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August 31 2014

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Oscar De La Renta, Beauty Tycoon

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When Oscar de la Renta regained the rights to his beauty licenses two years ago, he and his crack team of advisers set some lofty goals for themselves, which included more fragrances and maybe—just maybe—cosmetics, too. So far, they’ve made good on those promises. The Dominican designer launched Esprit de Oscar just one short year later, an Egyptian jasmine, orange flower, Sicilian lemon, and warm heliotrope eau that was designed for a younger demographic (and promptly launched on Facebook). Then came Live in Love, a green floral in a vintage flacon with a bejeweled topper, which debuted on the heels of de la Renta’s collaboration with Le Métier de Beauté, his first adventure in makeup. The next phase of Oscar’s beauty takeover starts this week, with the debut of his Essential Luxuries collection. Yesterday saw the premiere of a new, in-house line of limited-edition nail lacquers—the bright crimson Red Carnation, the rich plum Aubergine , and the icy blue Larimar—which launched exclusively online at www.whowhatwear.com after debuting on his Fall runway. And today, he’ll introduce his ever-growing global fan base to six new perfumes, each inspired by something near and dear to de la Renta’s heart. Santo Domingo, where he was born, boasts sweet and spicy aromas of coffee plantations and tobacco leaves tinged with spicy mandarin, coriander, and patchouli notes; Granada recalls the southern Spanish town that Oscar fell in love with early in his life, which is replete with lush gardens of jasmine and orange trees; Oriental Lace is a reference to the opulent fabrics he typically uses in his collections and leans heavily on essences of the hoya carnosa flower, which is grown throughout Mr. de la Renta’s Punta Cana home, as well as hints of honey, bitter almond, and dark cacao; Sargasso is a tribute to the Sargasso Sea, which lines the shore of Punta Cana and reminds the designer of salty air intermingling with bursts of fresh citrus and refreshing cucumber; Coralina, a mimosa, violet, and orris eau, is an homage to the ginger-hued gemstone of the same name that is indigenous to the Dominican Republic, and the ultra-feminine collections it often inspires; and our personal favorite, Mi Corazon, was created from a shared memory with Oscar’s daughter, Eliza, of the smell of ylang-ylang petals mingled with touches of exotic peach. At this pace, we wouldn’t be surprised if a full color collection was in the works for 2013.

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