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August 30 2014

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Now Spritzing: The Beauty Of The Nile

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Here’s a bit of interesting news for Cleopatra lovers out there. Cosmetics International reports that Kanebo is paying homage to the Egyptian Queen, but not, as you might expect, with kohl eyeliner or black wigs with bangs. Instead, the Japanese cosmetics company is filling the air at the popular Egypt’s Sunken Treasures exhibition currently on view in Yokohama with two unique scents that Cleopatra may have worn. The first is a composition of flower ingredients that were known favorites of the Queen—saffron flower, damask rose, rose alba, iris, and violet. The second is called Kyphi, and Kanebo’s chief perfumer, Ryoichi Komaki, re-created it from an ancient recipe using red wine infused with essential oils of frankincense, myrrh, saffron, cassia, sultana, honey, and spikenard. No word on whether the eaux will be produced for retail, but fetishists can get close to Kyphi with MAC’s limited-edition Africanimal, a sweet and spicy offering with hints of honey, pepper, bergamot, and wood.

Photo: Getty Images

Davidoff’s Carnal Encounter

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One of our earliest scent memories was actually of cologne, not perfume. It came during our pubescent years, when racy ad images of toned, shirtless men made us fast fans of Davidoff’s Cool Water. One whiff of the stuff and it was settled: The imaginary boyfriend we conjured in our head—a tall, preppy jock type—would indeed smell of lavender, jasmine, and oakmoss, with a hint of musk and sandalwood. Davidoff’s latest offering promises to, um, steam things up even more. Hot Water is set to launch at the end of the month, according to WWD, packing what its press materials promise will be “burning, latent heat.” Featured notes of absinthe, red basil, pimento, and patchouli apparently help achieve this effect, as does a new ad campaign shot by photographer Matthew Brookes. It’s the same naked-bodies-rolling-around-on-the-beach theme from 20 years ago, but somehow hotter. Click above to watch.

Nooka Bottles The Scent Of Time

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Nooka is set to upstage Cadillac as the “least likely company to dabble in perfume” in the contest we’re personally conducting at the moment. The watch company known for its kooky colors and trendy shapes—not to mention those luminescent timepieces it gifted Kanye West after his Glow in the Dark tour last year—just launched a fragrance that is intended to smell like (what else?) watches. The conceptual scent features notes of leather, minerals to conjure images of polished steel and quartz, and top notes of “electricity,” but it’s the freshness of the Japanese yuzu and the spicy pink pepper that really hit the nose. We’re now taking predictions for the next improbable brand to venture into the challenging world of olfactory creation. Arctic Shiver by Frigidaire, perhaps? Your turn.

Photo: Courtesy of Nooka

Love At First Smell?

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As previously reported, the study of pheromones and the fact that our olfactory sense may subconsciously be at work when we’re choosing prospective mates is becoming something of hot-topic pseudoscience. Axe Body Spray’s success at convincing consumers that the smell of a personal care product can boost sex appeal and confidence, thus making it irresistible to the opposite sex, is a marketing tool that’s inspiring other manufacturers to follow suit, according to The New York Times. The soap makers at Dial are launching a new Magnetic Attraction Enhancing Body Wash for Men, which is the latest formula to use synthesized pheromones—typically a family of steroids related to testosterone for men and a derivative of the sex hormone estradiol for women—to achieve these psychosomatic goals. But how pheromones really work is still up for debate, and many anthropologists argue that humans are a visual-stimuli breed and are thus generally more compelled by love at first sight, rather than first smell. Personally, we’re of the mind that scent can be a turn-on or a turnoff, capable of sending you into a fit of passion or to the hospital, as the case may be. Where do you stand?

Photo: Getty Images

The Celebrity Fragrance Hall Of Shame

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Dancing With the Stars recently replaced QVC, in our mind at least, as the last refuge for one-time A-listers still looking for life in the limelight, but a new final destination for fame-seekers seems to be emerging, courtesy of the beauty industry. The world of celebrity fragrance, long home to big names and pseudo-celebrities looking to capitalize on the medium’s mass appeal, appears to be getting an unlikely pair of new acolytes in the coming months. Amy Winehouse’s alleged desire to license her name to a perfume house made big news around the blogosphere last week. A host of reports about GM’s new Cadillac fragrance, which is set to debut this fall, received somewhat less attention, but of the two it’s the one we find more entertaining. Produced by Beauty Contact Inc., a Dubai-based cosmetic company, the automotive-inspired scent boasts notes of grapefruit, chamomile, geranium, tarragon, and cinnamon, rather than “new car smell,” and is a commemorative effort to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the luxury sedan. Whether or not the new fragrance is intended as a post-bailout revenue-generator, it’s an intriguing endeavor, although we’re not totally convinced that the resources wouldn’t have been better spent on, say, developing electric cars and more hybrids. But we’ll keep our expertise to beauty for now. Would you douse yourself in either perfume?

Photo: Courtesy of thestar.com