By Kim Taylor

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Berlin and Paris – two world-renowned cities beloved for their culture, their mystique, their heady zeitgeist. Here are two fragrances that pay tribute to the unique charms of their denizens. Evoke their sophistication at whim.

La Fille de Berlin from Serge Lutens (or The Girl from Berlin) is a paean to the stately rose and to the smoky, glittering decadence of 1920s Berlin. Ever flamboyant, Lutens heavily peppers this uber-rose concoction to spice it up, and adds delicate violet, anchoring musk, and both pink and black pepper for an interesting nuance. You’ll want this at your bedside to stave off everything that’s bland. Find it at

And its Parisienne counterpart? What We Do In Paris Is Secret from A Lab On Fire’s perfumer Dominique Ropion is so rich and creamy that it’s reminiscent of all great French excess: magnificent vanilla blended with honey, tonka bean, bergamot, lychee, musks, heliotrope, Turkish rose essence, tolu, sandalwood and ambergris. It’s addictive and unique, sweet but not overwhelming. This is a want-to-lick-your-wrist fragrance suitable for day or night.

No need to choose your favorite city – experience them both to suit your mood.


Originally published March 2013

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