Donna Karan Monday: Rediscovering Chaos, Black Cashmere, Signature

We have been having the oddest, most out-of-character summer here that I can ever remember. I think the highest temp we’ve reached so far has been 92 or so, which is quite unusual. And rain -– well, let’s just say our previous drought condition of many years has been quite handily washed away with near daily rains. A recent cool, overcast day called for long sleeves, so in looking for a suitable scent, I stumbled upon my little stash of Donna Karan treasures.

Ah, but which one to choose? Decisions, decisions. Oh, heck, I thought, just wear them all. Chaos on one wrist, Black Donna Karan 2Cashmere on the other, and a dab o’ Donna Karan Signature near the inside of my elbow. (Anyone remember that one with its unusual Robo-Duck bottle, shown above right?) Each of these is terrific on its own, but all three together? Well, let me tell you, for a few hours I was sitting pretty, enveloped in a wonderful aura that was both coolly serene and incense warm, enhanced by a creamy, woody whisper of suede. Normally, I would not have worn all of them together, but it turned out to be a lovely mix — what a nice way to chase away the rain!

I also have tried Wenge, which is great, but also want to try Donna Karan’s iris, labdanum and jasmine scents. I feel certain that I would like them or at least appreciate them. Now Cashmere Mist and its siblings and more mainstream brethren Donna Karan 3(DKNY Be Delicious, etc.) are fine, but don’t inspire as much fondness from me, but that’s OK, as many people enjoy them.

I’m just happy that most of these are still available, even if they might have changed a bit over the years, and have lost their unique signature bottles in favor of the tall, black, minimalist beauties of today. I still regret not buying that jagged, glass/crystal bottle that Chaos came in, back in the day when it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

So, please share: What are your favorite Donna Karan scents?

  • Gina Thompson says:

    Black Cashmere was the fragrance that led me down the rabbit hole about 10 years ago. I had never smelled anything like it. I guess I didn’t even know perfume could be like that. I still love it.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Gina! What a wonderful fragrance to be your introduction to our happy rabbit hole. It really is so lovely — can’t wait for cooler temps to glory in it.

  • Lizzy says:

    Oh, Black Cashmere has a special place in my heart–I’ll never forget that odd little egg-shaped black bottle, one of my first purchases as an “adult” on my first solo trip to the fragrance counter at Macy’s. I felt so sophisticated, confident, and comforted all at once when wearing it!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Lizzy! That was (is) such a great bottle, very sophisticated, and it matched the juice inside. I know you smelled so chic!

  • Rina says:

    I used to wear Signature eons ago and still have a vintage Robo-Duck bottle. Will have to revisit it. While I was looking for it, I found FBs of Gold, Black Cashmere and DK Woman (which I don’t care for). Also have a generous sample of Mandarin Neroli I got from the boutique that I need to sniff…Funny the collections that spontaneously appear when you aren’t paying attention!

    • Ann says:

      Wow, Rina — you hit the DK motherlode! Lucky girl! I wish I had collections like that that would spontaneously appear. Do try the Mandarin Neroli and let us know what you think of it.

  • ojaddicte says:

    Gold edp is a favourite. Such a shame it was discontinued.

    • Ann says:

      So true! Why couldn’t they have kept that gem and held off on some of the other, less memorable scents? One bright spot, though: It does seem to be fairly available at the discounters.

  • Tiara says:

    Signature, Chaos and Gold are my top 3 but BC is a beauty as well. I was so relieved to find Chaos was still quite wearable. There was a long period between smelling the original and the reformulated plus I never had them side-by-side. Since the new was so awesome, no crying here and no going back just to see!

    With such a strange summer, I keep wondering what’s in store for us come fall and winter.

    • Ann says:

      Tiara, so happy that you’re a fan of all of these. I think you might be right; perhaps it might be better not to sniff them side-by-side. Just try the newer version and if you like it, then it’s all good. And I do, so I’m happy as a clam. Re: our weather, I agree, it does make me think “what’s next?” Snow in September? Ha!

  • Bee says:

    Oh and I must say Stecca by Hilde Soliani is all about tomato leaf – it smells like your in greenhouse full of earthy ripening tomatoes!

    • Ann says:

      I’m not familiar with that one so will have to check it out. Hilde Soliani doesn’t seem to be an easy line for me to find, alas.

  • Bee says:

    Hi I love Wenge and often wear it with BC for added incense warmth in the winter – always makes me feel better.

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, Bee, that sounds wonderful! When the temps dip here, I will try those two together — thanks!

  • rosarita says:

    Hi, Ann! Sounds like you smell mahhvelous, I’m a big fan of all of those! Black Cashmere is my favorite and the only perfume that I’ve ever purchased a back up bottle of. Then I found myself not wearing it, to “save” it…..then I realized how dumb that is, and now I’m into the second bottle. I also love Gold edp and am very fond of DKNY for Women, the tomato leaf one – it’s great in the heat. Please let me know if you’d like some to smell. I’ve used up decants of Donna’s Lavender, Labdanum, Jasmine and Wenge and while I liked them all very much I’m not tempted to acquire more. I had a bottle of Cashmere Mist but swapped it, and sometimes I wish I still had it….it’s a pretty jasmine and fills that need for an innocuous and inoffensive perfume, definitely better than all those fruity musky clean scents out there, but I don’t know, it just wasn’t “special” enough. I’d like to smell CM in edp form, I’ve read that it has a woodsier base, but I’ve only seen the edt for sale.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, sweetie! I do that, too (“saving” fragrance), and I’m glad you’re using yours. I’m trying to be better about that myself. I would like to try that tomato leaf DKNY, as a commenter above mentioned it also. As far as the other, I’ve only seen the EDT,l but if I ever spot the EDP I’ll try to snag a bit for you to try. Thanks!

