This Card Covers You

Dolce & Gabbana released a new perfume line this past summer, drawing inspiration from the Tarot and the multiple personalities/facets of women and men. Domenico Dolce stated:  “We picked the Tarot cards with the clearest, most identifiable traits such as the seducer, charmer and dreamer. We can all relate to these characters.”

I’ve read Tarot divination since I was about 15 years old (ah, Catholic school rebellion), so the inclusion of Tarot as a concept behind a perfume line peaked my interest immediately.

The Major Arcana has 21 archetypes/cards, which could turn into a HUGE fragrance line. D&G only has 5 fragrances released now, but obviously they have the opportunity to expand the line to 21 scents. Or even more, if they get into the Minor Arcana. The current 5 scents all don the names and numbers of the cards (in French, of course):

1 Le Bateleur (The Magician). Notes: Aquatic heart, cedarwood, vetyver base. The Seducer archetype.
3. L’Impératrice (The Empress). Notes: Exotic fruits, bright pink florals and a musky, mellow base, watermelon and kiwi. The Star archetype.
6. L’Amoureux (The Lovers). Notes: Spices, wood, musk base – bergamot, juniper and pink pepper with a cardamom, birch leaf and orris heart base. The Charmer archetype.
10 La Roue de la Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune). Notes: Tuberose, gardenia, jasmine heart with benzoin and patchouli base. The Player archetype.
18 La Lune (The Moon). Notes: White florals, pale leather, lily, tuberose heart, with a base of sandalwood, musk, and orris. The Dreamer archetype.

D&G added their own interpretations of archetypes to the standing Major Arcana interpretations, so the meaning of each scent can get kind of convoluted. But the scents match the ideas, and you can run with it – L’Amoureux smells sexy and amorous. That means it…works!

Another anthology of perfumes that each have specific “personalities” seems like an old bag (see Demeter fragrances), but I tested these D&G fragrances out recently, and found them to be surprisingly fresh. I’m quite in love with the 3. L’Impératrice. Usually, I veer towards perfumes that smell like food or flowers. Smelling like something edible is sexier to me. And I love food. So.

The only disappointment I have about this D&G-Tarot perfume line is in regards to the artwork, or lackthereof – what, no Rider-Waite artwork? No original Tarot card designs on the bottles, or boxes, or ANYTHING? C’mon. This page from O Magazine is the only thing that has a subtle presence of Tarot-inspired artwork:

At the official D&G Fragrance website, there’s artwork in the background of the flash movies/intros, but the focus is on the supermodels.

The print ads and commercial campaign for the D&G Fragrance Anthology are shot by Mario Testino, and feature fashion’s real-deal supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova and Claudia Schiffer. The male models are Noah Mills, Fernando Fernanes and Tyson Ballou. Harping on the golden age of supermodel-ism, the commercials feature George Michael’s seminal track, “Freedom ’90”. I’m not really sure how  supermodels, Testino, and the golden age of 1992 fold into the concept of Tarot-inspired perfumes, but it sort of works. Remember when we HAD real supermodels? Their personalities were strong, their reputations were notorious, and I suppose they all became archetypes in the fashion world.


Stefano told Britain’s InStyle magazine: “Claudia, Eva and Naomi are the perfect faces for the fragrance collection. Being women, models and businesswomen, they have the freedom to change their personas whenever they want. They have many sides to their personalities.”

Alright, Stefano. I kind of buy that idea. I really think D&G just wanted to hire some old friends, which is fine. Just, for the re-release of these scents, or the future ones (PLEASE make a 2. La Grand Pretresse – High Priestess – THANKS) – add Tarot artwork!

Oh! While writing this, I found out that D&G released a 6th scent – 11. La Force (Strength) at the beginning of September. This one confuses me a little – I thought Strength was the 8th card, not the 11th. Hmmm. And still –  no Tarot card artwork!

D&G Fragrances – Official


Monsters and Critics

Deviant Moon

Fashion in Motion



  1. Rose

    I too love the concept of the tarot-inspired perfume but the bottle design and ad campaign completely dilute the inspiration. If you saw it in a store you would never know it was tarot-inspired. Even the lid sucks. The different colors are the only aesthetically pleasing effect but you’re not going to buy all of them so that is lost. The label and lack of packaging make it look like its some cheap knockoff perfume.

    I love the artwork they used for the Oprah ad. They definitely should have used those throughout the ads, labels, etc.

    I have yet to smell them but they have motivated me to at least check it out next time I’m near the perfume counter so they must be doing something right.

    P.S: Love the blog.

    • msottovoce

      thanks for the feedback! I think 3 out of the 5 original scents are really good perfumes, but the lack of artwork is disappointing. Totally agree with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s