Fragrance

By Liz Bekesz

Cheers, Sláinte, L’Chaim, Clink-Clink: Even those who barely know their Merlot from their Chianti will likely cultivate an immediate appreciation – and even make a toast – to the Notes of Wine Collection from New York-based lifestyle brand Kelly & Jones. Each gorgeous fragrance in the collection has been handcrafted to capture the unique notes of various wine varietals and the complexity of scent “within the world of wine.” While true wine tasting etiquette dictates one should never wear fragrance while sipping, as the bouquet on your skin might impact the bouquet in your glass, The Notes of Wine Collection was actually created as a made-to-wear, perfect pairing for your varietal selection: these scents are meant to heighten your wine appreciation experience, promising to “actually enhance all the nuances in the glass, celebrating a truly sensorial and experiential approach to appreciating the world of wine.” #1 Notes of Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing unisex blend of yuzu grapefruit, starfruit, green apple and a hint of camellia flower; #2 Notes of Riesling features aromas of fresh-­picked white peach, Anjou pear, bergamot and raspberry leaf. On the darker side is the sensual #3 Notes of Cabernet, a swoon-­worthy delight with spicy notes of pink peppercorn, ripe black cherry and tobacco flower on a gorgeous base of vintage leather, and #4 Notes of Merlot, a smooth, balanced blend of red currant, mission fig, rhubarb and lovely candied violet. #5 Notes of Chardonnay sweetens the deal with a vibrant, seductive blend of sweet honeydew melon, vanilla blossom and luscious crème brulee, all rounded out on a base of toasted oak. This one practically screams “dessert wine” – and I’ve no complaints. Peruse and purchase the collection online at http://kellyandjones.com. Check out the Sample Flights: a perfect way to discover which varietal(s) are your favorites (good luck narrowing down the selections).

Back in 1851, the original Kiehl’s Pharmacy quickly developed a reputation for supplying New Yorkers with some truly unique fragrance blends: Money Drawing Oil, Attraction Oil, and Purity Oil were among the eclectic offerings. At the turn of the last century, Kiehl’s was hand-blending for its customers 122(!) essences; in 1979, many of these were among over 100 formulations and artifacts entered into the Smithsonian’s permanent collection on original pharmacies. Well, blare the trumpets and sound the joy sirens: Kiehl’s Since 1851, the “venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin care and preparations” proudly extends an invitation to journey the world through an exciting new Aromatic Blends collection. Voyage to the source of the scent: the lush countryside of Provence, a desert oasis in Morocco, the dense jungle of Uganda, and the tranquil gardens of Japan. Each Aromatic Blend scent was created using fewer ingredients than found in traditional fragrance, using higher proportions of each high-quality ingredient: this makes for a truer, clearer scent construction. Kiehl’s decided right from the start to research ingredients and techniques from multiple fragrance houses (Givaudan, Firmenich and Mane), as the brand wanted to select only the very best, most interesting, and newest materials available. A top note with an interesting scent or story was first selected, followed by a second, complementary note,

The four beautifully simple yet sophisticated scents are available in three formulations: Aromatic Mist, Skin-Softening Body Cleanser and Skin-Softening Body Lotion. The cleanser lathers richly and provides twenty-four hours of skin softness; the body lotion delivers superb skin hydration and nourishment (after all, it is inspired by Kiehl’s iconic Creme de Corps, and is formulated with proven ingredients like Avocado, Olive Fruit, Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel, and Sesame Seed Oils – and without silicones.

Orange Flower & Lychee uses a unique orange blossom essence that’s made of three different parts of the Bitter Orange tree, instead of the typical single orange essence. Bitter Orange Tree is known to yield oranges with a more potent “orange” aroma; by using the steam and leaf as well as the flower, Kiehl’s achieves the pure scent rendition it demands. David Suffit, Assistant VP Fragrance Development, describes the blend as a recreation of the “atmosphere of late afternoon in a Moroccan garden.”

Vanilla & Cedarwood uses a superior natural vanilla that’s sustainably-sourced from a special Ugandan community, through a fair-trade initiative that helps institute social change across 6500 vanilla farms. The Ugandan vanilla bean has a smooth, almost smoky quality that traditional commercial vanilla beans lack (the latter are typically more sweet, and nearly floral). The sustainably-sourced Cedarwood component is native to the dense Cedarwood forests of the southern United States. This component adds a distinctive woody aspect to the scent, with an almost tobacco-like scent (the result of the cedarwood’s proximity to many tobacco farms in the region)

Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit uses a unique extraction technology to reproduce the lovely aroma of the fragile Nashi Blossom, the flower of a pear tree that blooms in many traditional Japanese gardens in Kyoto (it’s far too delicate a creature for typical extraction processes). This reproduction is blended with the joyful, juicy aroma of the Pink Grapefruit, a citrus native to Brazil: both the rind and pulp of the Pink Grapefruit are used, to capture a blend that’s simultaneously bitter, and fresh.

For Fig Leaf & Sage, Kiehl’s found a perfumer who spent his childhood in Provence, to capture the aroma of spring in Provence. Reminiscent of the French countryside, “The scent expression is not merely that of a fig, but is a combination of the scent of the air beneath the fig trees and the delicate aromas of the herbs in the surrounding fields,” shares Suffit. It is a scent that is aromatic and fresh, yet also has a lushness about it: there’s a green, pulpy quality to the Fig Leaf from Provence (other regions yield a more milky, sweet variety), and a nutty sweetness to the Sage, which is a native of the Northern Mediterranean coast.

Available at Kiehl’s stores and online at http://www.kiehls.com.

There’s always a place in my heart for fragrance nostalgia made anew, especially when my memories arrive within sunshine-y summer fun. My first teen-age foray into unisex fragrance, ck one, is renewed yet again for 2012. ck one summer limited edition is a watery, fruity, woody concoction that splashes up the cool on a sweltering summer’s day. Even prior to first sniff, the scent both cools the eyes with its creative “cracked ice” effect (splayed onto the iconic ck one bottle, of course), and awakens the senses with its flashy neon green and flash of orange packaging. Something fresh and vibrant promises to burst forth from inside, and it does: Opening fresh and friendly with cucumber, citrus, and blue mint, ck one summer limited edition then delves to a heart of dewy water lotus, rosemary, and green apple, tempered with a fresh watery accord. The dry-down is a soft, sensual sea moss, followed by driftwood and creamy sandalwood.

ETERNITY summer limited edition is a “romantic, luminous, serene” journey into the warmth of a summer sunset “as it illuminates the sky and glistens across the ocean” (if you don’t believe it, simply glimpse upon the beautifully blushing bottle, which captures a still of a summer sunset). This year’s summer-correct version of the classic Calvin Klein fragrance opens with a japanese pear martini accord, a heart of white peony, and a dry down of comforting musks. Top notes include japanese pear martini accord, sunny orange blossom, and sparkling sicilian bergamot; mid notes feature hydroponic gardenia, white peony petals and blue hyacinth, “comforting” dry down includes notes of white musks, tonka bean, and heliotrope. Confession: Personally, I tend to favor the ETERNITY summer editions over the classic, award-winning original; I love their fresh, soft, gauzy warmth. Here, the japanese pear martini accord adds whimsy and charm to the barefoot-on-the-beach-yet-still-somehow-clean-and-classy-and-completely-gorgeous-in-spite-of-it vibe. ck one summer limited edition and Eternity Summer Limited Edition are available at Macy’s and online at http://www.macy’s.com.

Originally published July 2012
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