For fans of Narciso Rodriguez’ 2004 spicy amber-musk original fragrance, there’s something to look forward to this Spring. The designer, known for his ability to bottle the same contemporary feminine aesthetic with which he creates his clothes, will release Essence, a floral oriental, in March. Still committed to teasing apart all of musk’s complexities, Rodriguez cites morning, rushing water, fine cotton, and the color “cool white” among the scent’s inspirations, with a smell reminiscent of sunlight. While we can’t vouch for its olfactory likeness to sunlight (which in our minds connotes wafts of earthy citrus for some reason), Essence definitely evokes a certain clean and airy brightness, with notes of crisp iris and hints of sweet rose to compliment a more powdery musk than Narciso acolytes might be used to. It’s definitely appropriate for the season though—and will likely remain a favorite long after April showers bring May flowers.
The fact that Barack Obama’s messages of change and hope have actually inspired our great, apathetic nation will be something to behold when he gets inaugurated on January 20th in front of what will no-doubt be a record crowd gathered to see greatness unfold before them. If you choose to watch from home on that Tuesday, you will witness another display of unity in the form a new CK One commercial that is, coincidentally enough, said to be inspired by a social movement of people coming together. The “We Are One” spot will feature a song written by Jamie Burke—the long-haired British model, musician, and onetime Sienna Miller boyfriend—who also appears in the TV and print campaign which, get this, also features models of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. (Apparently, change has indeed inspired the fragrance company once known for propagating heroin-chic and kiddie porn.) To reinforce Burke’s original composition, a limited edition CK One bottle printed with the words “We Are One” in a number of languages will be on sale, set in a base which includes a removable MP3 speaker. A lighter, all-over CK One body spray will also make its debut later this month.
Since we reported on its first showing a couple of months back, we haven’t seen much of Sofia Coppola’s Miss Dior Cherie fragrance commercial, which also marked the filmmaker’s directorial debut for the famed French house. The visual absence only really occurred to us today, though, as the 30-degree damp chill of yet another day of winter in New York began to take its toll. So if you missed it the first time, or just need a bit of a vicarious pastry-popping, sunny Parisian jaunt—with a quick stop for a couture fitting—go on and lose yourself in this director’s cut. Click, watch, and repeat; you can expect much of the same weather-wise for tomorrow.
Tobias Müksch and Sebastian Fischenich’s Humiecki & Graef fragrance line is gaining something of a cult following for its ability to bottle the complex. Last year the design duo brought you Skarb, a musk, myrrh, and absinthe scent that was inspired by the “deep Slavic soul” and intended to evoke how men cry, and they’ve recently added four new eau de toilettes just as intricately conceived. The duo is moved by “atypical motifs” rather than mere emotions or floral favorites, and even their nose, Christophe Laudamiel, has something of a maverick reputation. Forgoing the standard “scent pyramid” of top, mid, and base notes, Laudamiel builds his concoctions around a “scent star,” a polygonous structure that better allows him to cross raw emotion with fragrance. If your interest is piqued, it should be; the brand’s latest unisex offerings do not disappoint. Gest is an amber and fir resin fragrance rooted in intensity and compelled by “the mystery maturity brings to love”; Eau Radieuse, a fruity fragrance centered around desire, counts green banana and bamboo sape accord among its more standout notes; Multiple Rouge, which is pegged as a fragrance about “wild abandon, folly, and fun,” draws on ozonic red berries to suggest a “devil-may-care madness”; and Askew, a fragrance about—get this—fury, uses birch tar, ginger, and Egyptian mimosa to “demolish the classical men’s fragrance.” Yes, this is innovation. And yes, if they asked us to moonlight as their copywriter we would gladly accept.
In the grand tradition of isolating a single note from his Oscar classic fragrance and reinventing it as a limited-edition perfume for brand devotees to clamor over, Oscar de la Renta will release Sheer Freesia next week at select Macy’s counters nationwide. Inspired by the garden at his Connecticut country home, Mr. de la Renta instructed his perfumers to blend top notes of blueberry, green apple, and rhubarb with the sweet citrus scent of one of his favorite flowers for a sensual, feminine fragrance that should be in the running for that “new year, new signature scent” resolution you’re considering for ’09. No, it won’t be as unique a choice as, say, Flame, the much-hyped fragrance from Burger King, but we’re guessing you’re willing to sacrifice a little individuality to avoid smelling like meat.