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39 posts tagged "Perfume"

A Men’s Scent That Smells Even Better on Women


montblanc-emblem-fragranceTo 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: 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.


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

Orange Crush: Cool Down and Lather Up With These Beach-House-Worthy Bath Products


atlelier-cologneNo one does elegant citrus scents quite like Atelier Cologne. The Paris-based fragrance company conceived in New York is forever re-imagining traditional zesty colognes with modern, quirky ingredients, such as basil and rum. The resulting blends are so completely hypnotic that you might want to bathe in them…and now you can. The maison recently introduced its Orange Sanguine Treatment Line composed of a Body and Hair Shower Gel, Moisturizing Body Lotion, and soap. Scented with the same luscious assortment of notes found in its cult favorite Orange Sanguine Cologne—Italian blood orange and red mandarin, Egyptian jasmine, and sandalwood among them—the nourishing range contains natural botanical glycerin to hydrate the skin, while the lotion is further boosted with vitamin-rich apricot kernel oil to defend against free-radical damage. As temperatures soar, consider these refreshing, fruity creations the sensory equivalent of hiking the Amalfi Coast—minus the backpack and blisters.

Photo: Courtesy of

Dior’s Art of Perfume Arrives in Shanghai



The Miss Dior exhibit that opened last November at the Grand Palais in Paris has found its way East—flinging open its doors once again, this time at the Sculpture Palace in Shanghai. Inspired by the house’s fragrance of the same name, the installation, open through July 20, features fifteen female artists who interpreted the iconic eau through various mediums (including jewelry and sculpture). And in addition to the original set of contributors, Chinese photographer Liu Lijie created a triptych titled Fan Fan specifically for the Shanghai expo that mimics the gust of wind and three subsequent moments a fan would create, as well as interprets the structure of the Miss Dior blend (top, heart, and base accords).


Similar to how all the artists were given carte blanche to let their creativity run wild, the same can be said for house nose François Demachy and the newly launched range of Les Extraits comprised of five signature scents (Poison, Miss Dior, J’adore, Diorissimo, and Miss Dior Original). This is the “highest level of perfume,” explained Demachy, as the extraits are more “powerful, rich, and extreme” than your typical eau de toilette or parfum (hence the reason the bottles are shrunken in size). Though each fragrance is undoubtedly distinctive, Demachy revisited each classic and infused it with the Rose de Mai note. And for such a precious range of perfumes, no ordinary bloom would do. The rare roses found in the extraits (300,000 flowers are required to produce one kilo of absolute) are grown exclusively for Dior by two farms in Grasse, with the harvest overseen by Demachy himself. “It’s like wine. For instance, you have many different and many good wines, but you only have one Château d’Éclépens. And the same goes for the rose. You can have a rose from Turkey, Bulgaria, and Morocco, but the place where Rose de Mai is [grown] is very, very special because first it’s rosa di centifolia—it’s different than the others.” The same attention to detail and craftsmanship is extended to the flacon, where the “Dior Atelier Ladies” seal each by hand using the traditional baudruche technique. We like to think of these mini masterpieces as olfactory couture—minus the six-figure price tag.

$175 each or $1,100 for a coffret of five;


Photos: Courtesy of Dior

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: 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

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

Scented Jewelry You’ll Actually Want to Wear



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

Photo: Courtesy of By Kilian