By Stevie Wilson
For those who wait, the end of year holidays bring some of the best fragrances launches!
Yes it’s the holidays and yes, it might seem insane to try shopping for fragrances now simply because it’s a zoo in the malls and stores but there are ways around that””particularly in LA!
Rather than the typical, traditional or the usual, here’s a bit of a different take on fragrances for holiday. These are scents that may not be the easiest to find but you can find them””and I will tell you where!
Frederic Malle latest presentation is Carnal Flower, a unique creation by Dominique Ropion, one of the world’s greatest experts in floral scents. He had found a purified natural tuberose absolute that “˜s so intensely natural that he wanted to create a new “standard” in tuberose fragrances with the nuances that Malle had “experienced” during his visits to California which include coconut, salycilates and a hint of musk so that it melded easily with the wearer’s skin and yet was still true in the tuberose essence. The Carnal Flower scent has taken 2 years to create is a more sensual, distinctly sexual scent that can be worn day or night””just be aware of consequences of doing so
Top Notes: Bergamot, Melon, Eucalyptus
Heart Notes: Ylang Ylang, Salicylates, Jasmine
Base Note: Tuberose absolute DM, Orange Blossom absolute, Coconut, White Musc cocktail.
This new “gold standard” tuberose scent can be found at Barneys NY (call NOW!)
50ml Spray : $ 155 , 100ml Spray: $ 230
Laura Mercier’s latest launch is another “signature” fragrance: Ambre Passion. Released in September, this is the perfect spicy, thick fragrance for those who adore wearing these scents and this is the perfect time of year to wear them. Warm, thick like that Scottish tweed sweater or bundled up in a rich coat, it’s a sophisticated fragrance that surrounds and envelopes one. It’s a linear creation with amber from ambergris notes throughout each level so as the fragrance unfolds from top to heart to base, the amber develops and becomes a stronger presence. Mercier has changed and tweaked it a bit with startling notes along the way to keep it interesting and not “too heavy”
Top Notes: Geranium, Vanilla, Labdanum (spicy)
Heart Notes: Ambergris, Tonka Bean, Patchouli
Base Notes: Cedarwood (for clarity), Sandalwood (creamy) and musks
This lovely new scent is presented in a beautiful squared off bottle of heavy glass and an equally heavy top. 1.7 oz bottle retails for $65.00 and is sold wherever you find Laura Mercier products including Amazon.com, yahoo.com, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and other fine department stores and websites.
For those who want something a bit closer to home in terms of availability, one might want to check out Luckyscent.com. This LA based website is what I consider one of the “must see” spots for those looking for unique, cult-type fragrances that are typically very hard to find. One of the reasons I love www.Luckyscent.com is that they have great descriptions that help visualize the essence of the scent with note breakdowns. I am all about visuals and words that paint pictures (uh duh.. that’s why I write!) In case that doesn’t do it or I am still in a quandary, I can order a small sample to test drive the fragrance in question and typically there are about 4-5 fragrances at a time that I am questioning whether I will truly “love” the scent over the course of a day ““ or a couple of days. So it’s worth the few dollars to order the samples.
What’s new with Luckyscent.com? LOTS!! The site has just launched a candle and home fragrance along with a bath and body section plus they are featuring exclusive holiday collections. So bear with me while I tear through this website pretty quickly.
Voluspa has a group of candles with a unique fragrance presentation. The packaging is fabulous and definitely collectible. The scents for holiday include Autumn (golden nashi pear, Peruvian Palo Santo wood, amber resin and Benzoin); Holiday (sunti red ginger, Tahitian vanilla bean, Madagascar cloves, Indian cassia and cinnamon bark) and Snowflake (crisp Italian vervain, winter daphne, water lily, Peru balsam). The small candles burn for 45 hours ($14) and the larger 3 wick candles go for 100 hours ($30).
For bath and body, Bod, an Australian brand, is the perfect blend of Eastern philosophy meet Western technology. It’s more holistic and based on evidence derived from use and practice in Australia about the efficacy of pure natural ingredients and how they harmonize mind and body in one amazing collection. It’s definitely something that has to be tried to be believed. (I could rattle on but I would sound like a commercial)
Key items to try: Emperor Blend: Japanese Bath Salts; Sandalwood, Rosewood and Patchouli Blend Shower Gel (amazing!!) and also the Organic Rice Scrub.
For those who must have fragrance, here’s a couple of choices that will have you gasping””not for air but for your credit card because you will be scoring some major scents (and sense and cents)
Nelly Rodi Scent Factory is a gift from heaven for the fragrance junkie on your list (even if it’s you). This 8 scent set features different oriental blends ( I quibble with the notion they are all oriental) in note combinations that aren’t typically used together.
Parfum 1: INCENSE Notes: Rosemary, Cinnamon, Noix de Muscade, Incense, Styrax, Rose, Vanilla, Santal
Parfum 2: RHUM Notes: Rhum, Saffron, Muscade, Styrax, Patchouli, Papyrus, GaÃ¯ac, Santal, Vanilla
Parfum 3: CARDAMOME Notes: Cardamome, Cedar
Parfum 4: CACAO Notes: Patchouli, Vanilla, Incense, Myrrhe, Styrax, Castoreum
Parfum 5: GIMGEMBRE Notes: Grapefruit, Saffron, Baie rose, Muscade, Ginger, Incense, Patchouli, Vanilla, Amber
Parfum 6: BOIS Notes: Cardamome, Caraway, Clove, Birch, Patchouli, Leather, Cedar, Vetiver, Santal, Amber, Musk
Parfum 7: AMBRE Notes: Amber, Vanilla, Musk
Parfum 8: ROSE Notes: Bergamote, Coriander, Cardamome, Rose, Ylang, Mimosa, Cinnamon, Caraway, Musk, Civette, Vanilla
Whether you give them all to one lucky person or you split them up as stocking stuffers, these are fragrance presentations that are so unique that the wearer will be asked what it is she (or he) is wearing. (my faves are the Cacao and Rhum). Pricy at $145 for the set of 8 -25 ml bottles but it’s a gift that is more like the Energizer bunny in that it keeps on giving!
I have been saving one of my favorites for last! For all you chocolate lovers out there, Il Profumo has captured chocolate in a bottle ““ in a very sexy way. Very different from other chocolate scents, it’s quite unlike Serendipitous which seems more like a young adult when compared to the Il Profumo Chocolat which seems more sophisticated and knowing. The scent is available in EDP and Huile Extreme (oil spray) . The notes include mandarin, nutmeg, sandalwood, galbanum , cocoa, plum, jasmine, yellow rose and vanilla. It’s seductive yet familiar; fresh yet elusive; it’s downright the best of chocolate elixir that’s morphed into a very sexy scent. ($55-75)