984 posts tagged "Fragrance"
Atkinsons, a 200-year-old fragrance brand that bloomed from a pot of modest mustache wax, was beloved by the original dandy, Beau Brummel (who created the precursor to the modern three-piece suit). This well-tailored man would introduce it to King George IV, who made the founder (James Atkinson) the official perfumer to the Royal Court of England in 1826. But despite its illustrious history, the headquarters at 24 Old Bond Street, in London, would eventually shutter.
Now, a French nose and Italian marketing guru are breathing new life into this classic U.K. label, launching five unisex scents stateside in Barneys—among them is British Bouquet, inspired by the dandy himself. Notes of lavender, myrtle, bitter orange, and caviar lemon are mixed with the blend’s signature leather accord (developed to mimic the smell of Brummel’s Hessian boots). I like to think the regent fashion star, known for his lengthy morning “toilette” (consisting of teeth brushing, bathing, and shaving—all practices considered to be too fastidious to complete every day for most men of his generation), would have gladly added this rich and refined spritz to his routine.
Available this winter, $175, www.barneys.com
To say that artist, designer, and perfumer Stephanie Simek is a jack- (or, rather, jill-) of-all-trades is an understatement. Her eyelash necklaces caught the attention of many an accessories editor, both in the States and abroad (featured in glossies such as Nylon and Italian Glamour). But Simek’s latest “wearable” (how she refers to her creations) is of an entirely different variety. A perfume she dubbed Grey Garden is not named, as I had initially imagined, after a mansion in East Hampton where two eccentric and reclusive socialites once lived. Instead, this all-natural eau, comprised of essential oils and plant absolutes such as rose and bergamot (an extract found in Earl Grey tea, hence the title), are meant to reflect the aroma one would experience walking through an actual garden. The oils adapt and change with your body chemistry throughout the day, Simek explained, much like a stroll down a twisted stone path laden with blooms. The presentation is equally as appealing—with dried flowers carefully slipped into each bottle, by hand, in the designer’s studio in Portland. For a limited time, the newly launched fragrance will also come with yet another type of accessory: temporary tattoos. Pressed pansies and petals—just like the kind suspended in this blend—are scanned onto transfer paper. The notion of making an impression on two sensorial fronts is one that has quickly grown on me.
The notion of a beauty company venturing into fragrance territory is nothing new. It seems like almost everyone has an eau (including nearly the entire Carter family—I’m calling it now: Blue Ivy is next). But for Clé de Peau Beauté, jumping on the bandwagon just wasn’t its style. It took a previously introduced skincare line (requiring twelve years of research) laced with a scent consumers wanted to wear all over, the thoroughbred of blooms (i.e., the winner of the Best Fragrance Award at the Bagatelle Rose Trials—essentially the Olympics of flowers), and famed perfumer Alberto Morillas (he’s the nose behind hits like Marc Jacobs Daisy and Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò for women) to create the brand’s first blend, Rose Synactif. Good things, as they say, take time—and, in this case, $300. The delicate aroma—which surrounds the prized rose and a jasmine sambac heart with juniper berry and Biarritz hypericum (an herbal plant that hails from France), as well as warm musk and white wood—is also said to “capture the skin’s aura…and draw radiance from within.” Although I can’t get on board with the glow-boosting claims, this sophisticated spritz certainly brightened my spirits.
“What if wearing perfume became a call for action?” was a question Gérald Ghislain, creator of Histoires de Parfums, proposed. To find an answer, he created 1,000 bottles of a unisex blend, Make Perfume Not War, featuring zingy fruits (like lemon, orange, grapefruit, and bergamot), fresh flowers (such as lilac, cyclamen, and freesia), and a base of warm vanilla, white musk, and tonka bean, that will raise $50,000 for children’s charities around the globe. And similar to how an eau adapts to its wearer, $50 from each flacon sold goes to the cause of your choice—whether it be to support the arts, education, health, play, or technology. Come November 20, Universal Children’s Day, an auction of the first and last fragrance in the series will take place at both the Histoires de Parfums flagship in Paris (where a pop-up installation is currently on display through December) and online to raise additional funds. Talk about the power of scent.
The pro: Yosh, perfumer and founder of Yosh fragrances.
The product: “When I was about eleven or twelve, I went on a family holiday to Hawaii and came across a beautiful perfume from Shiseido: Hana-Sumire. The bottle was frosted with very little decoration—only two small kanji characters in white. It fit perfectly in my hands and had a heart-like shape. The scent was light yet deep, ethereal, and familiar. I remember opening the bottle and having this experience of recognizing the aroma. I’m almost certain it had iris in it, and perhaps violet, and probably sandalwood. The scent is kind of a perfume holy grail for me. I haven’t been able to find it since. I’ve tried [to locate it] with bottle and perfume experts both in the U.S. and Japan. I even went to the Shiseido Corporate Museum in Tokyo to see if anyone knew anything about it! It’s an illusive, yet indelible, scent memory. I have yet to come across any raw materials worthy of creating an homage to this iris scent, although every now and again, I think I might try.”