I remember a big fanfare across the perfume internet when the Derek Lam 10 Crosby perfume line was launched in late 2015/early 2016. The blogosphere was buzzing about the rainbow of juices in minimalist packaging! The concepts (“1 STREET, 10 STORIES, 10 CROSBY!”)! The promotional films!
(The short films created for each scent are nicely done and include some notable participants: Alia Shawkat, Aya Cash and Anthony Ramos, among others. I re-watched and enjoyed them all over again while writing this post. They’re a bittersweet reminder of the world we once lived in and will hopefully get back to someday. View the full set on Vimeo here.)
I didn’t get around to trying the scents until 2018, when I found a discovery set of all ten from the initial launch on deep discount at Ross. It is always fun to try a brand’s entire collection of fragrances, and I diligently worked my way through each of the generously-sized sprayers. Alas, all were minimalist in concept, in packaging and to my disappointment, also in terms of the fragrance experience they provided. The best scents in the group were pleasant but rather simple, and others seemed like partially completed fragrances, missing some top notes or base notes. (I should note the sillage and longevity on all were very good.) I found no great loves, and one fragrance I actually hated, but I had lots of juice left after my testing. I passed the set onto my Millennial niece, who loved all ten. Go figure. Perhaps I was just too far outside the target demographic.
The brand released solids–or “perfume sticks,” in their parlance–of the best-sellers from the collection in 2017. (I’ve linked to the Allure article there as it gives a nice overview of the thought process that goes into creating a solid, as well as some of the benefits of the solid format. It’s music to my ears.) When I was buying solid fragrances in preparation for this blog, these sticks came up frequently in my Google searches, but since I hadn’t connected with any of the liquids, I passed.
Fast forward to 2020, and three new additions were added to the 10 Crosby line: Love Deluxe, A Hold on Me and Give Me the Night. The minimalist white perfume bottles of the original collection gave way to still minimalist but now intensely-colored bottles, and the notes listing on one in particular–Give Me the Night, which lists “jasmine and moss” as its only notes–piqued my interest. Jasmine and (oak- or tree-)moss are two of my favorite notes in perfumery, and when I saw the perfume stick available at a good price, I pounced. I’m happy to say it’s one of the best designer bargains I’ve encountered since starting this blog. I am smitten and I’ve now ordered the other two 2020 releases, based on my great experience with this one. They’ll be discussed in a future review.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Give Me the Night Perfume Stick Review
Size: 0.15 oz./4.5 grams.
Packaging: A white plastic twist-up tube, inside a reusable/resealable ziplock plastic bag. The tube and bag are recyclable.
Base: Ozokerite, mineral oil, petrolatum, beeswax, jojoba seed oil, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2.
Vegan-friendly: No, due to the beeswax and possibly due to bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, which can be animal- or vegetable-derived (source). Vegans may want to try the liquid version instead.
Color and Texture: off-white, with a firm but creamy texture that swipes easily across skin, without leaving an oily residue.
Natural perfume or mixed media: Only the generic “fragrance” is included in the ingredients list, so this is presumably mixed media or entirely synthetic.
Fragrance description and notes: First, let me just drop this here.
I was a child in 1980 when this song came out. I loved it and remember roller-skating to it, not unlike the folks in the video. Granted, I did not roller-skate (backwards, even) while also singing and playing a guitar like George Benson did in the video. In addition to his many talents, George is such a handsome man with a great smile. Everyone in the video looks like they’re having a wonderful time. This song and its video are pure delight.
The names of the three 2020 fragrance releases correspond to popular music from the 80s and 90s (the above song, Christine McVie’s “Got a Hold on Me” from 1984, and Sade’s 1992 album Love Deluxe). Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the George Benson song informed the concept or marketing banter for the fragrance, which includes the below:
Maybe it’s the favorite song on the radio?
The official notes listing includes only jasmine and moss.
(My unofficial guess of the notes listing is that vanilla or tonka bean, a touch of Ambroxan and a few other things are included. It definitely does not smell of only jasmine and moss. It doesn’t much smell like either one, actually. We don’t know all the parts, but this fragrance is definitely the sum of them.)
Longevity: Excellent, at 8+ hours. (I have clocked it at the 12-hour mark under clothing.)
Sillage: Excellent for a solid, at arm’s length or more for the first few hours. Comfortably intimate thereafter and a skin scent by the end.
The experience: As I noted above, the discovery set of the 2016 releases failed to make an impression, so my expectations for Give Me the Night were low but cautiously optimistic, based on those two beloved notes. I tried searching for reviews online but didn’t find much on the blogs, Fragrantica or Parfumo. (Basenotes doesn’t even have the 2020 Derek Lam releases in their database.) In the end, the price point was low enough for a gamble, which has paid off very well. I honestly LOVE this fragrance and wear it often.
The scent is not particularly complex, though it has more going on than the two notes officially listed by the brand. Give Me the Night is an herbal-floral blend that brings to mind the beautiful-smelling soaps and shampoos of a health food store or a “made in Provence” gift boutique. Despite the marketing banter, I don’t find it overly powdery. It’s not so floral that men can’t use it. It’s not so aromatic that women will dismiss it as too masculine. I find it to be a balanced blend that would work fine for daytime/office, especially in the solid format, but would be a classy and elegant choice for evenings, too.
The sillage and longevity on Give Me the Night are among the best for the solids I own. It outperforms a fair number of my liquid fragrances, too. With some solids, I have been tempted to try the liquid version when a treasured scent’s throw or persistence was lacking. That is not a concern with Give Me the Night. It does so well in this format that I wonder instead if the liquid version might be a little too much.
All in all, this is an outstanding fragrance that I’m happy to have in my collection. If I have a complaint, it’s that the packaging on the solid leaves a lot to be desired. I mean, there’s minimalist and then there’s…boring? The bottle for the Give Me the Night liquid is minimalist but manages to be elegant and lovely in its austerity. The solid’s packaging is on par with an inexpensive lipstick from a drugstore. Thank goodness the scent is so wonderful and completely makes up for it.
Where to buy: The liquid is available at Macy’s and Von Maur (shout-out to my Midwest peeps!), if you want to try to test it in person. Many gray market retailers including Walmart and Perfumania also offer the liquids. The solids for this collection are available at great prices from gray market retailer Scented Monkey, who now sell exclusively on Ebay. I purchased my Give Me the Night there and have ordered the other two 2020 releases from this seller.
Additional Notes: the package includes a period-after-opening symbol that indicates 18 months.
All product photographs by me.