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4 posts tagged "Hermès"

The Best Hostess Gift Ever: Bespoke Hermès Soaps


Just like handwritten notes, hostess gifts are a seriously underrated practice. Most parties don’t call for more than a bottle of booze, but you’ll have to step up your game for that inevitable Labor Day exodus to a friend’s summer haven in the Hamptons. Right on cue, Hermès has unveiled its new Le Bain collection of ultra-luxe beauty gifts, all of which are guaranteed to get you invited back next year. We suggest toting the trio of made-to-order soaps (above). You can choose from a collection of nine classic scents, including eau de mandarine ambrée (mandarine amber), eau de narcisse bleu (a blend of narcissus and wood), and eau d’orange verte (a zesty citrus), and select an archival scarf-printed paper wrapper for each velvety bar. Nestled in a classic orange Hermès coffer, the soaps look and smell so beautiful that your hostess may not even want to open them. We wouldn’t blame her—they’d look seriously chic sitting beside a sink and are so fragrant that the scent could easily fill a powder room. Priced at $57 for the set of three, it’s also the most accessible orange box we’ve come across yet.

Available at from August 1.

Critic’s Choice: Luca Turin’s Perfume Pick



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

Name: Jour d’Hermès Absolu
Notes: Apricot blossom, jasmine, rose
Nomenclature: Transparent fruity

“The rise of ‘tea’ fragrances after Bulgari’s pathbreaking Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert [Jean-Claude Elléna, 1993] rested on the realization that tea permitted entirely novel perfumery effects. Tea has the mysterious superpower to turn, among others, bug repellent [Earl Grey] and bacon [Lapsang Souchong] into delicate, dignified flavors. Applied to perfumery, it allows you to repeat—almost at will, skill permitting—the miracle of CK One: a stonkingly powerful fragrance which comes across as light. Tea’s quality of dry transparency does it, and one of the first fragrances to fully exploit this—Eau Parfumée was still a little shy—was the much-maligned Tommy Girl, which was based on an analysis by the great Roman Kaiser of the fragrant air in the Mariage Frères tea store in Paris. Elléna has not slacked off since his initial discovery, and Jour d’Hermès Absolu is perhaps his best statement to date of this particular style. It starts off with a blast of grapefruit on an abstract apricot background, reminiscent of Guerlain’s Pamplelune but less blinding. When the citrus fades, Jour d’Hermès Absolu settles into a backlit, stained-glass version of what classic woody fragrances like Miss Balmain or Azurée [Lauder] did in oils. As usual with Elléna’s work, one marvels at the way he leads you by the nose through all the reveals, and it is fun to play it all in slower motion on paper. Unfortunately, whether for stylistic, regulatory, or budgetary reasons, the drydown is a bit bare and disappointing. Good stuff nonetheless.”


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

THE 411: Naturopathica’s Barbara Close


Barbara_resizeViewing the kitchen as a modern-day apothecary—full of natural, from-the-earth ingredients that can heal the skin and restore the body—is a concept that Barbara Close got behind early on, when she founded her healing-arts center in East Hampton, New York, more than fifteen years ago. Trained as an herbalist and clinical aesthetician, Close subscribes to the back-to-basics philosophy that most ailments, everything from muscle aches to migraines, can be cured with ancient, forever-ago cures and good clean living. “Nature always provides deep replenishment,” she says. “A walk in the woods or a swim in the ocean un-tethers the mind and rejuvenates the senses.” So when she launched Naturopathica in 1995, it was as much about putting forth a collection of high-performance products that fused plants with science as it was developing a mind-body treatment spa where those formulations could be put into rotation. Now Close’s signature blue bottles and transformative spa are mainstays among the holistic-minded—so much so that she opened a second branch of the spa this summer for guests of the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton. Here, the Long Island resident, who lives on the outermost tip in Orient, shares her favorite natural-leaning discoveries.

The Skincare Hero: Plant Stem Cells
“Our Plant Stem Cell Serum, which is the featured product of our Natural Face Lift Facial, is a super-concentrated dose of extracts designed to prevent the breakdown of collagen. We use this serum with ultrasonic and micro-current technology, and the results—plumper, firmer skin—are immediate.”

Available at

The Dermatologist: A Trusted Local
“I go see Dr. Hennessey, my dermatologist, once a year. He looks over my skin for the better part of an hour, searching for any suspicious moles. I’ve had several friends who have had skin cancer, and this is the most important skincare appointment you can make.”

Hennessey Dermatology, 386 Montauk Highway, Wainscott, (631) 537-6020

The Personal Trainer: A Four-Legged Friend
“My horse, Wallace. I’m not great with any type of organized training program. I think fitness should be about having fun. I ride to the beach and gallop along the water.”

The Healer: Judy Gee
“She is a licensed acupuncturist and herbologist, and she’s an amazing practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine in NYC. She is my quick fix when my neck goes out or I need to reset my digestive clock from too much excess.”

For more information, visit

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spring’s sun-kissed skin: beyond the bronze


During the Spring show season, designers often pass down a “warm” mandate to the makeup artist in charge backstage. This is why, aside from a few rogue dissenters, you frequently see a bevy of rosy cheeks walking down the runway come September. Spring 2009 was no exception to this general rule, although in a particularly interesting turn of events, no one seemed willing to just call a rose a rose, so to speak. No, this year makeup artists got inventive and took creative license with the whole trend: At 3.1 Phillip Lim, NARS Cosmetics’ Ayako had an inspiration board with pictures of National Geographic cover girls—she called her bronzed cheek contours “dusty Gypsy skin.” Pat McGrath referenced “Mexican folklore” for the semi-flushed face she gave models at Anna Sui, and Charlotte Tilbury called the airbrushed tan she designed for Zac Posen “tribal.” We thought Dick Page’s “après-ski, pre-fondue” wind-burnt look at Michael Kors topped our list of inspirational favorites until we saw Tom Pecheux’s handiwork at Hermès. Approaching “ruddy,” Pecheux’s rugged faces managed to recast the image of frontierswomen in an elegant, even blatantly sexy way. Trailblazing, indeed.

Photo: Clockwise from left, Greg Kessler at Michael Kors; Antonello Trio at Hermès; Maria Valentino at 3.1 Phillip Lim.