Fragrance

By Kim Taylor

Whether you want to smell wonderful or give an amazing gift, these fragrances are delightful. Moschino Couture! (Moschino, $80, major department stores) is a confident, fresh-smelling blend of bergamot, mandarin, and accents of pepper. The middle notes contain peony, pomegranate, and poppy seed in a base of benzoin, vanilla and cedar wood. This long-lasting scent is potent but not overpowering, and the small, square perfume bottle is capped with a gold heart and small red velvet ribbon. Very holiday!

Create your own magic with Nina Ricci’s new Love in Paris ($50-$70, Nordstrom). This sophisticated floral perfume conjures up olfactory images of the world’s most romantic city with an enchanting blend of Italian bergamot, green of violet, star anise, and fresh rose, with middle notes of white peony, apricot, and jasmine, in a sturdy base of sandalwood, cedar wood, musk and a touch of vanilla. This is for the romantic at heart. It’s a fresh new scent that’s destined to be a classic one. The bottle is curved, elegant, contemporary and distinctly feminine.Miuccia Prada’s Prada Perfume is sure to impress. Initially exclusive to Nieman Marcus and the Prada stores; it’s now available at fine department stores ($65-$125). It’s a warm, modern update of ancient essential oils. Prada is an addictive blend of amber, Indian sandalwood, Indonesian patchouli, French labdanum resin, and Siamese benzoin. Top notes also include bitter orange, bergamot oil, mandarin and mimosa, middle also include schmus molle, and the bottom notes include vanilla. Encased in a powder pink box with a prune logo, the bottle itself is a work of ar; the perfume’s rectangle glass with a metallic top is reminiscent of modern architecture.

Paco Rabanne pour Elle ($50-$150, major department stores) by Rosemary Rodriguez for Paco Rabanne is a magnetic fragrance for those who are distinctive and memorable. This striking, feminine fragrance is a blend of white pepper, Italian mandarin, and white freesia as top notes, middle “heart” notes of jasmine, rose, karo karounde, and base notes of amber, peach, and massoia wood. The bottle includes a Metal Ring, since the fragrance is designed to evoke the fusion of skin and metal. Definitely a cutting-edge gift.

A new fragrance by Comme des Garcons for the men in your life is 2 Man ($45-$65, Comme des Garcons Boutiques). It absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked this holiday season. 2 Man is a delightful mix of saffron flowers, nutmeg, incense and white smoke – so masculine! This is one gift that will keep on giving. The glass bottle is shaped like a flattened grenade, perfect for either pockets or dresser tops, and displays the intriguingly minimalist Come des Garcons logo.

Susanne Lang Eau de Parfum “ready to wear” (one of three blends at $95-$250) is available in Barney’s at the Susanne Lang boutique or at http://www.SusanneLang.com and is compatible with all the line’s bath and body products. Lang uses 24% essential oils and fragrance oils, and culls scents from the world’s most exotic locales. Utilizing amber, pashmina, vanilla, sandalwood and nutmeg, her ready-to-wear perfumes are absolutely delicious. Lang specializes in custom fragrances, with clients drawing from a palette of 90 different base fragrances. She offers a limited edition “9-parfum roller” for custom blends. You can’t go wrong with this as gift, delivered in signature Barney’s wrap. Good taste has never smelled so sweet.

If you want to give something fragrant and unique from Henri Bendel, pick up a bottle of Garren New York Hair fragrance ($35 for 4 oz.). This is the latest product from hair expert and stylist Garren in the Bendel salon. The Garren collection features four light, unisex fragrances that deliver shine, setting, UV inhibitors, and scent. They won’t compete with your personal fragrance, and come in citrus, orchis, fig, and golden woods. A spray of Garren will make hair as fresh as mistletoe, so be sure to put this “hair fragrance” from Bendel on your list. Celebs that use Garren include Naomi Campbell, Amber Valetta, and Linda Evangelista.Last but not least, hang a few fragrance or beauty ornaments on the tree courtesy of Victoria’s Secret ($6 -$20). These big, shiny holiday bulbs contain purse size scented lotions, mini perfume, or lip-gloss – if you don’t have room on the tree, gleefully stuff a few oversized stockings with them.

Originally published December 2004
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