Fragrance

By Liz Bekesz

The good old days, the days of yore, the once-upon-a-time: whatever you may call the past, it’s impossible to truly replicate (not that you’d always want to, of course). Celebrating the best of vintage and retro, right here in the present, however, is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged. One highly enjoyable new way?

The Contemporary Eau De Cologne Collection from THIRDMAN, an anonymous entity who prefers to keep the focus on the actual juice, and forego the whole marketing and advertising dog & pony show. Reminiscent of the scented waters of the 18th century, which were made with botanical extracts and commonly used for their beneficial, tonic-like qualities, the Eaux de Cologne Collection is housed in oversized bottles, encouraging full-splash potential (though if you prefer a more conservative application, a control-lover’s spray attachment is also included. In fact, THIRDMAN even labels the side of the bottle so you know exactly how full – or empty – yours is at any moment (how thoughtful)! Delight without abandon; be splash-happy: THIRDMAN intended it that way, saying the scents are meant to be splashed on liberally, reintroducing a “long long gesture in Fine Fragrance.” Even in generous helpings, there’s never an overdose, as THIRDMAN scents are never too heavy: they’re clean and uncomplicated, yet refined and welcoming in a sexy, easy way (if they were pants, they’d be very well-cut, very soft, VERY expensive chinos; if they were a guy, they’d be George Clooney). The second fragrance in the collection, Eau Moderne, is bright, minimal, and open; very, very easy-to-wear. Take part in the addictive, indulgent ritual that lets a little bit of luxury splash over into every day: meet THIRDMAN. Available at
Bergdorf Goodman.

Cult British beauty brand Illamasqua seeks more than just a mere celebration of the night; they want complete ownership of the entire thing, no apologies. Freak, the brand’s debut fragrance, should be a step forward in the right direction. Created with the help of Master Perfumer Azzi Glasser, Freak is a dangerously exotic, uncompromising elixir; a concoction of unconventional flowers that are anything but “everyday.” There’s something a little dangerous about something this indulgently sensual; Freak is best reserved for out-of-office, after-hours affairs, events, and activities. Black Davana and Belladonna are part of the scents’s bewitching top notes, offering the senses both flirtation and seduction; Poison Hemlock, Datura (aka the Moonflower, with supposed aphrodisiac qualities), and the rare, ephemeral, one-night-only-blooming Queen of the Night comprise Freak’s intoxicating heart notes. The scent’s finale of Frankincense, Oud, and Myrrh make up its addictive base. Let Freak seduce you as its special sultriness melts your edges and warms your chilled core; let it be your evening artillery as it radiates is wanton ways into your heart, keeping you warm with temptation all through the frosty winter. Get your Freak on at select Sephora Stores and online at http://www.sephora.com and http://www.spacenk.com.

Optimism has fallen on hard times in recent decades, earnest idealism often meeting with equal parts cynicism and irony. What’s so wrong with wanting to feel light and happy, and when did it become so crazy to smile when outside in the world? In these often trying modern times, a super-sized shot of sunny optimism never hurts. Enter Prada Candy, a chic ‘n sweet new(-ish) offering that just radiates positivity, light, and joy. Prada took excess and extremity as a starting point for Candy’s creation, then pushed the limits with a 12% concentration of Laotian Benzoin, that balsam-y, sweet resin evocative of vanilla honey. A synthetic caramel accord joins the sweet whimsy party, and it’s all balanced with white musks (so fear not: things never get too sticky or complicated here). Candy’s sweetness breathes and floats, a thoroughly enjoyable sugar-spun veil of joy and delight. (And she’s a cutie too; check out legendary Francois Berthoud’s package illustration, with retro relevance to spare). Candy is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and http://www.saksfifthavenue.com.

Originally published December 2011
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