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Jason Wu Burns One Down

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Three months ago, Jason Wu announced that he was entering the beauty category—for real this time. That nail lacquer collection he did with CND two years ago? Just getting his feet wet. For his grand entrée, Wu decided to go the fragrance route—the home fragrance route. “It’s an untraditional route for a fashion designer to enter the beauty market,” he admits while calling his collaboration with scented candle maven and Nest Fragrances founder and CEO Laura Slatkin, “a dream come true.” The two visionaries crossed path when Slatkin learned that Wu was actually a fan of her votive line. After she sent him a whole bevy of candles, including Wasabi Pear—”it’s one of his favorites,” she says—they got to talking and a partnership was inevitable. Using Wu’s preferred scent as a jumping off point, the duo added a host of exotic flowers to ‘pick [the fragrance] up a bit” only to find that most floral notes overpowered the pear. Except one: a rare category of orchid that imparts a subtle hint of powdery sweetness. Wu describes the resulting Orchid Rain scent, which is blended with leather notes, blond birch woods, and peppercorn, and officially launches this month, as “completely personal, completely satisfying, and really beautiful.” Could the house of Wu focus its energies on something spritzable in the coming years? “Definitely,” the designer says. “I love the beauty industry. It translates the experience of an entire collection into one little object,” he continues, pointing out the synergy between the hue of his candle’s gold lid and a near identical gilded belt buckle from his Spring collection. The print on the ceramic container also revisits a fabric from his runway. “This just may be the start of something new for me.”

$48, available April 2012 at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

Photo: Courtesy of Nest Fragrances

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