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July 29 2014

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1049 posts tagged "Fragrance"

This Is What a Lady Dior Handbag Smells Like

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It could be said that fashion is as much a study in mimicry as it is in inventing something new. The cannage pattern on the Lady Dior handbag was inspired by the canework on the gold Napoleon III-style concert chairs that were routinely set up for Christian Dior’s Haute Couture shows in his salon. And similar to how the French house channeled elements of furniture into a purse, resident perfumer François Demachy replicated the scent inside the aforementioned accessory for his latest addition to the Privée collection: Cuir Cannage. “I wanted it to smell of leather, but there is also [a hint of] lipstick, tissues, and imagination,” he explained of the fragrance. The resident nose combined signature floral notes (like orange blossom, jasmine, rose, and iris) with raw materials, such as birch wood, cade oil (obtained from a juniper tree), and the leaves of the labdanum plant, to produce the “burned,” leather effect. In addition, Demachy relied on modern science and an exclusive new molecule to achieve the unique leather accord. The result of this project, which the perfumer refers to as “recreation” rather than work, is nothing short of an instant olfactory classic.

$275, dior.com

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A Men’s Scent That Smells Even Better on Women

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montblanc-emblem-fragranceTo spritz or not to spritz, that is the question. Style.com/Arabia critic and perfume industry legend Luca Turin reviews the latest fragrance launches and answers this age-old question.

Name: Montblanc Emblem Notes: Cardamom, violet leaf, wood

When I was a student, on the “try everything once” principle I went spelunking with the university club, a truly miserable experience. I remember only two things: how good it was to see the damp grass and leaden sky of Yorkshire upon climbing out, and the wonderful smell of the old-fashioned acetylene lamps we carried that were strapped to our foreheads.

One of the great wonders of smell is that we can infer the composition of a molecule by smell alone. Acetylene has an unusual triple carbon-carbon bond and it—and all derived compounds—smells, well, acetylenic. In polite fragrance language, the smell is referred to as “violet leaf” so as not to offend sensibilities. Unfortunately, triple bonds are quite chemically reactive, and most have been banned or severely restricted by the ever-watchful authorities. Grey Flannel [1975] and the Original Fahrenheit [1988] made great use of the sharp, metallic tang of triple bonds.

It appears either that one of the violet leaf compounds has escaped regulation or that a perfumer has figured out a way to get the same effect without using them, because the violet leaf note in Emblem is both intense and durable. This is a masculine fragrance, of course, and it comes in a beautiful black bottle that looks like the cap of a titanic fountain pen. On a guy, it would probably be a little too Porsche Design “black is the new black” for my taste. But it will work great on a woman, as a chaser for the nauseating meringues everyone else is doing, and to advertise an unrepentantly dry-eyed disposition.

$78; montblanc.com

For another review from Turin’s bimonthly column, click here.

Critic’s Choice: Luca Turin’s Perfume Pick

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To spritz or not to spritz, that is the question. Style.com/Arabia critic and perfume industry legend Luca Turin reviews the latest fragrance launches and answers this age-old question.

Name: Fan di Fendi Leather Essence
Notes: Suede, amber, wood
Nomenclature: Sweet suede

Fendi has been exploring an interesting ambery-spicy territory of fragrance for some years, and has turned up a treasure. Theorema [1998] was to orientals what Nutella is to chocolate: rich beyond reason and very addictive. Palazzo [2007] had one of the most original top notes in recent memory. This one is an odd combination of its two predecessors. Unexpectedly, they add up to an idea reminiscent of Patou’s Sublime [1992], i.e., a precarious but arresting balance between sweet amber and fresh woods, bridged here by a suede-like leather note that works perfectly as a go-between. There is a confident, eclectic complexity to this fragrance that in my mind embodies a specifically Italian chic—all smiles, pliant softness, and welcoming warmth. My reference in this genre is Lubin’s Korrigan, which manages to be at once austere and appetizing, somewhere between burning incense and warm gingerbread. Fan di Fendi is less poetic, more staid, but still a very nice fragrance.

$112, for more information visit thebay.com

For another review from Turin’s bimonthly column, click here.

Opening Ceremony Bottles a Designer Bouquet

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Leave it to Opening Ceremony, a brand that’s known for being ahead of the crowd, to come up with a way to make floral fragrances suddenly seem über-cool: They’ve commissioned a floral artist, Thierry Boutemy, to create a new limited-edition scent (along with Le Labo and perfumer Barnabé Fillion) called Geranium 30, launching today. Boutemy may not exactly be a household name, but he’s been the go-to flower guy for the fashion and film world for years. The stunning arrangements that were almost like a background character in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette? Those were Boutemy’s work. He’s also lent his green thumb to designers like Givenchy, Lanvin, and Viktor & Rolf.

Boutemy’s dramatic installations have earned him a reputation for making something as inherently soft and romantic as flowers seem intense and, at times, even dark. That’s why the subtlety of Geranium 30 is so surprising. Even after spritzing both wrists twice, I still felt like I could squeeze into a seat on a coach flight and not annoy the passengers next to me—the spicy-floral blend is that delicate. And for those who want to wear his creations from head to toe, Opening Ceremony has plastered floral digital prints, designed by Boutemy, onto New Era hats, classic Vans, Manolos, and even Tabio socks. How’s that for a stylish bouquet?

Le Labo Geranium 30 Thierry Boutemy for Opening Ceremony, $240;
openingcermony.us

Scented Jewelry You’ll Actually Want to Wear

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The mere mention of scented jewelry likely conjures up images of solid perfume baubles you either discarded from a gift-with-purchase or bought for your niece’s 10th birthday. It’s safe to say we’ve yet to find a stylish option since entering adulthood—that is, until we discovered By Kilian’s ultra-luxe range of wearable fragrances. If you normally spritz perfume on your neck, By Kilian’s rhodium and 18-karat gold-plated tassel necklaces are your next must-have. Each piece features either a ceramic disc scented with one of By Kilian’s twenty-nine fragrances or a silk cord that has been microencapsulated with one of six scents. They’re so discreet, one would never suspect you’re wearing a high-tech olfactory device; in fact, the necklaces look more like mementos picked up on some far-flung vacation.

Also included in By Kilian’s capsule collection are four leather bracelets, ranging from thick cuffs to wrap-around styles. Though technically for men, we think they would look especially chic on women. The leather is infused with one of five fragrances, inspired by traditional gantiers parfumeurs (French perfume experts from centuries past who infused men’s gloves with fragrances for an extra dose of luxury). Think of it this way: If you frequently gesture with your hands, the scent will waft ever-so-slightly with each flick of the wrist.

By Kilian bracelets, from $195 to $325; necklaces, from $245 to $465. For more information, visit bykilian.com

Photo: Courtesy of By Kilian