Demercado, Michel Almairac, Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, Laurent Bruyere, Richard Ibanez, Philippe Romano, Sophie Labbe, Francis Kurkdjian, Dorothee Piot, Jean-Louis Grauby and Bertrand Duchaufour. Be honest, how many of those do you actually know (I can honestly say one)?

     Scent wise, the short description should be ‘a summer fragrance for winter’, and here’s why. Wintery fragrances have a depth to them, a heaviness that gives them presence and body. Prime examples of such perfumes are Thierry Mugler’s Pure Havane and Terrasse à St-Germain by Jul et Mad Paris. The thing about Born In Paradise, which should (in theory) have nothing to do with winter, is that it is too heavy to be summery, too dense to be enjoyed past the spring or before the fall.

     That’s not to say it’s a bad perfume – on the contrary, I never would have recommended it to my mother if it was. Born In Paradise is a fabulous tropical fragrance, a creamy blend of chocolatey coconut, sweet pineapple, and juicy guava. The drydown is a woodsy sandalwood, a puzzling conclusion that stumps me but not enough to dislike it. Excellent for day-time wear in the colder months, maybe even as a nighttime fragrance for a young woman.

     Longevity is normal to poor, I get about four to five hours on the skin. The top notes do linger quite long, about an hour and a half, which is nice. Projection wise, I wasn’t sweeping anybody off their feet while wearing this, so nothing to comment about.

     Verdict: I’m overjoyed at having easy sniffing access without actually owning a bottle, and that my mom is opening up to new olfactory experiences. How about you?

~ ~ ~

You can check out Escada at or follow them on Twitter at


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