  • AnneD says:

    Signature was a gift from a friend the year it was introduced. It became my “signature”. Does anyone know it if has been reformulated? I would like to get another bottle.

    • Ann says:

      Not sure, but I do know that the older bottles are the Robo Duck ones and the newer ones are those tall, round black columns. Maybe sample first before you buy?

  • MrsLetterO says:

    Keep looking for Iris… it’s lovely. I was lucky enough to get a new bottle off ebay last year. It manages to be creamy and dark at the same time. The magnolia really warms the iris, which can be rather austere. I should really try Chaos and Cashmere.. ahh…too many fragrances…

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, that sounds lovely. i definitely will have to get my paws on some. Cashmere is pretty easy to find but I think only Bergdorf’s has the FBs of Chaos, but there are always samples/decants at Surrender to Chance, etc.

  • Musette says:

    I tripped over a vial of DK Iris awhile back (don’t ask me where it came from – I dunno) and I found it to be quite lovely!


    ps. with you on the weird weather. Whoever heard of a sweater in August?

    • Ann says:

      Amen, sister! Mother Nature definitely is a little mixed up (not that I’m complaining too much, mind you). If you liked the Iris, then I’ll have to try it too.

  • elvie says:

    Hey Ann dear,

    What a lovely trio, I just can imagine what an aura You must be radiating:) I ADORE Black Cashmere, I just fell out of love with it for a couple of years. just got a vial of the new one, and had to order a sniffer of the old to compare- just to remember what had been lost. I’m on the verge of buying a new bottle for fall. (Back in the day I swapped my pebble bottle away, shame on me. ) But I just have to know if I”ll have to splurge on the old or can be satisfied with the more easily available new one now. I love it now, but who knows what happens when I sniff the old again…?
    I love Gold as well, it’s such a comfort for me at nighttime:). It’s my Mom’s sig atm, so I only wear it for myself at home.
    I am really dying for a sniff of Chaos. About time, isn’t it?…:)
    I never really liked those DK citruses and apple-cucumber-melon whatever concoctions, the all turned sour ony my silly skin.:(

    GO BC! I’m glad its back, whatever happens:).

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Elvie! Very glad you stopped by and that you’re a BC fan, too. Do try them side-by-side and see. I’m only going on memory here, but think they did a pretty good job with reformulation — the new one hardly smells different to me at all, but I’m no expert. And definitely give the Chaos a go. Let us know what you think. Sending hugs right back to you!

  • Lotta says:

    Have signature and Bc, love them both but would I have to choose.. Black Cashmere !
    Really want a sniff off Chaos too 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Yay, Lotta! So happy to see another fan. These are all such great scents, and to think they came from a mainstream designer. Wish there were more like her.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    I love Gold EdT. I know, extremely drugstore white floral but I find it sings on my skin. The EdP wears closer and lasts less time, isn’t that interesting?
    OPortia xx

    • Ann says:

      Oh, Portia, how could I have forgotten to mention the beauty that is Gold? (Mentally smacking my head several times.) Please don’t pull my perfumista card. 😉 Glad you love the EDT; I know it must smell divine on you.

      • masha7 says:

        I love Gold, too, and have a stockpile of the EdP and EdT! I don’t think it’s drugstore at all- if it came out today under a chic new niche brand label, the blogs would light up and it would be a new lemming. It’s a lovely, rich lily-amber. And the EdP bottle, one of the best out there.

        • Ann says:

          Hi, Masha! I had a bit of this running around here somewhere so need to re-try it. I know I really liked it back in the day …

  • Yulina says:

    My favorite from DK is Swet Delicious Creamy Meirngue. The one in 50ml yellow round. The only DK I love, though. I have tried Cashmere Mist, Be Delicious, Golden Delicious, but they did not leave special impression on me. It is so disappointing that Sweet Delicious Creamy Meringue and the other 2 from the line are Limited Edition.

    • Ann says:

      Yulina, thanks for mentioning that one — I hadn’t heard of it, but glad you like it. Stock up on it while you can!

  • Suzanne says:

    Oh, Ann – that sounds utterly bewitching, all those dark DK scents on you at once! (And I say that only knowing the one, Black Cashmere, but naturally, I know the reputation of the other two. No rain is going to mess with you!) 😉

    Black Cashmere is my favorite DK scent. It’s sooo good. *shivers*

    • Ann says:

      Hello, sweetie! Thanks — it did smell pretty lovely, not at all like a hot mess as you might think. You have not tried Chaos and Signature? Well, we will have to remedy that, won’t we? 🙂

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Pre-reformulation Black Cashmere was one of the first serious perfumes I bought for myself and is still among my top 3. I have enough of it stockpiled that I may never need to try the reformulation. I have both original and reformulated Chaos, love them both, wear them both. I like a spray of Essense Wenge or Essence Labdanum on occasion, and love the Essence Jasmine. I have never liked anything else in the DK line: that appley base ruins most of them for me, and I find Cashmere Mist a little fuzzy and vague. But I must say that I would far rather have reformulated Chaos than none, and I’m glad that this one is back on the market.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady! So glad you love BC and Chaos as well, and agree that slightly reformulated is better than none at all. I’m no expert nose and can’t tell all that much difference anyway. I’m with you on the Cashmere Mist; your “fuzzy and vague” is spot-on, although it’s a nice-enough office fragrance.

  • Diana says:

    I liked the DKNY perfume in the tall bottle. It had tomato leaf in it and the scent was quite unique.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Diana. Not sure which one that might be — perhaps the clear, squarish bottle with DKNY on the cap? At any rate, would love to smell tomato leaf in a scent; sounds very interesting.