Last year Bath & Body Works released a flanker to their signature Forever Red fragrance in time for the holidays, calling it Forever Red Vanilla Rum.

     The collection didn’t sell very well, if the amount of leftover stocks in the following months were to be believed (although if somebody’s got numbers saying otherwise, please correct me).

     I never bothered to try it, thinking that at $45 it was way overpriced, no matter how good it was.

     And yet, when I saw the little preview-size bottles on sale one day about six months later, I couldn’t help myself – I needed to at least try it.

     This is my review for Forever Red Vanilla Rum by Bath & Body Works, which retails for about $10, or $2.50 on sale.

Bath & Body Works Forever Red Vanilla Rum

Bath & Body Works Forever Red Vanilla Rum

     I’m a fan of this size of B&BW perfumes. At 7 mL it’s small enough to carry and store, while giving you enough juice for many uses (by comparison, it’s the same volume as Jul et Mad Paris’ nomad sprays). The body is made of dark burgundy glass that is shimmery in the light, with a black plastic cap, and a colour scheme of the printed name on the front that contributes to an underwhelming, unremarkable and discreet presentation.

     Forever Red Vanilla Rum was released in 2013, and the perfumers behind it are unknown.

     Forever Red Vanilla Rum opens with a sort of gentle, sweet jasmine that’s become increasingly rare in modern feminines. It’s got a really good base of vanilla that plays off the jasmine in a sort of almost marshmallow-y way. Strangely enough, the scent evolves into a kind of sour, salty citrus that you typically find in a masculine’s opening. It’s not terribly noticeable, maybe like standing next to someone who is eating calamondins. It slightly reminds me of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb in the creamy texture it has. Something about it also gives the impression of a mature perfume from a distance, almost like it’s reeling you in and daring you to smell the inner workings, which are not mature at all. Also, despite the name, Forever Red Vanilla Rum doesn’t come off as boozy at all. What it is, though, is bubble gum scented in the dry-down. Odd.

     The projection is really weak, especially for what Bath & Body Works says is “a higher concentration of fragrance oils” in their EDP. The top moves to the heart in less than five minutes, and the base notes come out to play pretty instantaneously.

     Let’s think what this scent – which I like, overall – would work for: perhaps a holiday get-together at night, or maybe a wintery date. Could work well for a young teenage girl and up to a woman in her early twenties. What it’s not for is the sophisticated, older woman who the bottle and price seem to be adapted to.

     Verdict: Forever Red Vanilla Rum is an excellent scent, one of the better balanced fragrances from B&BW in terms of notes. I still don’t think it’s worth the hefty price-tag, but I hope that at some point B&BW reintroduces it so you can give it a try.

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