Fragrance

By Kim Taylor

This stunning bouquet of fine perfumes will inspire some love on Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year.

Annick Goutal’s Vanille Exquise delivers a sensual olfactory experience of memorable warmth. This soft oriental has undertones of vanilla, angelica and almond, along with whispery hints of white musks, benzoin, and gaiac wood. Ultra-feminine and inviting, this profusion of vanilla was inspired by Cleopatra’s almond milk baths, and you know how irresistible she could be. Once you’ve swooned over Vanille Exquise, you’ll find a way to always have it on hand. Available at Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Bendels and other fine department stores and boutiques.

Fragonard’s Mon Coeur with it’s gold, heart cap bottle is a treasure trove of tender flowers: tuberose, daffodil, jasmine, iris and orange blossom mingle with tolu balm. This brilliant and gentle gem is available for the plucking at http://www.provence-shop.com.

Sage, the lauded L.A-based jewelry designer, has created a line of gemstone-based fragrances that are as darling as they’re unique. Sage’s Amber EDT marries blood orange with Tunistan amber and the result is a sweet, warm, carmel-like fragrance that is perfect alone or layered. The Sage candles have an equally superb and beautiful fragrance, and are packaged in Japanese-inspired textile boxes that can serve double-duty long after the candle is gone. Available at http://www.luckyscent.com

Vera Wang’s eponymous fragrance is the ultimate romantic perfume, seemingly designed for special or dramatic occasions. The bottle alone commands attention and suggests quality. Sturdy, elegant, and shaped like a gorgeous glass wedding dress, it imparts beauty to its surroundings. Madarine, lotus and iris mingle with Bulgarian rose, gardenia, white woods, musk and calla lily to create a romantic, warm cloud of flowers and elegance. Available at neiman Marcus and other fine department stores.

Estee Lauder knows the perfect Valentine’s Day gift is Pleasures, so the fragrance’s bottle is decorated to commemorate the perfume’s ten-year anniversary with a special limited-edition Ruben Toledo design. Pleasures is a heavenly floral infused with lilies, peonies, jasmine, rose and rare karounde blossoms , which conjures images of sun-drenched days spent strolling through flower gardens. Available at
http://www.esteelauder.com and at Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and other fine department stores.

Equally captivating is Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew, the classic fragrance introduced in the 1950s that will delight for years to come. Opulent flowers mingle with heady spices and rich, deep woods. The top notes in this jewel of a perfume are jonquil, rose, and lavender; the heart is comprised of jasmine, muguet and spices, and the base notes include moss, vetiver and a touch of patchouli. No wonder it endures! Available at http://www.esteelauder.com and at Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and other fine department stores.

Marc Jacob’s Blush has the same appeal as vintage lingerie and rosy , rouged cheeks. With top notes of jasmine nectar, fresh air accord and lovely Italian bergamot, heart notes of star jasmine, freesia, orange flower and Japanese honeyscukle, and dry notes of pink musk, sandalwood and cashmere wood, this fragrance is as intimate and glorious as being nude. Available at Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and other fine department stores.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom was inspired during a sun-drenched stay at a hotel in Bel-Air and is fittingly characterized by clementine leaves, orange blossom and delicate water lily. This spirit-lifting, fresh fragrance blends well with all of the other spectacular, garden-inspired Jo Malone scents, which can be viewed at http://www.jomalone.com.

Kenneth Cole Black for Women was created by the designer to commemorate his 20th anniversary, and it’s an eclectic mix of black violet, white hyacinth, sandalwood, citrus, exotic white flowers and sweet amber. The result is a sophisticated delicacy and, of course, the bottle is an ultra-hip black tube. Available at Kenneth Cole stores and fine department stores.

Velvet Rope, a unisex fragrance sold in the west coast’s Apothia store, was inspired by A-list places where people love to see and be seen. Essence of juniper berry, vermouth, tobacco, vanilla bean, green rose, jasmine, cypress, white musk, patchouli and grapefruit zest create quite a stir. Take your place in the VIP room! Available at Apothia stores, Barneys and Fred Segal in Melrose; or at http://www.apothia.com

Devour, which is encased in an environmentally-friendly pink and white roll-on bottle, is a refreshing, lush mix of florals and greens. Himalayan Blue Pine and lotus are blended with muguet, fig, and cashmere musk oils. This is a delicate, delectable and thoroughly sweet scent, and its size renders it perfect for a purse. Available at http://www.beautyhabit.com

Stila Jade Blossom and accompanying body lotion is an invigoratinglyfresh meld of cucumber, green tea and a whisper of lemon. Ideal for daily use and perfect for layering, this is a great option for work, sport and after-shower spritzing followed by lotion. You’ll smell greener than clean, and cleaner than a rain shower. Available at http://www.stilacosmetics.com

Stila Jade Blossom Perfume by Stila, Soft Florals, Stila Jade Blossom Is A Refreshing, Crisp Blend Of Green Tea And Cucumber. With A Subtle Hint Of Lemon, With Florals. Stila Jade Blossom Is Recommended For Everyday Wear.Stila’s sweetly scented lotions are lightweight but keep skin moisturized throughout the day. Jade blossom has notes of cucumber, lemon verbena and green tea. Available at FragranceX.com

Originally published February 2006
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