I'm surprised there are no aldehydes listed for this fragrance here, because they nearly throw me off my feet. (Fragrantica gives Dolce & Gabbana as an "aldehyde-floral fragrance" and I can only confirm this.)
I also detect strong hesperidic notes that give this scent a top note as penetratingly fresh and clean as a urinal cake. Tangerine in the artificial Tri-Top version liberally seasoned with lime juice from the green lime-shaped plastic bottle and mixed with said aldehydes: I found this rather off-putting.
After that the florid notes speak up, pulling this concoction away from urinal cake to a human-appropriate clean soapiness. Jasmin, rose, honeysuckle - I buy this. Also spiky-sweet citrus blossoms and a sultry subliminality as of - well, I don't know. One of those flowers you need to put out of the room after a couple of hours because they give you a headache. Hyacinths, lilies, something of the kind.
The top note is so obviously not for me that this fragrance never would have made it onto my skin had I not bought it blind. But I did, D&G being a renowned brand and the velvety red box being so seductive, plus interesting comments on various perfume sites and the irresistible "when it's gone it's gone" offer. And now I possessed this juice I had to test it properly.
"Properly" definitely means sparingly with Dolce & Gabbana! Aim for a gentle mist sprayed from a certain distance so it can fan out finely before it settles on the skin, that's how it should be done. Beware of applying a wet, concentrated splash! That's how to get people to backing off...
As I said, it pays to sit out the top note, because Dolce & Gabbana develops nicely. The cleanliness stays but not the urinal cakeyness, thank God. The scent grows softer, more feminine and exudes a very present self-confidence probably owed to the aldehydes. It doesn't feel like a very young fragrance, as there is nothing playfully romantic in it, this is a grown-up, elegant ladies' fragrance you have to be equal to.
And I think it doesn't really smell like a 90s fragrance but a good ten, twenty, thirty years older which I put down to the aldehydes as well, having had their heyday not in the nineties but a number of decades earlier.
The base note is classic and unsweet, delicately flowery, soft and clean, at least from close up when I put my nose close to my skin. What wafts to my nose from further away now and then is different, irritatingly aldehydic and reminding me of a much older scent my mother used to have as a mini in her dresser. "Madame Rochas" I think it was, the 1960 vintage version obviously. Another of these elegant little aldehyde bombs.
Skin chemistry seems to play an especially big part in this fragrance, and the hormonal cycle seems to have an impact as well. On some days this scent becomes right horrible (not necessarily the certain ones), on others it becomes an elegant and radiant beauty.
If all goes well, Dolce & Gabbana's top and basis note develop a soft and classical femininity which even remind me quite a bit of Chanel No. 5. And, as I mentioned before, of the vintage Madame Rochas.
If you like those you really should try Dolce & Gabbana as well if you get the chance.
For me it's a tad too retro, I'm afraid...
Or is it?