By Liz Bekesz

Brooklyn-based perfumer Anne McClain just launched the second iteration of her Humanity Fragrance Project with two exclusive MCM Humanity Fragrances: Savann and Amara. Savann offers the lush, warm delicious freshness of mango, water lily, lotus, and musk; in contrast, Amara is delightfully spiced and woodsy, with notes of Kampot Pepper, jasmine sambac, incense and Kambodi Oud. McClain says her Humanity Fragrance Project is “inspired by volunteer trips around the globe and is meant to evoke a feeling of compassion through its scents.” Both scents arrive with a postcard addressed to the perfumer, asking the wearer to describe moments of compassion they feel while wearing the fragrance (these postcards will later be posted on her Humanity Fragrance Project blog). Additionally, a limited edition of 150 handmade, glass anatomical heart bottles designed by Lance McGregor, hand-blown by Brooklyn glass artist Alan Iwamura, and signed and numbered by McClain are also available. Find MCM Humanity Fragrances at Anthropologie and online at

Saffron, the costly golden-orange thread-like spice, comes from the dried stigma of the Saffron Crocus. Throughout the ages, Saffron’s hay-like scent and gorgeous, intense color have been used as seasoning, dye, medicine, fragrance, not to mention sexual stimulant (this dates back to Biblical times, not to mention the days of Cleopatra). Now saffron is celebrated in Byredo‘s new Black Saffron Eau de Parfum. Opening with bright citrus and juniper berries, Black Saffron has at its heart black violet and a leather accord. It sounds very dark and dramatic, but Cristal Rose and sweet little bursts of raspberry give it some levity, while Haitian Vetiver grounds it all. Available online at, and at the Byredo Store in Stockholm (should you be traveling this season).

Ineke‘s new addition to her Floral Curiosities collection is called Sweet William, and you’ll be irresistibly drawn to its sweet embrace. Sweet William features the sweet, spicy scent of its namesake flowers (Dianthus barbatus), comfortably framed by wood notes. The delicious-ness begins with a peach schnapps note that lends an innocent charm (cheers!); it is all warmed through with clove, cinnamon, and cumin essential oils. Notes of cedar wood, sandalwood, and patchouli are softened with Bourbon vanilla, lingering with a hint of creaminess on the skin. Available exclusively at Anthropologie stores and online at

Balenciaga’s Florabotanica is an “experimental rose fragrance” inspired by the likes of an enchanted garden where one does not know whether the flowers are just gorgeous, or poisonous as well. Florabotanica features top notes of carnation and mint, middle notes of Turkish Rose and hemp leaves, and a base of vetiver roots and white amber. The result is a green floral with an exhilarating herbaceous crush up front; a morning garden at summer’s start, bathed in twilight’s glow (wink wink). Those seeking an alternative to the fresh n’ fruities out there should find this a highly wearable modern scent, with a tiny retro wink tempering its elegant, yet certainly office-friendly edge. Available at Bergdorf Goodman and online at

Originally published October 2012
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