Hate How Much I Love You: Rihanna Rebelle review

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     Happy February, everyone! I hope you’re doing very well. I’ve been busy with lots of school assignments and PR events (are you following me on Instagram?), but today I have for you a good ol’ fragrance review. Today we’re all going to don our party hats and hop on a flight to Barbados, because it’s your girl Rihanna’s birthday! The singer is celebrating 29 years of age, so what better way to join in the festivities than with her own fragrance, Rebelle?

     Rebelle is RiRi’s second fragrance, released in 2012. Since then she’s gone on to lend her name to several newer perfumes, which generally end up in the clearance bin within a few years (such is the nature of these celebrity ‘fumes, regardless of their olfactory success). My 100 ml bottle came from FragranceNet.com, and retails for just $18.84* – not bad for something that used to cost upwards of $50. They also carry smaller sizes for less than $5, so it’s very affordable indeed.

     Of course, it doesn’t matter how much a fragrance costs if it’s not worth displaying in your collection. I think we can agree that this bottle is striking. It stands about 7.5 inches tall, easily the biggest flacon in my array. The bright red ribbons and the glittery gold accent on the cap make it look like an artifact from another era, full of glamour and elegance. I’m told that the sloping shape represents an upturned stiletto heel, but I find it resembles somewhat of a trumpet, or maybe a bludgeon.

     The main notes on Rebelle to my nose are cacao, coffee, and patchouli. It has a high alcohol content so you should give it some time before putting it to your nose, but when you do it is very surprising. Imagine velvety, warm showers of liquid milk chocolate cascading over toasted nuts, as cocoa powder floats down like snow onto fresh truffles; that’s the opening in a nutshell. But far from being sweet, the richness of the notes pairs with a sort of bitterness that I suspect originates from the patchouli. It has lots in common with Jo Malone’s famous Bitter Orange & Chocolate, minus the citrus of course. However, is it wears it becomes a very mellow amber and ginger that loosely resembles its decadent glory. I wish there was more to it, but that opening is truly remarkable.

     You might wonder what all this has to do with Rihanna as a performer, and the answer is that I don’t really know! She’s known for being high-fashion and risque, but this fragrance is safe and frankly, boring. I also don’t find this perfume lasts terribly well. Overall it really is a delicious gourmand for winter, but not an intimidating and overpowering one. I can see how they might have tried to go after Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb audience with this, so if you like the latter this is a decent alternative. What do you think of Rihanna’s fragrances? Are there any others that I should take a look at? Thank you to Cynira for organizing this review!

*Prices true at time of writing.

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