Call for help Monday: The original Kate Spade

kate spadeWe talked about scent substitutes a while back and I wish I had thought to include this one. A lovely friend of mine at work has a growing interest in perfume; she enjoys Fracas and Kai, among others, but feels the loss of her much-loved original Kate Spade, launched in 2003. According to Fragrantica, its notes are jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, honeysuckle, lily-of-the-valley and coconut.

It’s long been discontinued and bottles of it go for a king’s ransom on eBay. And until one of us wins the lottery, that’s not an option, alas. She did like Kate Spade’s Live Colorfully and Twirl (I think), but the original is still her top scent.

So I told her I would appeal to all you knowledgeable fragrance fiends out there for help. Have any of you who loved the original Kate Spade found something that might be a decent substitute? A scent that might help scratch the fragrant itch when she’s craving Ms. Spade’s debut perfume?

One perfume pal of mine suggested Estee Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, so I’ll dig up my sample of that for her to try. I only vaguely recall the original Kate Spade (and even the samples on eBay are pricey), but am thinking it was a bit softer and more subtle than the Tuberose Gardenia. But maybe the EL body lotion or cream might do the trick.

Anyway, I hope someone has some suggestions. Thanks!

  • Julie L says:

    I have a very special perfume that I would LOVE to find again, even going so far as to ask you a teeny little sort of “favor”….(blushing, here). I would absolutely LOVE to find a bottle of “Galanos”, by James Galanos….I wore that in the mid 80’s right along with Opium, Chanel #5, and a few assorted others, but this one was discontinued and I never bought it again once I ran out. 🙁 It IS available online but (as usual) I read that it’s been reformulated and not the same! A story, if you will?…I was young and in a small apartment eith my love who is still my love! One night, I was frantically trying to have our first dinner prepared and ready in my tiny little apartment, cleaning up and doing the dishes before he got home. He came in and as he wrapped his arms around me from behind at the sink, he said I had the most beautiful “woman smell” he had ever encountered….you guessed it! I was wearing Galanos! If you know how to contact the perfume house I would be EVER so grateful! Is this a rude question or OUT of the question? I have seen it on Ebay but really don’t want to deal with that whole charade and anxiety attack! Otherwise, I will just settle for buying the new version off of one of the online discounters. Thank you for listening to my story!

  • malsnano86 says:

    I got nothin’. I love me a mixed white floral, and someone sent me a sample of Kate Spade a couple of years ago, just in time for me to say OOOOOH this is really really really pretty, how much is it ACK. I have to say that although I own and have tried many many mixed white florals, I don’t have a good suggestion for something that’s comparable. I haven’t run across one that had such a graceful, gentle feel to it. Not Kai, not ELPC TG, definitely not Fracas or Carnal Flower, as wonderful as they all are. The Marc Jacobs might be closest, but to my nose it has a watery feel that wasn’t present in the Kate Spade, and it might depend on your friend’s tolerance for aquatic notes.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, Mals! Thanks for stopping by; your insights, as always, are spot-on. From my limited recall, there was a graceful, very pretty feel to the KS that’s not easily found elsewhere. We will try the Marc Jacobs and see how that goes.

  • Laurels says:

    The mention of honeysuckle made me think of Madonna Truth or Dare Naked, which reminds me of a lighter version of Givenchy Organza. It’s cheap at the discounters now, too. I never smelled the Kate Spade, though, so I can’t vouch for any similarity. It might be too sweet.

    • Ann says:

      Laurels, thanks for suggesting that. I never tried the TD Naked but liked the body products of the original TD quite well (it seemed like a slightly more wearable Fracas on my skin). I think we’ll give it a go!

  • Sapphire says:

    I remember the original Kate Spade. I never bought a FB, but did have a nice sample or two from Nordies. I think the closest thing I can think of is actually BBW Butterfly Flower. EL PCTG would be too heavy, as would Carnal Flower, Fracas, and anything else with a bunch of tuberose. Marc Jacobs might be pretty close. I haven’t smelled it in awhile.

    • Ann says:

      What great timing your comment is, Sapphire! I was planning to head into BBW later this week, so I will check out the Butterfly Flower then. You’re right — the tuberose heavy-hitters would be too much, but I agree; Marc Jacobs could be close. Thanks!

      • Sapphire says:

        I don’t think it is part of the regular line-up you will find in stores any more, unfortunately. They did feature it as one of the past favorites that they brought back to the store for their semi-annual big sale at the beginning of the month, so you may still find some in the store. It is definitely online. The top notes are black tea, tangerine, cyclamen, and banana leaf. Mid-notes are Maxillaria tenufolia orchid, syringa flower, and French mimosa. Base notes are coconut milk and musk.

  • imapirate007 says:

    I feel your pain. Kate Spade brings back wonderful memories. Memories of when I moved to Williamsburg after my divorce, and felt like I got my Mojo back! Yeah- lots of good times! The body butter was amazing, too. I think the closest you’ll get is Marc Jacobs. It’s close, but not as buttery. I agree with Heather about Olivine Amongst the Waves- it’s sweet. There’s parts of Keiko Mecheri Osmanthus that remind me of Kate’s sweetness. I just spritzed some Marc Jacobs to remind me of Kate Spade. Yeah- I feel it’s close.

