Briefly: Victoria Beckham perfumes

Cinnamon covered these pretty extensively a couple of weeks ago, but since I am nothing if not a follower I had to pop for the sample set and put in my two cents.

First off, I get the idea of Luxe packaging, but frankly I would have been just as happy if they saved the hemp pouch and extraneous stuff and just sent me the samples for 1/2 the price. You can save the showmanship for the actual product.

I can’t really say that I am a huge fan of VB in any of her incarnations. Not that I have any negative connotations to her- my godchild was pretty gaga over the Spice Girls when she was five and that was fine: I found their stuff infectious in a good way, with a positive message about girl power so I could sit through a car trip from Beverly Hills to the Getty and back with a gaggle of her pals singing along and not want to kill myself.

Brentwood Getty. Getty Villa in Malibu might have been pushing it.

The later Victoria was the unsmiling fashion plate known as much for her outfits as her scowl. I am assuming that the unsmiling thing was a fashion choice and likely for the best: if she went around with the grin on her face that I would have waking up next to Becks and his Abs every day the haters would no doubt hate that much more.

Well, on to the scents (stealing from Cinnamon here for the descriptions, which are in quotes.)

Portofino ’97: “Calabrian bergamot, black pepper, crisp white sheets suffused with incense and amber, patchouli and vetiver lingering on the skin of a significant other.” I only get the briefest of the caramel opening that Cinnamon mentions (and that is quite wonderful) before BergamotZilla stomps in and starts knocking down buildings with it’s tail. Satisfied with laying waste to the coast it curls up on those crisp white sheets for a nap, doubtless dreaming of kicking Mothra’s a$$. I like citrus, but not this.

Suite 302: “Black cherry, red peppercorn, rose centifolia, violet, musk, papyrus, black leather and tobacco leaf.” Unlike Cinnamon I get almost zero cherry out of this, except mixed with the tobacco. As a matter of fact it’s practically a sense memory of a pipe tobacco my Dad favored, which may have been cherry flavored. Looking it up I think it was called Borkum Riff. It does get leathery which is a good thing. It doesn’t really do enough for me that I need it though, I can always add some of my default go-to Cherry (SL Rahat) to some Knize Ten. Which I may just go and do right now..

San Ysidro Drive: “Passion fruit, pink peony, ocean air, rose, saffron flower, agarwood, black amber, vanilla and possibly incense” It’s fruity, it’s ozonic, it’s sweet, and I should loathe it with the white-hot intesity of a thousand suns. Oddly, I don’t. I don’t know what it is in there, but there’s something that makes this a little skewed, a little odd. When I first heard the name of the scent I thought it was weird: San Ysidro Drive is a sort of back road that runs from Benedict Canyon up through the BHPO area (served by the BH Post Office, but part of the city of Los Angeles) and is lined with very nice, but hardly palatial houses (think the house the mistress lives in in “Shampoo”) up to the back entrance into Beverly Park, a clutch of mega-mansions in a guard-gated valley south of Mulholland where Shaq, Sylvester Stallone, and until recently the Beckhams hung some of their many hats. San Ysidro Drive is well named- seemingly conventional, but with secret passages that you’d have to be clued in to find. Probably my favorite.

Now, none of these are necessary to my continued existence in the way that perfumes used to grab me (and still sometimes do.) The price points ($200 for 50ML, $290 for 100) is sort of in the middle (and isn’t that sad) of the pack for designer fragrances. I get the impression that Ms. Beckham wasn’t just sitting in Portofino or Mayfair or Bel Air enjoying an Ozempic and steam smoothie while someone toiled at these- they clearly have her point of view.

It just isn’t perhaps mine.

These are available at her website, including the discovery set of all three scents in luxe packaging for $30, which is where I purchased mine. Photos are mine and the interwebs.



  • Dina C. says:

    I’m smiling and still chuckling as I type. While I have no interest in wearing any of these, I loved reading your reviews Tom. Bergamotzilla! Bwahaha! Oh, BTW, for any makeup peeps who are curious, I bought the VB eyeliner kajal pencil in Surfside. It’s very soft and smudges out beautifully if that’s what you like with a blending tip on the opposite end. Has it’s own sharpener which works really well. Got it on Black Friday when there was a code. Otherwise it’s a bit spendy. And it also came with that hemp bag like your perfume samples. (Just give me a bigger discount!)

    • Tom says:

      I’ve heard that about the makeup as well. I think VB was a hands-on collaborator for products bearing her name. They way it should be but often isn’t.

      • alityke says:

        VB poached the person who did the range she art directed for Estée Lauder.
        I’ve had a few of her products since she launched. Not had a duff product yet. It is all very “real world” make up rather than editorial. I’m guessing MUA’s could go to town with it but it’s the ultimate real woman smokey eye/ nude lip make up

  • alityke says:

    I still haven’t tried mine. Been too busy ordering Xmas presents & actually in supermarkets!!!! buying enough food for TWO Xmas’s!
    Post Xmas I may need those smoothies. Not that diabetics can actually get Ozempic cos of all those fatties buying it for its side effects

    • Tom says:

      They’re actually marketing it to porkers here. Of course by “porkers” I mean thin people who want to be two-dimensional.

      • alityke says:

        Same porkers who want a big booty, pneumatic boobies & a trout pout but nothing else?
        I wonder what future archeologists will make of brittle bones & random sacks of silicone, fillers, fur lashes & tiny titanium dumb bells?

        • Tom says:

          Yeah, kind of. There’s still the old-school “social x-ray” type as well and I think the Brazilian Butt Lift craze is dying down (too many disasters?) but yeah, I do wonder that future people will think. We get all judgy over African tribes that put plaes in their lips and some people in LA are 1/2 plastic.

  • cinnamon says:

    hmmm, I don’t think I got one of those little bags, but who remembers such things. I gifted away my VB samples. Next time I’m in London will have another go with Suite 302 (which seems to get quite varied responses).

    oh, Tom. Between you and Robert Crais, I so want to visit LA. It just sounds magical.

  • Portia says:

    GAH! I want to try these so much.
    Temptress Tom!
    Portia xx

  • March says:

    Haha! You’ve taken the edge off my desire for these, although I’ll probably still try them (just hadn’t gotten around to ponying up $30? for the samples.)

    • Tom says:

      They aren’t bad at all. Not as interesting as SJP or the Madonna one that Portia likes but not just some tossed-off thing. Interesting enough that I’d love to get a gander at Ms. Beckham’s scent collection..

  • MzCrz says:

    Tom, I lurk way more than I comment; tonight I had to stick an arm and hand out from the cloak of invisibility. You could write about someone’s pocket lint and make it witty as all get out. This was beyond the pale good. I lived in L.A. from 1978 to 1991 and you nailed it deftly with…’Ozempic and steam smoothie…’

  • Musette says:

    Tom – I could BEAT you! I was happily reading this… sipping tea…

    … and then I got to ‘Ozempic and steam smoothie’

    … sigh (as I run to get a dishcloth)