A surprised-looking man falling from a portal in a blue sky full of puffy clouds, dangling from a cord connected to a magic sword
Return to Perfume Home

Boucheron's Trouble was aptly named. Its original bottle got into trouble. It had a snake slithering around the cap. This angered the owners of Roberto Cavalli and their lawyers, who blocked the sale of Trouble. Parfums Boucheron failed to make a good enough case to keep their snake. The perfume was put back on the market with a sort of jewelry motif thing that still sort of looks like abstract snakes - imagine an emerald held between the mouths of two snakes. The new design was lawyerproof, but Trouble got discontinued anyway.

My bottle is pre-redesign. It's a dark red cube with the edges sliced off like facets and four little feet, as if it were both a jewel and a jewelry box. The snake is gold with green eyes. It winds around the gold cap with its head up near the top. The very top of the cap has a clear red circle through which you can see the Boucheron B. The bottle isn't very well made. The glass gets its red color from a film that flakes off easily, revealing the ordinary colorless glass underneath. The snake isn't tightly mounted to the cap. When its head slips down, you can see gaps where the gold paint didn't get applied. It's very pretty as long as you don't look too close. I also have a travel bottle. This bottle was made from what I assume was a repurposed lipstick case. There's no snake or jewel to make it look interesting.

The perfume inside is neither poorly made nor nondescript, and it deserved a better fate than it got. Trouble is an aromatic floral amber with a gingered lemon custard top note. Like trouble, it can follow you anywhere you go. It's fresh enough for summer days and rich enough for winter nights. It can satisfy a sweet tooth without rotting it out. It's remarkable that it manages to try to do so much, and succeeds at all of it. That lemon note invites the trouble of comparison to an industry titan and personal favorite: Shalimar. Trouble is the lighter of the two (both in the sense of strength and in the sense of rootedness-to-the-earth), it's more flower-forward, and it's chameleonic in a way Shalimar isn't (Shalimar is dimensional, but it isn't a shapeshifter.) Fans of one might enjoy the other. Obviously, I do.

There's one more way Trouble is like trouble: it's gonna cost you. I was lucky to get mine before it was discontinued. Price-checking it now is actually shocking. There's probably a lesson in there about the difference between in trouble and out of it being a matter of circumstances. Could I still wear Trouble if I learned it? Could you?