    • Ann says:

      Yay — glad to see another diehard KS fan! I had forgotten about Marc Jacobs; that is such a lovely scent. I used to wear it a lot, and think I have a sample or two around here — thanks for the reminder!

  • Mary says:

    Hi, I’m lucky enough also to have found a bottle of this in Hawaii in 2008. Years prior, I was gifted the body cream for this lovely perfume and was so sad the day I finished it. I own EL and have just sprayed each one on each arm and I can tell you that although similar, Kate Spade Beauty is lovelier and more flowery–less bubble gum smelling if you will..sorry, I’m not great with descriptions. I had some family members test to see which one they liked better and they all said Kate Spade Beauty was much prettier. I’m new on here, but if you like I’d be happy to send you a sample of this. I enjoy reading here every day and its great to hear of some one enjoying the same perfumes I do!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, thank you, Mary — that is so nice of you!! Thanks for sharing your wrist-to-wrist comparison. I had a feeling the KS would be softer and slightly sweeter with the honeysuckle, etc. And we’re so happy you visit us here on the Posse every day 🙂

  • CbSutcliffe says:

    I’m lucky enough to still have some Kate Spade at home, but I really miss the body products. Lucky Scent sells Carolina by Mazzolari which a number of commenters there identified as being very similar. I’ve smelled both and agree. It is pricy but maybe not as bad as buying a used bottle of Kate Spade on eBay.

    • Ann says:

      That sounds great; thanks! And at LS it’s nice that you can sample it (sometimes I buy two samples and after trying one dabbed, pop it and the other full one into a sprayer for a test run). Plus you always wonder if the scent was stored properly when you buy it on eBay.

  • Brandi says:

    That is sad. It is hard to find a favorite perfume that you just love and maybe nothing will truly be able to replace it. Wow! maybe I am being a bit overly dramatic. 🙂 I do sympathize, however. Anyways, it sounds like your friend likes creamy smelling perfumes. I do as well. I have Carnal Flower, Fracas, Kai and Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. CF is expensive but lovely. ELPCTG is warm and plasticky like Fracas, but less bubblegum. Some folks like Diptyque Do Son as a comparable scent to CF. I would recommend for her to try Chantecaille Frangipane, which is mixed white flowers (mostly Tiare) with some lime and coconut, a sweeter perfume. Also, Tocca Florence is very reasonable and a pretty white floral with gardenia and tuberose. You can purchase travel sizes of Tocca. My only issue with that line has been with longevity, but a friend was wearing Florence the other day and it was very pretty on her. I have heard nice reviews on Michael Kors Michael. Lastly, I am very curious to sniff Yosh 1-.41 White Flowers. On Fragrantica it is described as a green woody white floral with lily of the valley and sweet pea. I cannot attest to the smell since I haven’t smelled it. Let me know if you test it. I hope she finds love again! 😉 Please update us.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks for all your suggestions, Brandi! I think she might have tried the Do Son but I can’t recall. I’m jotting down the Chantecaille, Tocca and others you mention as they sound like good candidates.

  • Heather F says:

    I sadly haven’t ever tried Kate Spade, but from that list of notes, L’Artisan’s La Chasse aux papillons (for the honeysuckle), or many of Olivine Atelier’s perfumes (most are tropical, some have jasmine too–I know they have sample sets available on etsy and beautyhabit) might fill the need. Good luck to your friend figuring out a replacement! 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, dear Heather! Good idea on the L’Artisan, that could be a winner; thanks! Must get to exploring the Olivine line; I did get a sample of the original gardenia-ish one with a Beautyhabit order and it was nice, but I need to try it sprayed as well.

  • Liz K says:

    I love the original Kate Spade and have a small bottle of the perfume left that I dole out slowly enough that it will probably turn before I finish it. I haven’t found anything similar and think the EL may be too much in comparison. KS is a creamy quiet honeysuckle the likes of which I haven’t found again. I will be interested to hear what others suggest.

    • Ann says:

      Lucky you, Liz! I wonder if keeping it in the fridge would help extend its life? I’m never sure if that works well or not. I think you’re right — the EL is a few shades too overpowering. Sure wish the powers that be at KS would read this and consider bringing it back. It would make so much sense, as it has a ready-made audience who loved it and would scoop it up in a heartbeat.

  • Dina C. says:

    Here’s another idea for your friend: I find that Acqua di Parma’s Iris Nobile edp is very lush and gardenia-like for an iris scent. And it doesn’t have any of the headache-inducing, throat-choking quality that some Big White Flowers induce in me. Years ago, I was gifted a slightly-used, HUGE bottle of Fracas, and I loved it. I wore it casually all the time until it was gone. This really floors me now, when I realize what a sensual, heady scent it is. I was oblivious to its reputation back then. Nowadays, when I’m in the mood for gardenia, I like Kai oil.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Dina! I think I might have a sample of the AdP tucked away somewhere around here so will find it and see what she thinks. I love it that you were grooving on Fracas back then.

  • Just a suggestion, but has your friend tried the original Byblos in the blue bottle? This is another honeysuckle fragrance not too hard to find.

    • Ann says:

      Wow! I used to wear that one myself back in the day. That sounds like a good one — thanks for the reminder!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’ve never smelled the original Kate Spade but looked on E-Bay and yikes. But looking at Fragrantica, Carnal Flower might be comprable or Cheap and Chic.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks! I had not thought of Moschino’s Cheap and Chic — need to revisit that one.